Set to be published on 26th May, The Island by Adrian McKinty follows Heather, her husband Tom, and Tom’s young son and teenage daughter on a working vacation in the Australian outback. It’s the perfect way to bring the new family together. So when they discover a remote island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family take a chance on an adventure. But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers. Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.
Today is my stop on the book tour for this book.
Thank you to the publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and the below which extract which they have allowed me to share with you:
“A crow with a skeptical yellow eye was watching her from the lightning-struck eucalyptus tree.
The crow was death.
If it called out, she was dead. If it flew toward Jacko and he turned to look, she was dead.
The crow observed her with a half-turned head.
She crawled through the brittle grass, reached the tree trunk, stopped, and caught her breath.
She wiped the sweat from her forehead with the bottom of the T-shirt. She sucked the moisture from the shirt as best she could.
She composed herself for a minute and then crept past the tree until she reached the edge of the heath. There was nothing now but beach between her and Jacko. No vegetation. No cover. There wasn’t much point crawling anymore.
Slowly, ever so slowly, she got to her feet.
Carefully, she moved the machete from her left to her right hand. It was a heavy old thing, caked with rust. She gripped the split wooden handle and hoped it wouldn’t fall to pieces when she swung it.
Steadying herself, she cautiously advanced.
She had killed before — salmon, trout, duck.
This was different, though, wasn’t it? Very different.
This was a human being.
Jacko sat with his back to her, his legs astride the oil drum. The ancient rifle strapped over his shoulder looked lethal enough from here.
She walked closer, slowly, on bare feet over the stones and gravel.
In the bay something huge moved under the water not far from the shore. They had been right not to try to swim to safety. That was the scarred dorsal fin of a great white. Jacko had seen the shark too. He stood, slipped the rifle from his shoulder, and took a shot at it. The gun went off with an almighty bang that ripped through the stillness. Herons and gulls lifted from the mudflats.
She looked back at the crow.
It wasn’t fazed. It was still perched on the highest blackened tree branch, gazing at her sideways. It had observed scenes like this play out before. No doubt it was expecting carrion soon.
Jacko had evidently missed. “Bugger!” he said to himself and stood there holding the rifle in both hands as the shark swam into the bay and was lost to view.
She waited for him to put the gun away, but he didn’t.
He just stood there, staring at the water.
Olivia was still sprawled in front of him, unmoving.
The walkie-talkie hissed.
Jacko tugged the rifle bolt backward and a brass cartridge came flying out onto the sand. He pushed the bolt forward again and a new round slipped into the chamber.
If she made any sound now and he turned, she knew that he would shoot her point-blank in the chest. She knew guns and had pretended to like them to get time with her dad. She knew that the exit wound from a .303 at this range would be the size of a baseball.
She stood still, waiting for him to reshoulder the rifle, but Jacko just kept gazing at the sea, mumbling to himself.
The sun was behind her, and her shadow was inching into his field of view. She didn’t like that. If there had been any other way of approaching him, she would have done it, but there was no other way. If he peered just to his left, he’d see the tip of her silhouette.
At least she was upwind.
The seagulls landed. The herons settled on the water.
The sun beat down on her exposed neck and arms.
Finally Jacko reslung the rifle over his shoulder and sat. He took out his lighter and cigarettes. He lit himself a smoke and put the lighter in his pocket.
She tried a step forward. The shadow moved too.
Jacko didn’t flinch. She was fifteen feet away now. He leaned back and blew smoke at the sky. She took another step toward him. Toes, then sole, then heel. Placing her feet on the stony beach with the lightest of touches.
Toes, sole, heel.
The Island by Adrian McKinty
Release Date: 26th May 2022
Print Length: 384 pages
IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.
A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.
After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.
When they discover a remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.
But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.
When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.
Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.
Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.
About The Author:
Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford University before moving to New York in the mid 1990s. His first novel Dead I Well May Be (loosely based on his experiences as an illegal immigrant in the US) was published in 2003. In 2012 after moving to Australia with his wife and children he began publication of the critically acclaimed Sean Duffy series. In 2019 after giving up writing Adrian had a global hit with his standalone novel The Chain. Adrian’s books have won the Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award (3 times), The Anthony Award, Barry Award, Macavity Award and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. His books have been translated into over 40 languages.
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