Ben Hobson: The Death of John Lacey

Ben-Hobson-The-Death-of-John-LaceyAn Australian western set in the goldfields of Ballarat, The Death of John Lacey is a viscerally powerful story of greed, power and violence from the author of Snake Island.

He felt the lump of gold still in his pocket. He would find his way out of this place and leave his brother happy and he would etch his name into the red earth or be damned.

John Lacey’s lust for power and gold brings him riches and influence beyond his wildest dreams. Only he knows the terrible crime he committed to attain that wealth.

Years later, as Lacey ruthlessly presides over the town he has built and named after himself, no one has the courage to question his power or how he wields it.

Brothers Ernst and Joe Montague are on the run from the law. They land in Lacey’s town and commit desperate crimes to avoid capture.

Lacey vows retribution and galvanises those in the town to hunt them down. But not everyone is blind to Lacey’s evil, and a reckoning is approaching.

A visceral, powerful dissection of dispossession, colonisation and the crimes committed in their name, The Death of John Lacey is also a moving and tender account of the love between brothers and a meditation on the true meaning of mercy and justice.

Ben Hobson is a teacher, and an author, based in Brisbane. To Become a Whale, his debut novel, was released in 2017. It was longlisted for the ABIA Debut Fiction award and shortlisted for the Courier-Mail’s People’s Choice Award.

His second novel, Snake Island, a literary thriller, was released in 2019. He also runs Ben’s Book Club, a monthly online book club for libraries, and the Burgers, Beers and Books podcast. The Death of John Lacey is his third novel.

The Death of John Lacey is published by Allen & Unwin and available from all leading book sellers including Booktopia.

Image: The Death of John Lacey – courtesy of Allen & Unwin