Chocolate, Cherries and Nougat: Organum – Peter Gilmore


Images and recipes from Organum by Peter Gilmore (Murdoch Books) $59.99

Chocolate, Cherries, Nougat




“Cherries, nougat and chocolate. The combination is something you just want to eat, delicious and straightforward.” (p.194)



Chocolate & cherry sorbet

500 ml (17 fl oz) strained unsweetened cherry juice

160 g (5¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

20 g (¾ oz) liquid glucose

325 ml (11 fl oz) water

20 g (¾ oz) Valrhona cocoa powder

15 g (½ oz) Amedei Chuao (extra dark chocolate 70%), finely chopped


Place the cherry juice in a small saucepan and reduce by half over medium heat. Combine the reduced cherry juice with the remaining ingredients in a clean saucepan. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Put the mixture in a blender and blend well. Pour through a fine sieve. Allow to cool completely, then churn in an ice-cream machine. Freeze until required. Makes about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz).



Soft chocolate ganache

50 g (13/4 oz) Valrhona Manjari
64% chocolate

50 g (13/4 oz) Amedei Chuao (extra dark chocolate 70%)

125 ml (4 fl oz) pure cream (35% fat)

25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter, diced,
at room temperature


Finely chop the chocolate and combine in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to just below boiling point and pour over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool the chocolate until it reaches 30°C (86°F) and whisk in the butter until well incorporated, smooth and glossy. This ganache is used at room temperature and will need to be made 2 hours prior to plating the dessert to allow it to cool down
to room temperature.



Caramelised almonds

100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

50 g (1¾ oz) blanched almond kernels, well roasted


Put the caster sugar in a saucepan with enough water to just wet and dissolve the sugar. Cook over medium–high heat until it reaches an even golden caramel. Remove from heat. Add the roasted almonds then remove each almond individually with a fork and place on a tray lined with a silicone baking mat. Allow almonds to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until required.



Dried cherry, nougat & caramelised almond mixture

50 g (1¾ oz) dried sour cherries, roughly chopped

50 g (1¾ oz) caramelised almonds
(see above), roughly chopped

50 g (1¾ oz) nougat (see Basic Recipes), roughly chopped


Combine the cherries, almonds and nougat. Weigh 50 g (1¾ oz) of this combined mixture and set aside in an airtight container for the chocolate bark recipe below. Store the remaining 100 g (3½ oz) in a separate airtight container until required.



Dried cherry, nougat & caramelised almond chocolate bark

100 g (3½ oz) Valrhona Manjari
64% chocolate

50 g (1¾ oz) dried cherry, nougat
and caramelised almond mixture (see above)


Line a tray with silicone paper. Melt the chocolate over a water bath and allow to cool slightly. Add the dried cherry, nougat and caramelised almond mixture. Quickly mix and spread out on the lined tray into as thin a layer as possible. Refrigerate the bark until required.



Compressed cherries

50 g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

200 ml (7 fl oz) freshly squeezed Bing cherry juice, from approximately 400 g (14 oz) fresh bing cherries

16 large whole fresh Bing cherries


Combine the sugar and cherry juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cut the cherries in half around the stone, then twist to separate the two halves and carefully remove the stone with the point of a small, sharp knife.

Put the cherry halves in a cryovac bag with the sweetened cherry juice. Compress and seal the bag in a vacuum machine. Put the cherries into the refrigerator and keep the bag sealed for at least 4 hours to allow the cherries to macerate.




Remove the cherries from the cryovac bag and carefully slice them into thin discs. Put the cherry discs back into the juice until required. Remove the dried cherry, nougat and caramelised almond chocolate bark from the refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut it into thin strips.




1/2 quantity vanilla custard cream (see basic recipes)


Place half a teaspoon of room-temperature chocolate ganache in the centre of each serving plate and spread out with the back of a spoon. Place 2 teaspoons of the vanilla custard cream on the ganache. Place a few strips of the chocolate bark on top of the cream. Top with a couple of teaspoons of the reserved cherry, nougat and caramelised almond mixture. Add a few discs of the compressed cherries. Layer with more room-temperature chocolate ganache, chocolate bark and cherry, nougat and caramelised almond mixture. Finish with a few more compressed cherry discs and a scoop of the chocolate cherry sorbet. Serve.

cherries chocolate



Fragrant Poached Chicken, Salted Daikon,Smoked Eggplant Cream, Sashimi Sea Scallops, Ginger Scented Milk Curd, Virgin Black Sesame : Organum – Peter Gilmore


Images and recipes from Organum by Peter Gilmore (Murdoch Books) $59.99

Fragrant poached chicken, salted daikon, smoked eggplant cream, sashimi sea scallops, ginger-scented milk curd, virgin black sesame.



“This is one of my most sensual and pure plays on texture. The yielding, fragrant masterstock chicken against the smoky, silky eggplant cream, contrasted with salted daikon and slippery sashimi sea scallops, has great interplay. For me, the perfume of this dish is what makes it so elegant: the ginger-infused milk curd and the intoxicating aroma of the Korean cold-pressed virgin black sesame oil.” (p.248)



Fragrant poached chicken 

3 litres (105 fl oz) chicken stock
(see Basic Recipes)

300 ml (10½ fl oz) dark soy sauce

300 ml (10½ fl oz) shaoxing rice wine (Chinese rice wine)

300 g (10½ oz) yellow rock sugar

7 star anise

4 pieces cassia bark, 10 cm (4 inches) long

1 bunch Asian spring onions
(white part only)

50 g (1¾ oz) ginger, thinly sliced

30 g (1 oz) garlic, sliced

1 orange, peel zested

1.6 kg (3 lb 8 oz) free-range chicken


Put all of the ingredients except the chicken into a 7 litre (245 fl oz) stockpot with a tight-fitting lid, bring to the boil and simmer on high for 10 minutes without the lid. Strain the liquid into another stockpot, discarding the solids. Bring the liquid back to a full boil then put the whole chicken—breast side down—into the pot. Immediately put the lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for exactly 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the liquid and place on a draining tray. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or until required.

Note: with this cooking method the chicken flesh will appear slightly pink, but it will be cooked through. The flesh should give between your fingers: if it doesn’t, you will need to cook it a little longer.



Smoked oil  

500 ml (17 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

1 small garlic clove

100 g (3½ oz) whole smoked eel, cut into 1 cm (3/8 inch) thick pieces

25 g (1 oz) flaked bonito


Put all ingredients into a cryovac bag and seal. Cook in a water circulator at 50°C (120°F) for 30 minutes. Allow the oil to cool for 10 minutes. Open the bag and strain the ingredients through an oil filter bag or layered muslin (cheesecloth). Discard the solids and reserve the oil.



Smoked eggplant cream

500 ml (17 fl oz) smoked oil

1/4 lemon, juice

1 garlic clove, finely sliced

2 small, firm, super-fresh eggplants (aubergines)

sea salt


Put the smoked oil, lemon juice and garlic into a large cryovac bag. Sit the bag inside a container with the ends folded over to allow easy access to the oil. Peel the eggplants one at a time and immediately dice into 2 cm (3/4 inch) square cubes. Put the eggplant cubes straight into the oil before they have a chance to oxidise. Repeat until all the eggplant has been used. When choosing the eggplant, freshness is imperative so that the seeds are very small and have not turned black inside the eggplant. If you cannot find super-fresh eggplants avoid using the more seeded parts of the eggplants. In this case you may need three or more eggplants. All these steps are important to keep the eggplant white.

When the eggplant is submerged in the oil, seal the bag then steam in a water circulator at 95°C (195°F) for 40 minutes until the eggplant is soft. Strain the eggplant away from the oil and process the eggplant in a blender. You may need to add a little of the cooking oil to obtain a smooth consistency. Pass through a fine drum sieve. Season and allow to cool.



Egg white pearls

4 egg whites

1 litre (35 fl oz) grapeseed oil


Strain the egg whites through a medium sieve and discard any material that does not come through the sieve with gentle pressure. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large heavy-based saucepan to 50°C (120°F). Put the strained egg white into a medium-size hypodermic syringe with a 0.5 mm (25 gauge) needle. In one slow but direct motion squeeze the egg white through the syringe into the hot oil. The eggwhite will form very small pearls. Allow to set for 1 minute then, using a rubber spatula, release the pearls from the bottom of the pan in a smooth motion. Allow another 30 seconds of setting, then strain the oil and the egg whites through a fine sieve. Place the egg white pearls on a tray lined with silicone paper. Reserve the oil and repeat the process until you have about 1 tablespoon of pearls (enough for 8 flowers).



Scallop pearl flowers 

1 sea scallop

1 tablespoon white soy sauce

1 tablespoon crème fraîche

1/2 daikon


Finely dice the sea scallops to 3 mm (1/8 inch). Dress the scallops in the white soy sauce and place on paper towel to dry.

Whip the crème fraîche to firm peaks.
Lay some plastic wrap on the bench and cut it into 10 cm (4 inch) squares. Place a plastic wrap square over a shot glass then put a small dot (1/8 teaspoon) of crème fraîche in the centre. Next put 1/8 teaspoon of diced scallop on top. Gathering the plastic wrap corners together, squeeze the scallops and crème fraîche to form a tight ball. Twist the plastic tightly and place each ball in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes (or 5 minutes in a blast freezer). Repeat the process until you have 8 balls. Using the same method with plastic wrap and shot glasses, place 1/2 teaspoon of egg white pearls in the centre of each piece
of plastic. Spread out the egg white pearls to form a single layer roughly the size of an Australian 50-cent piece (about 3 cm or 1¼ inch diameter). Carefully unwrap the scallop and crème fraîche balls and place a ball in the middle of the egg white pearls. Gather up the corners of the plastic to form a pearl. Allow these pearls to set in the refrigerator until required.

Fold some sturdy aluminium foil into a long, V-shaped rest and sit it fold down in some rice to keep it steady, with the wider
part of the V upright. This will act as a rack
to hold your scallop pearl flowers in shape. Use a 2 cm (3/4 inch) diameter round cutter to stamp out a cylinder from the daikon. Use a Japanese mandolin to slice the cylinders into 1 mm (1/32 inch) thin discs. You need 56 discs
(7 discs for each of 8 flowers). Blanch these discs in boiling water for 10 seconds and refresh in iced water. Drain and pat the discs dry. Overlap 7 discs in a circular pattern—they will gradually form a point—making a small cone shape. Place these cones in the foil rest and set aside in the refrigerator until required.



Fragrant oil

100 ml (3½ fl oz) extra virgin Korean black sesame oil

50 ml (1¾ fl oz) extra virgin Korean white sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon jasmine tea

15 g (1/2 oz) ginger, thinly sliced

15 g (1/2 oz) long green spring onions,
white part only, thinly sliced


Put all of the ingredients into a cryovac bag. Heat in a water circulator to 40°C (105°F) for 30 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain and discard the solids.



Ginger milk curds 

45 g (1½ oz) ginger, thinly sliced

500 ml (17 fl oz) milk

sea salt

25 ml (1 fl oz) vegetable rennet

25 ml (1 fl oz) still mineral water


Put the ginger and milk in a saucepan and bring to 70°C (160°F) then remove from the heat. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes then strain and discard the solids. Season with salt.

Just before serving, make the ginger curds two at a time in eight ramekins with a capacity of 50 ml (1¾ fl oz) each. Warm 100 ml (3½ fl oz) of the ginger-infused milk to 35°C (95°F). Mix the vegetable rennet and mineral water together. Put 2 ml (1/16 fl oz) of the rennet mixture into a syringe, swirl the milk around in the saucepan and shoot the rennet into the warm milk. Working very quickly, fill two ramekins. Repeat this process three more times until all eight ramekins are filled.
Allow to set, which will take about 2 minutes.




sea salt

10 large sea scallops, finely sliced into 1 mm (1/32 inch) thin discs

50 ml (1¾ fl oz) white soy sauce

12 salted daikon twists
(see basic recipes)


Remove the chicken breast meat from the frame and shred the meat with your fingers. In a bowl, dress the chicken liberally with the fragrant oil and season with salt.

Dress the sliced scallops with the white soy sauce and a little of the fragrant oil.
Dress the daikon twists with the fragrant oil.




30 pea flowers

48 wasabi flowers


Place a generous spoonful of smoked eggplant cream in the centre of each plate. Spread out with the back of the spoon. Start layering the chicken breast, sea scallops and daikon twists. Make a space for the scallop pearl flower. Place the flower petal cone in first, then unwrap the scallop pearl and place the pearl in the centre of the cone the right way up. Using a dessertspoon, scoop half of the ginger milk curd carefully onto the salad. Dress with a little more fragrant oil then scatter the pea flower petals and wasabi flowers over the top. Serve.Poached Chicken

Citrus & Almonds: Organum – Peter Gilmore



Images and recipes from Organum by Peter Gilmore (Murdoch Books) $59.99


Citrus & Almonds





“This dessert was inspired by a family trip to the Andalusian region of southern Spain, where I was struck by the perfume of citrus and the amazing array of almond-based biscuits, pastries and sweets. One of the most charming ways to acquire these delicacies is by tapping on the age-worn wooden door of a cloistered Catholic convent, where the nuns have been making these sweets for centuries. Money is slipped into a small hole in the door in exchange for an array of sweet almond delicacies. When I returned home the images of those almond pastries, citrus and flamenco were whirling around in my head. I started with a cake based on ground almonds, marzipan, sugar and eggwhite and the rest of the recipe fell into place. This dessert is topped with a stretched almond biscuit that resembles the twirl of a flamenco skirt. I love it when the memory of a place or experience inspires a new creation. ” (p. 40)

Citrus and Almond


Almond ice cream

450 g (1 lb) whole raw almond kernels

1 litre (35 fl oz) milk

150 g (5½ oz) egg yolk

375 g (13 oz) caster (superfine) sugar


Roast the almonds whole on a tray in a 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) oven until deeply golden and aromatic. Put the roasted almonds in a food processor and roughly chop.

Meanwhile, place the milk in a medium saucepan and bring almost to the boil. Immediately add the almonds while they
are still warm. Remove from heat, cool slightly then cover and allow the almonds to infuse the milk, in the refrigerator, overnight.

The next day, reheat the milk and almond mixture until it almost reaches boiling point. Strain through a fine sieve, discarding the solids.

Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a large bowl. Whisk in the hot almond milk. Put the mixture in a double boiler and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 85°C (185°F) and has thickened slightly. Strain the mixture
through muslin (cheesecloth) into a bowl and cool over ice.

Churn in an ice-cream machine until frozen, then transfer to a freezer until required.



Almond cake

300 g (10½ oz) flaked almonds, roasted

100 g (3½ oz) marzipan, finely diced

1 vanilla bean, seeds only

100 g (3½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

5 eggs

2 egg whites, extra

350 g (12 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

caster sugar, extra, to sprinkle


Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5).

In a Robot Coupe or food processor blitz the almonds, marzipan, vanilla seeds and flour to a fine even consistency and set aside.

Put the eggs, extra eggwhites and sugar in an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until thick and pale. Fold the dry mixture through the egg mixture.

Line two 25 x 35 cm (10 x 14 inch) flat trays with silicone paper or baking paper, divide the combined mixture between them and spread it out to an even 1 cm (3/8 inch) thickness. Bake in the oven approximately 6–8 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with fine caster sugar. Transfer the cake, still on the paper, to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Put the cake in an airtight container until required.



Lemon crème fraîche

250 g (9 oz) crème fraîche

50 ml (1¾ fl oz) of basic sugar syrup (see Basic Recipes)

5 g (3/16 oz) strained lemon juice

1 litre liquid nitrogen


Whisk cold crème fraîche, cold sugar syrup and lemon juice together until small soft
peaks form.

Wearing appropriate protective eyewear and gloves, pour the liquid nitrogen into an insulated bowl or a small styrofoam container (see glossary for more safety information).

Put the crème fraîche mixture in a piping bag and pipe the whole quantity into the liquid nitrogen. Allow to freeze for approximately
1 minute then scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a clean bowl. Gently break into small irregular pieces. Store in a sealed container in the freezer until required.



Lemon curd

3 eggs

180 g (6¼ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

90 g (3¼ oz) unsalted butter

125 ml (4 fl oz) strained lemon juice


Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl. Bring the butter and lemon juice to the boil, then, whisking constantly, pour the juice mixture onto the eggs and sugar. Constantly whisk over a double boiler until the mixture thickens. Cool over ice. Transfer to the refrigerator until required.




50 g (1¾ oz) egg white

50 g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

50 g (1¾ oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar


Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually
add the caster sugar as you continue whisking. Once all the sugar is combined and peaks are stiff and glossy, fold through the icing sugar until well combined.

Line a baking tray with silicone paper. Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 5 mm (1/4 inch) round nozzle and pipe dots onto the tray. Cook in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until dry.



Sugar crystals

150 g (5½ oz) isomalt

45 g (1½ oz) glucose

45 ml (1½ fl oz) water


Line a baking tray with a silicone mat. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over high heat until clear. Bring the mixture to 165°C (320°C) then remove from the heat. Spread the mixture onto the tray
and allow to set.

Break the sugar into pieces, then blitz in a food processor to the texture of small crystals. Pass through a fine drum sieve. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat. Working in batches, spread the crystals out sparsely on the tray. Reheat in a 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) oven for approximately 3 minutes or until crystals melt and reform. Allow to cool then, using a large palette knife, scrape the crystals off the mat and store in an airtight container.



Pulled almond tuiles 

330 g (11¾ oz) trimoline (inverted sugar syrup)

330 g (11¾ oz) glucose

100 g (3½ oz) flaked almonds,


In a medium saucepan, bring trimoline and glucose to the boil and cook until it reaches a medium caramel colour.

Line a baking tray with silicone paper
or baking paper. Add almonds to the toffee, mix and pour onto the tray.

While the mixture is still warm, top with another sheet of silicone paper or baking paper and use a rolling pin to roll it out until
1 cm (3/8 inch) thick. Allow to cool completely.

Once the caramel is cool, blitz it in a food processor to a fine powder.

Line a clean baking tray with a silicone mat. Put the powder through a medium–fine sieve to sprinkle evenly over the tray and
form a fine, even layer. Melt the powder in a 175°C (345°F/Gas 3–4) oven until it liquefies.

While the toffee is still warm, working quickly, use a large sharp knife to cut it
into 10 x 15 cm (4 x 6 inch) strips. Lift the strips with a palette knife then, using your hands, pull the shorter edges of the strips apart gently until the toffee is very fine,
thin and almost see-through. Twist the
pulled toffee to form a shape like a twirling flamenco skirt. Use an electric fan to help
cool the twists while you hold them in shape. When they hold their shape without assistance, carefully lay each tuile on a tray, allow to cool thoroughly and keep in an airtight container until required.




milk biscuit (see basic recipes)

nougat (see basic recipes)

Icing sugar


Break a third of the almond cake into rough 2 cm (3/4 inch) pieces with your hands. Put the cake pieces in a large mixing bowl and add a similar quantity of the meringue dots, crushed milk biscuit, chopped nougat and frozen lemon crème fraîche. Mix gently to combine. The mixture should contain an even amount of each ingredient.

Dust the tuiles with icing sugar.




bergamot jam (see basic recipes)


Pipe 4 dots of lemon curd into the bottom of each serving bowl. Place a scoop of roasted almond ice cream on top of the curd. Top with 4 heaped tablespoons of the almond cake
and meringue mixture. Pipe on 4 dots of bergamot jam. Sprinkle with sugar crystals. Carefully crown the centre of each dish with a tuile. Serve.




Post Script: Organum – Peter Gilmore



The Food of Peter Gilmore

Peter Gilmore

Murdoch Books

ISBN: 9781743368633



Capturing the essence of world-renowned chef Peter Gilmore’s food: nature, texture, intensity, purity.

While there is a layered complexity to world-renowned chef Peter Gilmore’s ethereal – yet grounded – cuisine, his philosophy of cooking is relatively simple. Just four elements are required to create perfect unison in a dish: nature, texture, intensity and purity.


In this book, Peter invites the reader to share in his private obsession with nature – when not in the kitchen at Sydney’s Quay restaurant, he is working in his experimental garden where he grows a huge array of edible plant species. Each component of a plant, from sweet, earthy roots to bitter fronds and fragrant blossoms, is potentially destined for inclusion in one of the 40 exquisite dishes featured here. Peter also introduces us to the many influences on his cooking, and to the people who grow, catch and source key ingredients. Images include intensely beautiful food and ingredient shots, as well as producers and produce photographed on location.


Author bio:

Peter Gilmore is executive chef of the three-hatted Quay restaurant in Sydney, which appeared on the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for five years in a row. Peter’s first cookbook, Quay: Food Inspired by Nature, published in 2010, showcased his nature-based cuisine, organic presentation and the fine dining experience at Quay. He is also executive chef at Bennelong restaurant at the The Sydney Opera House.



My View:

This book must be the most gorgeous work of art I have come across in all the time I have been reviewing! I just want to have these images enlarged and on my wall – divine! Just look at the cover and you will get an idea of the stunning artwork inside.


My favourite images – there are so many – but a few do stand out – an evocative colour photograph of the coast line/sea/ reeds  and then on the opposite page the same image in black and white – stunning! (This technique of contrasting is very effective and is used a few times in the book)  And a fabulous picture of Snowberries (native to Tasmania).  And…so many others.


Nature Texture Intensity Purity these are the principles and elements that underpin Peter Gilmore creations – for creations they are. Clean crisp intense colours and flavours sing in harmony with the textual precision of the finished plate – this is a unique display of the natural!  I would love to eat a meal prepared by this chef!


The book also introduces us to the growers/producers//harvesters of some of the key ingredients in this remarkable book. Passion is evident.


“Although the recipes are detailed they are direct from the Quay kitchen and unmodified for domestic use, so if you are cooking from this book in a home kitchen you may find cooking times vary depending on the oven or cooktop you are using. Commercial equipment is a little more powerful.” (p. 276)


This book would make an excellent gift for the food lover in your life; beautifully presented, (there is a hard cover version available too), this edible art is a feast for the senses, great for the coffee table or for those who would like to stretch their cooking skills (a list of important ingredients and where to purchase is included at the back of the book and there is a companion app for iPad available; where Peter Gilmore leads you through the creation of eight of his remarkable recipes and provides insight into the principles and inspiration for his creations.)





Post Script: I Love You, Good Night – Jon Buller, Susan Schade


I Love You, Good Night

Jon Buller & Susan Schade

Illustrated by Bernadette Pons

Simon and Schuster

Little Simon

ISBN: 9781442485396



There are so many ways to say I love you—discover them all in this oversize edition of a bedtime favourite.


I love you like I love blueberry pancakes!

I love you like I love strawberry milk shakes!

I love you like frogs love flies!

I love you like pigs love pies!


In this sweet and simple board book, a mother mouse tells her wee one just how much she loves her…in twelve different ways! Some ways are silly, some are heartfelt, but all of them evoke unconditional affection. This oversize edition of a classic story is ideal for bedtime or naptime.


My View:

Gorgeous! Perfect for this grandmama to read to her grandson!

I just love everything about this book – the images are simple, cute and colourful, the sentiment is divine and it is cardboard book – our favourite type of book.  I love reading this to my grandson – sometimes silly, always fun, happy rhyming prose – great aid for language development and a wonderful way to tell your child you love them each day (probably more like several times a day – this book is sure to become a favourite) . Parent, grandparent, aunty or the like…this book is for you.


Post Script: The Crossing – B Michael Radburn


The Crossing

The Taylor Bridges Series #1

B Michael Radburn

Pantera Press

ISBN: 9780980741872



Redemption is born of guilt, and weighs heavy on even the strongest man.


Traumatised by the disappearance of his daughter Claire, Taylor Bridges’ marriage breaks down, and he exiles himself to Glorys Crossing in Tasmania. Taylor is the only ranger in this isolated town adjoining a national park… a town dying a slow death as the rising waters of the new dam project slowly flood it.


Struggling with the guilt of Claire’s disappearance, Taylor is a chronic sleepwalker. When another young girl the same age goes missing, Taylor begins to question himself… uncertain of what happens when he sleepwalks.


It’s a race against time not just to find the missing girl, but in Taylor’s search for redemption and a past better left lying at the bottom of the new lake.



My View:

I have just discovered a new favourite Australian crime fiction/mystery series writer, B Michael Radburn – you are a star!


Let me introduce you to this wonderful talented author:

B. Michael Radburn is a self-professed bloke from the “wrong side of the tracks”, whose fall into writing offered an escape from the fatal attraction of drugs and alcohol. Wonderful high school teachers made him realise that writing, when shared, offered faith in one’s self.


Writing from his farm in the hauntingly beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW, his work reflects both natural and supernatural environs. Described as “Ian Rankin meets Stephen King”, Radburn is the author of three full-length novels: The Crossing, Blackwater Moon and The Falls.


Radburn loves his family, jamming out the blues and his motorcycle! He also loves giving back and inspiring others from all walk of life – his Harley Davidson chapter (Sydney HOG) works with Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets program.


Radburn uses these opportunities to talk to youth living rough in Sydney – offering reading and writing as “therapy” and sharing his own teenage experiences.


The Crossing  – the first in the Taylor Bridges series  has all the elements I love in a crime/mystery read –  a great Australian setting and the first Australian novel I have read set in Tasmania – the setting evocative, beautiful, cold and Radburn deftly weaves a little bit of debate around conservation into this mystery – very topical and well done. Characters – great character development and empathetic protagonists. Radburn captures the essence of “small town” isolation and narrow minded thinking that breeds fear of strangers/difference (can I plant an ear worm – think Duelling Banjos Deliverance…) ultimately this type behaviour delivers vigilante style punishment; there were some very disturbing yet credible scenes centred on this theme.


The plot – complex and multilayered – as I reflect on this read (I finished this book a few weeks ago) I am recalling some of the more subtle yet pervasive themes surrounding family – and in this book not all is quite as it seems!  Family – loss of, dealing with grief, protecting loved ones, and unconditional love… and sadly abuse within families…so much material here. Then there is the overarching theme of redemption. Add to all these delicious elements a missing child and a ticking clock and you have a compelling read!