The Cane

Maryrose Cuskelly
AUD $32.99
Availability: Temporarily unavailable from this website, please try another retailer

Nail-biting, atmospheric, and unputdownable, the brilliant new thriller for fans of Wimmera and The Dry.




Quala, a North Queensland sugar town, the 1970s.

Barbara McClymont walks the cane fields searching for Janet, her sixteen-year-old daughter, who has been missing for weeks. The police have no leads. The people of Quala are divided by dread and distrust. But the sugar crush is underway and the cane must be burned.

Meanwhile, children dream of a malevolent presence, a schoolteacher yearns to escape, and history keeps returning to remind Quala that the past is always present.

As the smoke rises and tensions come to a head, the dark heart of Quala will be revealed, affecting the lives of all those who dwell beyond the cane.

The Cane is an evocative and atmospheric thriller, and announces an exciting new voice in Australian crime writing.

'A fine, brave, perceptive writer.' - Mark Dapin, journalist and author of Public Enemies

'A stunning piece of Australian rural noir.' - Mark Brandi, bestselling author of Wimmera and The Rip

Author bio:

Maryrose Cuskelly is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. She has lived in Melbourne for many years, but she was born in Queensland, where, in the early 1970s, there were several high-profile child abductions and murders. The disappearance of Mackay schoolgirl Marilyn Wallman, in particular, made a lasting impression on her. In 2016, Maryrose was awarded the New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing (non-fiction) for her essay 'Well Before Dark' about Marilyn's disappearance and the way it percolated through her own childhood and later life. The Cane returns to some of the themes and preoccupations of that essay.
In 2019, Maryrose's book Wedderburn: A true tale of blood and dust (Allen & Unwin, 2018) was longlisted for Best Debut and Best True Crime in the 2019 Davitt Awards. She is also the author of Original Skin: Exploring the marvels of the human hide (Scribe, 2010) and The End of Charity: Time for social enterprise (with Nic Frances, Allen & Unwin, 2008), which was the winner of the Iremonger Award.

Category: Fiction
ISBN: 9781760879853
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: February 2022
Page Extent: 336
Format: Paperback - C format
Subject: Fiction & related items

Read an excerpt:

The Cane Chapter Sampler by Allen & Unwin


Reading Groups

It's a great time to be in a reading group! Discover new titles and books you might not normally pick up and buy, or re-examine books you already know and love. You can make your reading experience richer and more rewarding by being a member of a reading group and meeting others who are interested in sharing their reading experience. ... find out more

For the latest Reading Group Notes, news and competitions subscribe here