Friday, 29 March 2019

Book Review & Giveaway: Under the Midnight Sky (Mystery)

Under the Midnight Sky
Anna Romer

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publication Date: 1st may 2019
Pages: 407
RRP: $29.99 
Format Read:  Paperback - Advanced Reader Copy
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Better Reading Preview


When an injured teenager goes missing at a remote bushland campground, local journalist Abby Bardot is determined to expose the area’s dark history. The girl bears a striking resemblance to the victims of three brutal murders that occurred twenty years ago and Abby fears the killer is still on the loose.

But the newspaper Abby works for wants to suppress the story for fear it will scare off tourists to the struggling township. Haunted by her own turbulent memories, Abby is desperate to learn the truth and enlists the help of Tom Gabriel, a reclusive crime writer. At first resentful of Abby’s intrusion, Tom’s reluctance vanishes when they discover a hidden attic room in his house that shows evidence of imprisonment from half a century before.

As Abby and Tom sift through the attic room and discover its tragic history, they become convinced it holds the key to solving the bushland murders and finding the missing girl alive.
But their quest has drawn out a killer, someone with a shocking secret who will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.


Abby is still plagued by nightmares 20 years after her friend was murdered and found in a shallow grave in the gorge.
When a young girl from the area goes missing no-one is too concerned, runaways are all too common in Gundara. Abby is determined to search for this girl hoping she may also find answers to her friend’s murder.

Tom, internationally acclaimed author, has moved to Ravensong, a rambling and remote home in the bush surrounding Gundara. He wants to escape society after a very public and disastrous divorce. A fall from a ladder and a journalist after the interview of a life-time, bring Abby and Tom together.

I thoroughly enjoyed Under the Midnight Sky and was swept away in the remote countryside and the mysteries held in the gorge.
The apathy toward the low socioeconomic community in Gundara and the lack of action by the police in reference to the runaways was disturbing but understandable.

Little hooks of information are delivered to sink you into the story, making the mystery bigger and more compelling, with each new snippet.

The story is narrated in multiple perspectives often changing within a chapter. I usually find this type of narration confusing however Romer pulls it off by changing the scene as well as the narration.

The story holds mysteries within a mystery all layered on top of each other and centred around the murdered girls.

An underlying theme of love runs deep through the novel. The love of a sibling; shows Ennis not being able to let go of his sister, long after her death. With sisters Lilly and Frankie, Romer explores how far a person will go to protect someone they love. We can see Abby’s love for her alcoholic father, even though she denies it. Lil and Joe, an elderly couple nearing the end of their life, epitomise enduring love, not being able to imagine a time when they will not be together. And we also follow the burgeoning love between Abby and Tom.

Under the Midnight Sky is atmospheric and moving. Anna Romer is one of the great story tellers of our time.

My rating  4.5 / 5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

*this review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
and book #8 in the Australian Women Writers challenge
Letter 'U' in the 2019 A-Z challenge 

I have an advanced reader copy of Under the Midnight Sky to giveaway to one lucky reader.

Enter via the Giveaway form below.


Photo credit: Goodreads

Anna Romer was born in Australia to a family of book-lovers. She led a nomadic life for many years, travelling around Europe and Britain in an ancient Kombi van where she discovered a passion for history.

These days she lives in a little old cottage surrounded by bushland, writing stories about dark family secrets, rambling houses, characters haunted by the past, and settings that feature the uniquely beautiful Australian landscape. Anna's debut best-selling novel was Thornwood House followed by Lyrebird Hill and Beyond the Orchard.


This giveaway is now closed.


  1. I love Anna's books, I'm looking forward to this one.

  2. I just read Anna Romer's Beyond the Orchard and really enjoyed it so have high hopes for this one! Thanks for the chance to enter, Veronica!

    1. I loved Beyond the Orchard also. Romer loves to write about sprawling old homes and the secrets they hold. Good Luck.

  3. Looking forward to finding out more about this author.

    1. I really enjoy her work and still have one of her books waiting on my shelf to be read.

  4. I'm a total sucker for a good mystery, especially one with layers that you can really enjoy pealing away as you get drawn further in, with each turn of the page.

    I can't wait to get a copy of this book after reading the description above.

  5. I've never read any of this author's previous work, but I will now after reading your review. I'm very curious about who the killer is, and if Abby knew this person intimately or if it was a complete stranger. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book and that you were able to get past the multiple POV changes.

  6. Great giveaway and awesome review...I want to read this so bad now. It sounds amazing

  7. The book sounds great, certainly something I would read. Lovely review.

  8. I loved your review. Looks like an awesome thriller.

  9. This one sounds a little scary for me, but appreciate your write up!

  10. This sounds compelling, I wants! Shared on twitter and 2 blog pages.

  11. Glad you enjoyed this one. Sounds like quite the page turner.

  12. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing

  13. I’ve never heard of this before, but thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  14. This one sounds so intense!

  15. Great review! Glad you enjoyed it!

  16. This looks right up my alley! Awesome giveaway <3

  17. Wow! Great review. Can see that it was an excellent read.