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Hayley Scrivenor. Dirt Creek (Flatiron, $26.99 Unsigned).
NOTE: This title was published in the UK as Dirt Town. We will be receiving a limited number of signed copies of the UK edition for $40. CLICK HERE to order one!).
In Hayley Scrivenor's Dirt Creek, a small-town debut mystery described as The Dry meets Everything I Never Told You, a girl goes missing and a community falls apart and comes together.
When twelve-year-old Esther disappears on the way home from school in a small town in rural Australia, the community is thrown into a maelstrom of suspicion and grief. As Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels arrives in town during the hottest spring in decades and begins her investigation, Esther’s tenacious best friend, Ronnie, is determined to find Esther and bring her home.
When schoolfriend Lewis tells Ronnie that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police? And who else is lying about how much they know about what has happened to Esther?
Punctuated by a Greek chorus, which gives voice to the remaining children of the small, dying town, this novel explores the ties that bind, what we try and leave behind us, and what we can never outrun, while never losing sight of the question of what happened to Esther, and what her loss does to a whole town.
Hayley Scrivenor is a former Director of Wollongong Writers Festival. DIRT TOWN is her first novel. An earlier version of the book was shortlisted for the Penguin Literary Prize and won the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award. DIRT TOWN (DIRT CREEK in North America) published internationally in 2022, and is a #1 Australian bestseller. Hayley lives on Dharawal country, on the east coast of Australia, and has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wollongong.