WINNER OF THE DEBUT CRIME ACWA NED KELLY AWARD 2023
WINNER OF THE ABIA'S MATT RICHELL AWARD FOR NEW WRITER OF THE YEAR 2023
SHORTLISTED FOR THE DEBUT FICTION INDIE BOOK AWARD 2023
'Politically savvy, cleverly plotted . . . the kind of book that invites the ravenous language of binge reading: compulsive, propulsive, addictive' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
'It is hard to believe WAKE is a first novel. Plot, pacing and characterisation are so finely judged that it feels more like the work of a past master' THE TIMES
'WAKE is blazing its own trail. A yarn that feels so plausible and terrifying, it stays with you' AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY
A Top Ten bestseller, WAKE is a searing debut crime novel where the grief and guilt surrounding an unsolved disappearance still haunt a small farming community . . . and will ultimately lead to a reckoning.
Evelyn simply vanished.
The small town of Nannine lies in the harsh red interior of New South Wales. Once a thriving outback centre, this ghost town now has one sinister claim to fame: the still-unsolved disappearance of Evelyn McCreery nineteen years ago from the bedroom she shared with her twin sister.
Mina McCreery's life has been defined by the intense and ongoing public interest in her sister's case. Now a reclusive adult, Mina lives alone on her family's sunbaked, destocked sheep farm. The million-dollar reward her mother established to solve the disappearance has never been paid out.
Enter Lane Holland, a private investigator who dropped out of the police academy to earn a living cracking cold cases. Lane has his eye on the unclaimed money, but he also has darker motivations.
WAKE is a powerful, unsparing story of how trauma ripples outward when people's private tragedies become public property, and how it's never too late for the truth to set things right.
'Outstanding . . . This is both a well-plotted, gripping mystery and a sensitive exploration of the aftermath of trauma' THE GUARDIAN
'One of the year's best debuts. Intriguing and compelling. Shelley Burr is a bright new talent in Australian crime fiction' CHRIS HAMMER
'My crime novel of the year . . . Intense and evocative, it tears at the heart-strings' DAILY MAIL
'We devoured this stunningly drawn, deeply compelling mystery in one day' CRIME MONTHLY (UK)
'Burr brings a piercing psychological acuity, creating a nuanced examination of the emotional and reputational stakes of a murder investigation' CANBERRA TIMES
'WAKE is a stunning, masterfully written novel . . . Thought-provoking and intense, it is Aussie noir at its finest and marks Shelley Burr out as a rising star' SUNDAY EXPRESS
'There is a complexity and depth to the characters. WAKE will appeal to fans of Jane Harper, Christian White and Chris Hammer' BOOKS+PUBLISHING
WAKE includes a bonus extract from Shelley Burr's highly anticipated second novel RIPPER.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Two decades after Mina McCreery’s twin sister vanished from the family farm in Central New South Wales, the cold case continues to fuel media speculation and talk in online forums. When private investigator Lane Holland offers to revisit the disappearance, Mina is swayed by the idea of finding closure at last—but neither Mina nor Lane is telling each other the whole truth. Shelley Burr’s impressive first novel, which won the international CWA Debut Dagger Award, takes a penetrating look at isolated rural communities and the allure of true crime. Fans of The Dry will especially relish this character-driven mystery steeped in an authentic Australian setting.
When nine-year-old Evie McCreery, the victim at the center of Australian author Burr's uneven debut, vanished from her home in Nannine, "a barely populated town in Central New South Wales," her disappearance became a national story. Two decades later, it remains the subject of speculation online, including from those subscribing to the theory known by the acronym WAKE (Wednesday Addams Killed Evie), a reference to the resemblance of Mina, Evie's twin sister, to the actress who portrayed that character on screen. The mystery is revived by PI Lane Holland, who specializes in investigating unsolved disappearances in the hopes of reaping the reward money, which he uses to help support his younger sister. Mina initially resists Lane's outreach to her, but her attitude changes after he makes significant progress on another case that has also been unresolved for years. Burr neatly doles out the Holland siblings' dark backstory and effectively shows her tortured leads alternating between hope for closure and resignation, but the final reveal isn't fully satisfying. This familiar tale of an investigator probing a cold case who's concealing his own secrets breaks no new ground.
Kept me guessing. Loved the main character too.
Great Aussie thriller
Loved this one. Mina McCreery & her sister Evelyn (aka Evie} are twins but one day Evie just disappeared from her foster home. Lane Holland from Byron Bay takes on cases that others have failed to find , he helps Mina find out the truth about her disappearance. Very satisfying conclusion.
Kept me guessing
This book will keep you guessing but leave enough space for your imagination to wander into.