Into The River by Mark Brandi
WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION DEBUT DAGGER
WINNER OF THE 2018 INDIE DEBUT FICTION AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR LITERARY FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR, ABIA AWARDS 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MATT RICHELL AWARD FOR NEW WRITER OF THE YEAR, ABIA AWARDS 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NED KELLY AWARD FOR BEST FIRST FICTION 2018
Growing up in a small country town, Ben and Fab spend their days playing cricket, wanting a pair of Nike Air Maxes and not talking about how Fab’s dad hits him, or how the sudden death of Ben’s next-door neighbour unsettled him. Almost teenagers, they already know some things are better left unsaid.
Then a newcomer arrived. Fab reckoned he was a secret agent and he and Ben staked him out. He looked strong. Maybe even stronger than Fab’s dad. Neither realised the shadow this man would cast over both their lives.
Twenty years later, Fab is going nowhere but hoping for somewhere better. Then a body is found in the river, and Fab can’t ignore the past any more.
My Review ~
Into The water tells the story of childhood friends Ben and Fab. It is a small town story, featuring small town characters but it packs one hell of a punch to the feels.
The novel jumps between the past and the present as Fab tries to come to terms with his story as he relays it to his friend Lucy.
‘He knew he couldn’t tell her everything though. There were some things that were without a doubt, better left unsaid’
Ben’s neighbour Daisy (14yrs) commits suicide via hanging in her backyard. Her family quickly move away and in moves Ronnie to the neighbourhood. Ben is intrigued by Daisy’s suicide and what drove her to take her own life. He is also suspicious of his new neighbour Ronnie.
The novel’s location is rural Australia and depicts a 1980s childhood. As the readers you witness the boy’s exposure to racial harassment and domestic abuse. Which only tightens their bond. Then Ronnie begins to confide in Ben about what really happened to Daisy. A story that will become all too relevant to Ben soon.
‘It wasn’t until years later that he would realise that the cold, twisting feeling in his guts that day was something like grief’
This is a victim centred crime drama. My heart really went out to Ben and Fab, their childhood choices and futures. 4*