It has been another great year for Australian crime debuts and Derval McTiernan’s The Rùin continues this run. Much like Adrian McKinty, McTiernan sets her first Cormac Reilly novel in the old country, aka Ireland. But her take, while still procedural, is more contemporary and less overtly political.
DIG TWO GRAVES relies heavily on a descriptive, languid writing style, full of portents and observations, internal musings and a lot of that angst, longing and regret. This will be a novel that works incredibly well for fans of that style.
Feeling very much like an advertisement for gourmet South Australia with a slightly incongruous crime fiction element (wouldn't that turn potential visitors off...) THE POPEYE MURDER by Sandra Winter-Dewhirst is the first Rebecca Keith mystery.
Lynne Vincent McCarthy’s debut novel Lonely Girl is a thriller with a bit of a gender swap. Gone is the femjep woman kept in a basement. Instead, McCarthy turns the tables on this tired trope and in this psychological thriller puts the woman in charge.
Only Killers and Thieves is an accomplished debut. Howarth manages to shine a stark light on a disturbing and often ignored aspect of Australian history – the systematic ‘dispersal’ of Aboriginal people to allow for the spread of agriculture.
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.
From this account it seems that Mollie Dean was a beautiful, clever, talented young woman who was keen to make a mark and achieve something in her life. Her life was taken from her in the most brutal of manners because somebody wanted to control that. Who did that and why, readers will have to decide for themselves.
Easy reading, with a casual, almost chatty style and an engaging central character, DEATH ON D'URVILLE ticks the boxes you'd want on something that's leaning towards the romantic suspense side of the genre.
RED HERRING is dryly funny in places, deliberately dark and sparse, and an absolute page turner. It's a combination of history, mystery and reality set in something almost cinematic in quality, with heaps of dark places, a few light touches and some extremely good characters.
There's much in this book that's confronting and discomforting, and it's not straight forward reading, but it's worthwhile reading, digging into 1970's Australian rural life, dysfunctional families, and adult behaviour that has lasting consequences.
Can you imagine? Another potential horror of the modern age. It IS possible for your house to be sold to another party without your knowledge. If there is a way to defraud and steal, there will always be an enterprising criminal out there willing to take it to the next level.
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.
One day the blackbirds begin to fall. Naturally, this is something of a spectacle and attention is drawn to the small Pennsylvanian town of Mount Oanoke. With this new focus comes the media and a visiting journalist inadvertently witnesses an encounter that is later viewed as something quite sinister.
The people that were with us in the trenches of childhood have the best understanding of what it was that made us our present selves. For two little girls who lose their adored father, what happens next is horrific and alters forever the course of what might have otherwise been happy lives. Or not.
Sam Grist has his intense blue eyes trained on his lecturer Kate. All that needs to happen now is for Kate to fall in with his meticulous plans. If Kate rebels or does not appreciate Sam’s efforts, there will be serious consequences for everyone in Kate’s life.
It must be quite an experience for an author to start out on the long cycle of writing a book about crime and corruption in the financial system, and then, just as you complete the manuscript, have real life intercede in apropos fashion.