Lane Holland

Created by Shelley Burr

Police academy dropout LANE HOLLAND figured he could make a decent living working cold cases as a private investigator, and in his crackling debut, Wake (2022), it looks like he’s come up with a case that’s both very cold and very lucrative.

Nineteen years ago, young Evelyn McCreery vanished from her bedroom in Nannine, a once prosperous farming town in the Australian outback (a criminally underused setting) that has since fallen on hard times.

But interest in the case has thrived, prompted along by a still unclaimed million-dollar reward left by Evelyn’s late mother.

Mina McCreery, Evelyn’s surviving twin sister, still lives on the farm–bitter, lonely and haunted by her sister’s disappearance, survivor’s guilt, and the unceasing obsession with the case by podcasters and fortune hunters.

Which might include the brash young Holland. Or maybe not. He manages to impress Mina with his quirky methods and apparent enthusiasm for the case, but she’s still not sure if she can trust him.

Yeah, off the top it sounds like something from the Hallmark Channel or a cheesy 1940s B film (twins?), but things get very dark here, and Burr manages to grab readers with a vivid setting that’s harsh and wild, fresh and original, and a set of characters to match, while zeroing in on how a family’s private tragedies have become public entertainment (and occasionally, a cash cow) for cynical, slack-jawed armchair detectives.


  • “Politically savvy, cleverly plotted…the kind of book that invites the ravenous language of binge reading: compulsive, propulsive, addictive.”
    New York Times Book Review



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