Diamond Dove is Adrian Hyland's first novel.
Emily Tempest is greeted with a warm welcome when she returns to the remote Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Moonlight Downs, where she spent much of her youth. However, within a couple of days the hotheaded young woman is causing division among the community's elders and soon one of them is found dead, apparently the victim of a grisly act of tribal retribution. Driven by guilt, Emily is desperate to find the man's killer, but in the process her investigation threatens to tear the small group apart for good. Author Adrian Hyland spent 10 years with the Warlpiri people of the Northern Territory, and his thorough knowledge of Indigenous culture, language and belief is evident in pieces of beautifully constructed dialogue and his sensitive evocation of the Australian outback. While entirely appropriate to the protagonist's voice, the narrative is initially slow and meandering. Some crime readers will find this frustrating but, for those content to settle in and enjoy the storytelling, this is an engrossing mystery set in an Australia that, for many of us, is just as foreign as Donna Leon's Venice or Barbara Nadel's Turkey. A promising debut. Sophie Groom is the marketing manager for Leading Edge Books
'Beguiling.' New York Times 'Hyland spins an epic and ambitious mystery set against the vast backdrop of Central Australia where indigenous and white people live side by side in an uneasy truce.' Vogue 'Diamond Dove is funny, absorbing, moving and a delicious shock to middle-class pedantries about race relations. And your Emily. Your Emily Tempest, sir, is one memorable young woman. Far more interesting to adult readers than Alexander McCall Smith's young woman crime solver with whom, inevitably, she is going to be compared.' -- Helen Elliott Age 'Sometimes fictional characters seem to spring fully formed from their creators' heads, and Adrian Hyland's Emily Tempest is one of them...Hyland's Diamond Dove is a whodunit, but its sparky irreverence lifts it out of the genre into a class of its own. Hyland has spent many years in the NT, and it shows in every sentence. Emily Tempest is a daring creation, with a foot in both black and white camps, and a hefty kick in each.' Bulletin 'As powerful as they are, words can barely describe the joy I felt on reading Adrian Hyland's first novel...His decision to write from a young woman's perspective is as interesting as it is successful and his grip on the narrative ensures a truly spectacular and fitting denouement. But it is the humour that sets this book and its characters above the ordinary...Emily Tempest may be a child of the dreaming, but she has Raymond Chandler eyes.' Weekend Australian 'Diamond Dove is a great fun read, a crime novel with a true larrikin spirit. That means it has real wit; dry, earthy and with no bullshit. Hyland has written the kind of book we need so much more of in this country. He quizzes the fraught, complex world of the outback with a critical eye but he also paints with rare clarity a picture of both black and white lives that is filled with compassion and affection. It's invigorating.' -- Christos Tsiolkas 'A riveting murder mystery of the best kind. The kind where the clues are subtle; the suspects and their motives manifold; and the words race across the page defeating even the speediest reader's eyes. In a reviewer's word: it's unputdownable.' Sydney Morning Herald 'Diamond Dove is a beautifully paced novel that blends the best of the crime genre-mystery, gore, multiple suspects-with a gentle yet incisive narrative about black-white relations, with each other and to the land.' Australian Book Review 'This is, if nothing else, a wonderfully original setting for a thriller. What unfolds is a brilliant portrait of different cultures attempting to coexist in a climate of ignorance, taboos, racism and greed. Emily's investigations take her to the heart of the conflict and lead to a denouement as impressive for its elegance as for its tension. A startling, confident first novel.' Guardian 'Beautifully written.' Publishers Weekly 'Emily has a fresh, laugh-out-loud-funny voice, a boulder-size chip on her shoulder, and an all-consuming loyalty to friends that inspires her to acts of reckless courage. All in all, the novel is a corker, engaging from page one and on through to an ending that pulls out all the stops.' Boston Globe