WHEN my fingers ran across the raised letters D A I N T R E E on the cover of this book, I was drawn in before turning to the first page.
Annie Seaton's novel Daintree had me locked in to a story that, although fictional, raises many current social issues - topics such as indigenous affairs, the human impact on native wildlife, the effects of drug use and lack of medical assistance in rural areas.
Set in North Queensland's World Heritage rainforest, the tale is a light, easy read.
Seaton's fast-pace storytelling kept me interested as she painted a vivid picture of the environment and the type of characters that live in the remote communities of the area.
The author provides readers with a tour of the Daintree by means of clear descriptions, covering the threats, ecological importance, Aboriginal significance, flora and fauna, and climate of this unique location.
Through the story you come to appreciate the magical landscape and gain an insight of what it would be like to live there.
It is realistic as Seaton portrays the good and the bad of living and working in the tropics.
The storyline of this romance/mystery is a little predictable but it had me involved, to the point where I am considering a holiday to the Daintree to experience what the writer so clearly expresses - the beauty and biodiversity of the region - and hopefully a little of the romance that seems to flourish up there (well at least it did in this story).
Seaton may not tackle the troubles that arise in the book in any great depth but she touches on a number of modern-day problems that are of real concern in many communities.
Centred on the main character Doctor Emma Porter, a valuable and well-respected member of the tight-knit local community, dedicated to helping the residents of Dalrymple and also preserving the rainforest, the plot takes you on a trip with just enough secrets, intrigue and tension to keep you engrossed.
When Emma's friend George, a local bushman, stumbles upon something suspicious, things begin to hot up and become very nasty as the peace and tranquillity of the Daintree is broken by a greedy few who want to exploit the area's natural resources for personal gain.
The drama unfolds as the doctor and her mates become caught up with the sinister forces at work.
I can recommend this book as an easy page-turner that allows you to escape into the tropical paradise of the Daintree.
Daintree by Annie Seaton, published by Macmillan, RRP $29.99, is out now.