State Highway One by Sam Coley

‘They say you can never go home again …’

Alex has been away from New Zealand for years.  It has been a long time since he spent any time with his twin sister Amy.  When their parents are killed in an accident, Alex returns from Dubai.  A decision is taken: to travel the whole of New Zealand’s State Highway One, from one end of the country to the other.  Alex intends to return to Dubai: can the return trip be undertaken in two weeks?

The journey begins.  A pilgrimage: full of memories, reminiscing about the past, searching for answers or at least explanations.

The story unfolds.  There is humour here, interspersed with sadness and regret.  The tension increases to the stage where I found it impossible to put the novel down.  How will it end?  Are there answers to be found here in this pilgrimage?  Will Alex survive?

Tense.  Taut.  Unforgettable.

This is Mr Coley’s debut novel, winner of the 2017 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.  I intend buying my own copy as soon as the novel is released.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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