The Unknown Terrorist - Richard Flanagan ****

So, I finally got to read this. After my earlier misstep in reading the wrong book, I managed to borrow it from the library. I was looking forward to it as I'd sort of forgotten why I wanted to read it (hence why I initially persevered with the incorrect book).
I actually really enjoy doing that, it's one of the reasons after I pick a book to read, I don't read the blurb. Its sort of like getting a surprise picked by the best selector possible; yourself!

What would you do if you turned on the television and saw you were the most wanted terrorist in Australia?
Gina Davies is about to find out.
....a fast paced thriller that paints a devastating picture of contemporary Australia.
Five days, three unexploded bombs, and every truth of your life turned into a lie.
What would you do?
The reason I didn't give this book a five, is that it was as if it couldn't quite commit to what genre it wanted to be. In the blurb it claims its a thriller, but it doesn't quite make "Thriller" I don't feel. Almost like Flanagan isn't comfortable joining the ranks of so many thriller and crime writers, he may be portrayed as a fraud. So he holds back just so much as if criticised he could jump back into his own camp and claim he'd never strayed.
I also found it a teensy bit pompous at the start. The language is so descriptive, its almost TOO descriptive, I thought it was trying to hard to describe Kings Cross, and Darlinghurst, and well, Sydney.
Trying too hard to be literary in its approach, not thriller.
What I will say is its a terrifying insight on the hysteria that can grip a city, and the way the media drives it.
Perhaps I enjoyed as as I'm a Sydneysider, as it's been caned a bit by Australian Reviewers, while lauded overseas.
Worth a look if you're after something, with wide appeal I think.

4 / 5

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