Chris Hammer was in conversation with Michael Brissenden on Chris's latest book, Treasure and Dirt, an engrossing, standalone, outback noir thriller from the award-winning author of the international bestsellers Scrublands, Silver and Trust.
In the desolate outback town of Finnigans Gap, police struggle to maintain law and order. Thieves pillage opal mines, religious fanatics recruit vulnerable young people and billionaires do as they please. Then an opal miner is found crucified and left to rot down his mine. Nothing about the miner's death is straightforward, not even who found the body. Sydney homicide detective Ivan Lucic is sent to investigate, assisted by inexperienced young investigator Nell Buchanan.
But Finnigans Gap has already ended one police career and damaged others, and soon both officers face damning allegations and internal investigations. Have Ivan and Nell been set up and, if so, by whom?As time runs out, their only chance at redemption is to find the killer. But the more secrets they uncover, the more harrowing the mystery becomes, as events from years ago take on a startling new significance. For in Finnigans Gap, opals, bodies and secrets don't stay buried forever.
"What a cracker of a crime novel this is, with multiple intricate story lines to follow, a rich assortment of distinctly quirky characters and themes of abuse, power and justice hanging heavily over a vast and dusty landscape". Living Arts, Canberra
Chris Hammer was a journalist for more than thirty years, including chief political correspondent for The Bulletin, current affairs correspondent for SBS TV and a senior political journalist for The Age. His crime fiction novels, Scrublands (2018), Silver (2019) and Trust (2020), featuring troubled journalist Martin Scarsden and his partner Mandalay Blonde, which have won multiple awards in Australia and overseas, constitute a powerful, compelling and original trilogy.
Double Walkley award winner, Michael Brissenden has worked in Canberra for many years in various roles From 2017 to 2021 he was a reporter with the ABC's investigative television documentary program - 4Corners. His debut political crime thriller, The List was published in 2018. His second, Dead Letters, was published in February 2021 featured as the first meet the author event of 2021.
Jeff Popple, who reviewed crime fiction for the Canberra Times for many years and is now reviewer for the Canberra Weekly , gave the vote of thanks.