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Friday, September 12, 2008

Reading Notes : Ghostlines by Nick Gadd

The 2007 Victorian Premiers Literary Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript was won by Nick Gadd for a novel about a washed up award-winning investigative journalist who now works for a suburban newspaper. That book has now been published as Ghostlines by Scribe Publications and it is an emotionally-charged debut occasionally marked with despair and guilt but presented with admirable style.

A tragic accident at a local railway crossing sees him simply going through the motions, more intent on getting home and drinking himself to sleep to the strains of Coltrane’s saxophone. Somewhere between asking people how they felt about the accident and filing the story his usual numbness to the people affected begins to wear off and he finds that there may be more to the story than a simple level-crossing accident.

A Melbourne art group from the 1950s, the work of a noted local artist and the haunting image of a woman captured in a portrait found in the house of a lonely old man are the catalysts to a most intriguing mystery. Phillip Trudeau is the troubled protagonist in the story, a man who has had his share of hardships, paying for crossing the wrong powerful people in the past. He’s the down but not out type of underdog whom you hope will succeed, but it could go either way.

Ghostlines is a worthy winner of the 2007 VPLA, it’s a powerful novel that is not without its surprises. Definitely one to look out for and a strong contender for future awards down the track. Put Nick Gadd down as an author to follow for the future.

I have written a full review for Ghostlines by Nick Gadd and it can be found by clicking on the link.

5 comments:

TeddyC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TeddyC said...

I've just picked up Ghostlines, on the recommendation of a friend, and been completely taken in by it's characters. It took me a few pages to see that there is more to this novel than just being a detective story.
I'm half way through and I'm finding the slowly unfolding ethereal aspects quite fascinating.
A great read!

Anonymous said...

I'm sad to say that I have finished Ghostlines.
It was one of those books that you can't put down. It was a great read, a GREAT read right down to the last sentence.
I so enjoyed having all my emotions engaged and wondering where the characters were going to lead me next.
Well done Phil! (the main character) ... and the women - Nina, Maureen, Val - enchanting.
Well done Nick for keeping me, the reader, involved and guessing.
Beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

I am sad to finish Ghostlines, too. It is a fantastic novel that crosses genres and deals with all of them so well. It is especially satisfying to read an excellent novel that is set in my home town.
Will there be more adventures of Phillip Trudeau?
I hope so!

angelasavage said...

Hi Damien,
Just thought I'd drop by and say hi in response to this post in particular as I had the pleasure of interviewing Nick Gadd on two panels at last weekend's Crime & Justice Festival. I read Ghostlines in preparation and it's a wonderful book: compelling, atmospheric, tender. I'd love to see it take the Neddy this year for Best First Book.
FYI, my Crime & Justice Festival de-brief is here:
http://angelasavage.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/crime-justice-festival-de-brief-2009/
Hope all's well with you,
Angela