BOOK CLUB: Bloodtree River

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Author: Sarah Barrie
ISBN: 9781489255273
RRP: $29.99
Publisher: HQ Fiction
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Sarah Barrie is an acclaimed Australian author who writes rural romantic suspense. The current book is a stand-alone thriller that shares a couple of characters with her trilogy. I hadn’t read Sarah Barrie before but after Bloodtree River I will be sure to keep an eye out for her.


Indy O’Meara is a Sydney detective with a violence filled past, she became a police officer to try and get bad guys off the street. She is dedicated and good at her job, she is also perfect for undercover work because she has no-one at home wondering where she is. Indy is a fantastic lead, I loved her. She is kind and sensitive but she has a kick ass attitude and the moves to back it up. She was interesting to get to know and watching her undercover gave me more than a couple of giggles.

A remote Tasmanian cattle station has had some trouble with missing girls over a number of years and they haven’t been able to close the case. A Senator’s daughter is the latest girl to disappear and he wants answers, and he isn’t afraid to use his position to make sure another investigation is started down there. The main suspect looks like a shoo-in but there isn’t enough evidence, part of Indy’s role is to find the necessary evidence; without arousing suspicion that she is anything but who she says she is.

Bloodtree River is a romantic suspense story and that makes it super important to be careful what I say, there’s nothing worse than suspense spoilers.  Actually, that might be a slight exaggeration but it’s still pretty bad.

Logan Atherton is part of the management team at Calico Mountain Lodge and the prime suspect in the disappearances. He and all the senior staff at the family owned and run Lodge are adamant it has nothing to do with them and they, and their business, are suffering at the hands of the police and the media. They want it sorted but they are also becoming wary and worn down. It’s increasingly difficult to stay well staffed and they are all putting in a lot of extra work to keep the business afloat. He is charismatic and charming but his eyes also hold an icy depth, because there is a lot of contradiction to him it makes him enigmatic and hard to read. 

The start of the story had Logan looking guilty as not quite charged, and no other suspects worth considering but before long we are questioning whether he is really capable of that even though some of his actions leaving us thinking he is the answer, and starting to consider a much longer suspect list. Barrie has woven some fantastic red herrings into the narrative which leave you forever wondering where you want to cast suspicion.

The romance element is, I guess, a little predictable but it was well written and I was enchanted. I wanted things to work out.

Bloodtree River incorporates a lot of information which I found quite interesting about the Lodge, the produce farms and the police procedural point of view. I was out last night and when I got home I decided to read a couple of chapters before bed because the house was so quiet and peaceful…. at 2.30am I forced myself to put the book down and go to bed because I had to be up early for a fun run. I was captivated, I couldn’t walk away from the story because I had to know. In the end, I went to bed with about 4 chapters to go because I knew I wouldn’t sleep if I finished it.

Barrie writes with consistent pacing, gripping tension and more than a couple of twists that came out of the blue for me. I am glad I read this one and will definitely add the Hunters Ridge trilogy to my wishlist and Sarah Barrie to my watch list. A solid suspense that kept me guessing and captivated.

Bloodtree River is book #21 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2018.

Sarah Barrie can be found on Facebook and her Website.

Bloodtree River is published by HQ Fiction, and available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HQ Fiction 20 of our lucky Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading Bloodtree River so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

19 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Bloodtree River

  1. Thankyou to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Enterprises for the opportunity to read Bloodtree River by Sarah Barrie.

    The first thing I did after finishing this book was to order the Hunter’s Ridge Trilogy by Sarah Barrie!

    The story is gripping and intense,with romance, suspicion, secrets, murder , mystery and crime! All the good stuff!

    Indiana O’Meara is a detective sent undercover to investigate the disappearance of a number of girls who had been working at a remote cattle station in Tasmania.
    The main suspect is Logan Atherton, the owner of Calico Mountain Lodge. Indy discovers that any one of the Atherton family, their staff or neighbours could be responsible for the disappearances.
    Who can Indy trust? Will she be safe?

    It is one of those books you can’t put down until you know the truth!
    An excellent read, I give it 5 stars!!

  2. This book really does live up to all the hype and it had every emotion in it.
    It got me thinking I knew who was involved in the murders and then had me changing my mind again and the end was a bit of a roller-coaster of emotions and some unexpected events.
    It wasn’t predictable and everything Sarah Barrie wrote was so believable and I can still picture the scenery in my head.
    Indy was a great character who held herself well throughout the book and Logan was a great but mysterious character which made me want to not put this book down in a hurry. It had me having the quick chuckle a few times, made me so suspicious and teary among other emotions.
    There must have been a lot of research as just a fantastic, unfolding, clever written story.
    This didn’t disappoint me, very refreshing read from what I usually read and had me wanting for more books like this.
    The Hunters Ridge Trilogy is in my horizons for reading and her other book, Secrets of Whitewater Creek.
    Thanks Beauty and Lace, Harlequin and Sarah Barrie for this beauty! LOVED IT!!!

  3. I was super excited to start reading Blood Tree River by Sarah Barrie and it did not disappoint!!
    BTR features Indy O’Meara who also featured in Barrie’s Hunters Ridge Series, don’t worry if you haven’t read the series BTR is a stand alone book, but you should read them as they’re awesome books!
    Emerging from a dark past Indy became a police officer to help others that had been hurt like her, now a detective she is busily investigating a big time drug gang when she is pulled from the case to go undercover and investigate the mystery disappearances of women from a remote lodge on a farm in Tasmania.
    The chief suspect and owner of the Calico Mountain Lodge Logan Atherton immediately grabs Indy’s attention, his love for horses, animals and those close to him is obvious (could be really be a serial killer?), though where does he disappear to all on his own and what does he do?
    As Indy quickly fits in and becomes one of the Atherton family she finds herself falling for Logan, is she be falling for a murderer?
    As she keeps digging, she realises things are not as they seem and the disappearances are apart of a much much bigger dangerous web, putting her in grave danger, will Indy be able to solve the mystery and come out alive?
    I loved this book, Barrie is so good at giving out little clues, but without giving away the whole story, I thought I had it figured out who the bad guys were but was never certain until the end!
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin books for the chance to review Blood Tree River.

  4. OMG this book was fantastic!

    I was captivated from the first chapter I couldn’t put the book down.

    It was intense the whole way wondering what was going on, who was killing who? Why they were going missing? Where were they going?
    Even at the end when you thought I’d was happily ever after it wasn’t!
    But with that mix has to be a hot cowboy who falls in love.

    The story was very well written.
    I have All of Sarah’s books on my shelf and can’t wait to read those now!

    Loved loved loved it!

    Thanks beauty and lace for choosing me to read Bloodtree river!

  5. Wow…what a great read this was. It really had you guessing from start to finish.

    A story of girls going missing from a place called Calico Mountain Lodge in Tasmania, the main suspect being Logan Atherton as he is always the last to see them before they disappear. Detective Indy O’Meara is sent undercover to find out the truth, but what she discovers along the way is so much more than she expected and her feelings for Logan grow, but can she really trust him or is he playing her?

    Then there is the Cartwrights who own Hilltop Farm, you can never really be sure to know who is connected to who and you should always watch your back!

    One a family who truly care for each other, the other sadistic.

    It’s a story that keeps you wanting to turn pages and not put the book down as there are so many twists and plots and they thicken as time goes on, you think you know the answers then you are thrown to think again but in the end you get answers and I found it to be a pretty good ending.
    I was a little worried at first if it was going to be too much of a “thriller” type book for me, probably more so from the name of the book (that’s why you never judge a book by its cover..or name) ,but the reviews I had read were really good so I thought I’d give it a try and boy I am so glad I did.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and all those concerned to be able to have this review possible, this book is definitely highly recommended.

  6. I was very excited to receive Blood Tree River as my first book to read and review from Beauty & Lace.
    BTR is the first novel by Sarah Barrie that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    It is a well researched and crafted novel of the romantic suspense genre.
    Through Barrie’s clever writing style I really felt as if I was there with Indy, at Calico Mountain Lodge in the beautiful Tasmanian bush, caught up in the intrigue and suspense of why girls are disappearing.
    As the story evolves the suspense and romance builds to a clever and satisfying conclusion.
    BTR kept me captivated from start to finish and I found myself experiencing a whole range of emotions.
    I loved this book and look forward to reading more Sarah Barrie novels.
    Thankyou Beauty & Lace I am so happy to have been chosen to read Blood Tree River

  7. I was captivated from the very first page of Blood Tree River. A story involving the strong bonds of a loving family and the criminal suspense of grudges and jealousy within. Sarah Barrie writes its not just your every day thriller about crimes of the heart but passion and secrets that run deeper than you could imagine. All the good stuff to keep you on your toes, guessing what the next twist will be and just when you think its over you find blood is not always thicker than water.

  8. This is my first novel by Sarah Barrie and I really enjoyed it!

    A great romantic suspense, it was easy to read but kept you guessing to the last chapter. Just when you thought you knew how the plot was going Barrie would throw something else in, the story turns and keeps you in suspense yet again!

    Being Tasmanian myself made the setting for the book even more special, I was able to relate to the places and felt at home besides the characters in the story. It really helped the book come alive for me.

    I look forward to delving into her other books!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Books for a chance to read and review and more importantly discover another great Australian author!

  9. Working as an undercover detective Indy is to investigate the owner (and prime suspect) Logan at the cattle station; Calico Mountain Lodge. Set in the Tasmania outback, the lodge attracts many tourists and backpackers yet when some of the workers go missing Indy must discover the truth behind these disappearances.

    As Indy tries to blend into the backdrop we see the build-up of chemistry between her and Logan. Detective or not Indy is only human so will this attraction cloud her better judgement and hinder the case? As Indy tries to separate her feelings she relies on her ‘gut’ instincts and hopes she can be trusted to do her job without comprising the case.

    I really enjoyed this romance-suspense novel. It was a good blend of the two genres. The anticipation of the looming desire and plot twists made this for an entertaining and enthralling read right until the end!

    While it is the first of Sarah Barrie book I have read- it won’t be last, happy to recommend. Thank you Beauty and Lace Book Club and HQ Fiction for the reading and reviewing opportunity!

  10. Brilliant!! I absolutely loved this book. It’s definitely a stay up/cannot put down & read all night book, well that’s what happened to me. 5/5

  11. This is the first time I have read a book by Sarah Barrie and I will be for sure checking out her other books and I LOVED this book.

    The book is based around a detective Indy who goes to work undercover at Calico Mountain Lodge in Tasmania, She is sent there to investigate the disappearance of numerous girls and find out who is responsible.

    The book at the beginning did start a bit slow but once into it there is twists and turns at every corner. It is the type of book that is hard to put down! It is written extremely well and it is a fairly easy read.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes reading thrillers!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Books for letting me read and review this AMAZING book!

  12. Bloodtree River is one of my favourite reads so far this year. It’s a great mixture of crime, suspense, flirtation & scenic wonder.

    Sarah Barrie has really captured the essence of country Australia and it’s warm, colourful characters.

    Indy O’Meara is a toughened city cop who has seen her fair share of death and violent crime. After a politician’s daughter goes missing, suspected of being kidnapped by a seral killer, Indy is sent undercover to a remote holiday ranch in Tassie to investigte.

    Prime suspect is the charming and charismatic rancher Logan Atherton.

    Infiltrating the ranch as a new worker keen to learn the horse handling ropes, Indy gets close to Logan and against her better judgement, finds herself falling for his charms.

    But Logan’s family, including hot headed cousin Connor also form up as possible suspects.

    Will Indy uncover the truth & find the missing girl in time to save her, without endangering her own life?

    Read ‘Bloodree River’ to find out!

  13. Such a great read for anyone that likes thrillers, romances and Australian rural settings. It built fairly slowly IMO but once the romantic intrigue started building and the will they -won’t they aspect of Indy (undercover cop and all round bad a$$) and Logan (heart throb and main serial killer suspect/ animal lover) started heightening I wasn’t able to put it down.
    The novel has depth, mystery, intrigue and I didn’t find the romance too mushy or overwritten at all and wanted so much to be part of their story and (no spoilers) possible happy ever after. Do farm stays like this exist? Sign me up and I better get my own darn eyelash batting calf to look after once I get there (and maybe my own Logan). The thriller/suspense aspect of the story was also wonderfully done and ensures the reader will have late nights up reading those final gripping chapters in the book.
    Thanks to beauty and lace and HQ for the read, it’s definitely one to recommend and an author to keep an eye out for in future.

  14. This book had everything I love! A strong female lead, suspense, mystery, a dash of romance, twists and turns and a plot that kept you guessing at every turn.
    Very well written and Sarah is now on my list of favourite authors.
    Would recommend this book without hesitation.

  15. This book was amazing to read. Captivating from the first chapter I didn’t want to put it down! It takes you on a journey with Indy who is working undercover in a case. It keeps you constantly guessing who it could be. Loved reading this book seriously recommend this to anyone who will listen

  16. I absolutely loved this book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! The style of reading captivated drew me in from the first page, and kept me hooked until I finished it. I also loved that the book was set in Tasmania because I am Tasmanian, and it was very cool to read about all the real places in this fictional story!

    The story is based around Indy who goes undercover to try find out who is behind a series of murders. She is sent to work on Calico Mountain to investigate the prime suspect Logan but ends up more personally entwined than she planned. I really like the character Indy and find her very relatable, and it does help to get into the book when you have a main character that you love.

    The story line is very well thought out and develops in unexpected ways as the book goes on. I can’t give too much detail without giving anything away but I found the balance of suspense, mystery and romance was perfect. The book is mostly told from Indy’s perspective but we get small sections from Logan as well. Each time I thought I had part of the story worked out, it took another twist so it was a mystery almost right until the end where the ending tied up all the questions nicely.

    I would definitely recommend this book!

  17. If you, like me, don’t want to have the story worked out in your head in the first chapter, Bloodtree River is the novel for you. To be honest, it took me a couple of chapters to really embrace it, so the first few days were slow going as I put it down and picked it back up again, knowing I had to read it to review it. I am glad I did.
    Indy is working as an undercover police officer, trying to uncover what is happening to women around Calico Mountain Lodge. The prime suspect is Logan Atherton who has connections to all the women who have gone missing, with some being found dead.
    Indy is sure Logan is not to blame, but is she letting her personal feelings cloud her judgement? And what is it that unhappy, opium smoking Mel has over Logan?
    With plenty of members of the family and other local connections also suspects, Indy must unravel an intriguing web of lies.
    This novel delves into family ties, drug use, and even slavery before the truth is revealed.
    If you love to dig through a story to uncover the ending, then Sarah Barrie’s novel is the one for you. I couldn’t put it down after the first couple of chapters.
    You’ll have to read the book to find out who is to blame.

  18. Thank you Beauty and lace and Harlequin Enterprises for the opportunity to read BloodTree River.

    Sarah Barrie did a fantastic job with this book. I struggled to put it down after the first chapter.it was intense from beginning to end. It was a great blend of romance and suspense.

    After finishing this book I quickly purchased other Sarah Barrie books which were just as entertaining.

    A five star read from me!

  19. I was excited to read this book after it featured in the Beauty and Lace Book club. At the time I picked a different book to review but I was drawn to the story line and I ended up purchasing the book myself.

    I am so glad I picked up Bloodtree River as it is a fantastic read and intend to now read the prior Hunter Ridge books by Sarah Barrie. Once again Sarah was an author I had not read before and one I am glad I have now found. The biggest positive of Beauty and Lace Book Club is every month you are introduced to more and more fantastic Australian Authors.

    Bloodtree River is part of a trilogy but it can be read without reading the prior two books.

    In this book the story line is based around Indiana O’Meara a police woman with her own dark past who agrees to go undercover on a cattle station in the wilds of Tasmania. Women are going missing and the prime suspect Logan Atherton works at the cattle station.

    As she gets to know the family and Logan she is torn, on one hand he is so caring with his animals but on the other hand he can be rude and abrupt. Could he be behind the missing women? It is her intention to find out.

    The story moves at a great pace and it kept me guessing until the very end full of suspense and intrigue, I highly recommend it.

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