Just Out – Book Review – The Night Whistler by Greg Woodland

Dear Readers,

If you are looking for genuine Australian, rural Australian novel, crime novel at that, you can’t go pass debut novel by Greg Woodland The Night Whistler.

I was given the opportunity to read and review this book by Netgalley. The Night Whistler is published by Text Publishing and is out on 4 August 2020.


It’s 1966. Hal and his little brother, newly arrived in Moorabool with their parents, are exploring the creek near their new home when they find the body of a dog.

Not just dead, but recently killed.

Not just killed, but mutilated.

Constable Mick Goodenough, recently demoted from his city job as a detective, is also new in town—and one of his dogs has gone missing. He’s experienced enough to know what it means when someone tortures an animal to death: it means they’re practising. So when Hal’s mother starts getting anonymous calls—a man whistling, then hanging up—Goodenough, alone among the Moorabool cops, takes her seriously.

The question is: will that be enough to keep her safe?

Nostalgic yet clear-eyed, simmering with small-town menace, Greg Woodland’s wildly impressive debut populates the rural Australia of the 1960s with memorable characters and almost unbearable tension.


Yes, I know I am late with my Publication Day review. I had good reasons.

I’ve started this book way before its Publication Day. But I stopped. I read all the other August books in between, working up the courage to continue reading this book.

*** Animal cruelty*** I am both, dogs and cats person and have adopted grey and two cats. I could not read the book beyond first pages without cringing and gasping. I love my pets. I can’t imagine how people can hurt animals… But some people do and then they hit the ‘point of no return’.

The Night Whistler is muggy, dry, hot, hazy, cruel and silent just like a hot day in the middle of Australian summer. If you ever travelled across the country you definitely have come across small towns, dots on the map. You know what they are like. Can you imagine living in one?

Can you imagine dropping people from ‘big smoke’ in the middle of such a small town? What would happen to them? They become helpless and hopeless babies left to fend for themselves.

Ex-Sydney detective and family of four from Sydney end up in the small town of Moorabool. Every one of them has their own story. Every one of them needs to learn live and adapt.

How are they going to do it when there are murders, adultery, new loves, broken marriages, corrupt town officials and policemen to deal with? Add childern running amok doing whatever they can think of and going places they really should not have, playing Sherlock…

I ended up reading this book in a day and a night. It’s guey as melted concrete. It’s smelly as drying river bank. It’s exhausting as summer heat with no airconditioner and cold shower. It is detailed, moody and harsh… As it should be.

Greg Woodland debut novel is a must for the lovers of crime fiction set in small towns.

Readers are taken on a journey that will never leave them. It stucks with you just… yes, just like melted concrete to the bottom of your thongs…

Five stars from me.

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