The Accident by Katie McMahon

Article | Issue: Sep 2022

Good Reading dips into the first few paragraphs of new books to give you a taste of what’s to come.

This month’s book is The Accident by Katie McMahon.


Grace, Zoe and Imogen are three women whose worlds are linked by unseen connections to friends, family and lovers. In this psychological drama, set in contemporary Hobart, they move inexorably towards an event that will change them all forever.

The Accident is an insightful exploration of the ways our formative years shape us, the resonating influence of first love and the impact of social rejection set against the healing power of friendship.


Accidents do not simply ‘happen’. They are always the result of an error, either of an individual, a system, or, more commonly, both.

Key Principles of Emergency Medicine (2019 ed.)

The Wise let their Love be a Choice, not an Accident … Embracing You: A guide to life, love and you

‘It wasn’t my fault!’ Children everywhere And adults everywhere.

It was one of those unimpeachable spring mornings, the type Hobart knew it was pretty good at. The breeze was suppleness and pleasure, the sun obvious but unchallenging. Sandstone buildings shaded electric bikes, school kids scrolled TikTok on buses, and coffee blessed grateful throats. Behind it all stood the mountain, snuggling the little city into the curve between its forest-dim foothills and the wide blue sparkle of harbour.

Four staff members were on duty at the school’s drop-off zone that morning. They wore high-vis vests over office clothes. Two had walkie-talkies. Two turned STOP/SLOW signs with a nervous, responsible air. Who could blame them? Cars were bumper to bumper from the end of the narrow street. One STOP/SLOW error would have visited ruination onto many, many bumpers.

Everyone seemed pretty jolly, though. Lots of waving and smiling and mental resolving not to fuss about the little things. In that sort of weather, most of the mums even felt affectionate towards Sandra from the office – there she was, fluorescent-orange jacket neatly velcroed – even though Sandra tended to be hurtfully passive-aggressive if you made the slightest mistake with your kid’s photo forms or sports-carnival gear.

That day, it was Sandra’s job to harry (‘assist’) the children out of the cars, and check that the younger ones were right to find their way from the Rapid Drop Zone to the Junior Learning Hub. The senior school kids, of course, knew how to get to their classrooms. Sandra took the opportunity to remind them to put their phones in their bags and keep them there for the duration.

Sandra didn’t have a walkie-talkie, so for once, she wasn’t the first to know. In fact, she didn’t even realise anything had happened until she heard the sirens.

Sirens were rare in that part of Hobart.

Author: Katie McMahon

Category: Fiction, Fiction-related items, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Thriller / suspense

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Echo

ISBN: 9781760687175

RRP: $32.99

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