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QBD Reviews: Khaki Town by Judy Nunn

A new drama from Australian's best historical fiction author!

Khaki Town, Judy Nunn’s exciting new novel, is inspired by a true wartime story that has remained a well-kept secret for over seventy years.

Khaki Town is the fantastic new novel from Judy Nunn, set in the north eastern town of Townsville during the second world war. It's the story of hostile race relations between the black and white American soldiers stationed in the town and features a host of both American and Australian characters who are vivid and well developed.

The A and C Companies of the 96th division of the American Army are in Townsville to build a new base and an airport, but not everyone is happy to have them there. The White Australia Policy is in full effect and the Australian government is hesitant to have Negro soldiers on Australian soil. The locals though, tough publican Val, girlfolk Betty and Jill, Aunty Edie and intrepid reporter Pete, are happy to bring the new soldiers into their lives. Tensions still arise though and when the soldiers are banned from the town, the situation explodes in a violent and deadly riot.

A fictionalised account of true events, Nunn's latest book demonstrates her amazing skill at character building. Well researched and very realistic, Khaki Town will stick with you for a long while.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Shannon, QBD Books Rockingham

Get your copy of Khaki Town in store or online here.

QBD’s 25 Books of Christmas: #18

Book18social

Our QBD elves love Australian fiction, and you really can do no better than Judy Nunn!

Perfect for: Lovers of Australian or mystery fiction

It is 2001 and as the world charges into the new Millennium, a century-old dream is about to be realised in the Red Centre of Australia: the completion of the mighty Ghan railway, a long-lived vision to create the 'backbone of the continent', a line that will finally link Adelaide with the Top End.

But construction of the final leg between Alice Springs and Darwin will not be without its complications, for much of the desert it will cross is Aboriginal land.

Hired as a negotiator, Jessica Manning must walk a delicate line to reassure the Elders their sacred sites will be protected. Will her innate understanding of the spiritual landscape, rooted in her own Arunta Heritage, win their trust? It's not easy to keep the peace when Matthew Witherton and his survey team are quite literally blasting a rail corridor through the timeless land of the Never-Never.

When the paths of Jessica and Matthew finally cross, their respective cultures collide to reveal a mystery that demands attention. As they struggle against time to solve the puzzle, an ancient wrong is awakened and calls hauntingly across the vastness of the outback . . .