Australian Author Challenge: Life Or Death by Michael Robotham

The local Library was having a sale of some well worn books recently. Five dollars for a bag of books. Who could blame me?

I have enjoyed Michael Robotham’s writings previously and admit to a wee crush on one of his characters, Clinical Psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin, who is fighting both Parkinson’s Disease and a marriage breakdown.

Life Or Death is not part of the O’Loughlin series of novels. Although originally disappointed, this book grabbed my attention immediately.

Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for armed robbery involving the death of four people and millions of dollars which are still missing. The night before his release date Audie escapes via the prison sewerage system.


His only confidante within the prison walls is long time inmate, Moss Webster, who is removed from the prison by the authorities in the middle of the night, and is given the task of locating Audie or suffer the consequences.

Through Moss we learn of Audie’s history whilst incarcerated, surviving continual beatings and attempts on his life from other prisoners and guards alike, as well as the mans integrity and inner strength. We follow Audie in his pursuit which also gives us a good picture of his character as he interacts with people in different situations. We learn of Audie’s background through flashbacks, and by the middle of the book we are cheering Audie on. Go Audie!

Audie Palmer is not on the run, we discover. Audie Palmer is trying to save a life, and it’s not his!

This book is well worth the read. There are plenty of twists to the tale and the characterisations contribute to the readers need to follow the story to its conclusion. It is fast paced and the author manages to set the scene without being over wordy. Life Or Death reminded me at times of the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, with Audie Palmer as the Andy Du Paine character, and with Moss as Red, sharing many similarities.

An easy and enjoyable read. Now, when is the next Joe O’Loughlin please?



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