Rosemary’s Book of the Week | 24 January

The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou

Molly Abbott, a popular teacher at the local school, is found taped to a tree and stoned to death. Suspicion falls on the refuges at the new detention centre on Cobb’s northern outskirts.

Detective Sergeant Georgios Manolis is despatched to his childhood hometown to investigate. His late father immigrated to Australia in the 1950s, where he was first housed at the detention centre’s predecessor – a migrant camp. He later ran the town’s only milk bar.

Within minutes of George’s arrival, it is clear that Cobb is not the same place he left as a child. The town once thrived, but now it’s disturbingly poor and derelict, with the local police chief it seemingly deserves. As Manolis negotiates his new colleagues’ antagonism and the simmering anger of a community destroyed by alcohol and drugs, the ghosts of his own past flicker to life. His work is his calling, his centre, but now he finds any of the certainties of his life are crumbling.

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The Stoning | Peter Papathanasiou

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Country Cattle Sale | First Prize Australasian | H. J. Ricketson | BMI Max Harris Photographic Collection | MH 762

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