Louise Milligan: Pheasants Nest

Louise Milligan Pheasants NestAcclaimed and award-winning writer and journalist Louise Milligan has written a stunning and surprising thriller with a gigantic heart: a gripping, propulsive and brilliantly original debut with Pheasants Nest.

Kate Delaney has made the biggest mistake of her life. She picked the wrong guy to humiliate on a girls’ night out and now she is living every woman’s worst nightmare.

Kate finds herself brutalised, bound and gagged in the back of a car being driven god knows where by a man whose name she doesn’t know, and she is petrified about what’s in store for her.

As a journalist who is haunted by the crimes she’s had to report over her career, Kate is terrifyingly familiar with the statistics about women who go missing – and the fear and trauma behind the headlines. She knows only too well how those stories usually end.

Kate can only hope the police will find her before it’s too late, but she’s aware a random crime is hardest to solve. As the clock ticks down, she tries to keep herself sane by thinking about her beloved boyfriend and friends, escaping into memories of love and happy times together. She knows she cannot give way to despair.

As the suspense escalates, Kate’s boyfriend Liam is left behind, struggling with his shock, fear and desperation as the police establish a major investigation. The detectives face their own feelings of anguish and futility as they reflect on the cases they didn’t solve in time and the victims they couldn’t save. They know Kate’s chances of survival diminish with every passing hour.

Louise Milligan is a multi-award-winning investigative journalist for ABC TV’s Four Corners, the Australian national broadcaster’s flagship current affairs documentary program. She is the author of two bestselling non-fiction books: Cardinal, The Rise and Fall of George Pell and Witness, An Investigation into the Brutal Cost of Seeking Justice.

Her books have been awarded multiple prizes, including the Walkley Book Award, the Davitt Awards Best Non-Fiction Crime Book, the Melbourne Prize for Literature People’s Choice Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award’s People’s Choice prize, the Sir Owen Dixon Chambers Law Reporter of the Year Award, a Press Freedom Medal and a shortlisting for the Stella Prize.

Louise’s journalism, particularly her coverage of historical institutional child abuse and the experience of women in the criminal justice system and parliament, has broken national and international news, sparked government inquiries and led to profound cultural change and law reform. She started her career in newspapers and is a former High Court correspondent and political reporter.

Born in Ireland to an Irish mother and Scottish father, Louise moved to Australia as a child. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children. Pheasants Nest is Louise’s first novel.

“A crime novel that could only be written by a fine journalist – so original, funny and true.” – David Marr

Pheasants Nest is published by Allen & Unwin and available for all leading book retailers including Booktopia.

Image: Pheasants Nest – courtesy of Allen & Unwin