WAKE by Shelley Burr @HodderFiction #bookreview #publicationday

๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ Happy Hardback Publication Day to Shelley Burr ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰ WAKE is out today in hardback!!

My thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for my advanced e-copy of WAKE which I received through Netgalley.

The Blurb


Mina McCreery’s sister Evelyn disappeared nineteen years ago. Her life has been defined by the intense public interest in the case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, she lives alone on her family’s destocked sheep farm.

When Lane, a private investigator, approaches her with an offer to reinvestigate the case, she rejects him. The attention has had nothing but negative consequences for her and her family, and never brought them closer to an answer.

Lane wins her trust when his unconventional methods show promise, but he has his own motivations for wanting to solve the case, and his obsession with the answer will ultimately risk both their lives.

Superbly written, taut and compassionate, Wake looks at what can happen when people’s private tragedies become public property, and the ripples of trauma that follow violent crimes. Wake won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2019.

What Did I Think?

How does a 9 year old just vanish, never to be seen again? Have they been abducted and kept alive or has something more sinister happened? Mina lost her older sister Evelyn and sheโ€™s given up hope. But PI Lane wants to solve the case; he seems to have a knack for solving the unsolvable missing person cases!

As I delved into Laneโ€™s investigation and Minaโ€™s recollections of the events 19 years ago, I couldnโ€™t decide what had happened to Evelyn. Had she been abducted? Met an unfortunate demise at the hands of another? Run away? I did question Minaโ€™s memory especially with other accounts of events coming to light. Could this young woman have muddled what actually happened?

Wake is a bit of a slow burner of a read. It might be me but there is something different about books set in Australia. Thereโ€™s just something different about the writing. Thereโ€™s a different pace to the ones Iโ€™ve read. Iโ€™m not saying this is a bad thing, more a personal observation.

WAKE is a dark thriller that gave me that unreliable narrative that makes me question so much but also forms a base for an interesting and captivating read. Some of the twists and turns Burr took me on left me bewildered at the outcomes and consequences. This is an unassuming but great debut and Iโ€™ll be looking out for whatโ€™s next.

Who Is Shelley Burr?

Shelley Burr is the winner of the CWA Debut Dagger award with WAKE, an alumni of the ACT Writer’s Centre Hardcopy program (2018) and a Varuna fellow. When not writing she works at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. She lives in Canberra, but grew up splitting her time between Newcastle and Glenrowan, where her father’s family are all sheep farmers. WAKE is Shelley’s first novel