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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  679 ratings  ·  117 reviews

After a puzzling death in the wild bushlands of Australia, detective Dana Russo has just hours to interrogate the prime suspect - a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who disappeared without trace 15 years earlier.

But where has he been? Why won't he talk? And exactly how dangerous is he? W
Kindle Edition, 340 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Headline (first published 2020)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  679 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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This is an unusual, dark, intense and claustrophobic Aussie outback crime story from SR White, that explores the developing psychological relationship of two emotionally damaged individuals, Detective Dana Russo and a murder suspect, Nathan Whittler. It begins with the murder of Jensen's Grocery Store owner, Lou Cassevette, stabbed to death in the early hours of the morning, after he had stayed on overnight in his business to catch a burglar stealing some of his stock. When the police arrive on ...more
Carolyn Walsh
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars.
This was a superior psychological drama, police, procedural, and character-driven mystery. While it starts out slowly, the suspense and tension intensify. S.R. White has written a riveting story set in small-town Australia. It is claustrophobic as most of the scenes take place in an interrogation room at police headquarters or at the scene of the crime. It lacks a strong sense of place. This debut should place the author in the league of recent new and popular Australian writers of d

Detective Dana Russo was on a day off when she was contacted to be primary on a murder case which would prove to be the biggest challenge of her career. The owner of a local supermarket had been killed in the early hours, with their suspect discovered leaning over the body with blood on his hands. Dana had until the following morning to get all the answers – perhaps even a confession – from the person they were sure was the perpetrator. But the suspect was so off the grid it was as if he di
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
I love a good Aussie crime story and Hermit definitely fit the bill. It was a slower paced book than I am used to, and it did take a while for me to become engrossed in the plot. It was very character driven, and the 2 main characters where fascinating in different ways. I hope that there will be another book with Detective Dana Russo where we can delve into he past more.

A local shop owner has been murdered in his store, and the suspect is found standing over him when police arrive. Open and shu
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed on

In an outback town in Australia, shop owner Lou Cassavette has been stabbed to death. The officers first on the scene believe the man that was found leaning over the body on their arrival is the killer, Nathan Whittler.

Detective Dana Russo has been called in on her day off to handle the case and interview Nathan. They need him to confess to the murder before he asks for a lawyer and their short time to keep him is up. Trouble is Nathan is a hermit who we
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
“Hermit” drew me in from the first chapter, in one huge literary swirl of intrigue, curiosity and atmospheric detail.
Detective Dana Russo has just twelve hours to question a prime suspect in the bewildering death of a shopkeeper. However, the silent and introvert Nathan Whittler, who was found leaning over the body at the scene of the crime, vanished fifteen years ago and has lived his later life as a reclusive hermit. Why did he disappear? Just how dangerous is he and can Dana, during some int
Liz Barnsley
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hermit was exactly the kind of novel I love to unexpectedly come across- there have been some amazing reads coming out of Australia, it seems to be a trend and long may it continue.

S R White's "Hermit" is a claustrophobic piece of noir, set as it is for the most part in small, intense settings. One murder. One suspect. One trauma fuelled detective and a literary game of cat and mouse ensues...

This is a slow burn of a delight to read- it plays on our perceptions of what we need to be human whils
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Australian outback can be a beautiful place. Both idyllic and majestic in its scope, but it can also bear a sinister side that is explored in former British police officer and now Queensland native S.R. White's debut novel. Detective Dana Russo stands at the top of a cliff contemplating how easy it would be to commit suicide when a call comes in. It is her responsibility to look into the murder of a local shop owner, Lou Cassavette in a small outback town. The main suspect is a man called Na ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taking place over the course of a mere 12 hours, Hermit introduces Detective Dana Russo who must unravel the mystery surrounding the stabbing murder of local Jenson’s shopkeeper Lou Cassevette in rural Australia. Nathan Whittler, the prime suspect, must be interrogated at Carlton police station but Dana is finding this an almost impossible task given the man has been living off the grid for quite a while and appears to have become extremely socially awkward due to this. Fifteen years without hum ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Headline for a review copy of Hermit, a stand-alone thriller set in rural Australia.

Detective Dana Russo is having a day off when she is called in for a murder case. Nathan Whittler has been found standing over the dead body of shop owner Lou Cassavette in his shop, but with no weapon and minimal traces of blood on him it is up to Dana to discover what happened.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hermit which is an intriguing read and strangely compulsive when the bulk of it
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

3.5 stars

‘I mean, look here: no hesitation marks and just one stab. And the trajectory, straight between the ribs and into the heart.’ She looked up. ‘That sounds a little slick for an apparent hermit who didn’t take a weapon along, don’t you think?’

A murder, a disappearance and a baffling crime defines S.R. White’s novel, Hermit. A slow burn psychological thriller that takes you one way and then another, Hermit will challenge the mind of any astute crime th
The events in the book take place over a day giving it an almost real-time feel. But it’s not just any old day. For Dana Russo, it’s “the Day”, the anniversary of something the nature of which the reader can only guess at but immediately senses was traumatic.

Much of the book is given over to the interview sessions between Dana and chief suspect for the murder, Nathan Whittler. The reader really gets a sense of being in the interview room alongside them.  It’s claustrophobic and filled with tensi
Rachel Hall
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hermit is a superior debut and a psychological suspense novel that is less a crime novel and more a painstakingly crafted and emotive character study. Darkly claustrophobic and broodingly intense from the get-go, the entire story unfolds over the course of a twelve hour day in a small town in rural Australia. For introverted Detective Dana Russo the day begins with her contemplating whether to live or die and once again holding herself to account on the anniversary of the two traumatic events th ...more
I can't decide on a rating for this book. I'm not really a fan of star ratings anyway but this one has got me thinking. It's not out until Sept but I have lost all track of time and wanted to get a short review in now.

The opening is pretty great. Slammed right into the case, the crime scene of a shop owner knifed to death in his store. The suspect leaning over him. A clear cut case of guilt right? Turns out when this man is taken to the police station and then the questions begin. But before tha
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5* —> 4*

Character-driven, claustrophobic slow-burner.
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime fans
Shelves: aussie-books, crime
A man caught over a dead body at a shop break in. The police have limited time to question the suspect who disappeared fifteen years earlier without a trace. A police detective who has secrets of her own, as the two characters and their stories metamorphose and the tension builds. Another new voice in Australian crime fiction has arrived, with a intensity and reckoning to behold. Highly recommended and 4 stars.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. A promising beginning but downhill from there. I kept reading to see if it would improve- but it didn’t. It is obvious that the author has experience in policing but this was not enough to create a page turning procedural novel.
Tonile {My Cup and Chaucer}
Ohhh I don’t know how I feel about this book. If you’re more about the journey than the destination, then you might rate this book higher—the journey is some of the most compelling, tense crime fiction I’ve read in years. However if you weight the destination heavily, you may experience more of the frustration I felt at the end of S. R. White’s debut novel Hermit.

With a very limited cast of characters in Hermit, S. R. White has written two fascinating leads. In fact, if Hermit was ever adapted
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, wrong-blurb
Did the marketing people just add the back cover blurb to say "wild bushlands of Australia" to match the endorsement from Australian author Chris Hammer on the cover to appeal to Aussie readers and/or jump on the Aussie bush noir bandwagon?

As an Australian and crime novel reader, I can confidently say the author writes as though he has no idea about life in regional Australia. Root vegetables in cellars? Medical examiners office? the woods? the place names? the scale of facilities? The basic pl
Jay Dwight
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding read and a late contender for my favourite book of 2020.

Whilst ultimately a crime novel, this is more psychological drama. Although all the events happen within about 12 hours, it is not a fast paced novel. This one is about the journey, not the destination and outcome.

Two brilliant lead characters. Detective Dana Russo, who is battling her own demons on this day of all days, an anniversary of past traumatic events. And our "Hermit", Nathan Whittler, a man who has been off the grid
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: proof-arc
4.5 stars. A brooding mystery set in a small Australian town. After a murder at the local store Detective Dana Russo has just twelve hours to interrogate Nathan Whittler, the main suspect. When Dana delves into his background she learns about his horrific past and why he has felt the need to hide away from the world for the past fifteen years.

Now I usually really don’t gel with police procedurals, can’t put my finger on why but I love any stories set in Australia which is why I was interested in
I'm finding it difficult to describe this book. It took me a little while to get into it- but that might not have been the books fault. I didn't find myself longing to continue reading until closer to the end. I'm glad it ended differently than I imagined and that's why I'm going it 3 stars. But I don't think I would be in a hurry to recommend everyone read it. ...more
1.5 stars rounded up

I almost DNF'd this book so many times, but I though if I stick with it, if I just persevere, it would have to get better! How wrong I was.

This book was essentially one longggg interview with one suspect in a homicide investigation. The catch? The suspect has been missing for 15 years and noone knows where he has been- a cool premise. Except that is it, nothing else happens. No twists. No turns. Just a long interview...

The author uses so much foreshadowing, and starts to bu
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Hermit is a gripping crime fiction debut from ex UK police officer, now Queensland resident, S.R. White.

In the early hours of the morning, Detective Dana Russo is called to the scene of a murder. A suspect is already in custody, having been found standing over the body, but other than offering his name and declining the services of a lawyer, the man, Nathan Whittler, is reluctant to talk. While her team does their due diligence investigating alternate possibilities, Dana has twelve hours to get
Kelly Van Damme
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirty-five-year-old shopkeeper Lou Cassavette is stabbed to death and a suspect is apprehended. However, Nathan Whittler is no ordinary suspect. He is strange, aloof, silent. Detective Dana Russo is the one who is supposed to crack this extremely tough nut, but at the moment of Lou’s death, Dana was actually contemplating death herself, considering the possibility that today might be the Day she eats her own gun.

What ensues might be called a police procedural but not quite in the usual manner.
John Reid
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An apology, first, to a pair of crime-writing heroines, Val McDermid and, especially, the early Minette Walters. Hermit by S.R. White is perhaps the best crime story I’ve read. Except it isn’t a crime story in a generally acknowledged sense. A crime has been committed, certainly, but the crime itself is little more than catalyst to the investigation that follows.

Nathan Whittler is found crouched over a body in an isolated general store, plastic bags on his feet and with blood on his hands despit
Hayley (meet_me_at_the_library)
3.5 rounded up

I absolutely loved the premise of this one when I first read it—a guy disappears without a trace for 15 years and then shows up at the scene of a murder with the victims blood all over his hands. It ended up being a slightly slower read than I was expecting—I thought it was a thriller but it was more of a police procedural—but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Sometimes the dialogue grated on me a bit and I wish that both of the storylines had been resolved fully (one was left a
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
This is a well written debut novel.

We are introduced to Detective Dana Russo who is on the case of the murder of Lou a store owner. A suspect,Nathan, is found near the body. Nathan has been missing for fifteen years and he’s not talking. Why has he been away? Why is he not talking?

I thought this had a great storyline with some interesting characters.

I’m looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Sue Frances
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gift, hardback
After a puzzling death in the wild bushlands of Australia, detective Dana Russo has just hours to interrogate the prime suspect - a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who disappeared without trace 15 years earlier.
Hermit is very much based on the relationship between Detective Dana Russo and Nathan Whittler, the hermit. Slow to start but picks up speed as the police procedures, mainly focusing on the interview, begins. A highly original story!
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S.R. White worked for a UK police force for twelve years, before returning to academic life and taking an MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University. He now lives in Queensland, Australia.

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