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.
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.