Killer Mackenzie, by Eve Martin

We drove along Sturt Creek’s main street, Main Street. (No joke!) If that was the main street, I hated to think what the other streets were like – if there were any other streets. I saw a Swimming Pool sign, so that was something. Sturts Creek seemed to have only one of anything: one chemist, one bank, one doctor, one supermarket, one milk bar…Definitely not somewhere you’d ever come for a holiday, so what was I doing there?

When her mother decides it’s time for a second honeymoon, Alex is shipped from London to Outback Sturts Creek to stay with the father she hasn’t seen for four years. Glenlea Farm is alien to Alex, who is used to city living in London. There are chooks, horses, spiders and even snakes to contend with. Then there’s her new stepmother, who is disgustingly pregnant , and her father who murders chooks and steals dogs from the local pound.

Alex is outraged that she’s expected to help out – feeding animals, washing dishes, even learning to ride a horse – but gradually she starts to feel a connection with her father and the farm that’s been in the family for generations.

Killer Mackenzie is a funny read for teens, narrated by the feisty Alex, who has plenty of attitude and lots to contend with. The book is not all teenage angst – there is plenty of action and characters who are likeable and, though humorous, very believable.

Recommended for teenage girls.

Killer Mackenzie, by Eve Martin
Lothian, 2007