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Blood Junction

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When journalist India Kane travelled from Sydney to the outback town of Cooinda for a reunion with her friend Lauren, she had no idea of the devastating series of events which would soon begin to unravel. For when India arrives in Cooinda, Lauren is not there – and next day, India is arrested for a double murder . . .

Set in the unforgiving landscape of the Australian outback, Blood Junction is a powerfully brooding and compulsive thriller about a woman on the run from a brutal killer and her own dark past – a past which is linked to Cooinda’s own shocking history.

CJ’s first novel, winner of the CWA Debut Dagger and nominated for the Barry Award, was also selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best mystery books of the year.

'A fast-paced tale centred around journalist India Kane . . . Carver is particularly good at making you feel Kane's isolation and fear and the threatening atmosphere around her. There are also enough startling incidents to keep you turning those pages . . . a most promising debut'


'The pace is terrific, the feel and mood of the outback genuine . . . And it manages to touch on issues like the stolen generation without being bleeding heart about them. A definite page-turner'
Sydney Morning Herald

'An intriguing premise allows Blood Junction to take off at a whirl, capturing the reader's imagination . . . you won't put this down until the whole truth is uncovered'
Romantic Times

'One of the most riveting thrillers of recent years'
New Zealand Sunday Times

'Exciting, frightening, plenty of suspense . . . a nightmarish adventure of close calls and surprising escapes . . . an exceptional first mystery'
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Carver’s first novel garnered for its author the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. It’s easy to see why! A plot that moves with the speed of a wild dingo . . . believable and emotionally rounded characters, and an overwhelming sense of locale, this is one of those “don’t miss” titles that comes around all too infrequently'
Mystery News

‘Gorgeously written . . . dazzlingly well-realised’
St. Petersburg Times

‘A stunning debut . . . Carver depicts the Australian outback with a precision reminiscent of Nevada Barr . . . taut thriller . . . highly recommended’
Library Journal (starred review)

‘Fast-moving, exciting, and hard-to-put-down . . . It has been a long time since I’ve been this excited about a first novel’
Deadly Pleasures

‘Powerful writing, a gripping plot and a unique setting . . . an outstanding debut’
The Mystery and Thriller Club

CJ was mulling over various ideas for this book when she saw an article on the ‘stolen generation’, where during the 1950’s over 100,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families and adopted by whites. Some of these children, now adults in their forties and fifties, still haven’t been reunited with their families. Immediately, CJ wondered what would happen if a whole Aboriginal family went missing today? Who would take up their cause if it wasn’t a relative? And why?

These initial questions quickly became the basis of the book, where reporter India Kane is trying to trace her family roots and ends up being accused of her best friend’s murder. In a dusty outback town she’s never seen before, India is faced with not only proving her innocence, but seeing justice done.

She stared in dismay at the sprinkle of lights bobbing before her.  It hadn’t taken them long to organize a posse; sixty minutes or so.

She had run all the way from Whitelaw’s to the midst of these hills.  Now that it was dark, she was stumbling and awkward and certain she had lost the right track.  Her feet and ankles were sore and bleeding, and she wondered if she shouldn’t give herself up.

Not yet, she thought. When I’m tattered and torn and dead on my feet, maybe, but not before then.

Somewhere close by, a twig snapped.  She stayed quite still.  Then she saw a pair of dark eyes staring straight back at her, glistening in the half-light.  The Aborigine was very old, and reed thin.

‘You’re going the wrong way, he said.

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Published by: Orion
Publication date: April 2002
ISBN: 978-0752844879