REVIEWS OF The Carnival is Over

Sherryl Clark


I love a good historical crime novel that’s set within a time I almost remember. It’s 1966 and Mick Goodenough arrives in Moorabool, demoted and depressed to be back. We all know killers often start by killing animals, so a dead, tortured dog raises Mick’s alert level, even though it’s dismissed by the other cops. A lone woman starts receiving weird, whistling phone calls and from there, the tension gradually racks up. Mick Goodenough has all the qualities I enjoy in a detective—intelligence, good hunches, and he loves his dogs.

Hayley Scrivenor

author of Dirt Town

Greg Woodland’s cinematic imagination delivers with this fast-paced journey into 1970s small-town Australia. This is a wild ride.

Jack Heath

author of Kill Your Brother

The Carnival Is Over is a masterclass in rough-and-tumble outback noir, with dry humour that almost covers the darkness, and heroes and villains who all feel authentic to their time. You can always rely on Greg Woodland to create the overwhelming sense that no help is coming, and no-one can be trusted – and to keep you guessing until the final bloody chapters.

The Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian

Lyn Yeowart

author of The Silent Listener

Greg Woodland has done it again! The Carnival is Over is a complex but tightly woven page-turner, full of expertly portrayed characters that are battling against an array of dark and menacing crimes…if they’re not committing them!…and interspersed with wonderful moments of kindness and humour.  If you love well-written Aussie crime thrillers, you’re going to devour this.

Natalie Conyer

author of Present Tense
winner of the 2020 Ned Kelly
Best Debut Fiction Award

The Carnival is Over starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. Woodland is unafraid to tackle dark themes and his books are a welcome addition to Aussie rural noir.

Loraine Peck

author of The Second Son

You don’t have to have read Greg Woodland’s acclaimed debut novel The Night Whistler to thoroughly enjoy his latest, The Carnival is Over…But (five years later) everyone has moved on and become better and worse versions of themselves, but their underlying complexities, strengths and weaknesses are ever apparent…the run through to the climax is a series of twists and turns helmed by a villain grisly enough to cause nightmares.

Robert Goodman

Pile by the Bed

The Carnival is Over is another atmospheric and engaging work of crime fiction from Woodland, taking elements from his earlier work and building on them successfully.

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Claudine Tinellis

Talking Aussie Books

The Carnival is Over is a hair-raising, heart-racing roller-coaster of a read. Loved it! I thoroughly enjoyed being back in Moorabool with Mick Goodenough, Hal and Allie.

Better Reading

Woodland is a brilliant scene-setter, and the dusty NSW town of Moorabool near Armidale is easily imaginable. His use of Australian colloquialisms and references to all things 1970s make this one gripping, and retro, read.

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Publishers Weekly, US

This enigmatic novel will disturb animal lovers, but its eerie atmospherics will enthrall others. Fans of Outback noir will want to check it out.

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Lesley West

“The author has an easy-going writing style and… there are many threads in the narrative. It slowly builds tension amongst the characters and leads to an explosive conclusion. This is a fine debut, a mystery wrapped in nostalgia for an Australia now long gone.” ★★★★


“This story has just the right mix of suspense and mystery, slowly building up to an unsettling and frightening conclusion. “The dual perspectives, with the disgruntled cop, and the young determined boy was an excellent choice and kept me on the edge of my seat to the very last page.” “This is Greg’s debut novel and he has really hit the ground running. With incredible character work and a beautiful backdrop, The Night Whistler is a standout thriller that completely engrossed me in Australian gothic goodness!” Read full review


Barry Reynolds

“…it is in setting the book in the summer of 1966-67 that really plunges the reader into unknown territory, a time when kids made their own fun … as did the adults. This is an impressive first outing, and one that we hope builds in a series.” 

Robert Goodman

Crime buff and former judge for the Ned Kelly awards

“Screenwriter Woodland brings a reality to this small country town – the corrupt developers, the racial tensions, the unspoken class divides. And the mystery is played out well, with Hal standing in for readers keen to point the finger and jump into action on the slightest of clues. This is an assured debut and is part of another strong year for new voices in Australian crime fiction.”
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Joanne P

BOOK RATING: The Story 5 / 5 ; The Writing 5 / 5
The Night Whistler by Greg Woodland is an accomplished debut that’s just earned a spot in my Best Books of 2020 list.”
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Fiona Hardy

“A tense, evocative trip into the past.”
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