Black Saturday. February 7, 2009.
Roger Wood is the cop on duty at Kinglake when the most devastating fire in the nation's history roars through the ranges onto his beat. His task is to defend his town against the colossus that threatens to destroy it.
And, over the course of one nightmarish day, that is what he will do. Even at the risk of his own life.
Even after he receives the dreadful phone call telling him his own wife and kids are caught on the front line of the inferno.
Adrian Hyland is the award-winning author of Diamond Dove and Gunshot Road. He lives in St Andrews, north-east of Melbourne, and teaches at LaTrobe University.
'A masterpiece of storytelling...The central characters in this special book emerge as Victoria Cross heroes in the heart of a bush community.' Kerry O'Brien
'What sets Kinglake-350 apart is its strong, agile storytelling - particularly Hyland's skill for weaving together small, telling details with big-picture concerns like climate change, weather pattern complexity, the failings of fire management policy and Australia's historical relationship with fire...' Meg Mundell, Readings
'Every Australian, both rural and urban, should read this book. Adrian Hyland pulls no punches in describing the harrowing consequences of living on the planet's driest and most fire-prone continent, and his account of the disastrous Black Saturday fires is a story of courage, dread and fallibility that will never leave you.' Cate Kennedy
'I've been waiting for a writer to look Black Saturday in the eye ever since the flames died down and, finally, Adrian Hyland's done it. In this compelling and moving book, Hyland has captured the character of a town caught, quite literally, in a fireball.' Anna Krien
'Kinglake-350 is about more than Black Saturday. It's about families and communities, the vital nature of ecology and geology; it's about the genesis of life itself. And while there are too many deaths in this saddest of tales, for the lucky ones the outcome was redemption.' Lincoln Hall
'Adrian Hyland has found a path through the smoke and confusion to produce an informed account that brings tears to the eyes of the reader. He has woven a selection of experiences into a seamless and gripping narrative that shows the courage, uncertainty, tragedy and stupidity of that day. Although the causes and lessons of the fire were explored in the report by the royal commission, this book will be more widely read. And deservedly so.' Age Book of the Year
‘Terrifying and moving... Kinglake-350 leaves us with a visceral sense of a harrowing event.’ Australian
‘Gripping and deeply moving.’ Adelaide Advertiser
‘As in the best fiction these characters will stay with you.’ Daily Telegraph