All That’s Left Unsaid
By Tracey Lien
There were a dozen witnesses to Denny Tran’s brutal murder in a busy Sydney restaurant. So how come no one saw anything?
‘Just let him go.’ Those are words Ky Tran will forever regret. The words she spoke when her parents called to ask if they should let her younger brother Denny out to celebrate his high school graduation. That night in 1996, Denny – optimistic, guileless, brilliant Denny – is brutally murdered inside a busy restaurant in Cabramatta, a Sydney suburb facing violent crime, an indifferent police force, and the worst heroin epidemic in Australian history.
Returning home for the funeral, Ky learns that the police are stumped by her brother’s case: several people were at Lucky 8 restaurant when Denny died, but each of the bystanders claim to have seen nothing.
As an antidote to grief and guilt, Ky is determined to track down the witnesses herself. With each encounter, she peels away another layer of the place that shaped her and Denny,exposing the trauma and seeds of violence that were planted well before that fateful celebration dinner: by colonialism, by the war in Vietnam,and by the choices they’ve all made to survive.
Tracey Lien’s extraordinary debut is at once heart-pounding and heart-rending as it pulls apart the intricate bonds of friendship, family, culture and community that produced a devastating crime. Combining evocative family drama and gripping suspense, All That’s Left Unsaid is both a study of the effects of inherited trauma and social discrimination, and a compulsively readable literary thriller that expertly holds the reader in its grip until the final page.
‘An unforgettable debut, utterly compelling from start to finish. Original. Heartbreaking. Gripping. I just loved it!’ Liane Moriarty
‘While the mystery is compelling, like the richest literary crime fiction, this story has broader ambitions than revealing who did it . . . Poignant and impeccable storytelling’ Oprah Daily
‘An extraordinary work of Australian literature about who we are as a nation. This book deserves to be a classic in our literary canon. Profoundly moving, riveting, tender and heartbreaking. What a read. Tracey Lien is a major new voice in our literary landscape and I can’t wait to read what she writes next. Bravo’ Nikki Gemmell
About the author:
Tracey Lien is the author of the debut novel All That’s Left Unsaid. Born and raised in South Western Sydney, Australia, she earned her MFA at the University of Kansas and was previously a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. See more about Tracey at traceylien.com.