The Taylor Bridges Series #1
B Michael Radburn
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.
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.” https://www.panterapress.com.au/shop/category/15/b-michael-radburn
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!