Home Country, T.W.Lawless’s crime novel debut, features Peter Clancy, a hard-drinking, hard-living journalist for the Melbourne Truth newspaper, a scandal sheet which he unscrupulously supplies with gossip and dirt on society figures. When he finds out his mother has died, he returns to the outback Queensland town of Clarke’s Flat to see to her affairs, but sinister smalltown intrigue and secretism will keep him on longer than planned and expected. His childhood friend, Dave Tindall, is now a police constable in the town, and both Sam Saturday, an erstwhile Aboriginal stockman on the former Clancy cattle station, and Dave convince Peter to help the latter to prove the suicides of Dave’s father and his business partner were actually murders. In doing so, Peter will not only reveal Clarke’s Flat’s crimes and sins, but also rake up his own shameful past. There are questions around his own father’s death, about his mother’s actions after selling the farm and moving to town, and in particular, in what happened when he was a teenager, to his then girlfriend, so he is forced to confront many of the reasons why he left in the first place. Clancy is wryly depicted as an ambiguous character against a believable rural backdrop in a well-told story.