The Rush by Michelle Prak was a bit of a sleeper. I enjoyed it and it’s paced well so I remained intrigued, wondering how the disparate parts of the story we hear (all told over a day or two and out of sequence) intersect. But then Prak throws in a twist when least expected and one I certainly hadn’t seen coming. Thankfully it wasn’t left-field enough to not be feasible. Just shocking. Which is a good thing.The Rush
by Michelle Prak
Published by Simon & Schuster AU, Simon & Schuster Australia
Source: Simon & Schuster
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
The first drops start to fall when Quinn spies the body. With no reception and nothing but an empty road for miles, does she stop to help or keep driving to safety?
Back at the iconic country pub where Quinn works, Andrea is sandbagging the place in preparation for heavy rains. Alone with her sleeping son in the back room, she reluctantly lets a biker in to wait out the storm.
Out on the wet roads, tensions arise among four backpackers on their way to Darwin. They haven’t prepared for this kind of weather and the flooding isn’t the only threat on the horizon …
This unfolds from four points of view. That of Quinn who’s trying to pack up her old family farm to sell it and move on. Her boss Andrea who runs an historic isolated rural pub along with husband Matt. And then there’s Hayley who’s dragged boyfriend Scott on a camping trip from South Australia to the Northern Territory; and Livia one of the two backpackers joining Hayley and Scott and sharing travel costs.
The book opens with Quinn coming across a dying man. We know it’s a man so are then left to wonder if it’s one of those we meet over coming chapters. In addition to Matt and the campers, Prak also introduces a group of bikies – some nicer than others – but bringing back some bad memories for Andrea.
The storm and potential flooding have the ability to create a dire backdrop, though I probably felt it less than I could have. That’s possibly a ‘me’ thing as I’m not great at visualising. For me this was all about the unfolding plot. And even though I liked Andrea (and Quinn though we meet her only very briefly) this is less character-driven than it perhaps could have been.
The narratives of the women leap about in time over two days. Rather than it be disorienting, it creates a sense of trepidation as readers try to work out the order of events and the motivations or intentions of those we’ve met. It’s paced perfectly so the plot reaches its crescendo without feeling rushed or belaboured.
In some ways [the twist] reminds me of a deviousness I read in another recent release, but I’m loath to say which in case it offers some spoilers. I also loved that [what comes after] is wrapped up in a way that’s not dismissive of all that’s come before.
This is Prak’s first thriller and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
The Rush by Michelle Prak was published in Australia by Simon & Schuster and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.