A riveting, action-packed and emotionally gripping first novel by a female search and rescue expert, TANAMI tells the story of a woman stranded in the Australian Outback who must evade her boyfriend's killers as she leads his young daughter back to safety.
Tally Nowata has saved many lives as a search and resuce worker. In the mountains of her home, she is an expert at survival. But in the Australian outback, she is only a tourist -a tourist whose boyfriend, Paul, went to pick up his daughter and never came back. He has been missing for six days, leaving Tally stranded in the unforgiving wasteland of the Tanami desert.
She sets out to find him only to discover that he has been murdered and his daughter left to die. Tally knows that it's only a matter of time before his killers find the camp she left behind and the arrow pointing out her direction.
She is grieving, tired, and bitterly aware that she knows too little about this land, only bits and pieces of information that Paul had given her. But there is nothing to do but go on, carrying Paul's memory and his daughter with her in a desperate struggle for survival.
Rarely does a writer make the transition from nonfiction to fiction as seamlessly as Nyala, whose bestselling 1997 memoir, Point Last Seen, recounted the search-and-rescue agent's experience in the Kalahari Desert with her two young children. Nyala's first foray into the fiction arena chronicles a similar quest for survival that's so believable, it's easy to forget this is fiction. Set in Australia's Tanami Desert, the book eloquently balances suspenseful and graphic scenes with moments of introspection and light humor. A trio of complex protagonists Tally Nowata (the female tracker who narrates the story), Paul O'Malley (her lover) and Josephine O'Malley (Paul's spoiled 10-year-old daughter from a previous marriage) engage the reader from the outset. The story opens with Paul taking a routine trip from his desert research camp to pick up Jo, who just arrived from the States. When Paul and his daughter fail to return after several days, Tally begins making her way across the desert, eventually encountering Paul, who's been murdered, and a near-death Jo. The rest of the novel chronicles Tally and Jo's courageous journey as they struggle to survive and elude Paul's killers, who are hot on their trail. Nyala's intimate knowledge of survival tactics and her informal yet stylish prose makes this one of the year's most noteworthy suspense novels.