Holden, Kate

Winner of the 2021 Walkley Book Award, 2022 NSW Premiers Literary Awards- Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction, and 2022 Sisters in Crime Davitt Award (non-fiction).

In July 2014, on a lonely road at twilight outside Croppa Creek, New South Wales, 80-year-old farmer Ian Turnbull took out a .22 and shot environmental officer Glen Turner in the back.

On one side, a man hoping to secure his family’s wealth and future by farming the richest agricultural soil in the country. On the other side, the object of his obsession – the government employee trying his best to apply environmental laws.  The brutal killing of Glen Turner splits open the story of our place on this land. Is our time on this soil a tale of tragedy or triumph – are we reaping what we’ve sown? Do we owe protection to the land, or does it owe us a living? And what happens when, in pursuit of an inheritance for his family, a man creates terrible consequences?
Kate Holden brings her discerning eye to a gripping tale of law, land and entitlement.

‘Beautifully written, meticulously researched, carefully plotted and seamlessly stitched together. This book is a major contribution to the canon of Australian land and social history- a bedfellow with Francis Ratcliffe, W.E.H. Stanner, Tim Flannery, Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe … Its power is in exposing a hidden, suppurating sore in the psyche of our nation.’ -Charles Massy, author of Call of the Reed Warbler

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Black Inc., April 2023.  336 pages, paperback