I’ve just finished reading a really enjoyable novel by Thursday Island author Catherine Titasey. Even before it was published, it won a Queensland Literary Award for Catherine – as best emerging author 2012.
It’s called My Island Homicide – billed as “crime and court room drama meets island humour and romance”. It’s all that and more. Catherine’s first novel tells the engaging story of Thea Dari-Jones, a 40-something police officer posted to the Torres Strait, in far north Queensland. Her mum is a TI woman, her father of European ancestry. Thea thinks it’s a sea change posting and a chance to explore her mother’s heritage. But it quickly becomes much more – she finds love, and an intriguing missing person case that explores the challenging ground between Western style law enforcement & deeply entrenched Islander ways of doing things and seeing the world.
It’s fascinating territory, which Catherine has explored in real life as a lawyer working in Torres Strait, where she’s worked in community justice projects and seen the varied results of policing strategies in indigenous communities. Catherine went to Thursday Island 20 years ago for a short holiday, and stayed, having fallen in love with the place, and a local fisherman.
My Island Homicide is a really good read, and gives real insight into life in the beautiful Torres Strait. Catherine has previously written Ina’s Story – a biography of Ina Titasey, one of the legendary musical Mills Sisters.