Only Killers and Thieves

Only Killers and Thieves

A Novel

Book - 2018
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It is 1885, and a crippling drought threatens to ruin the McBride family. Their land is parched, their cattle starving. When the rain finally comes, it is a miracle that renews their hope for survival. But returning home from an afternoon swimming at a remote waterhole filled by the downpour, fourteen-year-old Tommy and sixteen-year-old Billy meet with a shocking tragedy.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780062690968
Branch Call Number: FIC Howarth P
Characteristics: 319 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Only killers & thieves


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Mar 17, 2019

Terrific. The prose carried me deep into the story and painted beautiful scenes, simple life, and terrible inhumanity. I listened to the book and the telling was incredible. Linski's rendering was the brushstrokes to Howarth's painting. I was riveted. This story of greed, revenge, empathy, devastation, regret and love is so much more than a tale of intrigue and injustice.
Beautiful and haunting...I will wait eagerly for Paul Howarth and am already looking for more narrations by David Linski.

inthestacks Aug 03, 2018

A harrowing depiction of the brutality inflicted upon Australia’s Aborigines by colonizing expansionist forces in the outback of 1885. Brothers Billy and Tommy McBride are coerced into joining a posse to avenge the death of their parents after they are murdered on their failing, drought-ridden farm. The violence is disturbing, but the story is powerfully rendered and the moral dilemmas raised stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

DPLalyssab Mar 13, 2018

An Australian western set in 1885 with vivid description of the landscape and brutal frontier life.

Feb 15, 2018

A Wild West type story but set in 1885 Australia. Two teenage brothers with opposite personalities end up traveling across the outback with a dangerous posse on a quest to "disperse" the indigenous Australians. The older brother fits in with the posse and their rough ways. Tommy, the younger, more sensitive brother goes along against his will and his life is forever changed by the experience. The story centers around the conflict of what others want Tommy to believe about the cruelty he witnesses versus his own personal beliefs. Well written with characters you love and characters you hate. Very descriptive portrayal of the violent time and the harsh landscape. Good debut by this author.

Nicr Dec 19, 2017

"There is always a reckoning."

1885. Fourteen-year-old Tommy is coerced by his older brother Billy into a lie that will take him on a hellish journey to manhood led by the sinister, knowing Noone of the Native Police--"the stranger [standing] at Satan's side." Beautifully written Australian western of frontier vengeance and racism.


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