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by Chris Womersley
Silver Oak, September 2012
264 pages
ISBN: 1402798636

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It's a rare occasion that a literary masterpiece comes along in the thriller category. Most times, readers are content with a good storyline, some action sequences, and characters drawn with a view to real (read: flawed) personalities. Australian author Chris Womersley has created something important with his book, THE LOW ROAD. It's no surprise then that Womersley was awarded the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Book in Australian crime fiction several years back.

Every page of this amazing novel is filled with beautiful prose and interesting psychological insight that will find readers simultaneously rushing to the novel's end and yet never wanting the book to conclude. This is a book about character development and what leads a man to commit a criminal act, as much as it is a sequence of events that compose a story.

The novel centers on two strangers who find their lives entangled by virtue of being at the same seedy motel at the same time. Serendipity brings a young man with a bullet hole in his side and a suitcase full of stolen money together with a drug-addicted doctor who cannot let himself face a trial over a neighbor's baby that died at birth.

The street smart proprietor of the motel puts the two together, and though at first they both resist, eventually the two suspicious strangers decide to go on the lam together, seeking a place outside

the purview of law enforcement. Their journey together and their gradual building of trust is the essence of the novel.

Of course, along the way, pieces of the back stories of the two men emerge from the shadows, as well as the bad choices each has made in his life that brought them to this point. All in all, this is a truly remarkable work, making each man both pitiable and an object of derision. Those mixed feelings on the part of readers is just what makes this story so fine, so compelling, so worth of one's time.

Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, September 2012

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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