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  • Published: 17 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781761044151
  • Imprint: Bantam Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $32.99

Cutters End




An award-winning 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 . . .

WINNER OF THE DANGER PRIZE 2022
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NED KELLY AWARD FOR BEST FIRST FICTION 2022

A desert highway. A remote town. A murder that won’t stay hidden.

New Year’s Eve, 1989. Eighteen-year-old Ingrid Mathers is hitchhiking her way to Alice Springs. Bored, hungover and separated from her friend Joanne, she accepts a lift to the remote town of Cutters End.

July 2021. Detective Sergeant Mark Ariti is seconded to a recently reopened case, one in which he has a personal connection. Three decades ago, a burnt and broken body was discovered in scrub off the Stuart Highway, 300km south of Cutters End. Though ultimately ruled an accidental death, many people - including a high-profile celebrity - are convinced it was murder.

When Mark’s interviews with the witnesses in the old case files go nowhere, he has no choice but to make the long journey up the highway to Cutters End.

And with the help of local Senior Constable Jagdeep Kaur, he soon learns that this death isn’t the only unsolved case that hangs over the town...


'Astonishingly assured crime debut. A pitch perfect outback noir, set against a vivid and atmospheric desert landscape . . . The book's explosive finale will linger with you for days.' Weekend Australian

'This smart, affecting tale owes more to Scandi noir fiction with its sinister twists and aching characters . . . a tour de force.' Australian Women's Weekly

'Past and the present collide to create a gripping tale of murder and intrigue.' Chris Hammer

'A tightly woven and utterly unpredictable plot that will keep you guessing and gasping until the explosive truth leaves you shocked. A stunning debut.' Lyn Yeowart, author of The Silent Listener

'Cutters End is one hell of a ride and Margaret Hickey is a brilliant writer.' Helen Fitzgerald, author of The Cry

'A pacy, atmospheric thriller that joins the ranks of Australian outback noir.' Jock Serong, author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket

  • Published: 17 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781761044151
  • Imprint: Bantam Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Margaret Hickey

Margaret Hickey is an award-winning author and playwright from North East Victoria. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and is deeply interested in rural lives and communities. She is the author of Cutters End, Stone Town and Broken Bay. Her new novel, The Creeper, will be released in June 2024.

Also by Margaret Hickey

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Praise for Cutters End

A tightly woven and utterly unpredictable plot that will keep you guessing and gasping until the explosive truth leaves you shocked. A stunning debut.

Lyn Yeowart, author of The Silent Listener

An exciting new addition to the world of rural noir . . . Past and present collide to create a gripping tale of murder and intrigue.

Chris Hammer, author of Scrublands

Astonishingly assured crime debut. A pitch perfect outback noir, set against a vivid and atmospheric desert landscape . . . The book's explosive finale with linger with your for days.

Weekend Australian

This smart, affecting tale owes more to Scandi noir fiction with its sinister twists and aching characters . . . a tour de force.

Australian Women's Weekly

Margaret Hickey has hit the ground running with her debut, Cutters End, an engaging, well-written murder mystery.

R M Williams Outback Magazine

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Cutters End book club notes

A desert highway. A remote town. A murder that won’t stay hidden.