There's no such thing as a perfect victim.
In a hotel room on a sleepy Pacific island, Judy Novak waits. And worries. It isn’t the first time 29-year-old problem child Paulina has kept her mother waiting. But Judy can’t ignore the island’s jagged cliffs and towering pines — or the dread that Paulina has finally acted on her threats to take her own life.
When Paulina’s body is discovered, Judy’s worst fears seem confirmed. Only, Paulina didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.
So begins a thorny investigation, wherein every man on the island is a suspect yet none are as maligned as Paulina: the captivating newcomer known for her hard drinking, disastrous relationships, and habit of walking alone.
But, above all, Paulina is her mother’s daughter. And death won’t stop Judy Novak from fighting for Paulina’s life.
‘Laura Elizabeth Woollett has done it again. The Newcomer pulls you in from its eerie opening and drags you along with intriguing characters and beautifully wrought prose. As the mystery deepens, you begin to realise things are never clear-cut, and everybody is guilty of something. A cautionary tale inspired by true events by one of my favourite authors. Read this book now.’
JP Pomare, author of Call Me Evie
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‘The Newcomer is a dark and disturbing novel, speaking to some of the most troubling aspects of contemporary Australian society. As in Beautiful Revolutionary, Woollett's prose is delicate and brutal in equal measure, offering an intimate portrait of a small and tight-knit community. With a fast-paced narrative and a complex central character, this is a searing exploration of sexual violence and victimhood, taking forward important conversations within our national psyche.’
Catherine Noske, author of The Salt Madonna
‘Laura Elizabeth Woollett is my kind of writer — fearless, incisive, and darkly poetic. The Newcomer is by turns tragic, funny, sinister, and completely riveting.’
David Whish-Wilson, author of Shore Leave