Aussie Author Challenge Australian Women Writers Book Reviews

Book Review: An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire #AusReads17 #AWW2017

Twenty-five year old Bella Michaels is found brutally murdered in the small town of Strathdee. The media from descends on the community wanting to find out who did it. Bella’s older sister, Chris, not only has to deal with the grief of losing her sister in horrific circumstances, but also has to manage the media hounding her while suspecting the townsfolk of murder.

As every little detail about Chris and Bella’s life is uncovered by the media, Chris waits desperately for police to find the killer. However, over time, she begins to suspect everyone around her.

Who in their small town could have assaulted and killed Bella?

When I first read the blurb of An Isolated Incident, I was under the impression I was reading a murder mystery. However, as I read the book, I soon realised the mystery was secondary to the social message. The book shines a light on society as we know it. One where the woman is blamed for being raped and murdered. Where certain professions are looked down upon. Where time and again, the media can make a tragedy worse. Where the deaths of some women take priority over the deaths of others. Where domestic violence and violence against women in general is ignored. Where some blokes are just ‘top blokes’ no matter what.

It is a stark reminder of the Australia we continue to live in even though it’s set in a small town.

By the end of it, to me, it didn’t matter whodunit. Because in a way, the patriarchal nature of society is to blame.

This is the first book I’m reading by the author and I was hooked from the start. While it is a dark theme, it’s the experiences of the characters that speak volumes. Through Chris and the female journalist, we see how double-standards are rife when it comes to women’s actions. We know we live in a society that treats women differently to men and An Isolated Incident highlights exactly that in a raw and brutal manner.

An uncomfortable read but a highly recommended one.

My rating:

***This has been read and reviewed for the 2017 Australian Author Challenge and the 2017 Australian Women Writers’ Challenge. Also linking up with Alicia for Open Slather and Denyse for Life this week***

Until next time,

You Might Also Like

  • Lydia C. Lee
    4 September 2017 at 6:59 am

    I read this for bookclub. I found it very ‘ugly’ and wouldn’t say I enjoyed it, however I think the author set out what she intended to do and there was a lot for discussion (the media’s dealing with women victims, the media frenzy over these types of cases etc). I am not surprised it’s nominated for the Miles Franklin Award.

  • Linda @ Circle of Daydreams
    4 September 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Sounds like a terrific read!! Reminded me a little of the last season of Broadchurch with the themes of how society views some people, and women in particular. I’ve not heard of this author…. adding it to my list!!

  • Denyse
    5 September 2017 at 2:44 pm

    How very interesting this sounds. And also somewhat saddened about the nature of it too. Life brings some not-so-good things doesnt it? Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 34/52. Next Week’s prompt: LTW is ONE!
    Denyse recently posted…15 Years Ago & Now. 2017.104.My Profile

  • Pratikshya Mishra
    15 September 2017 at 2:38 am

    It’s been a while I read a thriller… Sounds good for a rainy afternoon here…
    Pratikshya Mishra recently posted…The Calligrapher’s Daughter- Part IMy Profile

  • 2017 Reading Challenges Wrap-up - Sanch Writes
    25 December 2017 at 6:01 am

    […] An Isolated incident by Emily Maguire (Psychological thriller) […]