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Posted by on 29 Oct, 2022 in Australian Crime Fiction, Crime, Outback Crime | 2 comments



The Tilt by Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, October 2022)

Chris Hammer’s The Tilt is a heady brew of murder, rural history, old family secrets and modern day terrorism.

Set on the New South Wales side of the border with Victoria, it re-unites the two key characters from Hammer’s last book Treasure & Dirt: homicide detective Ivan Lucic and Detective Constable Nell Buchanan. Nell has just been promoted to the rural homicide team based at Dubbo and her first case finds her dispatched, with Lucic, to her old home town of Tulong where an old skeleton has been discovered in a recently emptied reservoir. The murder seems to date back to the 1940s, but it could also be linked to more recent crimes, and when a further body is discovered, the heat is on Lucic and Nell to quickly solve it.

The Tilt is a very impressive and enjoyable crime novel.  I really liked the depth of the plot and the immersive nature of the historical descriptions. The ending also packed a good punch and a few surprises.   Once again Hammer has produced one of the stand-out Australian crime novels of the year.

Those in Canberra will be able to see Chris Hammer in conversation with fellow crime writer Michael Brissenden on Tuesday 8 November at 6 pm at the ANU. The conversations between Hammer and Brissenden are always a highlight of the criminal year, and this should be another a very entertaining evening. For more detail follow this link:

Here is my review of The Tilt from a few weeks back:


  1. I enjoy your newsletter. I have just finished The Tilt. I have read all of Hammer’s crime novels and this is certainly his best. He certainly packs his stories with characters and story lines. I want to visit the Red Gum forest. I liked his nod to feminism and environmentalism at the end. I am 70 years and knew many Tessas in the 1970s. I thought Hammer captured her exceptionally well both as a teenager and a grandmother. Finally he is a hard working author, both in the books he writes and the gruelling promotion program he pursues.

    Keep up the great work and give your dogs a pat for me.

    • Ron, thanks. I thought he captured the 1970s really well – I grew up in the Blue Mountains (finished high school in 1976) and he certainly captured mood and attitudes of the time as I remembered it. Will certainly give the dogs a pat.

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