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If Risk was about the danger of meeting people online, Black is about the danger that could be lurking in your own town . . .

Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days . . . She can’t wait to leave the town where she’s known only as ‘Black’. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too.

Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed.

Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she’s used to being on her own. It’s easier that way.

But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge.

If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?


In crisp, clear prose, Fleur Ferris allows us a glimpse into a creepy world of bad blood, whispers, fanaticism and long-buried secrets. Evil-eyed clergy, an exorcism in the woods, strange portents . . . everything in Ebony’s life is drawing her into a local town mystery. But will she live long enough to find out the truth? This one will freak you out and drag you in, all at the same time – Black is guaranteed to keep you up at night.

Ellie Marney, author of EVERY BREATH

Fleur Ferris, author of Risk, skilfully combines mystery, romance and suspense in Black . . . Ferris chronicles [Black's] inner struggles with the same sensibility and sensitivity she demonstrated in Risk . . . The writing is nuanced, and the story as well-rounded as Risk. The author’s economical prose keeps the pace brisk and the suspense never lets up. Some graphic scenes of violence towards the end definitely make this a novel more suited to readers 13 and up.

Elizabeth Foster, CBCA Reading Time

Black delivers some spooky thrills as Ebony navigates her way through dark woods, bad blood, and fanatic rituals. It’s a grittier read than Ferris’s previous young adult offering, Risk, but her fans will enjoy this thriller with plot twists and turns delivered via a sharp and engaging writing style. The character of Ebony and her isolation throughout the story will likely speak to a female audience, especially with the presence of a teen romance to the overall thriller plot. Recommended for secondary schools and public libraries.

Angela Morgan, Magpies

Black is a thrilling and sinister read about the monsters we become when fear gets the better of us . . . Black is dead creepy and packed with drama . . . Ferris combines spooky foreshadowing, thrilling chase scenes, a love triangle and a truly horrifying climax with a timely exploration of the way fear divides and dehumanises . . . I enjoyed Black for its characters, plot and ‘clean’ writing, but most of all I appreciated the way Ferris shows how easily fear twists coincidence into sinister Design and how quick we are to see the worst in people, especially when we believe we’re acting out of love and goodness.

Margot McGovern, https://lectito.me

Black is a novel that you can’t help but speed-read, flipping pages faster than the speed of light . . . I couldn’t help but gasp intermittently, whispering an angry ‘no’, a horrified ‘how could you?!’ or a shocked ‘oh my gosh’ to the unresponsive pages of the novel . . . Black is a thrilling novel about rumours, haunted houses and enduring friendship, and it’s one I definitely encourage you all to read. It’s the perfect book to curl up with on the couch on a cold winter night with the wind howling outside. But lock your doors, because this fast-paced thriller will reinstate your fear in ghost stories and make you question what monsters lurk in your neighbourhood.

Sarah, writtenwordworlds.wordpress.com

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 27, 2016

    Random House Australia Children's

    288 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    June 27, 2016

    Random House Australia

    288 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Awards and Recognition

  • Sisters in Crime Davitt Award
    Best Young Adult Crime Novel

Also by Fleur Ferris