Latest Reviews

Cold-case detectives are everywhere these days, but the latest creation from Garry Disher, Alan Auhl, is not as straightforward as some might expect. Full review at Newtown Review of Books
Posted by Karen
Ted Lewis's Jack's Return Home, the book which Get Carter, arguably one of the greatest gangster films of all time, was based upon.
Posted by Gordon Duncan
Having now listened to the first couple of books in the series, I think I'll stick with them in audio format as the dialogue, the place names, even the thought patterns of the characters are quintessentially Scottish and part of the enjoyment was hearing it in just the right accent.
Posted by Karen
There's plenty to this plot, to Sam Andie himself, and to events around the time that he was murdered to keep a reader involved and occupied.
Posted by Karen
ABSOLUTE PROOF is a rare thing in these parts - a "did not finish".
Posted by Karen
This is an embarrassingly overdue mention of the second novel in a series which is going from strength to strength.
Posted by Karen
On the lighter than air side of the cozy spectrum this is a series that will appeal to readers who like a bit of self-aware silly in their crime fiction.
Posted by Karen
Hard going, with an authentic voice that makes it emotionally challenging and confronting, COLOMBIANO is well worth pursuing - even if the size is off-putting. This reads, feels and is telegraphed in the prologue as something this author was passionately driven to produce.
Posted by Karen

Recommendations

Ted Lewis's Jack's Return Home, the book which Get Carter, arguably one of the greatest gangster films of all time, was based upon.
Well paced out, populated by flawed but approachable characters, set in a location that doesn't feel manipulative or convenient, GREENLIGHT is about crime, greed, money, influence, bad decisions and human frailty and nastiness.
... this is good rural-noir. It comes from the place and the people that it's written about and it's got the authority, and the touch that comes from living in the world that it's describing.
Completing the AustCrimeFiction trifecta, my turn to read this excellent debut novel.
Cop-turned novelist, Nathan Blackwell (true identity hidden due to covert police operations) has written a debut novel, THE SOUND OF HER VOICE, which is intense, unsparing, realistic, brutal and will stay with the reader for a long time.
If you're a fan of any of Stuart MacBride's books - the Logan McRae series, the Ash Henderson series, his Christmas series (I kid you not), or his standalones then you will have hot footed it to the bookshop for this one already. If for some reason you missed it, then off you go.
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR reinforces the notion that despite being constantly surrounded by people, you can often feel alone. Deep suburbia provides such a huge source of material and is finally in drama fiction being recognized for that richness.
Where are the women here? They support, they assist – and they prosecute. Accused of raping a young woman in an elevator at Parliament, James is suddenly no longer bullet proof. His wife is no longer by his side. His government may no longer be so benevolent. Those he crossed in the past will no longer be silent.

Latest Postings

Book Review
You have to admire any author who doesn't just create a profoundly unlikeable protagonist but then grants them full permission to be as ordinary a human being as they can possibly be.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
A terrific thriller, FROM THE SHADOWS, is fast-paced and populated by extremely interesting characters embroiled in a clever story plot that twists, turns and sneaks around more than enough to keep the reader guessing until the end.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
I forgot NOTHING BAD HAPPENS HERE was a debut novel as you'd never know it from reading it.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
A two sitting read from 2017 Ngaio Marsh Award winner. There's something about this author's work ...
Posted by Karen
Book Review
It's probably not going to come as any surprise to find that DON'T LET GO jumped up the reading queue as quickly as possible, because every novel from Michel Bussi I've read now has been clever, different and intriguing.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
... not a straightforward history, romance or crime fiction novel, but a mash-up, and one this reader found extremely engaging.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
The re-examining of the murder of Charles Buhrman brings Josie and her family to the fresh attention of a voracious new content hungry generation who are keen for the thrill and less interested in the damage that was done to the two young children in the house at the time of the murder.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
The disappearance of Melody Chapa ten years ago was one of those cases that gripped the public. Though Melody’s body was never recovered, her parents are in prison serving time for her murder and the case remained in the public eye thanks to occasional ‘sightings’ and sporadic media attention.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
It is unclear why Burnet feels the need to play the meta-narrative games with his crime fiction except maybe to find an excuse to write novels in this style. And he does it well, crafting a crime novel that is more about the effects of a crime and its investigation and resolution than a crime itself.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
ALL OUR SECRETS is strongly voiced, has a great sense of place and character all round, and an excellent plot. It's an absolute gem.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
A policewoman's story of discrimination, bullying and harassment.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
A slow moving novel about loss; both its enormity and of how shocking it is to the grieving that life simply must go on, regardless of what has been unexpectedly and horrifically taken from them.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
The Student is fast-paced, dry as dust, gritty Australian regional noir. Full Review at Newtown Review of Books.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
This has been sitting on the to be read pile for way too long.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
A family drama / saga styled novel, with crime overtones, DAYS ARE LIKE GRASS is beautifully written. Moving, descriptive, populated by fully realised characters there is much in this novel that is thought-provoking, and profoundly affecting.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
HARD LABOUR's an interesting undertaking of an unusual crime and background, introducing an unusual sort of protagonist.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
THE SQUAD is very interesting reading indeed.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
I've jumped this up the queue because I needed a bit of a kickstart to get reading seriously again. It's working.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
It's been busy in these parts but I have been getting a bit of reading done. Particularly pleased it was this one, straight from the very hard to put down camp.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Books
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Book Review
An escapist thriller for your summer holiday, LIE TO ME will keep you guessing and wondering just who it is you are supposed to feel for – the missing, or the one that remained?
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Blog entry
The usual suspects took a back seat as first-time crime writers Fiona Sussman, Finn Bell, and Michael Bennett swept the spoils at the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards in Christchurch on Saturday night.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
THE LAST TIME WE SPOKE will leave readers thinking about consequences long after the novel has come to an end.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
"Now he must choose between exoneration and condemnation, justice and vengeance." Readers are all too often left wondering which one he gets to choose, and which one he deserves.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Really fascinating background into detection dog training and functions, with some very personal observations about the system in general.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Right on the money as he always is, Stephen King - with his co-writer son Owen King - addresses here a premise that is ridiculously and soberingly topical. What is it that could bring down society in such a dramatically short space of time? The withdrawing of the women.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
The bright shiny lives of Louise’s friends, ex colleagues and acquaintances are cyber surreal to her and the friends that were once vitally important in the school years have now become just posts on her phone screen. The ‘friend request’ received from a dead school mate rocks Louise straight back to those school days of fake friends, neuroses and crushing peer pressure.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
Each of the books in the Rowland Sinclair series is about as good as historical Australian Crime Fiction is ever going to get.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
Another from New Zealand - this time set in a small town hiding lots of old secrets.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Extremely readable, fascinating and very cleverly done, THE TWENTIETH MAN is unfortunately a bit of a rarity in Australian fiction - an historical political thriller covering our recent past.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
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Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
One from the more recent piles because it intrigued, and now it's really compelling.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Robert Harris has long had a fascination with the events surrounding Neville Chamberlain’s trip to Munich in 1938 to negotiate with Hitler. That meeting, which ended with Chamberlain famously returning to Britain waving a piece of paper and declaring “Peace in our time”, has long been seen as the epitome of the appeasement policy that presaged World War II.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
Other reader's mileage will vary dramatically.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
The second in Dorothy Johnston's Sea-Change series, THE SWAN ISLAND CONNECTION sees local senior constable Chris Blackie and his deputy Anthea Merritt developing their working relationship into something with more understanding, trust and respect for each other.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
When Kathy Jackson was revealed as the whistle-blower on million-dollar fraud in the Health Services Union it's hard to believe she couldn't have foreseen her own fate.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
If the universe wants to be particularly nice to us, it will make sure that A DARK SO DEADLY is the start of a new series from Stuart MacBride.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Paul Strom is quite the guy and supremely confident that he is the master of his own destiny. The man who other men want to be, and the man who women want to be with. As it turns out, not so much.
Posted by Andrea Thompson