Boxed by Richard Anderson

cover image

Scribe Publications, 2019. ISBN: 9781925713657. 288pp.
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) Recommended for lovers of Australian rural noir. Dave Martin is depressed; his wife has left him and his farm is failing. When he isn't drinking too much he buys cheap tools on the internet, passing the time collecting the parcels from his roadside mail box. When boxes turn up that he hasn't ordered he tries to find out who is sending them and finds himself drawn into a world of violence and danger.
Anderson who is a second generation farmer in northern New South Wales, brings his in-depth knowledge of farm life with its problems, describing what it is like to live in country Australia and this background gives a feeling of real authenticity to Boxed. The suspense builds as Dave tries to find out where the boxes are coming from, each new box and the people who turn up asking about them, adding to the puzzles surrounding them and putting Dave in danger of his life, not knowing who to trust and where to turn. Add in the secondary story of his thoughts of suicide, his failed marriage and what happened to his son James, and the reader is kept in a state of suspense for the whole story.
This was an easy to read, thoroughly engrossing, and quite different crime novel and one what will appeal to readers who enjoy a good mystery. I am certainly tempted to pick up Anderson's first rural crime novel, Retribution (2018).
Pat Pledger