The convict era of Australia’s history brought to life by not one, but two Keneallys.
“The Ink Stain” continues the series of books set in the convict settlements of colonial Australia, with each one of twelve planned books set in a different penal settlement. The Ink Stain is set in 1862, Sydney, and again involves the two characters central to this series, Hugh Monsarrat and Hannah Mulroney. A newspaper editor has been murdered outside the Sydney gaol, and Monsarrat and Mrs Mulroney are sent to investigate.
“Monsarrat was obliged to solve all the crimes his superior chose to place in front of him. His freedom depended on his usefulness.”
”The convicts would have been able to hear the church bells from their third-floor hammocks in the barracks opposite. They would have heard the chatter of the congregation as they gathered for Sunday muster in the gravelled yard, in the shadow of the three-storey sandstone building engraved with the date of its birth and the name of the governor who fathered it. Monsarrat saw a group of convicts ing, in jackets the colour of the sea they had crossed and white trousers that would not remain so for long, shuffling off towards a day spent fortifying their ocean-walled prison.”Quotes from the book
- Limelite Book Reviews (Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts): “The joy of this series lies in its historic setting, accurate down to its uneven paving and the authors’ ability to breathe life into the everyday hardships of the colony (who really understood the difficulty faced of even a simple journey from the Parramatta settlement to Sydney town in those days?).”
Adaptation: The series of 12 books will soon be made into a TV series by the producers of the Dr Blake TV series.