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If you love gritty Australian thrillers, Devil's Lair is the eerie book you need this winter.

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There’s a distinct feeling you get when you curl up with a good book in winter.

One of comfort. But also one of escape.

When you set yourself up with a page-turner, a blanket, and a cup of tea in the colder months, you allow yourself to travel far away from the rainy, sleety miserable days outside your bedroom window.

You get to escape to worlds far more enticing, more dangerous, worlds full of twists and turns, of heartbreaking losses and triumphant wins.

I recently spent a weekend in the blisteringly cold, breathtakingly beautiful south-west Tasmania.

I spent time in a small, insular community, where the locals were welcoming yet wary of strangers. A town where everyone knew each other but where every single person was also hiding a dark secret.

A town where it was freezing cold outside but intensely warm inside by the fire.

No, I didn’t travel there by boat or even by plane. I travelled there by book. I read Devil’s Lair, the newest book by bestselling Australian author Sarah Barrie.

Barrie is one of Australia’s best thriller writers, she writes suspense novels set in rural areas. Her debut bestselling novel, Secrets of Whitewater Creek, won her a spot as one of the Top 10 breakthrough authors of 2014.

Devil’s Lair begins its journey in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. There we meet Dale and Callie Jones. A seemingly perfect couple who run a vineyard and bed & breakfast together.

Theirs is a story of long term love, of heady merlots, of mixing business with pleasure, and creating a wonderful little patch of the world where they can grow old together.

After 10 blissful years together it seems like nothing could break their bond. Then a mysterious woman turns up at the vineyard.

She wants to speak to Dale and her presence threatens to destroy the perfect life they’ve built together.

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Suddenly, Dale is dead and Callie is on her own for the first time in her adult life.

One and a half years and a national media circus later, Callie moves to New Norfolk, a small town in Tasmania, on her own.

She moves into a small cottage, next to a creepy old mansion, which is owned by the family of she and Dale’s former personal assistant.

There she tries to rebuild a life for herself, while also trying to stay out of the public eye.

More than anything, Callie wants to leave her past behind. But her past has other plans.

Over the course of a few months, Callie returns to her first love of landscaping, she learns to laugh again, she lets new people into her life.

But bubbling beneath the surface of this new life she’s built for herself, are sinister secrets, an historical cult, the ritualistic murder of a group of old school friends, and the mysterious disappearance of a five-year-old girl.

While Callie builds up her landscaping business, and falls in love with a local cattle station owner, she also has to dig deep into her past to find out the truth about her upbringing and her husband’s violent death.

Set against the backdrop of Tasmania’s wintery, treacherous terrain, Devil’s Lair is packed with twists and turns.

You’ll want to snuggle up with your blanket as you read about the secrets hidden under the small community of New Norfolk, secrets that are threatening to come to the surface and irreversibly change everyone’s lives forever.

Barrie’s new book is the very definition of a page-turner, one that will leave you guessing right up to the last page.

Devil’s Lair is an eerie, haunting story that will stay with you for weeks after you close the final chapter. You can buy it from Booktopia here and Apple Books here.

HQ Fiction

HQ Fiction, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, are giving you a chance to WIN 1 OF 5 COPIES OF DEVIL’S LAIR for you and your book club! Enter now!

Tags: book-review , books , entertainment-3
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