Moonlight Downs (Emily Tempest Series #1)

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Overview

Winner of Australia’s Ned Kelly Award for Best First Novel

“Beguiling . . . wonderful.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A hymn to the wit, courage, stark beauty and the power of dreaming of a unique people. One cannot help but be enriched by it.”—Anne Perry

“Impressive.”—Baltimore Sun

“Hyland excels at drawing the reader into a strange, rough world. This debut novel is filled...

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Moonlight Downs (Emily Tempest Series #1)

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Overview

Winner of Australia’s Ned Kelly Award for Best First Novel

“Beguiling . . . wonderful.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A hymn to the wit, courage, stark beauty and the power of dreaming of a unique people. One cannot help but be enriched by it.”—Anne Perry

“Impressive.”—Baltimore Sun

“Hyland excels at drawing the reader into a strange, rough world. This debut novel is filled with both poetic descriptions and a great deal of wit.”—Booklist

“Perfect for mystery fans who are craving new horizons. . . . An intriguing tale.”—Library Journal

“Beautifully written.”—Publishers Weekly

“[A] colorful setting and an in-your-face heroine fetching enough to warrant a series.”—Kirkus Reviews

Emily Tempest has been away from Australia for a long time, but now she’s returned to the Moonlight Downs “mob,” the community where she grew up, half in the Aboriginal world, half in the white. She is looking forward to a reunion with her childhood friend, Hazel, and to catching up with the rest of the group.

Within hours of her arrival, an old friend, Lincoln Flinders, the tribe’s elderly leader, is murdered and mutilated. The police suspect Blakie Japanangka, a renegade aborigine sorcerer, but Emily believes that the old man was slain for worldly reasons, and she starts asking questions.

Adrian Hyland spent many years in the Northern Territory, Australia, living and working among indigenous people. He now teaches at LaTrobe University. Moonlight Downs, published as Diamond Dove in Australia, is his first novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Australian Hyland's rewarding debut opens with half-aboriginal Emily Tempest returning to the Outback "blackfeller" camp of Moonlight Downs after years of traveling around the world. Just as Emily is settling in, her dear friend Lincoln Flinders, a highly respected community leader, is found strangled and missing a kidney. The mutilation points to the local sorcerer, Blakie Japanangka. Emily, with the help of police sergeant Tom McGillivray, tries to track down Blakie, who has escaped into the hills. When doubts about Blakie's guilt arise, suspicion falls on several people connected to land ownership disputes, leading to a series of rather unbelievable action scenes. The true strength of this beautifully written novel lies in Emily's ambivalent feelings about her culture and her complex interactions with Hazel Flinders, the murdered man's daughter and Emily's former best friend. Their relationship, and the way Emily moves between aboriginal and white society, provide the tension lacking in the mystery half of the plot. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

This distinctive debut novel is perfect for mystery fans who are craving new horizons. Emily Tempest is half Aboriginal and grew up in the Australian Outback. After college and travel, she returns to her home and mob (clan). She notices changes, some of them disturbing. When Lincoln, a mob leader, is brutally murdered, Emily is not content to settle for the obvious solution: that he was the victim of a local sorcerer. As she reconnects with her old life and dear friend Hazel, she searches for the murderer. Hyland, who worked in remote Aboriginal communities and lived with the Walpiri in the Tanami Desert, touches on political and racial issues and Aboriginal spirituality as he weaves an intriguing tale that includes poetic descriptions and excellent characterizations. Included are two essential and helpful glossaries: Australian and Aboriginal. Much needed doses of humor and a sweet romance lighten this sometimes dark story. Winner of the 2007 Ned Kelly Award for best first mystery in Australia, where it was titled Diamond Dove, this is a choice selection for all Australian fiction and in-depth mystery collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ10/1/07; for another Australian mystery involving the Aborigines, see Peter Temple's The Broken Shore.-Ed.]
—Susan G. Baird

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569475263
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Series: Emily Tempest Series , #1
  • Pages: 330
  • Sales rank: 626,177
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 4.64 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Adrian Hyland won Australia's Ned Kelly 2007 Award for Best First Novel for Moonlight Downs. He spent many years in the Northern Territory living and working among the indigenous people. He now teaches at LaTrobe University and lives in Melbourne.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 31, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I really enjoyed this book. It has a great sense of presence in the Outback of Australia and a great development of characters. There was no rush to get to the plot, but the casual story arc allowed you to settle in. I have already purchased #2 in this series, and it is next on my list to read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Books take you places

    Enjoyable fast paced murder mystery set in the Outback of Oz. For me, story enhanced by local culture and musical references. Light escapist fiction.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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