East of Alice by Annie Seaton is a suspenseful mystery, with a touch of romance and an insight into
pioneering settler’s lives, joys, and hardships in the Australian outback.
In 1886, William Woodford and his wife Rose traveled to Australia to settle in Ruby Gap, east of Alice
Springs. William plans to make their fortune fossicking for rubies.
In the present, Gemma Hayden, William and Rose’s great, great-granddaughter, has returned to Alice
Springs – this is where she feels at home. With university behind her and now a teacher, Gemma has taken a job at a local school.
Six years earlier Gemma’s life fell apart. Her twin brother Ethan disappeared, her boyfriend left town without an explanation, and her parents divorced. Gemma now doesn’t let anyone get too close because that way you don’t get hurt!
Saul Pearce has also returned to Alice Springs. He has been transferred from the Darwin Parks and
Wildlife Office. Some hikers have reported a dumped car in a remote part of the National Park at Ruby
Gap. Saul is quite familiar with Ruby Gap as he and his best mates would fossick for rubies and camp at the ruins of Ethan’s family’s hut.
Ethan’s great, great, grandparent’s land has been subsumed by the National Parks to create a nature park. Saul finds an old land rover half buried in the river bed. It was Ethan’s vehicle, and in the glove box is a note written in code addressed to Gemma. Saul decides not to give the note to the police, but find Gemma and gives it to her.
Saul has the difficult job of telling Gemma that her brother’s Land Rover has been found, but there’s no body to go with it.
There is no way Gemma can investigate and solve the mystery of Ethan’s disappearance without enlisting Saul’s help. What had Ethan been involved in or stumbled across?
Together Saul and Gemma search for clues, putting themselves in danger. As they work together, will the feelings they once had for each other resurface?
The historical accounts of Rose and William’s pioneering years, the harshness and the beauty of the
land, and the love Rose had for her children gave the story a second timeline into the past.
While in the present, life with sat navigation and solar power allows a very different existence in the remote outback.
Annie Seaton has done extensive research into the history of the area, and her descriptive writing
brings the outback to life, it is as if you were there.
East of Alice is a great read, fast-moving, with plenty of action, suspense, and unexpected twists before the truth is exposed.
A selection of our members are reading East of Alice by Annie Seaton. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I love to read, any book on any topic. I now love ebooks as they are easier to store, I was running out of bookshelves! My other interests are family, gardening and our beautiful King Charles spaniel dog who is my reading companion.