Review - LIFE OR DEATH, Michael Robotham

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

One of Australia’s great storytellers: Michael Robotham’s crime fiction and the tantalising premise of his new novel.

Michael Robotham’s latest novel, published ten years after his first, was more than 20 years in the making. In a recent interview, the author said:

‘It took me years to come up with an answer and even longer before I felt I had the skills to tell the story properly. I needed to practise. I needed to learn. I needed to get better. That’s why I’m so excited about Life or Death. It’s a love story and a prison story and a heart-stopping account of one man’s refusal to surrender. More importantly, it’s the book that I was meant to write.’

Robotham’s renowned for taking a snippet from real life and building his novels around the ‘what if’ questions that tweak his interest, and  he does so again in Life or Death:

‘I read a newspaper account of a man who had served a long prison sentence, but escaped the day before he was due to be released. Why, I asked myself, what could possibly be the reason?’

It then took many years to come up with an answer, and the confidence to tell the story, but what a story it is. Part thriller, part jailbreak, part outlaw on the run, Life or Death is also a love story and a classic take on the man-against-the-machine scenario. ... full post at:

Year of Publication

Why would a man escape from prison the day before he's due to be released? Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of the gang. Seven million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is. For ten years he has been beaten, stabbed, throttled and threatened almost daily by prison guards, inmates and criminal gangs, who all want to answer this same question, but suddenly Audie vanishes, the day before he's due to be released. Everybody wants to find Audie, but he's not running. Instead he's trying to save a life . . . and not just his own.

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Karen Chisholm
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