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  • Published: 5 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9780143778349
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $24.00

Cutters End




A scintillating crime thriller, set in the South Australian outback town of Cutters End. A mysterious death on New Year’s Eve 1989 leads to a shocking murder investigation 32 years later . . .

SHORTLISTED FOR THE NED KELLY AWARD FOR FIRST FICTION 2022.

A desert highway. A remote town. A murder that won’t stay hidden.

New Year’s Eve, 1989. Eighteen-year-old Ingrid Mathers is hitchhiking her way to Alice Springs. Bored, hungover and separated from her friend Joanne, she accepts a lift to the remote town of Cutters End.

July 2021. Detective Sergeant Mark Ariti is seconded to a recently reopened case, one in which he has a personal connection. Three decades ago, a burnt and broken body was discovered in scrub off the Stuart Highway, 300km south of Cutters End. Though ultimately ruled an accidental death, many people - including a high-profile celebrity - are convinced it was murder.

When Mark’s interviews with the witnesses in the old case files go nowhere, he has no choice but to make the long journey up the highway to Cutters End.

And with the help of local Senior Constable Jagdeep Kaur, he soon learns that this death isn’t the only unsolved case that hangs over the town...


'Astonishingly assured crime debut. A pitch perfect outback noir, set against a vivid and atmospheric desert landscape . . . The book's explosive finale with linger with you for days.' Weekend Australian
'This smart, affecting tale owes more to Scandi noir fiction with its sinister twists and aching characters . . . a tour de force.' Australian Women's Weekly
'Past and the present collide to create a gripping tale of murder and intrigue.' Chris Hammer
'A tightly woven and utterly unpredictable plot that will keep you guessing and gasping until the explosive truth leaves you shocked. A stunning debut.' Lyn Yeowart, author of The Silent Listener

'A vividly described and engaging mystery.' Canberra Weekly
'A scintillating thriller.' Good Reading
'Margaret Hickey has hit the ground running with her debut, Cutters End, an engaging, well-written murder mystery.' R M Williams Outback Magazine

'Cutters End is one hell of a ride and Margaret Hickey is a brilliant writer.' Helen Fitzgerald, author of The Cry

'A pacy, atmospheric thriller that joins the ranks of Australian outback noir.' Jock Serong, author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket

  • Published: 5 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9780143778349
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $24.00

About the author

Margaret Hickey

Margaret Hickey is an award-winning author and playwright from North East Victoria. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and is deeply interested in rural lives and communities. She is the author of Cutters End and Stone Town (coming July 2022).

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Praise for Cutters End

An exciting new addition to the world of rural noir . . . Past and present collide to create a gripping tale of murder and intrigue.

Chris Hammer, author of SCRUBLANDS

A tightly woven and utterly unpredictable plot that will keep you guessing and gasping until the explosive truth leaves you shocked. A stunning debut.

Lyn Yeowart, author of THE SILENT LISTENER

I adored the ominous beauty of rural Australia in Cutters End, and the lovable and hateable (and real) characters. I loved the 80s scenes, when hitchhiking seemed like a really good idea. Cutters End is one hell of a ride and Margaret Hickey is a brilliant writer. I believe she will be huge.

Helen Fitzgerald, author of THE CRY

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