Recent Reviews

United Kingdom, Canada, USA
Review by: Karen
The combination of cars and girls makes absolute sense to me. Include them in a series of noir styled, dark and pointed short stories, and CARS & GIRLS from the Pankhurst Collective was both unexpected and an absolute pleasure to read.
Australia
Review by: Karen
A thriller set in what's becoming the familiar territory of Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan's status as a nuclear nation plays into the action in KILL ZONE.
United Kingdom
Review by: Karen
THE BOMB MAKERS by pseudonymous author Marcus Case is a terrorist thriller set in London, with the threat coming from a combination of ETA and the Real IRA. Which is a different combination for this reader.
Australia, Ireland
Review by: Karen
This is going to have to be another one of those reviews that comes with a disclaimer. I love Adrian McKinty's books. Although I will admit that it's always been the dark side, his flawed and controversial characters, and his noir stylings that I'd thought appealed particularly.
Australia
Review by: Karen
... suddenly there's a moral dilemma you're going to have to do a bit of thinking about. Which is exactly what a psychological thriller of this kind should do.
Australia, USA
Review by: Karen
If ever there was a book that I wished had been fictional, but am pleased Mori had the courage and conviction to write - this is it.
Australia
Review by: Robert Goodman
Gabrielle Lord, the godmother of Australian crime, proves in Dishonour that she has lost none of her touch.
Australia
Review by: Karen
.... think of this as less of a review and more a restating of the reasons why I was really pleased that Clan Destine Press decided to publish TELL ME WHY.
Australia
Review by: Karen
Whilst there's been a lot of books written about the various players from the Underworld side of the equation, this is the first that this reader can remember that takes that further.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
An unusual approach, and not just because of the fly fishing, THE CHILDREN'S POND wasn't at all what I'd expected. In a good way.
Australia
Review by: Karen
From the moment that Billy Hotchkiss hits Hell Corner on the opening lap of the Bathurst 1000 you can tell he's a man on a mission. That's likely to end up pear-shaped as everyone knows that "The Mountain" is an unforgiving beast.
Australia
Review by: Karen
THE REAL CHOPPER actually has a lot to say about the making of celebrity, and myths and legends. It's a particularly salutary tale when you look at what passes for a lot of "popular culture" these days.
France
Review by: Karen
Le French Book have released some excellent French crime fiction, translated into English, of which THE 7TH WOMAN by Frédérique Molay is already an international bestseller.
Review by: Karen
Loved this idea when I first heard about it - a set of fictional adventures for a real-life movie star. And one that even I've heard of!
Review by: Karen
OXCRIMES, from Profile books is a fundraising book of short crime stories with contributions from a strong group of authors - some of whom will be favourites, many of whom will be new to readers.
Australia
Review by: Karen
The second Lexie Rogers book from ex-cop Karen M Davis, it's interesting to note that we've now got a couple of female ex-cops from similar areas writing police procedural style books, although to this reader's eye, completely different sensibilities.
Australia
Review by: Karen
You'd be almost tempted to get people to read CHASING THE ACE if only as a warning about the sorts of scams and tricks being perpetrated in the real world. Doesn't hurt that it's an entertaining read along the way.
USA
Review by: Karen
A very assured debut, THE BONE CHURCH is a really good thriller. It is also a character study, an exploration of the human psyche, with a touch of history and a strong sense of place as well.
USA
Review by: Karen
The second book in the Nadia Tesla series, THE BOY WHO STOLE FROM THE DEAD starts out in Alaska with a sports journalist Lauren Ross in pursuit of the story of a mysterious young hockey player who seems to have appeared out of nowhere. He's certainly noticeable now though, having been charged with the death of a man in New York City.
Australia
Review by: Karen
A really enjoyable debut, A MADRAS MIASMA finishes with what feels like the lead in to book two. Hope that's true.
Australia
Review by: Karen
Not your traditional crime novel, ONE BOY MISSING is engaging, moving and sometimes discomforting. Love it when something like this comes along and breaks a few rules.
Australia
Review by: Karen
Reading the first book in this series - THE MARMALADE FILES - was a laugh out loud experience, what with scheming Foreign Ministers, dumped Prime Ministers scheming revenge and ... well you name scheming in recent Federal Politics and there will be a version of that in these books.
Australia
Review by: Karen
This is book that would work for Science Fiction fans, and definitely worked for this crime fiction fan. It will be interesting to see where McCabe takes this series next.
Australia
Review by: Karen
When you don't read blurbs, or avoid coverage of a book that you know you're going to read eventually, some things can come as a considerable surprise. Things like THE PECULIAR CASE OF THE ELECTRIC CONSTABLE being a true story.
Australia
Review by: Karen
One of Australia’s great storytellers: Michael Robotham’s crime fiction and the tantalising premise of his new novel. Full review / overview at Newtown Review of Books
Australia
Review by: Robert Goodman
There is nothing sophisticated here – the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad, there is a mismatched buddy cop element and Hotchikiss’ romantic interest is stunningly beautiful – but if you like that sort of thing, and particularly if you love Grand Prix, QUICK is a lot of fun.
United Kingdom
Review by: Robert Goodman
IF I SHOULD DIE is a confident and well-written debut. On the surface this is a Bill-like police procedural, walking the mean streets of Greenwich. But the heart of IF I SHOULD DIE is Trainee Investigator Joe Stark and an absorbing exploration of loyalty, duty and honour.
United Kingdom
Review by: Karen
...there was a lot to like about BANGKOK COWBOY, and a lot to look forward to in the next Mason and Dixie outing. Hopefully soon.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
Obviously one of the most commented on aspects of THE LUMINARIES is the size. Clocking in at 830+ pages this is not a book for fans of thrillers, or fast reads, not just because of its sheer size, but because of the dense nature of the writing and the story.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
There is a fabulous sense of place and character in this book. Conway is quintessentially Scottish and an old newspaper man. His time in the wilderness in PR seems like a bad dream every time he looks back, even though his return to the Tribune has him marked down on the pecking order and wondering about his future.
United Kingdom
Review by: Karen
Set in Amsterdam, AFTER THE SILENCE is a debut police procedural introducing, amongst a big cast of characters, Inspector Jaap Rykel. If you were looking for a single word to describe everyone in this book it would have to be damaged.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
The missing person expert angle is an elegant way of getting Rowe into all sorts of situations, and the style with it's lighter touch, and slightly wacky female protoganist is increasingly common in the mystery world. Which means that fans of this sort of book have lots to choose from, particularly with a more local flavour.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
When JOE VICTIM first arrived that question of how on earth a follow-up could be achieved resounded. By the end of this book, of course he could do it. What made me ever think otherwise? Not only is JOE VICTIM a strong follow-up, it's a great story in its own right.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
If you've not read any of the earlier books, ONLY THE DEAD would still work. It is definitely the book where this series starts to make it's mark. Although you do have to feel a bit sorry for tourist authorities in these sorts of locations. There's enough realism here to make you wonder what they're not telling you about "the City of Sails".
United Kingdom, Philippines
Review by: Robert Goodman
The Forever Watch is first and foremost a fabulous piece of world building. Ramirez manages to successfully juggle a number of science fiction standards and produce something startlingly original.
Australia
Review by: Karen
Never preachy, often funny, and cleverly balancing investigation, personal and teenage challenges, EVERY BREATH is an elegant novel.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
Definitely a great series for fans of something slightly lighter, yet not completely cozy and fluffy, MY BROTHER'S KEEPER is a really enjoyable outing which doesn't seem to suffer from not having read the earlier book.
United Kingdom
Review by: Robert Goodman
Italy is fertile ground for crime fiction. With the mafia, political shenanigans and corruption often making international headlines. In addition, it is a beautiful and colourful place with fabulous locations for nefarious acts.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
CROSS FINGERS is from the more thoughtful end of the thriller, investigative spectrum. Looking backwards into history might take away the immediacy of a threat, but it does give this author a chance to look at history ...
Australia
Review by: Karen
The sequel to Robert Schofield's debut, Heist, is here at last. MARBLE BAR picks up the life, and trials of mining engineer and extremely reluctant hero Gareth Ford a year or so after he was framed for the multi-million dollar Gwardar Gold Mine heist.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
From the author of Once Were Warriors, FREDERICK'S COAT is equally as surprising, challenging, moving and profoundly affecting.
New Zealand
Review by: Karen
Having never heard of the Wiki Coffin series before, THE BECKONING ICE was an opportunity to read some historical crime fiction from New Zealand that doesn't come along all that often.
Australia
Review by: Karen
FRACTURED is a thriller entry in the expanding local sub-genre of books that look very close to home. Set as close to home as possible, it's the story of Anna, her husband Tony and their baby son Jack.
Australia
Review by: Karen
Written with the distinct feeling of a movie treatment RUN TO ME takes the story of a young boy in extreme danger, and combines that with a woman traumatised and stigmatised by the death of her own young boy.
Australia
Review by: Karen
A debut crime novel from Australia, THE FINGERPRINT THIEF is written with the focus on the forensic technician. Not that surprising given the "CSI Effect" that so many people talk about these days.
Norway
Review by: Karen
The preoccupation for Scandinavian crime fiction of many readers is sometimes questioned. One response is to get people to read Karin Fossum's Inspector Konrad Sejer series.
Australia
Review by: Karen
Ever read a book that you know you should just absolutely love, and yet somehow you're not quite getting it. It's a bit like that feeling you get when you're invited to a party and show up in fancy dress only to realise that you'd muddled up the invitations.
Australia
Review by: Karen
Something about STRAIGHT JACKET could make some readers a little uncomfortable.
Australia
Review by: Karen
It's great to see police procedurals set in rural Australia that don't assume that everything's sinister and vaguely barking mad, and that reflects some of the dry humour, and resilience of both the cops and the locals.
Australia
Review by: Karen
Melbourne in the late 1980s, and journalist Peter Clancy is working for The Truth. Which, for those of us who were around in those days, in that place, conjures up a very clear vision. Booze, coffee, dodgy goings on and journalism from the... well extreme-tabloid end of the scale.

Latest Books Listed

Latest Blogs & Events

Currently Reading - The Bomb Makers, Marcus Case
Holiday reading thriller which was badly overdue, and a pleasure to finally get to.
Currently Reading - Broken Monsters, Lauren Beukes
Book 2 of the over the holiday's reading - not one for fans of cozies....
Currently Reading - The Sun is God, Adrian McKinty
I've had a week off work and did a spot of reading catchup - so now I'm doing a spot of posting catchup, which will be followed by a spot of reviewing catchup. But the best thing was a chance to read this departure from the expected from Adrian McKinty.
Currently Reading - A Murder Unmentioned, Sulari Gentill
Been hoarding this one a little bit - as the published date is the 1st November and it doesn't seem fair to get everyone excited too far out :)
Currently Reading - Happy Days, Graham Hurley
Sometimes you can only put off the inevitable for so long.
Currently Reading - Kill Zone, Harry Ledowsky
With hindsight possibly not a good choice right after a non-fiction book about the "war on terror"... a thriller set right in the middle of that territory :)
Currently Reading - In the Company of Cowards, Michael (Dan) Mori
If ever there was a book that you'd want to be fiction, if there could have been a reason for even less respect for the Howard Government and the purposeful devaluation of the political process... well.
Currently Reading - Claustrophobia, Tracy Ryan
A new book out of WA - there's something in the water over there.
Currently Reading - Once Upon a Time in Melbourne, Liam Houlihan
Should have got a lot of things done over the weekend. Couldn't put this down instead.
Currently Reading - Cars & Girls by Evangeline Jennings, Tee Tyson, Madeline Harvey and Zoe Spencer
4 novellas in one, with (not surprisingly) Cars and Girls as the central themes, although sex and violence also get a big outing.
Currently Reading - Quick, Steve Worland
Right, so I'm a rev-head and a massive fan of the yearly Mount Panorama race. So the opening sequence of QUICK not only appealed, it works. It describes the action on one of those mad opening laps like you were there.
Currently Reading - The Children's Pond, Tina Shaw
Another New Zealander writing crime fiction - this time set in Turangi, featuring the beautiful Tongariro River and fly fishing. Honestly!
Currently Reading - Tell Me Why, Sandi Wallace
Lots of disclaimers come with the reading of this one.
Currently Reading - The Real Chopper, Adam Shand
Over the weekend I found it very difficult to put this one down.
Currently Reading- The 7th Woman, Frédérique Molay
Have been lucky enough to read a few of the books from Le French Book - French crime fiction translated and they have all been different and really interesting - so looking forward to this police procedural styled story.
Currently Reading - Deadly Obsession, Karen M Davis
Second in the Lexie Rogers series from ex-cop Karen Davis.
Currently Reading - Chasing the Ace, Nicholas J Johnson
Having first come across the author when he was known as "The Honest Conman" talking on ABC Regional Radio - I'm going to take a guess at the idea he might know what he's talking about here.
Currently Reading - The Bone Church, Victoria Dougherty
And Sunday evening saw this book started.
Currently Reading - One Boy Missing, Stephen Orr
Still catching up with some excellent local books - it's so exciting to think that no matter HOW many good books I read, there are more piling up.
2014 Ned Kelly Award Winners
Belfast born, Australian resident, Adrian McKinty has won the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction for his novel IN THE MORNING I’LL BE GONE, newcomer Candice Fox won the Best First Fiction for her horror/thriller HADES, documentary maker and journalist John Safran won the best True Crime Award for MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI and the Sandra Harvey Award goes to Emma Viskic for WEB DESIGN
Currently Reading - A Madras Miasma, Brian Stoddart
1920's India, written by an author with a most interesting background (and a love of cricket?)
Currently Reading - Bangkok Cowboy, Ron McMillan
Spent the weekend in exotic places - firstly with the great characters in the first Mason & Dixie thriller set in Bangkok.
Currently Reading - Skinjob, Bruce McCabe
Yes, I'm reading a crime fiction / science fiction cross genre novel. It happens.
Currently Reading - After the Silence, Jake Woodhouse
New series, set in Amsterdam featuring, allegedly, the Dutch version of Rebus.
Currently Reading - Lee, The Crime Factory
Something Andrew Nette mentioned in Bendigo a few weekends ago reminded me that I had this book on my tablet, and I'd started to read it and then got distracted. So now I'm very pleased to be revisiting some of the earlier stories, and finishing off the few I'd missed.
Currently Reading - Surrender, Donna Malane
The first in the Diane Rowe series, read second of course.
Currently Reading - Life or Death, Michael Robotham
I'd intended on doing a lot of work around the farm this weekend. Didn't. Read this instead (if you're noticing this Michael - read EVERY word :) )
Currently Reading - The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable, Carol Baxter
The electrifying story of a criminal Quaker, a poisoned mistress, and the dawn of the information age in Victorian England.
2014 Ned Kelly Awards
2014 Ned Kelly Shortlist was announced by ACWA tonight at the Bendigo Writers Festival
Currently Reading - OxCrimes, introduced by Ian Rankin
A project for Oxfam, OxCrimes is a collection of short stories from some of the very best crime fiction writers.
Currently Reading & Cometh the Mini Series - The Mandarin Code, Steve Lewis & Chris Uhlmann
Follow up to The Marmalade Files, this book comes with some very good news.
Celebrating the 2014 Ngaio Marsh Awards with a giveaway for readers / supporters
The Ngaio Marsh Award are running a competition where readers around the world can go into the draw to win a personally signed copy of the eventual NM Award-winning novel. There are no geographic limits on the prize.
Shortlist for the 2014 Ngaio Marsh Awards announced
FOUR OUTSTANDING novels have been announced as the finalists for the 2014 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, which will be presented on 30 August following The Great New Zealand Crime Debate event at the WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival.
Currently Reading - Only the Dead, Ben Sanders
So far I've read the second and now this - the third Sean Devereaux novel from NZ author Ben Sanders.
Currently Reading - Marble Bar, Robert Schofield
I will admit to having been looking forward to this book immensely. So no pressure...
Currently Reading - The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton
Not going to pretend that the sheer size of this is not making it a rather daunting undertaking.
Currently Reading - Joe Victim, Paul Cleave
The Cleaner absolutely blew me away, and Joe Victim is a follow up to that book. Sounds good to me :)
Currently Reading - Where the Dead Men Go, Liam McIlvanney
Honestly, it does not matter how many books you read in the world, there always seems to be more that you should have read. Somehow I missed the first in this series so have some catching up to do.
Currently Reading - Cross Fingers, Paddy Richardson
I've been very remiss with Paddy Richardson's books - I have quite a few of them in the shaky Mt TBR which obviously needs a darn good re-prioritising.
Currently Reading - My Brother's Keeper, Donna Malane
It's been cold in these parts - so a good weekend for some reading.
Currently Reading - Fractured, Dawn Barker
Spent last night chasing bulls, ducks and geese around in circles in the dark and the rain - so it was a relief to get back inside, in front of the fire and read something that is actually much better than the blurb indicates.
Currently Reading - RUN TO ME, Diane Hester
Debut thriller from Australian based, New York born former violinist Diane Hester who now lives in Port Lincoln. Quite a bio :)
Currently Reading - The Purifier, Richard Osborn
An Australian thriller series of three books, The Purifier is the opening salvo.
Currently Reading - Frederick's Coat, Alan Duff
It is always a good weekend when you get to dip into something unexpected from New Zealand.
Currently Reading - Every Breath, Ellie Marney
Over the weekend I managed to get some reading done for a change.. thankfully the bull stayed in his paddock, the cats didn't attempt any escape routines and the Guinea Fowl (mostly) stopped chasing the chooks around in circles. Don't ask what the sheep did - you can't win all of them.
Currently Reading - The Beckoning Ice, Joan Druett
First for me, but fifth in the Wiki Coffin series, it's always a huge pleasure to get my hands on a book from New Zealand.
Currently Reading - Straight Jacket, Adrian Deans
From the "started this over the long weekend" list - loving the sense of humour in this book.
Currently Reading - Be Your Own Hero, Andy Burley
The good part about long weekends is a chance to do some reading catch up - and I've been trying to get this book to the top of the stack for ages now.
Currently Reading - The Murder of Harriet Krohn, Karin Fossum
A break from local reading to catch up with a brilliant series.
Currently Reading - The Weaver Fish, Robert Edeson
I've no idea how to describe this one, except to say I've been champing at the bit to get to read it.
Currently Reading - KUNDELA, Terry L Probert
Debut book from a local author set in South Australian farming country.
Currently Reading - The Fingerprint Thief, Carolyn Beasley
Debut book looking at crime from the forensic technician's point of view - with a twist.
Currently Reading - Thornydevils, T.W. Lawless
Have to admit that the references right at the start to the Truth Newspaper had me smiling.
Currently Reading - St Kilda Blues by Geoffrey McGeachin
The third in the Charlie Berlin series, which has been a) much anticipated and b) a one weekend read.
Currently Reading - No Witness, No Case - Bill Robertson
A new book from local author and ex-cop Bill Robertson - set in Melbourne and Heathcote. The area around Bendigo seems to be becoming crime fiction central in this state.
Currently Reading - Stalin's Gold, Mark Ellis
Book 2 in the Frank Merlin series, why didn't anybody tell me about the first book....