Rohan Wilson’s new novel, To Name Those Lost, is a dark and powerful historical novel, set in Launceston’s anti-railway riots of 1874. Brimming with the grim details that evoke the poverty and hardship of the lives of the poor in Van Diemen’s Land — I suspect no human fluid goes unmentioned — it is the story of Thomas Toosey’s search for his now motherless 12-year-old son. The Black War veteran is dogged by Irishman Fitheal Flynn and his companion, the hooded man — and I can’t really tell you any more of the plot without ruining it for you. The writing is sparse and gritty, the characters are solidly evoked but always surprising, and the narrative twists are astutely managed. A very fine book, recommended for fans of Australian and historical fiction.
Rohan Wilson — To Name Those Lost — Allen & Unwin — TP — $33