1971. Hal is seventeen, with dreams of escaping from Moorabool to a life in the city. But right now he’s on a good behaviour bond and stuck in a job he hates, paying off the car he ‘borrowed’ and crashed. Hal’s packing-room job makes him a target for workplace bullies and the friendship of the older, more worldly Christine is all that makes each day bearable. So when she doesn’t turn up for work, he’s on the alert.
So is Sergeant Mick Goodenough. But he already knows what’s happened to Christine: the same thing that happened to the newly elected deputy mayor. When another gruesome ‘accident’ occurs in Moorabool, Goodenough suspects there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes at the abattoir.
Mick and Hal are both determined to dig up the truth. Before long each of them is going to find himself in mortal danger and running for his life.
Greg Woodland, author of the acclaimed The Night Whistler, returns with another nail biting rural thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. His debut was shortlisted for a Ned Kelly Award in 2021, so Woodland’s sequel, The Carnival is Over, has been highly anticipated. This novel is set five years after the last, featuring some of the same characters, including teenager Hal and Sergeant Goodneough. Woodland is a brilliant scene-setter, and the dusty NSW town of Moorabool near Armidale is easily imaginable. His use of Australian colloquialisms and references to all things 1970s make this one gripping, and retro, read.
While this is a sequel, it can certainly be read as a standalone.. Moving between multiple character’s perspectives through short and sharp chapters, from the sergeant to town locals, The Carnival is Over is a fast-paced read that really takes you back in time.
Woodland joins a growing number of Australian authors writing brilliant rural crime, and we can’t get enough of them. Fans of Margaret Hickey and Chris Hammer will devour this.