Melbourne street dweller and graffi tist, BRINEY RUZA, has created a bizarre trackside game of secrets as a bit of cheeky fun for city commuters. But after a near-death train surfing incident, walls, her public canvas, begin using Briney and her art to release the secrets they were built to contain. One family-related secret leads Briney and her ratbag boyfriend ZAC to TEREZÍN, a small Czech fortress town once a Jewish Ghetto under Nazi control during WWII. Here she hopes to find her mother who deserted her at the age of eight. But first she encounters Ghetto survivor, EVZEN KRAVITZ, a troubled, scruffy old man with little tolerance for today’s youth, who, for his own devious reasons, holds the key to this particular secret. A chance meeting with a Czech girl, ZOJA, a Goth in that most gothic of cities, Prague, brings Briney’s sexuality into question. Meanwhile, Zac comes under the influence of a group of skinheads. These new relationships turn out to have direct and devastating connections to the traumatic past of the Ghetto, the Nazis, one particular camp ‘policeman’ – a Roma Kapo – and back to present-day Melbourne. Nowhere are there more secrets than within the walls of Terezín, and Briney is drawn deep into the conspiracies surrounding the Holocaust, her own family and the ongoing corruption and rise of neo-nazism. Not all involved will come out alive.
Five Star Review on Amazon By Kate, Brisbane
This book has all the elements of a brilliant read: fast action, suspense, mystery and a main character who grabs your sympathy and curiosity. The story about a modern Australian girl searching for her roots unfolds against a background of twentieth-century European upheavals that still reach into people’s lives. The language is rough, as suits the characters, so if you are squeamish about swearing, best to avoid. Plenty of straight talking about sex too, so again give it a miss if you can’t take the heat.
About the Author
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When I started writing this book I was living in a beach house dug into the side of a hill overlooking the high sand dunes of the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. The sounds and smells of ocean living pushed aside the intrusive influences of city life. The crashing waves, the early morning wake-up call of friendly birds and the fresh, sometimes too fresh, air helped to clear the mind for the massive amount of ideas that hover overhead to be harnessed, considered, filed for future use or just plain spat back out. All this rejuvenated my imagination and allowed me to write my first novel, SECRETSINCITY.
Of course a story like SECRETSINCITY that is set in the Czech Republic – light years away geographically and historically from where I lived – involved my second obsession, travel. The cultural adventures I’ve experienced with a degree of sensitivity and comprehension is something I hope reveals itself to my readers.
Being my first novel does not mean this is my first attempt at writing – in fact under different protocols, I’ve managed an original screenplay for a twenty-minute short feature, several magazine articles, short stories (published) and numerous travel narratives. All have been as challenging and demanding as a four-year-in-the-works novel.