Snake Island: A Novel

Snake Island: A Novel

by Ben Hobson

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Overview

For fans of Cormac McCarthy, Phillip Meyer, Fargo, and Justified, a gritty rural noir thriller about family, drugs, and the legacy of violence.

In an isolated town on the coast of southern Australia, Vernon Moore and his wife, Penelope, live in retirement, haunted by an unspeakable act of violence that sent their son, Caleb, to serve time in prison and has driven the couple apart. Ashamed, they refuse to talk about him or visit, but when a close friend warns Vernon that Caleb has been savagely beaten, he has no choice but to act to protect their only child.
 
The perpetrator of the beating is a local thug from a crime family whose patriarch holds sway over the town, with the police in his pay. Everyone knows they trade in drugs. When Vernon maneuvers to negotiate a deal with the father, he makes a critical error. His mistake unleashes a cycle of violence that escalates to engulf the whole town, taking lives with it, revealing what has been hiding in plain sight in this picturesque rural community and threatening to overtake his son.

Told from shifting perspectives at a sprint, in language that sometimes approaches the simple profundity of parable, this gritty debut was hailed on its Australian publication as “a darkly illuminating thriller that soars across genre constraints . . . [and] engages with pressing contemporary issues while exploring timeless questions. Hobson writes as if his life depends on it” (The Australian).
 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 08/31/2020

Australian author Hobson makes his U.S. debut with this bleak but powerful crime novel set in an unnamed town in rural Victoria. Vernon and Penelope Moore, a retired couple, haven’t seen or talked to their only child, Caleb, since he went to prison two years earlier for attacking and nearly killing his wife. But upon hearing that Caleb has been assaulted by Brendan Cahill, a friend of Caleb’s wife with anger issues and enough connections to bribe his way into the prison, Vernon reaches out to his son, and decides to see whether he can resolve things with a sit-down with Brendan’s father, Ernie. Things do not go well, because of the obstinacy of both Vernon and Ernie, and due to external events, including a car accident involving a kangaroo. Meanwhile, a compromised police officer becomes involved in the dispute, as does Brendan’s brother, who would rather focus on fatherhood than his family’s criminal activities. Little goes right for any of them, and the violence only escalates. Hobson does a terrific job of portraying multiple broken people unable to find ways out of their unhappiness. Noir fans won’t want to miss this one. Agent: Pamela Malpas, Jennifer Lyons Literary. (Oct.)

From the Publisher

"Bleak but powerful . . .  Hobson does a terrific job of portraying multiple broken people unable to find ways out of their unhappiness. Noir fans won’t want to miss this one."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Recommended for Lee Child fans, who will savor the action and likely be left with lingering thoughts about conditional love."​—Booklist

Snake Island takes you to the limits of human emotion. A vivid, consuming dive into family loyalty, violence, and the hearts broken when the two collide.”—Candice Fox, bestselling author of Crimson Lake

 
A darkly illuminating thriller that soars across genre constraints . . . An engrossing literary novel that engages with pressing contemporary issues while exploring timeless questions. Hobson writes as if his life depends on it.”—The Australian
 
There is such a weight to the narrative, such a sense of impending doom, that the final chapter is incredibly tense and you don’t dare take your eyes off the page. . . . You will be sucked into such darkness that you may find it hard to imagine how it is all going to be wrapped up by novel’s end.”—AustCrimeFiction
 
“A rollicking tale of crime, corruption, and vengeance.”—Mark Brandi, bestselling author of Wimmera 

“Remarkable. Ben Hobson's characters are deeply flawed, deeply human and beautifully realised. Part Western, part Greek tragedy, part morality tale—yet wholly original.”—Chris Hammer, bestselling author of Scrublands
 
“Hobson’s Snake Island is a richly satisfying fusion of mature outback noir & revenge western, its creeping sense of dread matching the dark domesticity of crime film Animal Kingdom and the failings of masculinity in McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men.”—Conversations with Writers
 
“[Hobson’s] spare, muscular writing is captivating; and in the end, the scales are evenly weighted: corruption, rage and revenge are counterbalanced by loyalty, faith and redemption."—Saturday Paper

“For almost thirty years, as far as writing about the masculine condition is concerned, Tim Winton has been the voice of Australian literature. He has enjoyed that space singularly. In Ben Hobson, the next generation has finally cleared its throat and speaks powerfully.”—HicksBookClub
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781950691715
Publisher: Arcade Crimewise
Publication date: 10/20/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 633,086
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

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