A small town in outback Australia wakes to an appalling crime.
A local schoolteacher is found taped to a tree and stoned to death. Suspicion instantly falls on the refugees at the new detention center on Cobb’s northern outskirts. Tensions are high, between whites and the local indigenous community, between immigrants and the townies.
Still mourning the recent death of his father, Detective Sargent George Manolis returns to his childhood hometown to investigate. Within minutes of his arrival, it’s clear that Cobb is not the same place he left. Once it thrived, but now it’s a poor and derelict dusthole, with the local police chief it deserves. As Manolis negotiates his new colleagues’ antagonism, and the simmering anger of a community destroyed by alcohol and drugs, the ghosts of his past begin to flicker to life.
Thank you firstly to Katya at Quercus Books for inviting me to be involved in this blogtour and sending me a finished copy of the book. The premise appealed to me, crime fiction, set in the Australian outback…small town vibes – count me in!
We meet DS Manolis shipped in to investigate a shocking murder in his childhood town. A town now unrecognisable, weighted down by drug and alcohol problems and divided by racial tension; the opening of an immigration detention centre fuelling frustrations, the promise of a boost to the the town’s employement and industry unfulfilled.
This felt very much like a ‘lost town’, DS Manolis very much shipped in as a saviour – the cop shop is in disarray with the existing Sargent counting down his days to retirement and with minimal interest in investigating the murder of much loved school teacher Molly.
In a small town steeped in history everyone has an opinion and everyone has an angle. Unreliable narrators keep the mystery alive as Manolis works hard, often single handedly to solve this crime. Told in the third person The Stoning was a decent first book in a new crime fiction series, and I for one am intrigued to see what is next to come from Manolis, will he (and we) be staying in the small town of Cobb – crime is high – drug deliveries are announced via bangers in the night and the Immigration Centre seems to be run by criminals, clearly further investigation is needed there!
Thank you again to Katya at Quercus for inviting me to be involved with this blog tour. Check our what others are saying about The Stoning. Details below.
About the Author
Peter Papathanasiou was born in northern Greece and adopted as a baby to an Australian family. His writing has been published internationally by The New York Times, Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, Daily Telegraph, the ABC, SBS, and the Huffington Post. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London, and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Australian National University. His first book, the memoir Son of Mine, was published in 2019 by Salt.