Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

2.0 1
by Tom Gilling

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From Tom Gilling—The New York Times Notable author of The Adventures of Miles and Isabel—comes a skillful, compulsively readable modern thriller about re-inventing one’s identity.
It was just a harmless lie—to say he was driving Danny Grogan’s car when it was caught speeding down the Sydney streets on New Year’s…  See more details below


From Tom Gilling—The New York Times Notable author of The Adventures of Miles and Isabel—comes a skillful, compulsively readable modern thriller about re-inventing one’s identity.
It was just a harmless lie—to say he was driving Danny Grogan’s car when it was caught speeding down the Sydney streets on New Year’s Eve—and Danny’s father, a billionaire real estate tycoon, has promised to make it worth his while. But when former reporter Nick Carmody stands up in court to profess his guilt, it suddenly becomes clear that he doesn’t understand what he’s admitting to—until it’s too late.
Nick’s “good deed” hurls him into a world of secrets, drugs, corruption, and murder. To save his life, he has no choice but to disappear and become someone else. What he doesn’t realize is that a new identity can be even more dangerous than the one left behind. As his new life in Melbourne veers out of control, Nick has to question whether chance alone is responsible, or whether more sinister forces are at work.
A darkly comic page-turner, Seven Mile Beach is a haunting modern fable from a seductive novelist who never fails to thrill and surprise.

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Editorial Reviews

Josh Bazell
…unusual, fast, light, short, suspenseful, meaningful and filled with an immigrant's pointed observations about identity and the possibility of changing it. It's also often funny, as when Nick convinces himself he's finally become someone else entirely, then falls in love with an icy harridan just like the one who dumped him. And it has an appealing stench of paranoia that comes partly, one suspects, from the author's demanding more of his main character than any satanic real estate developer ever would.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Australian author Gilling (The Adventures of Miles and Isabel) explores the perils of remaking oneself in this beguiling, darkly humorous tale. Nick Carmody's status as a scholarship student and Danny Grogan's wealthy background bonded them as "an alliance of outsiders" at boarding school. Nick's now a journalist on a Sydney tabloid; Danny's a drug-addicted nightclub owner. When Danny wrecks his sports car, Nick accepts a hefty sum from Danny's father to claim he was the driver. But this was no ordinary accident-a man who may have been Danny's drug dealer was killed. Rather than face jail, Nick flees, assuming the identity of a stranger. His new life has a good start, complete with a dog and a girlfriend, until he learns that other men who share his new name are ending up dead. Coincidence? Or is Nick being hunted by the drug dealer's pals or Danny's father? Gilling delivers a taut, suspenseful reflection on identity that never pauses for a breath. (June)

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Library Journal

The latest work from Australian author Gilling (The Sooterkin) is a deftly constructed psychological thriller that succeeds both as literature and as entertaining escapist reading. From the moment tabloid reporter Nick Carmody stands up in court and tells a seemingly trivial lie to protect a friend, his life spins out of control. Realizing that he can no longer trust his friend's father, who bribed him into testifying, Nick adopts a new identity at an opportune moment and flees Sydney. Although he slips easily into another man's life, Nick faces difficult questions as he confronts the fluid nature of identity and trust, particularly in a new relationship with lover Alison. In his unassuming style, Gilling creates a pitch-perfect slice of urban Australian life and compelling, multifaceted characters whose experiences raise as many questions as they answer. An interesting choice for book clubs, this novel will appeal to readers of both popular and literary fiction.
—Kelsy Peterson

Kirkus Reviews
Australian costume-drama specialist Gilling (The Adventures of Miles and Isabel, 2002, etc.) goes modern, even postmodern, in this tale of a newspaper subeditor who lies his way into deep trouble. Though they formed a wary "alliance of outsiders" at St. Dominic's School, Nick Carmody and Danny Grogan are not what you'd call close. In fact, Nick doesn't even like Danny, who invites his old classmate to his Sydney nightclub and then keeps Nick at arm's length-maybe because Danny's hands are on an underage girlfriend and his bloodstream is full of a controlled substance. After learning the next day that a remote camera clocked Danny's car at 90 mph earlier that evening, Nick gets a call from billionaire contractor Harry Grogan, who wants Nick to say he was driving and offers to pay handsomely for the lie that will keep his son, who's already had trouble with the traffic courts, out of jail. Nick's gut says no, but the rest of him says yes, first to Grogan, then to Danny's oily solicitor, then to Senior Constable Holloway in court. Danny goes free, and Nick, learning that his lie covered up much more than speeding, goes on the run. Leaving Sydney for parts unknown, he switches cars with a stranger who's obligingly left his keys and identification papers inside the unlocked vehicle. Nick's chameleon talent for masquerading as someone else braces him for the obligatory complications. He falls for a woman he meets in his new persona. Someone from his past recognizes him. And he realizes that the man whose identity he stole had a history that may have made him less than an ideal choice. The author deals familiar cards-the stray dog that follows Nick home, the meet-cute with a new love interest,the growing fear that he's being tracked to his doom-but varies the emphasis and tone enough to make this story fresh and urgent to the last page. Agent: Kim Witherspoon/Inkwell Management

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Product Details

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
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Barnes & Noble
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Tom Gilling was born in England in 1961 and emigrated to Australia in 1983. He is the author of The Sooterkin and The Adventures of Miles&Isabel (Miles McGinty), both of which were shortlisted for major prizes in Australia and chosen by the New York Times as notable books of the year. Tom is co-author of Bagman, the posthumous memoir of the corrupt Queensland policeman Jack Herbert. He lives in Sydney.

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Seven Mile Beach 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LauraS More than 1 year ago
A fun book to read until the end. The ending is a total cop-out, as if the author couldn't figure out what to do with his main character. It was very annoying. I would not recommend this book unless it's a freebie and the only book you have to read at the moment! :)