Nominated by:

State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Publisher of nominated edition:

Picador Australia

An Isolated Incident

Emily Maguire    

When 25-year-old Bella Michaels is brutally murdered in the small town of Strathdee, the community is stunned and a media storm descends.

Unwillingly thrust into the eye of that storm is Bella’s beloved older sister, Chris, a barmaid at the local pub, whose apparent easygoing nature conceals hard-won wisdom and the kind of street-smarts only experience can bring.

As Chris is plunged into despair and searches for answers, reasons, explanation – anything – that could make even the smallest sense of Bella’s death, her ex-husband, friends and neighbours do their best to support her. But as the days tick by with no arrest, Chris’s suspicion of those around her grows.

An Isolated Incident is a psychological thriller about everyday violence, the media’s obsession with pretty dead girls, the grip of grief and the myth of closure, and the difficulties of knowing the difference between a ghost and a memory, between a monster and a man.

About the author

Emily Maguire is the author of the novels Taming the Beast (2004), an international bestseller and finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Kathleen Mitchell Award, The Gospel According to Luke (2006) and, most recently, the non-fiction work, Princesses & Pornstars (2008). Her articles and essays on sex, religion and culture have been published in newspapers and journals including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Financial Review, The Age and the Observer. In 2007, the Women’s Electoral Lobby awarded her the Edna Ryan Award (Media Category) for her writing about women’s issues. She lives in Sydney with her husband.

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