Mark Brandi's bestselling novel, Wimmera, won the coveted British Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger, and was named Best Debut at the 2018 Australian Indie Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards Literary Fiction Book of the Year, and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year. His second novel, The Rip, is to be published by Hachette Australia in March 2019. It is already receiving critical acclaim. Mark's shorter work has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, The Big Issue, and in journals both here and overseas. His writing is also sometimes heard on ABC Radio National. Mark graduated with a criminal justice degree and worked extensively in the justice system, before changing direction and deciding to write. Originally from Italy, he grew up in rural Victoria. Mark now lives in Melbourne and is already working on his next work of fiction.
Given the substantial list of award wins and short-listings that the unpublished manuscript has already received, including the Crime Writers' Association's Debut Dagger Award, it's clear that the reader is in the hands of a master storyteller. Comparisons are already being made to Jane Harper's THE DRY and Dennis Lehane's MYSTIC RIVER. This is literary crime fiction at its best. - BOOKS+PUBLISHINGwritten with great delicacy and deliberate restraint - ADELAIDE ADVERTISERVery little fiction is as emotionally true as this. WIMMERA is a dark and disturbing story from a substantial new talent. - SATURDAY PAPERWimmera makes excellent use of atmospheric rural Australia to weave a gothic story with a strongly rooted sense of place. - HERALD SUNCongratulations to this debut Australian author, Mark Brandi. This well-plotted tale lets the reader see how evil can be so pervasive and affect the lives of innocent children, but also how true friendship can alter your life forever. If you like reading stories that will stay with you for days, put this onto you're to be read list. - Read Round Oz BlogWimmera is a dark and melancholy coming-of-age story / murder mystery from a talented new voice in Australian crime fiction. Incorporating some iconic Australian elements, the story is like time-travel back to the eighties, capturing the quintessential rural Australian spirit of the time. With some very dark elements running through the story, it may not appeal to all readers, but I found it a gripping and haunting read and am looking forward to reading more from this author in future. - But Books are Better BlogThis book carried me along very quickly and I read it in almost one sitting captured by the tension of wanting to know how the boys handle the menace and what happens next. - ReadPlusWide open skies, hidden country lanes, spooky escarpments, baking heat and bone-chilling cold - Victoria's Wimmera district is ripe for use as a backdrop for a novel. - Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin