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Catch Us the Foxes

Some secrets you try to hide. Others you don't dare let out ... Twin Peaks meets The Dry in a deliciously dark and twisted tale that unravels a small town

Ambitious young journalist Marlowe 'Lo' Robertson would do anything to escape the suffocating confines of her small home town. While begrudgingly covering the annual show for the local paper, Lo is horrified to discover the mutilated corpse of Lily Williams, the reigning showgirl and Lo's best friend. Seven strange symbols have been ruthlessly carved into Lily's back. But when Lo reports her grisly find to the town's police chief, he makes her promise not to tell anyone about the symbols. Lo obliges, though it's not like she has much of a choice - after all, he is also her father.

When Lily's murder makes headlines around the country and the town is invaded by the media, Lo seizes the opportunity to track down the killer and make a name for herself by breaking the biggest story of her life.

What Lo uncovers is that her sleepy home town has been harbouring a deadly secret, one so shocking that it will captivate the entire nation. Lo's story will change the course of her life forever, but in a way she could never have dreamed of.
RRP $32.99
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: Catch Us the Foxes
  • Author: Nicola West
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
  • ISBN: 9781760857479
  • Length: 234.0 millimetre
  • Width: 153.0 millimetre
  • Languages: English

RATINGS & REVIEW

29/07/2021 9:28:52 AM - Sarah
A dark and twisty thriller set in regional Australia
There are plenty of unexpected twists and untrustworthy characters in journalist Nicola West's crime-thriller fiction debut, Catch Us The Foxes. The book is presented as meta-fiction, in that the major part of the narrative consists of a manuscript entitled "The Showgirl's Secret", authored by the main protagonist. Journalist-turned-celebrated-true-crime-writer Marlowe "Lo" Robertson relates events that take place over the course of a single week in and around the NSW coastal town of Kiama, located 120km south of Sydney. While attending the town of Kiama's agricultural show and taking photographs for the local newspaper, Lo stumbles upon the lifeless body of her erstwhile best friend and current Kiama showgirl, Lily Williams. Not only has Lily been brutally murdered, but Lo observes a series of unusual symbols carved into the flesh on her back. While her father, the town’s senior police officer, cautions her against telling anyone about the mysterious wounds, Lo's journalistic instincts take hold and she begins her own investigation into the curious events leading up to Lily's murder. Her investigations lead her to uncover startling revelations suggesting that a strange and exclusive death cult is operating in Kiama, engaging in child abuse and murder. Lo senses that a cover-up is being orchestrated to account for Lily's untimely death, and she begins to believe that she's found a career-breaking story. Catch Us the Foxes explores a range of themes, including small-town attitudes, the impact of xenophobia, police corruption, journalistic integrity and parent-child relationships. I found it an intriguing read but must admit that I found the concluding twist somewhat unsatisfying in the context of the whole. That said, I see a lot of promise in Nicola West's writing - her character development and dialogue was excellent, and the small town setting skilfully drawn. I'd recommend Catch Us the Foxes to readers who enjoy high drama in their thrillers, dark and twisty themes and well-described regional Australian settings. I look forward to reading future releases by Nicola West. My thanks to the author, Nicola West, publisher Simon & Schuster Australia and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.
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4/07/2021 6:03:07 PM - Marianne
an impressive debut novel.
3.5★s Catch Us The Foxes is the first novel by Australian author, Nicola West. When intern journalist Marlowe Robertson stumbles on the body of the 2008 Kiama Showgirl, she’s understandably shocked. But it’s the mutilations on Lo’s best friend’s back that truly shake her up. There are strange symbols cut into Lily Williams’s back. Even stranger, when she alerts her father, Kiama’s Police Chief, he makes her promise not to reveal this detail. Lo begins to wonder if the murder is related to the incident in the ghost train ride from which Lily fled in terror shortly before her death. Lily’s favourite crystal seller indicates she had fears for her own safety and that there would be a truth for Lo to uncover. Lily’s secret diaries, when Lo gains access to them, are disturbing, revealing the existence of a local cult involving the town’s movers and shakers, something awful that Lo is reluctant to believe. They also reinforce a recent warning that no-one in Kiama can be trusted. The police immediately target a carny from the Show, an outsider, as the murder suspect, but Lo learns that they have withheld certain evidence apart from the mutilations, and isn’t convinced by their case. Does her investigation make her a target for a murderer? In the days following the murder, Lo is told she is suffering from PTSD, and certainly her paranoia will lead the reader to question her reliability as a narrator. Apart from the prologue and epilogue, set seven years later, the story plays out over just the five days following the murder, but manages to include a lynch mob, a fire, a mountain hike, a funeral and a suicide. West’s portrayal of Kiama as a town plagued by small-minded provincial xenophobes/homophobes might not meet the approval of current locals, but she does capture the setting fairly well. The plot is imaginative, with several twists and red herrings to keep the reader interested, but West’s page-turner gimmick of cliff-hanger chapter last lines does become a tiny bit irritating. Despite some plot holes and a not-quite-convincing ending, this is an impressive debut novel. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Australia.
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