The Betrayal by Y A Erskine: a scathing insight

This novel is well told, but populated by a cast of highly unlikeable, often misogynistic characters that, by the end, made me feel angry and unsettled. The scenario is interesting; its insight into police, media and political cultures in Hobart scathing. Whereas in Erskine’s debut novel, The Brotherhood, I felt I had someone to cheer for, in this I didn’t, not even Lucy, the cadet who instigates the investigation that forms the basis of the novel’s plot. Her behaviour, for a police officer, seems naive in the extreme.

That stated, I found the story compelling in the way that I find accidents and political scandals compelling. (I can take both in very small doses.) The book’s shortcoming – for want of a better word – is the structure, the consecutive points of view, a style which in The Brotherhood I found riveting.* Here it detracts from creating reader empathy for the book’s main character, Lucy, whose fate we’re meant to care for.

Another reader who reviewed this for the Australian Women Writers challenge, Shelleyrae of Book’dout blog, found it an excellent read.

* Erskine’s debut novel, The Brotherhood, recently shared the 2012 “Reader’s Choice” Davitt Award with Jaye Ford’s Beyond Fear.

This is Book 1 of my Aussie Author 2012 Challenge.

Leave a comment


  1. I have never read an Erskine title. Thanks for adding another book to the Aussie Author Challenge page.

    Welcome to the joys of wordpress – it’s a great platform once you get the hang of all the plugins etc. Your template looks great by the way.


    • Thanks for dropping by, Jo. I’d recommend starting with The Brotherhood: it was a truly excellent read.

      I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to linking a review to your challenge page. I had a computer crash earlier in the year and things went pear-shaped from there. I plan to add a few more reviews over the next few weeks.


  2. All good Liz – you have been very busy doing an outstanding job of promoting the work of Australian authors! Whatever form it takes, that’s what it is truly about.

    Perhaps this might interest you:


  1. Aussie Author Challenge 2012 « Devoted Eclectic
  2. A year of reading books by Australian women « Devoted Eclectic

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