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Book Review: Last Day in the Dynamite Factory

Peter Blythe of the Probus Club of Bacchus Marsh reviews Last Day in the Dynamite Factory by Annah Faulkner, published by Picador Australia in 2015.

As is my habit, on my entry to Lerderderg Library about six weeks ago, I checked through the “recently returned books” and was struck by this novel, for I found the title quite intriguing.

Once I had started reading all about Annah’s dynamite, I was hooked. I hope you will be too.

This novel by an Australian author is set mainly in and around Brisbane.

The intriguing title at first may suggest to you extensive noisy explosions where dynamite is the key element involved. Certainly in Chapter 1 this seems a possibility:

“Chris struck a match and set it to the wick. It hissed and flared and took off on a bright wobbly journey down the fuse!” 

 But is this the only way to understand dynamite?

Christopher Bright is a well-respected conservation architect, good neighbour and loyal friend. He has a devoted wife, two talented children and an old Rover. He plays tennis on Saturdays and enjoys a beer with his business partner after work.

Life is orderly, yet an unresolved question has haunted him for as long as he can remember: who is his birth father?

Devotion to his adoptive parents has always prevented Chris from inquiring too deeply, but when one of them dies, explosive information from the past triggers a chain of events that rocks even his closest relationships.

As light is cast on his father, attention turns to his birth mother. But when Chris goes in search of the person behind her photo, he encounters a conspiracy of silence.

Determined to expose the truth, Chris finds the price of knowledge becomes increasingly costly.

Nevertheless, the truth must be told…! Or must it?

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