Bitter Wash Road

Bitter Wash Road

4 (957 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


A modern western set in an isolated Australian bush town with a soaring crime rate, where a local constable with a troubled past must investigate the death of a teenage girl whose murder threatens to set the dusty streets ablaze. Constable Paul Hirschhausen--"Hirsch"--is a recently demoted detective sent from Adelaide, Australia's southernmost booming metropolis, to Tiverton, a one-road town in the country three hours north. Hirsch isn't just a disgraced cop; the internal investigations bureau is still trying to convict him of something, even if it means planting evidence. When someone leaves a pistol cartridge in his mailbox, Hirsch suspects that his career isn't the only thing on the line. But Tiverton has more crime than one cop can handle, due largely to the town's stagnant economy, rural isolation, and entrenched racism and misogyny. When the body of a 16-year-old local girl is found on the side of the highway, the situation in Tiverton gets even more sinister, and whether or not Hirsch finds her killer, there's going to be hell to pay.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 127 x 188 x 25mm | 181g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1616955392
  • 9781616955397
  • 782,099

Review quote

Praise for Bitter Wash Road Shortlisted for the 2014 Ned Kelly Best Novel Award
A Deadly Pleasures Best Ten Australian Crime Novel of the 21st Century "A perfect introduction to the work of veteran crime novelist Garry Disher . . . Stark descriptions of the sweltering outback will have your reaching for a cool drink. Hirsch is a classic lone wolf--or should I say lone dingo?--whose laconic stoicism and basic decency will have you longing for a sequel."
--The Seattle Times "Disher has drawn both a vivid and visceral picture of a backblocks bush town, its inhabitants ground down by the stresses of isolation, hard work and irregular, relentlessly shrinking incomes . . . The story pulls no punches."
--The Guardian "Disher writes and plots like the smooth old pro he is."
--Toronto Star "Disher's vibrant prose paints a wonderfully detailed portrait of small-town Australian life as well as delivering a tightly plotted mystery."
--Suspense Magazine "Probably the best and most complex of his books. Strong characters, vivid descriptions, and a clever plot make it a stand-out."
--Deadly Pleasures "The story is a compelling one and the multiple plot threads, none of which at first seem to have anything to do with the other--including Hirsch's exile from Adelaide--come together in a cleverly plotted manner."
--Mysterious Reviews "Striking... Writing of this quality does not come along every day."
--Reviewing the Evidence "Disher is a masterful write . . . I can't recommend [Bitter Wash Road] highly enough."
--Fresh Fiction "Exceptional crime fiction."

"A fast, gritty story is given texture by its individually crafted characters and thoroughly realised rural setting."
--The Morning Star (UK) "This noir bush police procedural paints a desolate profile of a hard, lonely life in rural South Australia, where people scratch out a living however they can in a changing economy. The story keeps moving with plenty of surprises as Hirsch makes his discoveries, culminating in a splendid climax. Highly recommended."
--I Love a Mystery "Garry Disher's new novel is a rewarding mix of small-town policing and corruption, parish politics, vested interests and the closing of ranks against an outsider . . . fans of good crime fiction and Australian writing alike should enjoy it."
--Australian Bookseller & Publisher "Garry Disher has been giving us highly intelligent literary thrillers for decades and he gets better and better, even as he wins more prizes for his resonant, poetic novels. Along with Peter Temple, he is the master wordsmith of local crime fiction and, to paraphrase Frederick Barthelme, his seemingly simple words trick us into the drama, and the drama breaks our hearts."
--Weekend Australian "Peter Temple and Garry Disher will be identified as the crime writers who redefined Australian crime fiction in terms of its form, content and style . . . Disher's eye for detail is acute and his poetic analogies precise . . . [Bitter Wash Road] continues the work of re-imagining the crime genre in a very Australian way, and does it beautifully."
--Sydney Morning Herald "[Bitter Wash Road] is superb."
--Weekend Australian "Not a word is wasted: here the ancient, bare, distinctive landscape of the hardscrabble country bordering Goyder's Line is conveyed with admirably atmospheric economy."
--Adelaide Advertiser "Turning the pages, readers can almost feel themselves squinting into the sun while wiping dust and sweat off the back of their necks . . . Hirschhausen is a character I'll remember for a good long time."
--Kittling Books "[Bitter Wash Road] is crime written in dry tense phrases. Garry Disher tells you everything and nothing making every page an intrigue and leaving you desperate to find out what the hell is going on."
--The Hoopla "[Bitter Wash Road] moves at a cracking pace and is a great read."
--Launceston Examiner
show more

About Garry Disher

Garry Disher is one of Australia's best-known novelists. He's published over forty books in a range of genres, including crime, children's books, and Australian history. His Hal Challis and Wyatt crime series are also published by Soho Crime. He lives on the Mornington Peninsula, southeast of Melbourne.
show more

Rating details

957 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 29% (279)
4 47% (449)
3 20% (189)
2 3% (31)
1 1% (9)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X