By: David Burton
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: University of Queensland Press
Published: 1 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9780702262524


On his first day of year ten, Shaun sees his first dead body.

When 16-year-old Shaun discovers a dead body in the lake of a quiet mining town in outback Queensland, he immediately reports it to the police. But when he returns to the site with the constable, the body is gone.

Shaun's father drowned a few years ago, and now his mum and the authorities questions whether he saw a body at all.

Determined to show the town the truth, Shaun and his best friend, Will, open their own investigation. But what they discover is far more sinister than a mining mishap or a murder, and reveals a darkness below the surface of their small mining town.


Set in a remote Australian mining town, one where not many locals are left, The Man in the Water brings to life the challenges of living in a very small and remote place.

When 16-year-old Shaun sees a body floating in the lake when he should be at school, what should he do? He goes to the Police, but they don’t really believe him, and when they arrive at the lake of course there is no body to be found.

Shaun is experiencing the beginnings of a relationship with Megan, but then her older brother Tyson goes missing. Shaun is sure that it was Tyson that he saw in the river, and things start to implode...

Shaun needs to prove that he wasn't imagining things. But how can he do this when even his own mother doesn't believe him? Everyone thinks he is seeing his dead father, but Shaun knows he wasn’t and he will stop at nothing to uncover what really happened.

Tackling issues of community-wide hardship, suicide, corporate greed, family and hope, this is an intriguing novel that will be best suited to teenager readers Year 8 and older.

Reviewed by Rob