Thursday 2 January 2014


Kate by Kevin Burgemeestre (Morris Publishing Australia)
PB RRP $22.00
ISBN 9780987543448
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

All the four main characters in this story have lost something significant which has changed their lives. Kate has lost her mother to illness, her obscurity due to her changing body, and her best friend Jess to Canada. Jess lost all that was familiar and her sense of belonging. Wilde the dog had his faith in humans and his freedom snatched from him by the brutality of his owner. Mal lost his sister to drugs and his life to crime. These four broken beings are brought together by a strange serendipity.

Kate, Mal, Wilde and later Jess who returns from Canada, are drawn into a mystifying, suspenseful and life-threatening adventure that stems from Mal’s secret past. Who is the complex Mal really? What is he hiding?

Kevin Burgemeetre’s first novel with themes of loss, grief and renewal, and complicated human relationships is fast-paced and impressive. It holds the reader’s attention from start to finish by keeping its mysteries undisclosed, allowing only tiny particles of information to float into view at specific times. This generates a sense of urgency; a need to discover what is being hidden and why.

The story is sharp and witty with excellent main characters, a strong story line and lots of humour flowing in and out. The excellent art work in black and white accentuates the characters and adds elegance to a surprising debut novel.

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