This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Retribution by Richard Anderson


by Richard Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
312,924,272 (5)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Another entry in the expanding Rural Noir category, it's sometimes hard not to come to these novels with a slight sense of foreboding. The "new big thing" is all too often a marketing ploy - more experienced in the hype than the actuality. Fear not however, RETRIBUTION is a good one, different, unusual and a refreshing twist on crime fiction as a whole. Up front - there's not a human murder to be seen here, although the fate of one animal in particular will not impress those readers from the "don't care what you do to the people, but touch one hair on that animal's head and..." camp. A category I will admit a leaning towards, particularly if there's the slightest sense that animal deaths are gratuitous, for shock value. In this case there's a sinking inevitability about it, but to be honest, the reaction of central character Graeme Sweetapple made up for that in many many ways.

But the book itself. RETRIBUTION is as laid back, disaffected and disarming as they come. The central character is an interesting choice in that you can almost see him flinching from the limelight. He's one of those blokes, last in a long line of farmers where the trickle down effect of kicking small farmers in the head over many generations has finally achieved something. His family farm shrunk to a small holding, his small place in the world supported by a bit of cattle rustling, a bit of horse handling for wealthier "townie" farmers, and a bit of whatever it takes to get you through the day. He's a resourceful, quiet, purposeful sort of a bloke, imbued with ingrained sadness and regret, possessed of enormous ingenuity when it comes, in particular, to the cattle rustling game. There were tricks of the trade revealed in this book that impressed - bald tyres, night time drives without headlights, and best of all a stunt to get around the DNA police that had never ever occurred. A slightly distant character, Sweetapple is a real and very appealing human being.

You can certainly see why he would appeal to young Carson - another local with little desire to move away, and yet an underlying yearning for something that she can't quite describe, but knows damn well is there. The attraction between these two is beautifully understated, underplayed and realistic. There is much here that is bittersweet - content in a way with their lot, never indulging in wool over eyes pretence, it kind of makes sense that when eventually jolted from a sort of life on auto-pilot scenario, there's something slightly haphazard about their response - as determined and utterly understandable as it is.

Add to this mix an incomer with agenda's in all directions, and you've got a catalyst, a nuisance, an explainer, a potential rival, part of a revenge plot and an instigator of one of his own and you've got a firey mix, destined to go pear-shaped no matter how you look at it.

Elegantly written, beautifully evocative of the sense of place, and people in it, Richard Anderson knows that of which he writes. The subtle interplay between incomer and long-time local, the tension between "amateur" farmer with money versus lifelong farmers with affinity for the land and the livestock is nicely done - never preachy, never overt. There's also heaps of social issues from the bush that are drawn out, from those local problems right through to the coal mine activists and the mixed feelings about their activities.

All in all this is good rural-noir. It comes from the place and the people that it's written about and it's got the authority, and the touch that comes from living in the world that it's describing.

https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/retribution-richard-anderson-0 ( )
  austcrimefiction | Sep 10, 2018 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Richard Anderson's book Retribution is currently available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (5)
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,912,968 books! | Top bar: Always visible