PERSONAL: Born in London, England; daughter of a race-car driver and a jet pilot. Hobbies and other interests: Long-distance car rallies.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Elizabeth Wright, Darley Anderson Literary Agency, 11 Eustace Rd., London SW6 1JB, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Competition driver and writer.
MEMBER: Crime Writers' Association, Royal Geographic Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: New Writer Award, Crime Writers' Association, 1999, for Blood Junction.
Blood Junction, Orion Books (London, England), 2001, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Dead Heat, Orion Books (London, England), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Another India Kane thriller, to be published by Orion in 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Caroline Carver is a London-born rally driver and writer whose mother set the Australian land speed record in 1957, and whose father was a jet fighter pilot. Adventure is in Carver's blood, witnessed by her record-setting competitions. Her first was the London-to-Saigon Motoring Challenge, a sixty-threeday, 12,500-mile drive made by Carver and her female codriver. When they reached Saigon, the team donated both the funds they had raised and their car to Save the Children. In 1998 Carver drove from London to Capetown, South Africa, and in 2001 she drove the Inca Trail, a 14,000-mile, fifty-five-day rally. She crossed South America with another female driver named Caroline.
Between the first and last of these trips, Carver began her writing career, first with travel articles, and then with her thriller Blood Junction, set in the Australian outback and featuring Sydney journalist India Kane. Times Literary Supplement contributor Heather O'Donoghue called the novel's opening "gripping."
In Blood Junction India travels to Cooinda because a journalist friend, Lauren, says she has discovered one of India's relatives. After India arrives, both Lauren and a policeman are murdered, and she is charged with the homicides. Her bail is posted by an unknown benefactor, and she is freed to pursue the real killers. Meanwhile, India discovers a fifty-year-old crime and the massacre of an Aboriginal family, and also learns of global conspiracies, a new biological weapon, and a suspect institute that supposedly tests cosmetics, as well as more about her own heritage. As she delves into the secrets of Cooinda, she is helped by Polly, an Aboriginal girl, and by Whitelaw, the police officer with whom she has a relationship.
A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that Carver "vividly renders the harsh Australian outback and candidly and effectively presents Australia's shameful treatment of 'Abos' (Aboriginals)." Library Journal's Jane Jorgenson felt that Carver "deftly evokes the claustrophobic feeling of a nineteenth-century Western frontier town." Booklist's Bill Ott noted that "this could be the start of something special."
Dead Heat, Carver's second novel, is set in Northern Queensland and features Georgia Parish. Her third is to be another India Kane mystery.
Carver told CA: "Writing thrillers is right up my street, not just because of my love of adventure, but because I've been scared witless a few times and known exactly how it feels!
"I started my first thriller, Blood Junction, when I saw an article on the stolen generation in Australia, where during the 1950s, over a hundred thousand Aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families and adopted by whites. Most of these children were mixed race, with paler skin than their siblings, and several things struck me about this. There was the spectre of genocide, to 'breed' the Aborigines white. There was the struggle of the stolen child being brought up in an alien world. And what of the parents of these stolen children? What would happen if a whole Aboriginal family went missing today? Who would take up their cause?
"The more I delved, the more possibilities appeared. I'd wanted a setting that would excite me and hopefully a reader too, and the harshness of the Australian outback seemed to fit the bill nicely. I'd stayed on a sheep station in the outback ten years previously and quickly dug out my photographs to remind me of the dry heat, the interminable flies, sand clogging the back of my throat. I am also interested in how a character reacts when they're in a strange place and caught in events beyond their control. Being a lover of wilderness, I like to use the setting almost as another character."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2002, Bill Ott, review of Blood Junction, p. 1929.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2002, review of Blood Junction, p. 919.
Library Journal, August, 2002, Jane Jorgenson, review of Blood Junction, p. 140.
Publishers Weekly, August 5, 2002, review of Blood Junction, p. 55.
Times Literary Supplement, Heather O'Donoghue, review of Blood Junction, p. 23.
Caroline Carver Home Page,http://www.carolinecarver.com (February 14, 2003).