New Release Book Review: Wild Dogs by Michael Trant

Wild Dogs

Wow-what a ride I was taken on in Michael Trant’s latest release, it played out like a Hollywood action/crime/thriller except this one is set in the WA outback with the kind of down-to-earth Aussie characters I know. It would make a fabulous miniseries (someone needs to give Netflix or Amazon Prime the heads up).

We meet Gabe, a dogger, he’s setting up his traps on an outback station to catch the wild dogs that do so much damage to our farmers’ livestock. He’s a broken man, grieving for the loss of his wife, but we don’t find out exactly how that happened until we are deep into the story. He calls a spade a spade and makes no apologies for the way he is.

Gabe is an unlikely hero, but when he stumbles across a young Afghan man about to be murdered, he steps in without thinking first and his life takes a drastic right turn. From that decision, all hell breaks loose for Gabe, Amin and later two inadvertent bystanders, a nurse and a young aboriginal man, who get taken along for the most dangerous ride.

People smuggling, drug running, corrupt police officers, and most dangerous of all a roo shooter who is there to clean up the loose ends (Gabe and co.), this is the mess that Gabe stepped into when he tried to do the right thing.

I loved how Gabe was altered by his meeting Amin, an Afghan refugee, and getting to know him, having his beliefs shaken up and being made to look at people anew, including himself. In fact, these 4 people will alter each other’s lives in many ways during the tense couple of days that this action takes place.

There are some important issues that are brought up during the course of this story, refugees, government policies, aboriginal communities and dry towns, corruption and ignorance of other peoples cultures, all things that I love to have big conversations about.

This was a hard book to put down once the action started and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a great action thriller.


BLURB

Wild Dogs is a page-turning action thriller set in the WA outback, introducing Australia’s answer to Jack Reacher

‘Tough, fast and hard – my kind of book.’ -Lee Child

In the drought-ridden rangelands of Western Australia, Gabe Ahern makes his living trapping wild dogs for local station owners.

Still coming to terms with his wife’s death – and the part he played in it – the old bushman leads a solitary life. Until one morning, when he rescues a young Afghan man, Amin, from certain execution.

Now, with a gang of people smugglers on his tail and the lives of Amin’s family on the line, Gabe is drawn into a ruthless game of cat and mouse. His main opponent is Chase Fowler, a kangaroo hunter with bush skills as wily and sharp as his own.

As the old dogger and roo-shooter go head to head, Gabe will need all his cunning to come out of this alive…

Wild Dogs is a just-one-more-chapter thriller that kept me up long after lights out.’ -Jack Heath


With thanks to the author and Penguin Books Australia for a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

New Release Book Review: Clouds on the Horizon by Penelope Janu

Penelope Janu is one of my must-read authors, she has one character who features in several of her books, including this one, Nate, and I am hoping once again that he gets his own happy ever after in his own book soon.

Clouds on the Horizon was a book I was looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. I must say though, that it took me quite a while to get into this one, the characters didn’t lend themselves to me becoming caught up in their story for quite a while.

Phoebe has had a traumatic upbringing and hasn’t had much luck in relationships, she is like two different people; with the kid’s she is a therapist for she is warm and caring, but with most of the people around her, she keeps herself separate on an emotional and personal level. I found her brittleness and the way she was with Sinn, took me a while to get used to and though I understood her past dictated her behaviour, I just couldn’t warm up to her for the first part of the novel. Sinn was abrupt with Phoebe and though he wanted her help he didn’t want her involved in his investigation, Phoebe wouldn’t take no for an answer, a very stubborn woman. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Sinn and Phoebe until the second half of the novel, neither were willing to allow their feelings to really show, though Sinn was more willing than Phoebe.

I don’t understand much about horse syndicates other than people can make money from them, but it was clear Penelope Janu had done her research. The reason Sinn is in the area and needs Phoebe’s help was because of the work her father and her sister did on the accounts for the syndicate. While I got Phoebe’s need to protect her sister’s because of their upbringing, I did get frustrated with her behaviour in the case of this investigation.

I liked that because of this investigation and her relationship with Sinn, Phoebe had to really take the time to look at who she was now as an adult, and where she wanted to be on an emotional level and whether she wanted to take steps to change her life. She had two good friends who had her back, Mandy who was a counsellor and Jeramiah a local police officer, both of these helped her on an emotional level while dealing with Sinn and his investigation.

The animals in this story were fabulous characters, from the horses to Phoebe’s dog and then the gorgeous baby lamb, they made for some great scenes. I also liked Nate, Sinn’s off-sider and Pheobe’s small cast of friends and the children she helped. Penelope Janu has obviously done a lot of research around treatment for children with various issues and I found this very interesting seeing as this is part of my own work.

There was plenty to like about this novel and once I became fully engaged with the characters, I couldn’t put it down.

Thanks to Harlequin Australia for providing me with a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.