Lowbridge, by Lucy Campbell, is a rural mystery set in the fictional New South Wales town of Lowbridge.
In the present day, Katherine and her husband Jamie have moved from Sydney to Lowbridge, Jamie’s hometown, to try and heal from a devastating loss.
In alternating chapters, also in Lowbridge but back in 1986, the town is going through a tumultuous time, ending in the disappearance of two teenage girls, a mystery that has never been solved… until now.
To help recover from the lowest point she’s reached since her loss, Katherine joins the Lowbridge Historical Society, and becomes obsessed with the disappearance of the two girls, how they’re linked, and why the town only ever seemed to care about one of them. As Katherine brings to unravel the mystery, she’s shocked at the answers she finds.
Campbell has crafted a thorough and detail-oriented mystery, one that almost reads like a true story. The small-town politics, rivalries, and rural culture are all very recognisable to readers of the genre; or just anyone who has lived in a small town for any period of time.
The story is incredibly slow-burning, with the first third of the book setting the scene for Katherine’s discoveries, both in the unfolding of the present and past chapters. Much of the exposition is told through conversations that Katherine has with the older women who make up the historical society, some of whom also show up in the alternating chapters, witnessing the story as it happened.
If you enjoy stories with very slow and thorough build ups, and well-rendered rural Australian settings, you will enjoy Lowbridge.
THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Lowbridge by Lucy Campbell is available now from Ultimo Press. Grab yourself a copy from Booktopia HERE.