B Michael Radburn hit the top ten of my favourite authors when I read the sequel to The Crossing, called The Falls, in the middle of 2016. Both books about park ranger Taylor Bridges are stand-alone novels and, having read the second, I have been keen ever since to find out how it all began.
Thanks to Wavesound Audio, the audiobook of The Crossing has come my way and it was worth the wait. Rick Herbert’s soft-spoken narration brings the angst and determination of Taylor Bridges to life. He’s a man who has lost his daughter and is struggling through each day without her.
When Claire went missing, never to be found, Bridges clung to any thread of hope that she would one day be found alive. It has torn him apart, to the point that his marriage has crumbled and he has exiled himself to the dying Tasmanian town of Glory’s Crossing. The town adjoins a national park and, when another young girl goes missing, Bridges sees similarities between this new case and the disappearance of his own kin. As Bridges begins to investigate, his own chronic sleepwalking forces him to confront the possibility that he may somehow be involved.
In his first Taylor Bridges novel, Radburn shows no signs of being a beginner, with profound emotions riddling his well-developed characters. As a thriller and mystery writer, he keeps us guessing, with Ric Herbert’s haunting voice adding so much angst and tension to the story. The Crossing may be a little too angst-ridden, but it’s suspenseful and unexpected. It works well as an audiobook because of Herbert’s deep, sombre tones which suit the character and foreboding landscape well.
Running at approximately 7 hours and 49 minutes, The Crossing was released by Wavesound audio in February 2016. It is available on CD and MP3 CD from Wavesound, or digital download through audible. The printed novel is available through Pantera Press.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 8