Lucy Hush’s brother, Tim is a drifter so when he disappears, the police are reluctant to act. Lucy is left with no choice but to put her journalistic skills to work and find her brother alone. Her investigation leads to Night Town, a small community where the locals are anything but friendly. But when Lucy meets Damon, a man also searching for a missing friend, they team up and discover there is more to the prosperous town than meets the eye. Lucy and Damon uncover a string of disappearances, police corruption and a thriving drug trade. But as they delve deeper, they discover the corruption and drugs are just a smoke-screen covering the real horror of what is happening in Night Town.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Inspiration for Small Town Nightmare came, in part from my experiences travelling in the south west of Western Australia. Many of the towns and communities are quite isolated; places where it’s easy to imagine people disappearing or crime going unnoticed. I also like the idea of a strong female character who’s not perfect or an action hero, just a woman who’s unwilling to be told to look the other way.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main character, Lucy Hush, is a strong woman who has endured tragedy and still managed to keep her indomitable sense of self. She’s also very loving and devoted to her younger brother. Lucy is the sort of woman I’d like to know and in creating her, I’ve drawn on my own strong family connections.
The afternoon sun bathed the trees in warm light, softening the edges of the dense forest as it flanked both sides of the road. Feeling solid, if still a little shaken, Lucy drove. In the twenty minutes since leaving the road house, Damon had been silent. At one point Lucy glanced over wondering if the man had fallen asleep, only to find him watching the road as though he was mesmerised by the rush of bitumen.
“Why are you so sure?” Damon’s question took her by surprise, but before she could ask for clarification, he continued. “How do you know your brother is missing? He could have just lost track of time or decided to take off somewhere. From what you’ve told me he’s…” He paused, seeming to search for the right words. “…he lives by his own rules.”
Lucy knew where he was going. It was the same response she’d gotten from the cops, but it surprised her coming from a man who was living the same sort of lifestyle as Tim.
“Yeah,” she drew out the word. “He does live by his own rules.” She glanced over at Damon. “But one of those rules is always coming home for my birthday. It’s his rule, not mine.” She wondered how much she should reveal. Her history was painful, and rehashing it for a stranger wouldn’t really help. “It’s complicated, but I know he wouldn’t not show.”
“Not unless something stopped him?” Damon asked, finishing her thought.
“Something or someone.” As she spoke, they rounded a bend and the road tapered downwards. In the distance she could see a cluster of buildings dotted with patches of open fields and circled by forests. Night Town. The sight of it sent a ripple of gooseflesh running up her arms.
“You think he’s down there somewhere?” Damon had turned in his seat and was studying her as if searching her reaction.
“It’s the last place he mentioned before disappearing.” She gripped the wheel tighter. “If he’s there, I intend to find him.”
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