WAKE by Shelley Burr – Book review

A crime thriller set in the vast Australian outback, WAKE has a very enticing blend of an emotive crime (a missing child), lead characters whose secrets are revealed at a satisfying pace throughout and enough twists in the tale to make sure you won’t second guess what’s going to happen.

Opening sentence: I live in that house you’ve seen on the news.


What happened to Evie McCreery?

Set in (the fictional) small town of Nannine in New South Wales, Australia the isolated, slightly abrasive atmosphere that characterises WAKE is established from the beginning.

Mina McCreery is famous for all the wrong reasons. As a child, her twin sister, Evie went missing from their sprawling family farm and she was never found. Ever since, Mina has faced a life of scrutiny and accusations, against her and her family. Now, it’s only her and her dad left and she relishes that attention in the case has gone away. This is until…

WAKE stands for ‘Wednesday Adams Killed Evie’

Private investigator, Lane is in desperate need of money and the $2 million reward for solving the Evelyn McCreery case is very appealing to him. He also has a personal interest in it that is slowly disclosed through the story.

He knew he wasn’t responsible for the way all of Mina’s relationships seemed to have imploded since he arrived in town, but knowing you weren’t responsible and not feeling responsible were two entirely different things.

I loved the dynamic between Mina and Lane. It was spiky and interesting and both of their fragile characters were portrayed in a very realistic way. The build up to finding out what really happened to Evie was brilliantly done too.

Australian author Shelley Burr won the Crime Writers Association award for best debut in 2019 for WAKE and I can totally see why. It’s a clever crime thriller with depth and suspense.

  • Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC;
  • Get your copy of WAKE here;
  • This edition published by Hodder & Stoughton 9th June 2022;
  • 368 pages;
  • My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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