Published by Random House Australia on July 3rd, 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia
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Tamara Bennett is going to be the first journalist to strictly report only good news. Finished with high school, Tamara is ready to say goodbye to her sleepy little town and part-time job at the local paper. O-weeks awaits, which means parties, cute boys and settling into student res with her best friend Relle. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when she arrives home to find her house ransacked and her life in danger. What is this mysterious note? And why does it mean so much to one of Australia’s most powerful media moguls? Caught between a bitter rivalry and dangerous family secret, who can Tamara trust? Or should she trust herself?
Wreck features a journalist who is bent on telling the truth and a runaway who kidnaps her. He’s tied to a mysterious boating accident 5 years ago, where the son of a wealthy family has gone missing.
We hear the story from interchanging perspectives – Tamara, who gets kidnapped by the fugitive Zel, and William from 5 years ago, who watched his brother go missing. The stories run parallel as we put the pieces together – who is telling the truth? Who was behind the boating incident and how did one of the sons go missing?
Tamara is a relatable main character, as she’s caught up in this impossible situation, but her drive to find out what’s right keeps her going. I like how she’s tough, not afraid to rely on others when it’s needed, but also has the confidence to go against the grain and do what’s right. Throughout the story, we ask the same questions that she does, and it’s easy to get into her head and figure out where she’s at.
Wreck is also fast paced and full of action, as we follow the fugitive Zel as he escapes armed men and police who are after him. I loved the mystery of figuring out how the incident five years ago links in with Tamara’s situation today. From helicopter sweeps, to police interrogations, to gun skirmishes and running from people who are after her, there was so much action here that kept me entertained. The interrogation at the police station was really gripping, and you can tell that the author’s previous experience as a police has been brought into the story.
I also loved how different Wreck was to Fleur’s first two books, Risk and Black. It features older characters in their early 20s, who are figuring out their life after high school. There’s also a heavier crime element to this one, rather than the mystery surrounding it. I did feel like the mystery was resolved a bit too quickly though towards the end.
Wreck follows a dangerous fugitive and a journalist who is focused on finding out the truth, linking in with a mysterious boating accident from the past. Featuring mystery, action, crime and lots of thrills, I really enjoyed Wreck.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
1. How does your background as a police officer work its way into your stories?
My police background works its way into my work on many levels. When I was a police officer I loved to delve into the circumstances that lead to a crime being committed. When I read crime articles in the newspaper I know there is so much more to the story that can’t be printed. As a novelist, I can create the whole picture. I also draw from my own responses to certain situations I experienced while on duty. I give that to my characters experiencing similar but fictitious situations.
2. Wreck heavily features an ongoing police investigation, interrogations and a fugitive. Did you conduct any additional research into it?
Research is one of my favourite things about novel writing. I’m researching all of the time. I don’t make notes, but I read anything and everything when I am interested in a subject. Most of the new research I did for Wreck was focussed on things like journalism, luxury boats helicopters, how you abandon ship when it is sinking and life rafts.
3. Tamara is street savvy and has to trust her instincts in the book in order to find out the truth. How did you go about creating her character?
The story of Wreck brewed in my head for a couple of years before I started writing and, as a part of that process, Tamara’s character developed and her traits shone through. At no stage did I have to consciously think about who Tamara was because by the time I started writing she was like a real person to me. I felt I already knew her.
4. Wreck takes a different tone to Risk and Black, with older characters and a heavy crime element. What was your driving force behind writing the novel?
The idea for this story came to me after watching a story on the news about someone finding a floating note in the sea. Reporters tracked down family members of the sender and it was a happy ‘feel-good’ story. I’m a huge “what if” person. What if finding the note wasn’t a good thing? What if for some reason finding it put someone in danger? What if someone didn’t want it to be found? The story of Wreck morphed from there.
5. What is your ‘elevator pitch’ for each of your books?
Risk – Taylor and Sierra meet a guy on line and both fall for him, but it’s Sierra who gets the date on Friday night. Taylor covers for Sierra but Sierra doesn’t come back when she said she would. When Taylor finally tells Sierra’s mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never knew existed. Can Taylor find Sierra’s abductor? Or should she be looking for a killer?
Black (Review) – Everyone says Ebony is cursed. Three of her friends have died in tragic accidents and the whispers have started. When her date for the school formal ends up in intensive care something stirs in small town Dainsfield. As old secrets emerge terrifying new dangers emerge. Should Ebony stay and fight or should she run for her life?
Wreck – Tamara is going to be the first journalist to strictly report only good news. Finished with high school, Tamara is ready to say goodbye to her sleepy little town and part time job at the local paper. But things take an unexpected turn when Tamara arrives home to find her house ransacked and her life in danger. What is this mysterious note? And why is her intruder willing to kill for it? A tragic boating accident five years ago holds the clue that could keep Tamara alive. But how can she find the truth when she can’t tell who’s lying?
1. eBooks or physical books? Physical
2. Crime or mystery? Crime
3. Beach or city? Beach. No, city. I can’t choose. I love both.
4. Open endings or happily ever afters? Happily ever afters.
5. Romance or no romance? Romance.
About Fleur Ferris
Fleur Ferris spent the first seventeen years of her life growing up on a farm in Patchewollock, North West Victoria. She then moved twenty times in twenty years.
During this time, Fleur sometimes saw the darker side to life while working for a number of years as a police officer and a paramedic.
She now lives a more settled lifestyle on a rice farm in Southern New South Wales, with her husband and three young children.
Fleur’s colourful and diverse background has given her unique insight into today’s society and an endless pool of experiences to draw from.
Risk is Fleur’s first novel for young adults.
Thanks to Fleur Ferris for answering my Q&A questions and Penguin Random House for sending me a review copy!
Wreck is out now in Australian bookstores for RRP$19.99.