> Skip to content

Book clubs  •  16 August 2021


Cutters End book club notes

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?

Cutters End Margaret Hickey

A scintillating crime thriller, set in the South Australian outback town of Cutters End. A mysterious death on New Year’s Eve 1989 leads to a shocking murder investigation 32 years later . . .

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Book clubs
The Paper Palace book club notes

A magnificent literary pick for book club.

Book clubs
A Slow Fire Burning book club notes

An exciting new thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train to discuss with your book club.

Book clubs
How to start a book club

Get your very own book club off the ground with these tips from The Wattle Island Book Club author.

Book clubs
The Farmer’s Friend book club notes

An uplifting Australian drama from rural midwife and bestselling author Fiona McArthur.

Book clubs
Wattle Island Book Club book club notes

A story filled with courage, passion and hope to share with your reading group.

Book clubs
The Garden of Hopes and Dreams book club notes

A timely and uplifting story about the importance of community and connection from much-loved author Barbara Hannay.

The 2021 Booker Prize shortlist revealed

The shortlist for the 2021 Booker Prize has been announced, with four Penguin Random House novels named.

Simple reading hacks for time-poor dads

Two authors — who are also dads — share their tips on how fathers can get a moment to themselves.

The top books for dad this Father's Day

Show them you know them by picking a book that perfectly matches your dad.

The habit that can lift your mood in just six minutes

There is one act that will help lift your mood in just minutes as we prepare to enter the new spring season.

QUIZ: How well do you know the classics?

Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Penguin Classics with a quiz to test your knowledge!

Charlotte McConaghy Q&A

'I want reading my novels to feel like walking through a forest or swimming in the ocean, to offer a breath of fresh air and remind readers of the beauty that still remains in the world.'

Looking for more book club notes?

See all book club notes