The Bluffs by Kyle Perry | Review

Esther Hannan-Moon

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Content Warning: Mental Illness, Drug Use, Violence, Self-Harm, Indigenous Cultural Appropriation, Demonic Rituals

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Everyone in Australia knows how formidable the bush can be. And even if you have never stepped foot in it, you would have read about it. It’s imposing, suffocating like a bone-white hand around your throat, and your chances of making it out diminish with every passing second.

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For a group of high school girls, it seems that the bush was the real villain behind their disappearance in Tasmania’s bluffs. But what about the Hungry Man? The one that watches, and chases, abducting girls to never be seen again, only leaving their shoes behind, their laces tied in pretty, neat bows.

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The Bluffs pulls you along, sending you deeper into the bush, into the mystery about the disappearance of Jasmine, Cierra, Bree, and Georgia. With every chapter, and new revelation you feel that familiar urgency and unease – the kind you sense when you’ve strayed off the path. There is something more sinister lurking behind Perry’s words. Hidden meanings that are brought to the surface, he shines a torch on their true nature, a sometimes unpleasant nature – mental illness, the dark side of the internet, small town corruption and politics, appropriation of Australian Indigenous culture, and how a warped view of reality can shatter relationships and people.

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With a good serving of suggested supernatural phenomenon, Perry has taken us off the beaten track of the classic thriller and shoved us into an uncomfortable confrontation with our own powerlessness – especially with the punch that’s delivered at the very end.

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There are some trigger warnings that readers should be wary of such as mentions of PTSD, drug use, violence, self-harm, and demonic rituals. This book is not just gritty but wears the filth like a badge of honour. I highly recommend you throw caution over a cliff and trust that this book has a little bit of everything. Just don’t get too lost or the Hungry Man will get you…