I make a point to read local writers whenever I can and I am rarely disappointed. I picked up this new novel by Tricia Stringer ‘Dust on the Horizon’ when I attended the Romance Writers of Australia conference. When I purchased the book I did not realize it was book two of a series. My experience was it holds its own as a standalone. I think I will go back and get number 1.
Set in 1881 ‘Dust on the Horizon captures the beautiful, but unforgiving landscape of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia and the relentless hardships and heartbreak early settlers in the area faced.
The story chronicles the story of two families, the Baker’s and the Wiltshires’. They share a dark history of greed and deceit, and stolen land and illegitimate children. As both families fight to survive in a harsh environment plagued by drought Joseph loses both his wife and his pastoral lease Smith’s Ridge at the hands of the unscrupulous and racist, Henry Whiltshire. But Henry has his own secrets and they come to haunt him in the form of half brother, Jack Aldridge. Born to an Aboriginal woman Jack is caught between two worlds. He is bitter and grasping, and seeks out his father’s family. He wants what Henry Wiltshire has and will stop at nothing to take it.
The lives of Henry, Jack and Joseph and the women they love become entwined in a ruthless battle for money, property and prosperity that will cost one of them their life.
I enjoyed Tricia’s writing and love the way she creates characters that jump off the page, make you care for them and stay with you long after the last page has been turned. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to book 3.