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Publisher's Summary

A simultaneous release of the latest guaranteed best seller by Judy Nunn....

The power to love, the power to hate, the power to destroy human existence: it's a deadly cocktail. During the darkest days of the Cold War, in the remote wilderness of a South Australian desert, the future of an infant nation is being decided...without its people's knowledge. A British airbase in the middle of nowhere; an atomic weapons testing ground; an army of raw youth led by powerful, ambitious men - a cocktail for disaster. Such is Maralinga in the spring of 1956.

Maralinga is a story of British Lieutenant Daniel Gardiner, who accepts a 12-month posting to the wilds of South Australia on a promise of rapid promotion; Harold Dartleigh, Deputy Director of MI-6 and his undercover operative Gideon Melbray; Australian Army Colonel Nick Stratton; and the enigmatic Petraeus Mitchell, bushman and anthropologist. They all find themselves in a violent and unforgiving landscape, infected with the unique madness and excitement that only nuclear testing creates.

Maralinga is also a story of love; a love so strong that it draws the adventurous young English journalist Elizabeth Hoffman halfway around the world in search of the truth. And Maralinga is a story of heartbreak; heartbreak brought to the innocent First Australians who had walked their land unhindered for 40,000 years. Maralinga ... a desolate place where history demands an emerging nation choose between hell and reason.

©2009 Judy Nunn. (P)2009 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Skilful interweaving of fact and fiction

This book was a revelation: multiple nuclear bomb tests resulting in local Aboriginal people being slaughtered, men so close their hands were xrayed, young men exposed to radiation experimentally -- and all this ignored by England (continuing to use Australia as a colony) and Australia itself until many years after. I was a child in Adelaide, a city a mere 600 k away, where radiation was way over acceptable limits. Judy Nunn has meticulously researched these horrendous events in our history and reveals the complacency of decision makers (political and military), the trivialising of human pain and extinction of life in the name of research (as reflected in the attitudes by some towards Aboriginal people) as well as those who betray. She has interwoven her research with the creation of very real characters who have the courage to embrace life -- and convincingly places them in the political and social Australia of the fifties. This is an engrossing and highly recommended book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, shame about the narrator

Would you try another book from Judy Nunn and/or Deidre Rubenstein?

I have read several books by Judy Nunn, this is up to her good standard which I enjoy. It was almost entirely destroyed by the the narrator Deidre Rubenstein reading it as if it were a bodice ripper romance.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The history of Maralinga was so far from what it was portrayed by the government of the day.The least interesting/annoying part was the way the Lord from MI6 was portrayed as shouting all the time.

How could the performance have been better?

It should have been read as a mystery novel not a romance story.

Did Maralinga inspire you to do anything?

I may look up more about it on the internet.

Any additional comments?

Just because it was a story from history doesn't mean it's an historical novel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

Loved the merger of the historical and romantic story line which held my interest to the end

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karyn
  • Darkan, Australia
  • 12-02-12

Awake up to the past.

The start of the book isn't the way you expect but once you keep listening everything ties in. Two twists in the book that aren't expected.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A brilliantly researched story

What a wonderful story. It covered both fact and fiction. The characters were very believable. Not only a great read but the best history lesson I have ever had.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe
  • 07-15-17

Normally love Judy Nunn

I have enjoyed all Nunns books immensely, but this one bored me to tears. How much can you go on and on about a single bomb blast? I stopped 1/2 way through the book (about the time of the blast) when the press started on the post blast. Why someone would spend months writing a story about a split second bomb blast in the middle of a dessert, is beyond me. What a complete waste of time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful