New author Nigel Bartlett's King of the Road is a carefully crafted thriller that never misses a beat, delivering a confronting story with great control of the genre.
Debra Adelaide, The Sydney Morning Herald
Sharply, astringently drawn, a clever variation on the falsely-suspected-as-protagonist formula. And his seeming transformation into “the king of the road”, crusader for the sort of justice he has never before had to seek, as he begins to hunt what appears to be a sexual predator, is as plausible as it is thrilling. King of the Road is crammed with ideas, stylishly and gravely written, hanging elegantly between a work of popular fiction and the literary novel, no easy feat.
Graeme Blundell, The Australian
it is David himself who is telling this story. We know from the start how he really feels about his nephew. But David is also hot-headed and prone to violence. He's not easy to like, which is part of the page-turning tension as Bartlett takes the reader on a wild ride. King of the Road builds to a jaw-dropping conclusion.
Sue Turnbull, The Sydney Morning Herald
A thriller with a distinctly Australian flavour, King of the Road keeps up a breathtaking momentum. Kingsgrove becomes the reader's avatar as Bartlett expertly taps into the panic coursing through him. An impressive debut from the Sydney-based author.
Simon Hughes, Australian Financial Review
This is a cracking Sunday afternoon gobbler - the kind of book you pick up to while away a cup of tea and put down at dinner time. A beautifully constructed, tightly written and very tense thriller.
Chris Hook, The Daily Telegraph
King of the Road goes places less courageous authors would dare not go and does so with assured writing, convincing characters and heart-stopping tension. What would you do if overnight you became a pariah, accused of the worst of crimes? In a story that leaps straight from the front pages Nigel Bartlett takes the reader behind the sensational headlines and onto the mean streets of a sweltering Sydney summer as a good man races against time and suspicion to save a child. Bartlett delivers a thriller with heart and soul. My heart was in my mouth as the tension ratcheted up but Bartlett balances the fast pace with great tenderness, exploring what happens when family loyalty and love is put to the ultimate test. A brilliant debut.
A disturbing thriller that hurtles along at a cracking pace, King of the Road is a thrilling whodunit, and it would be easy to devour this page-turner on a plane flight or over a weekend. A well-researched story that sucks you in from the first page, that scares and intrigues you to the very end, and Bartlett has well and truly got the job done.
The Saturday Paper
A thrilling debut novel.
I finished King of the Road yesterday morning. Loved it! It is a real page turner. Didn’t guess the end, kept me interested all the way and the tension just kept going up a notion. And I loved that it wasn’t gruesome, just all tension and the story stuck in your mind, haunted my dreams. Very clever, for such delicate/sensitive topic.
What a ripper of a read. Loved it.
Valerie Khoo, Australian Writers' Centre
A great talent.
Scott Whitmont, Lindfield Bookshop
Struggling with raw guilt and self-doubt, David makes for a genuine hero whose journey we follow with a sense of excruciating foreboding. An account written with the searing ferocity of panic, King of the Road is a gripping page-turner that will keep the reader in suspense right until its final, sickening twist.
Lou Murphy, Newtown Review of Books