Book Review – Dead Man’s Track
Author: Sarah Barrie
Book Review by Jenny Dowell
If you like thrillers and especially those set in Australia, then this book is one for you.
Author, Sarah Barrie, has worked as a teacher, vet nurse, horse trainer and editor. Experience in at least some of those careers resonate in this fast-paced suspense-filled novel set in rural Tasmania. Sarah lives on the central coast of NSW yet writes so convincingly of the rugged landscapes of Tasmania that you would be forgiven for thinking that was her home.
The main character of Dead Man’s Track is Tess Atherton, a tour guide, rescue volunteer, and horse rider who is haunted by the death of a hiker who did not follow her advice. Added to her post traumatic stress is a controlling partner and a senior police sergeant, Jared Denham, whose life she had saved and to whom she is attracted.
This is a crime thriller primarily, not a romance. Throw in a pawnshop dealer, a young man struggling to care for his dementia-ridden grandfather, a manipulative ruthless mate, and a series of escalating crimes and you have the recipe for the final drama of the book.
The words on the cover state ‘Alone in the Tasmanian wilderness, they are picked off one by one’ but this section of the book is the climax that comes towards the end of the novel.
The characters are vividly drawn, the thoroughly believable story lines are interwoven and the setting is at the same time, attractive and scary. It’s the whole package.
Indeed, the unforgiving rugged landscape with its unpredictable weather is as much a character as any in this novel. It especially comes into its own in those final sections as it dwarfs the young people trekking through it under Tess’s guidance as they face the most horrific of circumstances and an unknown menace.
This is a pacy Australian thriller that you will find hard to put down.