Kerry McGinnis has the ability to celebrate the beauty of the Australian landscape while still telling a compelling story.
After losing her husband and baby daughter in a tragic accident, Tilly is trying to get her life back on track. Moving in with her cousin Sophie, she works as the resident housekeeper for a wildlife sanctuary in the isolated wilderness of the north-western Gulf country. She feels optimistic about the future with the steady routine she has built caring for injured animals and helping to run the popular tourist campsite.
That promising future is plunged into chaos when the police show up asking questions about her deceased husband. Beginning to wonder what really happened to her family, Tilly is forced to re-evaluate her memories of their happy life. Still shaken by the police, she is pushed into more uncertainty over who she can trust with the arrival of botanist Conner.
Living in an isolated part of Australia is not bringing Tilly the quiet life she expected. Discovering the tourist campsite is being used to smuggle wildlife, drugs and people, she’s beginning to question who she can trust and if she will survive.
I have read Kerry McGinnis’ previous book The Roadhouse and really enjoyed it. So when I heard she had released a new book I was happy to put my hand up to review it. Much like The Roadhouse, this story is set in the Gulf country of Australia and the author’s ability to describe the vivid scenery is just as impressive. I enjoy stories that blend an intriguing plot with good character development and scenery that I can imagine myself in. This one ticks all the boxes.
Tilly is a strong character who navigates her way through physical and emotional hurdles with determination and courage. She is a believable and likeable protagonist and I found myself invested in her story. The supporting characters are just as engaging, with everyone having a purpose. The narrative moves forward at a good pace with the last few chapters increasing in speed to match the action-packed ending.
While I enjoyed The Roadhouse plot that little bit more, Croc Country is still an entertaining read in its own right, with the highlight being McGinnis’s writing style. In a time when we should be celebrating and promoting Australian authors writing Australian stories more than ever, I would have no hesitation in recommending either of McGinnis’ novels. She has the ability to celebrate the beauty of the Australian landscape while still telling a compelling story.
Reviewed by Jessica Incoll
Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: July 2020
- Read our review of The Roadhouse