Mina McCreery’s sister Evelyn disappeared nineteen years ago. Her life has been defined by the intense public interest in the case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, she lives alone on her family’s destocked sheep farm.

When Lane, a private investigator, approaches her with an offer to reinvestigate the case, she rejects him. The attention has had nothing but negative consequences for her and her family, and never brought them closer to an answer.

Lane wins her trust when his unconventional methods show promise, but he has his own motivations for wanting to solve the case, and his obsession with the answer will ultimately risk both their lives.

Superbly written, taut and compassionate, Wake looks at what can happen when people’s private tragedies become public property, and the ripples of trauma that follow violent crimes. Wake won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2019.

My Review

Nineteen years ago Mina’s twin sister Evelyn disappeared from their home. Did she have a terrible accident or was she abducted and killed. Her body was never found, making the former unlikely, but the area around the property is huge so finding her is almost impossible. Even using cadaver dogs like Echo.

Mina’s mother wrote a book about the disappearance and Evie became public property. Everyone had an opinion, particularly the members of the MyMurder forum. Did Mina kill her sister because she was the pretty one and she was jealous? Did the parents do it (think Madeleine McCann and the hate-filled tweets about the McCanns)?

Alanna’s sister also went missing, but her case was never so high profile. No link to Evie could ever be found. It was thought at the time that her father took her and they were living miles away under false names.

In the meantime Lane Holland, a private investigator, believes he can solve the mystery. Because he’s done it before and anyway there’s a huge reward and he’s broke. His mum died and his father is in prison, so he has to look after younger sister Lynnie and put her through university. But his father could be eligible for parole soon and Lane is terrified for Lynnie.

A complicated plot and one where you can never be sure who is telling the truth. Because Mina lies, so does Alanna and even Lane is hiding something.

Mina is not very nice to be honest. She’s not quite a recluse – she works and has a friend which turns out to be Alanna, but she’s not very nice either. I suppose you can’t blame them after what happened, but Mina is also selfish and puts others at risk.

I loved reading this book with my fellow book club readers. We had theories (of course) but the developments are so much bigger than who took Evie. A brilliant book.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

About the Author

Shelley Burr is a writer and public servant from Canberra, Australia. Wake is her first novel.

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