Automaton by Alana Woods

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    Book Trailer for Automaton

    A deep, intricate, intelligently written tale

    February in Canberra can be hot. Moisture-sucking hot. And new into that heat from Sydney and on day one as a senior solicitor with the ACT Legal Aid office Elisabeth Sharman is passed a case that sees her overstepping the boundaries of the client-lawyer and witness-lawyer relationships.

    Russell Montgomery, the accused

    A nineteen year old fresh-faced boy — just out from three years of jackerooing in Western Australia and driving across the continent to Sydney to surprise visit an older sister he hasn’t seen for years — becomes entangled in the senseless murder of a shop owner during a brief stopover in Canberra. A boy who is himself the victim of a severe beating that resulted in alleged amnesia.

    Elisabeth Sharman, his lawyer

    Delving into witness backgrounds she discovers everyone involved has a history of violence. Everyone, that is, except her client.

    Her instructing solicitor cottons on very quickly that she’s overstepping the mark and wants to know why. How can she keep him from becoming a nuisance?

    Robert Murphy, the instructing solicitor

    Wonders — given what he finds out about Elisabeth’s experience and track record — why this particular case has her derailing.

    Wonders — when she accepts his advances— whether he’s been seduced into silence.

    Wonders why he keeps silent.

    And wonders what the hell is going on, especially when the rumour is that Crown prosecutor, Queen’s Counsel Thierry Richards, is a past boyfriend. An opponent Elisabeth reveals having gone up against three times and won against only once. Is Richards the problem?

    The dead man’s family

    Antagonistic, evasive. Is this normal behaviour from a victim’s relatives? Or do they have their own secrets they’d rather keep under wraps?

    Elisabeth knows her secret will become known. The victim’s wife wants hers obliterated from existence.

    Alana Woods
    Alana Woods


    An exemplary novel by a master of the craft. Set in Australia it is so deep, so well written, so intelligently thought out and flows so smoothly that I felt like a participant and personal observer within the events.” John L Work, author of The Barter and Reckoning series and the JD Welch detective series.

    Great storyline, deep characters, action and intrigue.” Angie Russell, author of Love of my life.

    About Alana Woods

    I’m a storyteller from way back but not a prolific producer. It can take years for me to be satisfied with the quality of a story and my telling of it. And I don’t publish everything I write: my early works in particular will never see the light of day as I view them as practice.

    As a writer I took to heart the maxim ‘Write what you know’. My two published thrillers, suspense intrigue thrillers, were sparked by jobs I’ve held: Automaton by five years in court reporting and Imbroglio after several years at a weapons research facility. I’m working on a third, Dragline, corporate legal suspense, building on insider knowledge gained while working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Once that’s published I’m off into the great unknown, writing-wise, with an idea that’s right outside my comfort zone—and I’m looking forward to getting cracking on it!

    Visit my website and send me an email. I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how you like my books.