Sarah Avery’s reckless behavior has cost her a job, her boyfriend, and the independence she desperately craves. Reluctantly home for the holidays in the Bay of Fires, a tiny seaside town on the Tasmanian coast, she hopes for a calm, quiet visit, with time to reflect on all that’s gone wrong. Those hopes are crushed when, early one morning, she discovers the body of a young female backpacker washed up on the shore.
A year earlier, another woman went missing and hasn’t been seen since. Now everyone wonders: is there a killer in the brush? Or were these women victims of Tasmania itself? The island is place of savage beauty: pristine sand beneath orange-lichen covered granite boulders; heaving shadowy kelp fields; sweeping cold currents; crackling bush beyond the seashore. It’s also a landscape as flawed, vulnerable and vengeful as any human. Once its fragile peace is shattered, the locals’ anxiety fuels a string of speculations about happened to the women – and who might be the next victim.
When journalist Hall Flynn arrives to investigate, haunted by recent failures and yearning for a fresh start, he’s determined to do whatever it takes to break the story, and Sarah is his best source of local information. But Sarah – like everyone else in this close-knit town – has secrets she’s desperate to keep hidden. And one of those secrets leads straight to a killer’s door.
Haunting, evocative, as wildly atmospheric as the remote island where it takes place, Bay of Fires is a startling and wholly original debut.