The Low Road

Chris Womersley

The Low Road
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The Low Road

Chris Womersley

Shortlisted, The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer, 2006 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

‘Chris Womersley’s first novel is so stark and pitiless that it’s hard to keep reading. But it’s harder to stop.’ Gideon Haigh

The Low Road is an immensely powerful and gruelling novel that makes violence and the kinship of criminals seem as fascinating and inevitable as the strange workings of the interior of the body.’ Brenda Walker

The Low Road is richly and powerfully written. It is also an almost unbearably intense, tragic, and unrelentingly dark story of addiction, regret, despair, and failed dreams that left this reader mightily impressed …’ Graeme Moore (Bookseller & Publisher)

A young petty criminal, Lee, wakes in a seedy motel to find a bullet in his side and a suitcase of stolen money next to him, with only the haziest memory of exactly how he got there. Soon he meets Wild, a morphine-addicted doctor who is escaping his own disastrous life. The two men form an unwilling, unlikely alliance and set out for the safety of a country estate owned by a former colleague of Wild’s named Sherman. As they flee the city, they develop an uneasy intimacy, inevitably revisiting their pasts even as they desperately seek to evade them. Lee is haunted by a brief stint in jail, while Wild is on the run from the legacy of medical malpractice. But Lee and Wild are not alone: they are pursued through an increasingly alien and gothic landscape by the ageing gangster Josef, who must retrieve the stolen money and deal with Lee to ensure his own survival. By the time Josef finally catches up to them, all three men have been forced to confront the parts of themselves they sought to outrun. Part classic film-noir crime-thriller, part modern tale of despair and desperation, The Low Road seduces the reader into a story that unfolds and deepens hypnotically. This is a brilliant debut novel.

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