Praise for The Legacy of Old Gran Parks

The Legacy of Old Gran Parks book tour hosted by Blackthorn Book Tours has yielded a raft of praise from book critics. Here are the highlights. A warm thank you to all the reviewers who took part and to BBT for their amazing service.

Lead Review from Rainnbooks

The opening chapter left me with goosebumps and from then on, the Legacy Of Old Gran Parks made me stand at the edge of a precipice. Described as darkly humorous, this story is set in Southern Australia in the 1980s. Cann River comes alive with the description by the author. There’s a palpable sense of the wilderness and the desolate bushes and the never-changing landscape of the place as Miriam rolls into the town with a broken car.

Events that begin to unfold in this bleak town then take on a surreal quality as the readers are treated to some subtle humor and gory deaths and heaven help me, I wasn’t sure whether to feel revolted or laugh at the turn of the incidents that were happening around the women. The story does have some graphic dismembering being described but there’s a rich sense of underlying humor that for a time it is easy to forget that that was what was being described. It was exactly what one would expect from such hardened women whose presumptions and further decisions are fuelled by the past that has been their life. As Miriam becomes embroiled in the perceived injustices and the revengeful attitude of Frankie and Pearl, it is a week of a hellish nightmare for her that unfolds with a horror of its own.

Several books that describe Australia have been mentioned by the author and clearly, the reader gets a tantalizing glimpse into the psyche of a backpacker like Emily whose wish is to explore rural Australia. Pearl, Frankie, Emily, and Miriam are not too likable characters but Pat and Con walk away with the cake, their antics with the meat and burgers giving me shudder every time I think it thru.

At the end of it all, the Legacy of Old Gran Parks does extract its pound of flesh from a reader with its layered and eerie storytelling.

Highly recommended for fans who can stomach some gruesome horror laced with rich and dark humor.

“The Legacy of Old Gran Parks is an exquisite composition of finest horror scenarios, thoughtfully arranged to a performance that works like a kaleidoscope” – Anni, Goodreads

“Definitely check this one out and add to those lists.” Angel White, Goodreads.

“bizarre yet fascinating…I really liked the Australian and small town setting which were beautifully described by the author.” Thereadingowlvina, Instagram

“Blackthorn has the capacity to truly immerse the reader in the setting. The isolation and sense of creepiness created a foreboding atmosphere. The twists and turns were never predictable and the multiple crescendos in the book had me on the edge of my seat! “- mycovblog, Instagram

“The author’s writing was well done, kept me on edge, and successfully established an eerie setting that makes me wary of visiting small Australian towns now” – Fairest Fable, Instagram

“This book was fulfilling from the very first page. The opening scene, the brutal murder that weaves through the plot, sets the scene perfectly…This is an oddly feminist novel presenting four women united only in their isolation, which Blackthorn uses incredibly well as a tool to ramp up the tension. Another excellent aspect was the setting; it was rich and vividly described, down to the smells and the grit of the place. For an all-encompassing thriller experience, I would highly recommend this book.” – Writing Werewolf

“There are a few parts that had me laughing out loud, then embarrassed to be finding something so grotesque and unsettling funny.” Power Librarian

“What a dark, twisted, funny thriller with four strong, independent, wicked women! I absolutely loved the setting of this book, it had an eerie, claustrophobic feel…extremely powerful and entertaining” – Goodreads

‘The Legacy of Old Gran Parks’ is an exquisite composition of finest horror scenarios, thoughtfully arranged to a performance that works like a kaleidoscope: The tale of Gran Parks functions as the background, the fates of the four female protagonists – Miriam, Frankie, Pearl and Emily – present the different colours that always form new patterns when you turn the kaleidoscope. This is not a typical haunted house/haunted village story… ‘ Ann-Kathrin Barfuß

‘… Set in a small town this has strong vibes of those B-Rated movies we love to hate. You know the ones…where people get stuck in a small podunk town and of course all sorts of horrific events happen. Some make it out alive…some not so lucky 🤣… ‘ Alaska Angel

‘… This tale lures you to the edge of your seat like you would around a campfire. You don’t know how, you don’t know where or what, but you do know something big is about the happen. Almost as though you are bracing yourself as go down the first fast decline on a rollercoaster…. ‘ Kiki Hempell

‘… I absolutely loved the setting of this book, it had an eerie, claustrophobic feel. Cann River is a small outback town…. Everything that’s there (which isn’t a lot), is run down, creepy and just so scarily quiet…. ‘ Amy Laidler

‘… Each woman has an encounter with a man who seems to be trouble: a drug addict staying in the hotel room next to Miriam, a man on the run convicted of rape and murder, a man with two daughters who is staying in a house next to Pearl seemingly without the owner knowing, and a man staying at the local lighthouse while the lighthouse keeper is out of town. There’s some mystery to each man. As the women unravel this mystery, the thrill of Gran Parks’s legacy takes hold…. ‘ Melissa Brickett

‘… Travelogue of the great Australian outback.

Coming of ‘old’ age story of four resilient women.

A macabre murder mystery.

A story of divine retribution.

Oh, and not to forget, just a dash of a ghost as well.

The Legacy of Old Gran Parks by Isobel Blackthorn has a story-line to whet anyone’s appetite (that’s a pun, read the book and you’ll get it).

Ooops, I forgot to mention comedy, dollops of black comedy…. ‘ Amisha Bahl Chawla

‘… I am glad that I’ve read this dark comedy thriller/horror. It was bizarre yet fascinating at the same time. It did take me some time to get into the story since these different POVs seem to be unrelated but it all worked out in the end…. ‘ Elvina Ulrich

“It’s a grandly dark story that is one of the most unique, thrilling scare-driven stories I’ve read in a while.” – Amy Shannon

Check out The Legacy of Old Gran Parks for yourself. http://mybook.to/granparks

Welcome to Australia

I woke this morning at about five o’clock to the sound of cock crows and magpie chortles, knowing that my third piece, Welcome to Australia, would appear in On Line Opinion  today.

561631-asylum-seekers

It’s a controversial piece and in the pre-dawn darkness I feared some would misread it and accuse me of being anti-Australian. Then I thought that if they did, it would only serve to strengthen one of the themes.

My thoughts wandered on to all the different sorts of people who are against our treatment of asylum seekers. From human rights lawyers such as Julian Burnside, to doctors, actors, musicians, writers, teachers, religious groups and social advocates, Liberal voters, Labor voters, Greens voters, all sorts of people motivated by all sorts of factors.

The bottom line for all of us is that we care.

Why do I care? What motivates me? Before the break of dawn I recalled my relatively late entry into the asylum-seeker cause. It was entirely the result of investigative journalist Antony Loewenstein’s book, Profits of Doom. A fast-paced read taking the reader from Curtin to Christmas Island, then on to PNG and beyond. Of concern to Loewenstein is the role that transnational corporations such as Serco and G4S and Transfield play in the detention of asylum seekers. He calls them vulture capitalists. I think that’s an apt description.

And such corporations don’t restrict themselves to running detention centres. They run our railways, our hospitals, our courts, our prisons, our defence services, anything in fact that governments outsource. Even, if our government has its way, Medicare.

I can only conclude that asylum seekers held in indefinite detention are profiting these vulture corps in exactly the same way as we profit the very same corporations the moment we hop on a train. Corporations who also profit from our taxes, which our governments hand over in payment for their services.

Asylum seekers are the ultimate victims of this system. Like prisoners, the longer they are there, and the more of them there are, the greater the corporate profit.

Yet there is no separation here. We are all victims of the same system.

I think that is why I am so passionate about the mandatory detention of asylum seekers. They are lambs, sacrificed in the name of a dollar god.