Where There is a Will

ISBN: 9780645084443 | Trade orders please contact us here.  


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Surfing, amnesia and a search for self by Michel Vimal du Monteil

Where There is a Will Synopsis:

A massive cyclone swell on Sydney’s beaches claims a big wave surfer, leaving his long-term partner without a body to mourn. His four adult godchildren from far and wide gather for the reading of his will. A mystery girl from Tasmania joins them.

Down the coast, a man is pulled from the water and abandoned to his fate with a head injury and amnesia. He sets out on an odyssey along the east coast of Australia in search of his identity.

Will he like what he finds?

Michel Vimal du Monteil’s wonderful debut Where There is a Will is available now through Hawkeye PublishingAmazon and The Book Warehouse, and from all the usual places, including your favourite bookshop and libraries.
Where There is a Will is also proudly available at the author’s local bookstore: The Book Warehouse Coffs Harbour.

  • Where There is a Will RRP $26.95 AUS.
  • Delivery charge within Australia is $4.95 per book.
  • Delivery charge overseas is $10 per book.
  • Buy any 3 or more Hawkeye books and receive FREE postage within Australia.


‘A real page-turner! Would have been the perfect aeroplane book. I am very pleased that I purchased extra copies for my son and daughter. My son especially, will enjoy the surfing sections. A good Aussie yarn. I hope it is a huge success. Obviously, a huge amount of work went into this. I SO wish it were in French…could have been the perfect book for my French groups – short chapters, varied vocab, interesting locations, wide range of characters, heaps of action and, of course, suspense! It is certainly the perfect Christmas gift… My teenage grandkids will love it too.’

Lea, Retired University Lecturer.

‘This debut novel by Michel Vimal du Monteil will not disappoint. It is beautifully written. The characters (although not all likeable) and their relationships are very believable. Full of suspense, right to the final paragraph, I could not put this book down. A thoroughly enjoyable read, this immersive story would make a great movie.’

Françoise, Balmain, NSW

‘Compelling. Thought-provoking. Beautiful. The cover immediately drew me to this book—a great Aussie surfing tale… With an author name as intriguing sounding as Michel Vimal du Monteil I should have known the book would be so much more, and it is. Where There is a Will explores relationships: the bonds that link us, and those that disrupt us.’ Read full review.

Cate Sawyer, Author.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The plot is compelling and original and the writing is excellent. It was written with short punchy chapters which helped the credible story hum along and there was no flab (which you often see when writers are trying to show how clever they are). The hero evoked aspects of Don Corleone in respect of criminality and views of family, and of Jack Reacher in respect of sex and violence (neither overdone).’

Doug Galbraith, Retired Lawyer

‘I really enjoyed this book. Pacey, easy to read, it races along in a most enjoyable fashion, with good characterisation and plot. I’m normally not a fast reader but this one bore me along in an enjoyable speedy fashion. I particularly liked the surfing passages. I recommend.’

Charles Pelham, former banker turned international food journalist 

‘This weekend I had the opportunity to actually read this book and I’m glad I did. I’m a big lover of Australian fiction and this didn’t disappoint. It’s had rave reviews and one of them suggested it would make a great TV series, which I agree it would. I’d love to meet all the characters, they feel like family.’

Lisa Nichols, Editor, Woopi News

‘I received an advance copy from Hawkeye in exchange for an unbiased review. I can imagine this as a TV series, and it’s certainly one I would watch.’ Read full review.

Jackie Morris, reviewer United Kingdom

‘My five-star testimonial. An enthralling fast-paced novel with strong character development, descriptive writing, and a gripping plot. It nicely dovetails & counterpoints the mystery of the past life of the protagonist with the rest of “his family”. They all embark on a journey of discovery and self-discovery in different but interconnected ways. The character, landscape, and action descriptions are excellent. The seemingly coincidental interlocking of relationships and friendships dovetail nicely with the flow of the story. Importantly the plot drags you along anxious to find the answers to the many questions that are raised in the early chapters. I normally only read non-fiction but this work of fiction kept me entranced to the very end.’

Peter Donkin, Company Director, Sydney

‘Enjoyed this fast-paced book, which effortlessly captures the beauty and power of the Australian coast while introducing the reader to an intriguing collection of individuals grappling with a man’s disappearance while surfing. Book clubs will enjoy this read – lots to discuss regarding the strengths, flaws and reactions of the characters – each on their own journey, reconciling their place in the mystery that emerges. No doubt there will be an appetite for a sequel.’

Kathy, HR Manager, Sydney

‘Wow! I really enjoyed your book. Such an intriguing story. Your descriptions of scenes had me right there. I read it in one sitting – I had to know what happened next. Can’t wait for your next one!’

Jenny Davies, Retired School Librarian

‘Where There is a Will’ is a good fast-moving read containing brilliant descriptions of surfing big waves, big game fishing, and diving written by an author who loves everything connected to the sea. The novel is part family saga built around a mystery that keeps the reader gripped right to the end. There is something for everyone; a road trip right up the east coast of Australia written with a deep appreciation of landscape, thrills, and even a little romance. Highly recommended.’ 

John Rosley, Author of The Watson Conundrum, Tales of Murder Mayhem and Mischief and A Touch of Sulphur

‘The ocean arched its back….” This line in the opening chapter of Michel Vimal du Monteil’s first novel makes it a winning read at the beach – or on a clifftop because there’s a catch. The line is compelling and terrifying. A cyclone has whipped up the sea and Paul Lambert, a man whose previous life in the finance industry means he’s no stranger to risk, is out there on a surfboard. Paul is a Frenchman, living in Australia. Surfing has become his passion since he retired. Facing ‘the rising, bulging wall of water,’ he takes his chances with a mountainous wave. The next minute, he’s gone. Immediately, the scene changes to the fevered atmosphere of a New York dealing room and traders under pressure. It’s a clever, masterly start to a story that revolves around Paul’s disappearance, although the tale is equally about the value of friendships, people’s true colours, and their corresponding morality. A sense of Australia and its coastline is one of the novel’s strengths. Another is the poignant ending – a poignancy owed in part to the simplicity of the final, three sentences, as well as to the echo left by one of life’s curveballs whose quiet entrance into the story had come just a short time earlier. ‘

Nikki Barrowclough, Former Fairfax journalist, Walkley Award nominee, and author of Monsieur Frog.

Your novel was a very enjoyable read. I loved it. It made you want to get to the next page all the time. It would be a good one for our book club to discuss. When the library asks for suggestions, I’ll be sure to mention it.

Celia , 90+ retired GP

And from Celia’s daughter (see above quote):

You tell that fellow… send the book to Bryan Brown!! Memories of a summer at Palm Beach in my misspent youth 😀 Congratulations to Michel. Mother really enjoyed it… she sneaked off with it to get away from this month’s book club read.  

Julia, retired teacher

‘Last night, I finished reading your “Where There Is A Will”, which I enjoyed reading very much. Rob and Cheryl presented me with your book as a belated Father’s Day present. I thought it was a great story, cleverly written and showing an in-depth knowledge of surfing, banking, Australian geography, psychotherapy and matters ‘sexuelles”, as well as an extensive vocabulary

Hans, businessman, Torquay

‘Very much liked your book. Intriguing story; whereas I prefer to read historical biographies, I find reading your book interesting and particularly the ending….particularly that it leaves room for a continuation of the story.’

Werner, retired businessman, Coffs harbour

‘Where There is a Will is a gripping page turner with authentic and endearing characters. If you love Australia, family stories, surfing, food, wine and adventures, you will enjoy this book as much as I did!’

Antoine, Video Games Producer, Montreal.

‘Bonjour Michel, I got your book this weekend and I just finished reading it right now.  I LOVED it!  I am vey impressed by what you did!’

Dominique, Retired CEO, San Francisco

Emerald beach resident Michel Vimal du Monteil has published his first novel titled: ‘Where There is a Will’, and I hope it’s not his last. It’s an excellent read and I highly recommend it.

Neil Matthews

I used to be an avid reader but since starting my own business 6 years ago I have not finished one single book. I purchased this book recently purely from the cover. I knew nothing about it. I read it in 3 nights after long days at work. It totally captivated me. And then found out that the author lives 15 minutes up the road from me. We have been in contact and I look forward to reading many more of his books as he writes them. Thank you Michel for reigniting my passion for reading.

Linda Saggus

Five Star Rating. A most enjoyable read—particularly as a Central Coast resident and regular visitor to Palm Beach—which enabled me many vivid visualisations during many sections of the story. I was really torn by the fact that I found the book almost ‘unputdownable’ (as is said…) yet I wanted to prolong the time to enjoy the story so I deliberately stretched it over a week.  An engaging tale that I returned to each day with keen anticipation!

Graham, Goodreads Review

I’m in the middle of reading. So far it is absolutely brilliant. So so proud of our very own EB Author. Congrats Michel. 

Jodie Janco

This is a very good yarn that you’ve written. I do like the style of short, sharp chapters. Nice work Michel.

Peter, retired Accountant

Salut Michel, I started your novel this morning. Read 65 pages before taking a breath. A great yarn. Enjoying it.

Jonathan, International Banker

Michel, I had to call you. I love your book. I’m halfway through it. I have to work now but I wish I could sit down instead and just keep reading.

John, Builder

You can find more great Where There is a Will reviews:


Further Reading:

Meet author, Michel Vimal du Monteil.

If you enjoyed ‘Where There is a Will’ by Michel Vimal du Monteil you might also like:

Hawkeye books are also available through all good book stores and libraries.

2 comments to “Where There is a Will”

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  1. Sandra Steele - November 14, 2021 Reply

    Tired of the formulaic debut adventure novel which predicatably seems to have one eye on a potentially lucrative action-packed tv series?

    If so, read on.

    By contrast, “Where There Is A Will” by Michel Vimal du Monteil is a refreshingly honest, gentler, life-affirming tale, carried along by fluid and evocative writing. It skillfully combines a cast of contemporary Australian characters, firmly grounded in shared loyalty and memory as they grapple with the consequences of the disappearance of the family ‘godfather’.

    But this is no Marlon Brando / Mario Pucci Italian mafia vendetta tale . Firmly grounded in a vivid literary journey through the land and surfscapes of Eastern Australia, the challenge is to ponder how we ourselves might have responded to the disappearance of our personal identity. And how those dear to us might interpret our ‘will’ in such circumstances.

  2. Donna Gibbs - December 22, 2021 Reply

    The stylish cover is a fitting introduction to this well-told tale. ‘Where There Is a Will’ is one of those you-have-to-keep-reading-to-find-out-what’s-going-to-happen books. The author successfully weaves his considerable knowledge of financial matters, culinary matters, surfing, weather, places, dogs and human nature into a compelling story. The shortish chapters and the regular switch between the two threads of the story keep up the pace. A gripping read!

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