Outback Creed, Jonathan Macpherson
When author Jonathan Macpherson sent me an ebook copy of OUTBACK CREED for review, it slipped a little down the queue as some pressing judging responsibilities got in the road. Having subsequently realised it was somewhere between a novella and novel in size, it snuck back in, as a palate cleanser / head clearing read was required.
Action packed, with a interesting idea at the core, OUTBACK CREED is well worth reading if you're a fan of action packed thrillers. The basic idea is that three lawyers, after a meeting in a small outback town, head out to a remote spot in the Kimberley region for a break before heading back to the big smoke. They certainly did not expect to be confronted by a young, local, Indigenous boy being held captive by a violent man who acts like he will kill anything and everything that tries to interfere.
Despite this, rescue young David these men do, and whilst Tom escapes with the boy, the others go in a different direction, trying to spread the trail to keep them safe and stay away from David's abductor and what turns out to be some unfortunate colleagues of his. It's during this mad scramble to get out of the bush and to safety that Tom discovers the original deal they were negotiating is just the tip of an enormous iceberg of corruption and nasty goings on.
OUTBACK CREED is about pace and action in the main. The threat is high, even in the early stages, as the reasons why all of this is occurring start out reasonably clearly, but become more involved, and more intertwined as it goes. To be fair, plot does get a little ropey in places, but the characters are strong, and the pace unrelenting, and often times, if plot is a little light on, the action will carry you through. Nothing a little editing and a little tweaking of transitions in particular couldn't sort out.
OUTBACK CREED does show a lot of promise though, and it's an excellent choice of subject matter. It's a good thriller tackling what should be a much bigger subject in Australia - local Indigenous peoples fighting to maintain their rights and land in the face of greed, corruption and a lot of breathtaking bastardry.
A city lawyer, on assignment in the outback, intervenes in an abduction and becomes ensnared in a world of corruption, billion dollar stakes and murder.