i received a copy of black river from allen and unwin nz in exchange for an honest review.

star rating

black river review

black river is a riveting crime/mystery novel set in sydney. it follows two main characters: adam bowman, a journalist, and rose riley, a detective on a task force searching for a serial killer. black river shows the unlikely relationship between these two individuals as they uncover secrets and bring a murderer to justice.

the opening for black river is very strong, and well written. i was hooked from page one. the red herrings littered throughout aided in the intensity of the writing. i struggled to put the book down at times.

i really loved the sydney back drop that matthew spencer used for black river. it was clearly a location he had visited on numerous occasions (or even lived there). it gave the story more believability.

of our two main characters, i really enjoyed reading about riley’s experiences. she was a relatable character, and she was damn good at her job. bowman had me feeling many different things. sometimes, i liked him and was intrigued about his mysterious past. other times i was suspecting him. i couldn’t bring myself to fully trust him.

the middle of the book seemed to drag – i struggled to get past this bit. it got rather boring and felt like nothing was really happening. (then, of course, everything starts happening and i was glad i persevered.)

the ending concluded everything in a neat little bow. i wasn’t dissatisfied in any way.

all in all, i think black river is a very well written mystery from an aussie author. he’s someone i will keep an eye out for in regards to his future work.

buy your copy now!

mighty ape | the nile | whitcoulls | the warehouse | paper plus


  1. avatar

    This book sounds SO INTERESTING?? I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! AND DID I MENTION THE PHOTO IS GORGEOUS 😭😍😍

    1. avatar

      thank you so much anoushka!!

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