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Genre: Literary Crime Fiction
The Map of Night
“Dark Matter pulls light waves into curves, and conceals the true location of everything. It distorts reality.”
Astronomer Lucy Rutherford is celebrating the refurbishment of the 100-year-old telescope in the Yarra Valley town of Bowness, Victoria. Her husband, Justin, is running for parliament, on a platform of responsibility and progress.
But Lucy isn’t interested in being a politician’s wife. And after twenty years, she plans to leave Justin. Once he’s won the election. Lucy’s biggest concern is how her eleven-year-old daughter, Gabby, will take the news. Or does Gabby already know? She has a habit of listening in on conversations she shouldn’t.
A week before polling day Lucy takes the family dog for a walk and doesn’t return. Justin is convinced Lucy has left him but Gabby is certain her mother is missing and in trouble. Why isn’t her father looking?
As the days go by, tensions rise between Gabby and her father. Desperate to contact her mother, Gabby takes matters into her own hands. On the day of the election Bowness is faced with a decision, and so is each member of the Rutherford family.
‘One looks on in horrified fascination as lies and misunderstandings work their way through a family and a small community. Tense, inexorable and beautifully written.’ Gary Disher, author of The Way it is Now
‘Such eloquent similes and layers of meaning that made it feel more like a literary journey than your average domestic noir. Starr required no smoke or mirrors to create intrigue – just a unique premise, multilayered characters, and clarity of prose. A book for the discerning reader – I actually felt myself becoming a tiny bit cleverer with every page. Great to read female characters excelling in scientific fields, and for a writer to portray the agonising complexity that is tween girls (how could you not love Gabby by the end?). Superb use of scent to evoke setting. A distinct new sophisticated voice in Australian fiction.’ Kylie Kaden, author of One of Us