Because of Hammer’s own background he’s effortlessly able to instil a realism in his lead, investigative journalist Martin Scarsden. It reveals itself in everything from the way Scarsden has strange memorabilia from warzones around his old apartment, to the way he’s able to find information from sources at the drop of a hat, to the instinctive hunt when he’s on a case.
Journalist Chris Hammer’s Scrublands – featuring an investigative journalist looking into the seemingly incomprehensible mass shooting by a priest in a small Australian town – was one of my favourite novels of 2018.
It was (is) beautifully written. I still remember the opening paragraphs and pages and how well Hammer transplants we readers into the small town of Riversend.
I was reminded of that in the opening paragraphs and pages of his latest novel, Silver, as he does that very same thing again. We’re there, with Martin as he returns to his childhood hometown and to his memories.