The Keneallys have hit their straps with this Monsarrat outing. The climax is violent and disorienting. Executions have punctuated Keneally’s historical novels and here we have another, for all that it is a dupe who hangs. The Unmourned concludes with Monsarrat being summoned again with news of his dispatch — on high tide the next day — to Van Diemen’s Land, ‘‘as remote as it was possible to be, dangling off the edge of the world as it did’’. The third instalment of Monsarrat’s dangerous tour of the convict settlements of Australia can be anticipated with relish.
Peter Pierce, The Australian
This reader has already become very fond of the main protagonist Monsarrat, and his sharp witted housekeeper Mrs Hannah Mulrooney, and looks forward to their continuing crime-solving adventures. The charms of this series lie in its fast-paced delivery, deep backgrounds of the main characters and vivid description of life in the penal colonies.
Belinda Coombs, Limelight
As in the best historical crime series, archival evidence provides the structure for a story that riffs on a history that is also poignantly personal. There is, as Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney discover, much more at stake than murder. Not surprisingly given its origins, this is a series that takes social justice very seriously.
Sue Turnbull, The Canberra Times
With The Unmourned, the second of the Monsarrat Series, Meg and Tom Keneally are well into their stride. I look forward to the follow up.
Sonia Lee, Gleebooks Gleaner
Parramatta, November 1825
He really must do something about that door, he thought as he crossed the yard back to his quarters. Its top hinge was a little loose and the resulting scrape woke the women. What transpired after he entered generally woke them anyway, but there was a moment he relished, the blank wall of their combined unconsciousness, none of them with any awareness yet of what was about to happen to whichever sleeping body was the focus of his current interest.Continue Reading