Author of rural crime thrillers, Sandi Wallace, is set to release her third novel this August.
The thriller, titled Into The Fog, was inspired by the mystery surrounding Daylesford’s three lost children.
The novel is Wallace’s third in a series of crime thrillers set in the region, which follow criminal investigations by Daylesford detective John Franklin and Melbourne journalist Georgie Harvey.
Although loosely based on the mystery of the lost children, the story involves figments of Wallace’s imagination and links to cyber crime.
“Seeing the monument dedicated to the lost children set my imagination off. It was the germ behind the idea of this novel,” Wallace said.
Her debut crime thriller, Tell Me Why is largely set in Daylesford, while her second novel Dead Again is set in both Daylesford and Yandoit.
“Into the Fog – my latest rural crime thriller – is largely set in my hometown of Mount Dandenong with action in Daylesford,” she said. “It sees Georgie and a few others from Daylesford lead a police-run camp in the Dandenong Ranges for a small group of Daylesford kids doing it tough.
“Franklin is seconded to Ballarat CIU furthering his ambition to trade his uniform for the plain clothes of detective when the kids go missing during a freak storm. He abandons his post to join the search, but the local crew are soon pushed to the outer by the investigating detectives.”
Wallace, who lives at Mt Dandenong, said she and her husband had spent a lot of time in the region as they have family in Maryborough.
On why she chose Daylesford as a location for her thrillers, she said it was due to her having spent a lot of time there and it being one of her favourite country towns.
“I like to show off places that I love through my writing,” she said.
It is important for her to soak up the atmosphere of the towns she sets her stories in, thus, she spends a lot of time undertaking research. While she was writing her first book, released in 2014, Wallace was able to spend time at Daylesford Police Station in order to inspire her work.
“That atmosphere then comes alive on the page for the reader. The times, culture and people really shine through,” she said of the importance of research.
Wallace will speak about rural crime thrillers at Daylesford’s Words in Winter Festival on August 19.