Bruny by Heather Rose [6/10]

Heather Rose launches her novel “Bruny” with the speed of a rocket, plonking a United Nations conflict resolution expert back on her home of Bruny Island in Tasmania. A huge bridge-in-the-building has been sabotaged and her brother, the Australian state’s premier, and her sister, the opposition party’s leader, need her help. If all that sounds outlandish, Rose does a wonderful job of making it work, with a loping pace and stylistic brevity. The writing is first-rate and anyone who has ever been to the beautiful island will swoon at the setting. For over three quarters of the novel, “Bruny” is a captivating literary thriller heading for an impossible-to-guess climax. I confess the final portion of the book unparceled the tension and explained, rather than dramatised, the arcane plot, leaving me a trifle unfulfilled. Be that as it may, this novel is a splendid quick read of high topicality and punchy prose. Recommended.

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