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The Bluffs
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The Bluffs

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The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

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Limestone Creek, a small town, exists on the very edge of the Tasmanian wilderness, so close that it is a short walk from the local high school to the mountains, rumoured to be inhabited by The Hungry Man. If you see him or hear him, you die. Is that what happened to 5 school girls 3 decades ago? And now, 4 girls go missing.

And Limestone Creek is put on the map by social media. People flood into the town from other places in Tasmania, a police investigator with a history sweeps in from Hobart, and a local teenager floods YouTube with pre-prepared videos. And then a body is found.

The author uses several voices to explore relationships at the school, between adults and the teenagers, and among the teenagers themselves. The father of one of the girls is the local drug grower and dealer. Some of the adults prey on the school girls, betraying their duty of care.

This is a novel that crosses boundaries. I'm not sure that the final resolution is particularly credible, but the author certainly achieved his aim of keeping me reading. ( )
  smik | Jan 2, 2021 |
When a teacher is attacked and four teenage girls go missing in the dense wilderness of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers during a school excursion, the residents of Limestone Creek, angry and frightened, are quick to assign blame. Some suspect a local drug dealer is responsible, others speculate one of the girls has a guilty lover, while it suits the sister of a missing girl to reanimate the legend of ‘The Hungry Man’, a killer said to stalk the Tiers.

Unfolding largely from the perspectives of three characters, teacher Eliza Ellis, the father of a missing girl, Jordan Murphy, and the investigating detective, Con Badenhorst, the fast paced narrative builds tension and intrigue from the very first, hinting at deception, betrayal, corruption, and explosive secrets.

The insinuation of the supernatural plays perfectly against the contemporary elements, with recognisable inspiration drawn from Picnic at Hanging Rock, the legend of Slenderman, and the case of Michelle Carter, tied in with Aboriginal legend.

Perry effortlessly evokes a visceral response to the dense bushland of the bluffs in which the girls go missing, and the small town it shadows. The area’s erratic weather reflects the mood of the insular community, and the development of the investigation.

Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. A stunning debut from Kyle Perry, The Bluffs is an atmospheric, and compelling tale with twists and turns that will keep you wondering about the fate of the girls to the very last pages. ( )
  shelleyraec | Jul 16, 2020 |
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