Books

 

Everyone loved Jimmy Leathem but when he doesn’t return from the Tagary Surf Club reunion his wife Bette is forced to confront some ugly truths.

If he’s dead, where is his body? How is it that every old mate tells the same story, the one about the empty ski and the shark-infested ocean? Why won’t Heaney, his closest friend, answer her phone calls? And who is the strange, drunken woman who calls asking for “Rupe”?

Driven to distraction by doubt and mistrust, she begins to question her own sanity along with the myths of her marriage. Bette visits Vita Skopoulos, clinical psychologist and tactless sleuth. “Sit your sorry arse down and we’ll get started,” says Vita. Bette recognises a kindred soul and together they begin to shake down some shibboleths of the surf club culture which Jimmy cherished.

Set in the wild beaches of Sydney’s south coast, Reunion is both a sombre mystery and an uplifting love story from a writer with an easy style and a gift for dialogue and fast-paced action.

‘Russell has produced an engrossing tale of love in jeopardy, mateship in disarray, betrayal, revenge and redemption. A real page-turner from a gifted storyteller.’ - Chris McLeod

'An engrossing and well-crafted tale of mystery and suspense, set in contemporary Sydney. Bette, one of award-winning novelist Bruce Russell’s trademark strong and engaging female protagonists, sets out to discover what really happened when her husband is reported missing, presumed dead. All leads seems to point to kidnapping, murder and the Tagary Surf Club. The real puzzle at the heart of this story is the strange male world of mateship: as much a world of jealousy and betrayal as it is friendship, great laughs and heavy drinking. But in the end, Reunion is also a story of marriage, love and belonging.' The West (Writing WA, May 28):

Interview with Nightlife’s Tony Delroy (ABC Local Radio, 720 in Perth) - click here to listen.