Blood in the Dust by Bill Swiggs @BSwiggs @ZaffreBooks #BloodInTheDust #NetGalley #NewRelease #AustralianOutback #BookReview

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For readers of Jeffrey Archer and Clive Cussler, Blood in the Dust is a fast-paced adventure story and the winner of a Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

‘Essential reading for all adventure fans.’ Wilbur Smith

1853, Victoria, Australia. Five bushrangers led by the murderous outlaw Warrigal Anderson raid a small homestead. When they ride away, nineteen-year-old Toby O’Rourke’s life is changed forever. His parents lay dead at his feet and his brother, Patrick, is badly wounded.

But Toby O’Rourke is made of steel forged in the hardship of colonial life. Forced into adulthood, he and Patrick will seek to restore the family fortunes and outwit not only the rich businessman who conspired to rob them of their birth right, but the vicious men who murdered their parents . .


Blood in the Dust: Winner of a Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing prize


This book is certainly a worthy winner of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize as it follows the fortunes and misfortunes of two Australian brothers, still in their teenage years. Toby and Patrick O’Rourke come from a decent hard-working family, gullible and not worldly-wise as most but with enough about them to learn quickly to survive the harsh, unforgiving Australian outback and outlaws that keep crossing their tracks. The brothers are determined that the men that tore their family apart will one day pay for what they did.

The two brothers set off to find their fortunes determined to return to their family home one day when the right time comes. They come across a family from England, seeking their fortunes looking for gold and they join together. Frank and Maree Hocking with their two daughters give the young men stability of being in a family and the Hockings the much-needed knowledge of the outback and how to survive.

This book brought to life the harsh realities of these pioneering settlers in the Australian outback. The frustrations and heartbreak brought about by greedy outlaws that put no value of their victims’ lives. I loved the gold mine camps and the way the people came together for each other when it was needed. A much closer community than I thought it would have been.

This book has a bit of everything, like real life, as no-ones life just follows one path. There is heartache and laughter, death and birth, good and bad people. With stories of cattle drives, outlaws, the gold rush, fighting, and justice. Toby and Patrick’s lives change so many times as they grow from boys to men. A perfect ending to a thrilling read.

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


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Bill Swiggs was born in Victoria and brought up in Western Australia, where he still lives. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force as an aviation firefighter before becoming a police officer, and now works as a firefighter for a defence contractor.


Twitter:  (@BSwiggs)




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