Mys­tery takes a twist in se­quel

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Literature - By JES­SICA NICO

ES­CAP­ING af­ter months of be­ing locked in­side a shop­ping cen­tre is one thing, but de­ci­pher­ing the mys­tery of what hap­pened is a harder task than three Perth teenagers could have ever imag­ined.

Nox, Tay­lor and Lizzy spent months trapped in­side one of Perth’s big­gest shop­ping com­plexes in Bren­dan Ritchie’s first novel, but now they are out and try­ing to fig­ure out why al­most all the peo­ple have dis­ap­peared in his lat­est book, Beyond Carousel.

Ritchie said while his first book fo­cused on how the teenagers got them­selves trapped in Carousel shop­ping cen­tre, the se­quel showed Perth was a very dif­fer­ent place to the one they knew.

“Perth is de­serted, trans­formed and dan­ger­ous and the only survivors are a mys­te­ri­ous ar­ray of artists,” he said.

“The char­ac­ters set off on a jour­ney to dis­cover what has hap­pened and to try to find a way home.

“In many ways, Beyond Carousel was a tough book to write be­cause the plot moves quite quickly and there were a lot of ques­tions left to an­swer from Carousel.

“But know­ing the char­ac­ters and their voices cer­tainly of­fers the writer some se­cu­rity and it felt a bit like I was reac­quaint­ing with some old friends.”

Writ­ten for a teenage au­di­ence, Ritchie said read­ers of all ages would en­joy recog­nis­ing Perth sites and sub­urbs, al­beit in a dif­fer­ent light, as they read.

“Beyond Carousel is ef­fec­tively a road trip through an aban­doned, al­most post-apocalyptic, ver­sion of Perth,” he said.

“The char­ac­ters are on a search for an­swers and this search takes them from man­sions in the hills to the empty, pris­tine beaches of Cottes­loe and Leighton.

“In be­tween, they find shel­ter wher­ever they can. Some­times this is in gi­ant, iconic build­ings such as the casino, other times it's in a rusty old school bus.”

Beyond Carousel will be launched at Beau­fort Street Books to­mor­row (Oc­to­ber 12).

It is avail­able from www.fre­

Au­thor Bren­dan Ritchie. Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son d457764

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