"Set in Cann River in Australia’s rugged southern wilderness, The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is a tale of a remote town haunted by a legacy, a legacy with ominous consequences.
It’s a warm evening in the autumn of 1983 when Miriam Forster rolls into town in her broken down car. Frankie the deer hunter, is up in the forested hinterland with her gun. Old Pearl the fisherwoman sits on her front deck down by the lagoon with her whisky and her dog. And Emily, the English backpacker, scrubs out the pie-encrusted kitchen at the roadhouse.
All is not well. There’s a hoon doing donuts at the crossroads and screaming down the fire trails in the woods; a suspicious-looking city-slicker with two small children, squatting in Fred’s shack down by the lake; a beanie-headed gaunt guy convalescing at the lighthouse; and an acne festooned creature in the hotel room next to Miriam, thrashing about in the night.
Gran Parks is stirring. Who will survive? Who will get away? Who will stay?"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Isobel Blackthorn is a novelist, book reviewer and English tutor based in rural Australia. She holds a PhD in Western Esotericism and the occult features in most of her writing. Isobel is the author of the novels Asylum, The Drago Tree, A Perfect Square and The Cabin Sessions. The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is her fifth novel. Her short stories have appeared in journals around the world and her short story collection All Because of You received a 5 Star book award from Reader's Favorite. Her passion for books is boundless. Isobel reviews for Shiny New Books, Trip Fiction, Sisters in Crime and the Australian Women Writer's Challenge. She lives on the wild southern coast of Australia with her little white cat, Psyche.
This was my first time visiting the mind of Isobel Blackthorn, and it certainly wasn't boring! The dark humour, gritty scenes and unusual characters all combine to make an entertaining read.
Blackthorn wastes no time drawing the reader in with her opening chapter. It is completely unexpected and sets the dark, grizzly tone that permeates through the rest of the novel. She ensures you are paying attention right from the beginning, and she keeps you on your toes until the end. Like the recently successful Jane Harper (author of The Dry and Force of Nature), Blackthorn knows how to convey the sinister nature of the Australian setting, making blistering heat tangible, the seaside seem lethal, and the all-encompassing forests claustrophobic.
Yet, as oppressive as the setting is, it pales in comparison to the shady characters we meet along the way. I felt uneasy until the end; the sinister characters and their grizzly appearances, as well as the suspicious amounts of unlikely accidents, made me second guess the intentions of everyone in this small town. The gruesome descriptions are detailed and macabre, so if you're squeamish, read at your own peril.
I like the fact it is multi-narrative; each telling of events excellently intertwines with the others, meaning you get to see the same moment from several points of view. Each character is well developed, and most excitingly, completely individual. I have often found when reading a story told by several narrators that it is easy to mix them up. This was no problem here; Grandma Pearl's blunt nature contrasts with the prissy bureaucrat Miriam, the young and naive Emily, and the wild Frankie. It is refreshing to have such a variety within one story.
Overall, this is a darkly humorous tale expressed through brilliant prose and intriguing characters!
Check out the other stops on the tour and see what they made of this dark comedy: