One of my favourite authors, and certainly one of my favourite guests for interview, is Chris Hammer, so I was delighted to speak with him about his latest brilliant offering titled SILVER. This is based in the town about which he writes .. Port Silver.
Again, as in his award winning best seller of last year, Scrublands, the setting is a mythical and remote Australian town and the two principal characters are those who featured in the previous book…. Martin, a journalist, and Mandy a woman with whose whom his path has crossed and who is now his partner in a tentative but loving relationship. Mandy is now the mother of a 2-year old boy, Liam, and his presence is warmly woven throughout the story.
This book tells of Martin’s reluctant return to the town he grew up in, and only because Mandy has inherited property there. Very soon after his arrival he visits Mandy in her townhouse but discovers the dead body of his boyhood best friend, covered in blood, while Mandy sits stunned and with blood stained hands.
Martin becomes involved initially to help find the murderer and to clear Mandy of suspicion, but his journalistic instincts come to the fore and he becomes involved in that capacity as well.
There are numerous side plots . crooked developers, illicit migrants brought in for sexual exploitation and a series of interesting character studies. His characters are very strongly drawn and he creates them quite vividly.
This book is almost 600 pages long and we discussed his writing methods and he told us that now he is committed to creating novels, as opposed to his previous professional life as a journalist and broadcaster, he is loving the time he can devote to his writing. He assured us there is another on the Way, again featuring Martin and Mandy, but this time focussing on Mandy and her personal and previous life. I can’t wait!
SILVER by CHRIS HAMMER (Allen & Unwin) ……………………….