A desert highway. A remote town. A murder that won’t stay hidden.
Inspired by hitchhiking adventures in her twenties, author Margaret Hickey has created a scintillating crime thriller set in the South Australian outback town of Cutters End. Gather your book club to discuss a mysterious death on New Year’s Eve 1989 that leads to a shocking murder investigation 32 years later...
Discussion points and questions:
- How important is the setting to the plot in Cutters End?
- What is it about rural Australia that so inspires crime writers?
- Mark claims he cannot remember shoving Ingrid into a wall. Is this plausible or is Ingrid lying? How reliable are the characters as narrators?
- When Mark speaks with John Baber toward the end, he quotes a line from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, ‘Man is not truly one, but truly two.’ This element of duality is present in all the key characters. Discuss. Is this also true for all of us?
- Most of the female characters in Cutters End hold little faith in the police and legal system to properly investigate sexual assault. Has the justice system improved for women in the past thirty years? In what ways?
- Hitchhiking was a common practice right up until the mid-1990s. It seems that everyone who hitchhiked or anyone who picked up people from the side of the road has a story. What’s yours? Would you ever hitchhike now?
The Ned Kelly Awards recognise and celebrate the very best crime writing has to offer. See which Penguin Random House books have been shortlisted this year...
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