Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review: Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland

 Fair Dinkum Aussie ! 

........and the perfect choice to end the Aussie Author Challenge on a high note. I'd heard good things about Adrian Hyland's books but Diamond Dove exceeded any expectations I might have had.

The author spent many years in the Northern Territory, living and working among the Aboriginal people and his knowledge and love for this unique part of Australia and it's people is obvious.

It's about...........The daughter of a white father and an aboriginal mother, Emily Tempest, now in her mid-twenties, is still unsure which world she truly belongs in. Her childhood was spent in the aboriginal community of Moonlight Downs while the last twelve years has been a succession of uncompleted university courses and aimless world travelling.
Now she has returned to Moonlight Downs and is welcomed home by 'her mob' but within hours of her arrival an old friend is brutally murdered and old enemy is the only suspect. Her people scatter and Emily moves to the  nearby rough mining town of Bluebush, determined to bring the killer to justice. In the process of discovering his identity Emily also learns a great deal about herself and where her heart lies.

I loved Diamond Dove and it's so much more than a crime story although that part of it is well-constructed and Emily is a delightful investigator. The plot provides the central theme in which Adrian Hyland explores issues surrounding race relations, the displacement of the indigenous people and the underhanded activities of greedy men who will do anything to exploit the natural resources of the land.
The descriptive prose is superb, the characters and the dialogue as vivid and Australian as the landscape and it's very, very funny - I laughed all the way through! Can't wait to read Adrain Hyland's next book 'Gunshot Road.

Readers unfamiliar with our Southern Hemisphere slang may need some interpretative help but I do recommend Diamond Dove - wonderfully entertaining reading!

Aussie Author Challenge


  1. Both of these books were fabulous, and I have heard from people who have had exposure to these kinds of communities that it actually gives a pretty good representation of the lives of the inhabitants.

    Gunshot Road was excellent as well.

  2. I am glad that you liked it. I wrote a review of it recently (although I haven't posted it yet) and I have to admit I didn't have the glowing reaction that you did. I appreciated his portrayal of how the Aboriginal and Anglo community interact with each other in an outback town, and I am sure its very accurate. But I have to admit that the story just moved too slowly to me and I began to lose interest about 3/4 of the way through. Such a shame. I will still try Gunshot Road, but I won't rush out for it I have to admit.

  3. Marg - I loved the whole Aussie feel of it and the humour and really looking forward to Gunshot Road.

    Becky - You're probably right about the story but for me that was secondary to the rest of the elements - the background and the portrayal of this part of Australia.