Project Description


BUY the book
29 June 2021
RRP: $32.99
ISBN: 9781922419859
Paperback,  384 pages
234 x 153 mm

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T: (03) 8695 9627

The Tribute

by John Byron

A serial killer is stalking through Sydney, hell-bent on recreating scenes from the Fabrica, the 16th-century foundation text of modern anatomy. The spate of cold, methodical attacks has the city on edge, but the serial killer may not even be the darkest player in this story.

Desperate for a breakthrough, decorated homicide detective David Murphy draws into the case his art historian sister, Joanna, and Sylvia, his wife. Unravelling the mystery of who is behind the killings pushes each beyond the limits of what they thought possible.

The Tribute is a subversive take on modern masculinity and misogyny told through an irresistible crime narrative. Dark and unpredictable, chilling but sympathetic, it weaves a tapestry of narrative threads  towards a mesmerizing climax that will challenge the way you think about everyone you meet.

Meticulously researched, hugely ambitious and superbly crafted, The Tribute is the most outstanding thriller of 2021.

PRAISE for The Tribute

The Tribute has such an incredible sense of place and some of the most realistic dialogue I’ve read – totally ripe for TV. I simply loved it.’ Jana Kontogiannis, Avid Reader

‘A spectacular debut … this is one hell of a crime novel, and refreshingly, the storyline is far from predictable.’ Herald Sun

‘Begins as a compelling crime novel, then shifts into something even more shocking and wonderful.’ Christian White, author of The Nowhere Child.

‘One of the best debuts I’ve read – inventive, layered and brilliantly written. The Tribute is a class act.’ David Whish-Wilson, author of True West.

‘A suspenseful and unnerving dissection of masculinity.’ Natasha Stott Despoja, author of On Violence.

‘This is no ordinary crime book, and there are no ordinary people in this extraordinary read.’ Readings Monthly

‘Crackles with a tension that is relieved by some well-timed dashes of black humour … The novel heralds the emergence of a promising literary talent, and could easily be transformed into a film, one that critics might well describe as ‘Hitchcockian’.’ Australian Book Review

‘A superior crime debut, multi-layered, richly detailed and utterly chilling.’ Australian Booksellers Association

‘Just when I thought the story was heading in one direction, Byron completely shifted gears, leaving me reeling. I wish I could say more, but to do so would give too much away. Instead, you’ll have to read this for yourself.’ Better Reading

‘Some crime novels do more than expose the guilt of the criminal. They expose the guilt in us all. They move from intellectual pleasure – whodunit? – to a metaphysical reckoning with human sin … The Tribute starts as the first kind of crime novel but ends as the second.’ The Saturday Paper

About the Author

John Byron grew up in Sydney where he went to medical school for a time before leaving in the interest of the public safety. He has worked as a barman, a factory hand, a help desk operator and a federal political adviser.

He now lives in Melbourne and works in the university sector. His writing has appeared in The Australian, Meanjin, The Australian Book Review, The Conversation, Time Out and Rip It Up.

The Tribute is his first novel and was shortlisted for the prestigious Victoria Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2019.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Taylor Photography