Latest Reviews

THE THREE DEATHS OF MAGDALENE LYNTON is the first in a new series from New Zealand author Katherine Hayton, followed by THE SECOND STAGE OF GRIEF and THE ONLY SECRET SHE KEEPS.
Posted by Karen
Grattan Street's Colonial Fiction project is an outstanding idea, with 4 titles now available (Grattan Street for more)
Posted by Karen
Well worth listening to, especially if you love a lilting Scottish accent.
Posted by Karen
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.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
The Parrish life appears to Amber to have absolutely every box ticked. It just doesn’t seem fair for one beautiful couple to have it all.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
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.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
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.
Posted by Karen
You’ve all heard the urban legend about baby monitors being able to pick up sounds from nearby houses, right? Well, its all true kids! Can you imagine? But what if the neighbours don’t have a baby in residence and yours is the only one in the street?
Posted by Andrea Thompson

Recommendations

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.
It has been a very long time since Anna has been able to put foot outside her own door. But this does not mean that she does not observe life outside.
The good news is I'm so far behind with this review, that the second book in the series is out now. Which means you've got a series on your hands!
Leaping with confidence straight out of the gates, DEAD LEMONS has a cracking opening chapter that will stay with you for quite some time. You just can’t go past a man hanging over a cliff, hanging upside down in his wheelchair, thinking such dire and witty thoughts.
Author David Lagercrantz confidently continues his commissioned task of continuing the Millennium series, two novels in after the death of fellow Swedish author Stieg Larsson.

Too Easy continues an absolutely terrific series that falls on the noirish side of comic farce. Full Review at:  Newtown Review of Books

Chris Whitaker's debut novel TALL OAKS garnered a lot of positive publicity and a CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger award.

Latest Postings

Book Review
Some promise shown here.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
THE ASSASSIN ON THE BANGKOK EXPRESS is the second book in a series sub-titled "The Honourable Assassin", the first (with that title) released in 2015.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Whether or not this should be marketed as YA is debatable, but either way it is a great Scandi-crime novel that almost demands to be read in a single sitting.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
... weighted heavily on the romance side, with a tendency towards a showy style of descriptive text to reinforce the period setting.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
The verdicts are in: new Kiwi voices dominate among 2017 Ngaios finalists
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
Announcement: 2017 Ned Kelly Award Shortlists
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Ten years of two families missing their two children of course takes its toll. One couple survives the aftermath of the kidnappings and the other does not. So what will happen now that only one of the two boys is coming home?
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
Something very clever is being mined from our collective pop culture psyche here, and that is the fascination we have with the last person standing. Plane crashes, shootings, natural disasters etc; it's the sole survivors that fascinate.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
Jock Serong seems to determined to shine a light on every dodgy part of Australian culture.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
... while Gentill is returning to the world of Roland Sinclair, she has shown quite emphatically that she can leave Sinclair behind whenever she wants and go exploring in a wider literary landscape.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
The dizzy freedom of a night out without her young son has terrible consequences for first time mother Sally.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
Many years have passed since Dr Jekyll suddenly left London society. Lawyer Mr Utterson, seemingly steadfast in his continued assistance to the absent Dr Jekyll, has been busy making plans. Lasting plans, and they include a lady’s affection.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
BURN PATTERNS was a most unusual reading experience. Bet you any money, it leaves as many readers unsatisfied, as it does those keen for more.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Coming at an eco-thriller from the point of view of the activists, RUBY AND THE BLUE SKY is part thriller, part exploration of "celebrity" culture, and part do good chick lit novel.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
Started this one last night.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
Second from this weekend's reading pile.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
The Twentieth Man is an incredibly assured debut novel and Jones has delivered a pacey and original historical thriller.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
The potential here is undoubtedly in plot imagining - the idea behind this is very intriguing, the over-the-top action very reminiscent of gung-ho thrillers, with some good twists and turns.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
Really enjoyed the first of this series, Through a Camel's Eye.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Known for her Rowland Sinclair historical crime series and her YA Hero trilogy, Sulari Gentill delivers something very different with this new novel. Full review at Newtown Review of Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
In 2005, the Police and Justice Museum in Sydney had an exhibition of police photographs from the early twentieth century. One of these that caught the eye of author Pip Smith was of a man called Harry Crawford, arrested for murder.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
A vengeance styled thriller, set in Asia, PAYBACK tackles sex-trafficking and child abuse head on.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
When two young people go missing, it's first thought by the police that young love could be the reason why. Amaya and Kamal's respective families both had other plans for their future, and the control wielded over the lives of their children was both archaic and suffocating. Did the two leave their controlling families behind in order to map out their own lives? Or has someone taken them?
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Book Review
Well worth a look ... especially as a reminder that there is a world of difference between an autocrat and a strong leader.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Called to attend a crime scene in his own apartment complex, Wolf is faced with a cadaver that is nothing like he or anyone else in his division has ever seen before.
Posted by Andrea Thompson
Blog entry
A slight change of setting - moving to Tokyo and a book by an American Professor of Literature and author resident in Tokyo.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
I did some housekeeping over the weekend. The sort where you sweep all the books off the pile to be read and pluck out one that you really want to read. I did restack the pile again and promise I'm doing some catching up with badly overdue review books. But it was nice to get some tidying up done :)
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Hate it when a new book from a much loved series lingers too long on the reading pile simply because of competing priorities.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
One from the should have read this ages ago pile.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
In 2016 the unpublished manuscript of Wimmera won the UK Crime Writers’ Association debut dagger – now it’s published and we can see why. Reviewed at Newtown Review of Books
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
Whilst not "strictly" crime fiction this is a fascinating intertwining tale that had me up way past when I should have nodded off last night.
Posted by Karen
Books
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Written by New Zealand based author Cat Connor, PSYCHOBYTE is book 8 in the Byte series based around FBI Agent Ellie Conway.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
THE ICE SHROUD is a very promising debut fictional novel from New Zealand wildlife photographer and non-fiction writer Gordon Ell.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
This is another finely tuned psychological thriller form Robotham, with the psychology of its protagonists front and centre and firmly driving the thriller element.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
The unaware, vaguely idiotic central character provides a deep mine of material for any type of slightly tongue in cheek story-telling, and UNFAITHFUL UNTO DEATH uses the premises in setting up Dr Cyril Peabody from the outset of the novel.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Mark Brandi’s Wimmera comes with an impressive pedigree even before it was published. It won a Debut Dagger from the British Crime Writer’s Association while still unpublished.
Posted by Robert Goodman
Book Review
Slightly fuzzy focus as it moves from the gang behind the haul, the ecstasy haul itself and then into much more info about the Calabrian mafia.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
Interesting case, with a fair recall of the facts / conclusions left to the reader, not well-served by the authors constant pushing of themselves into the narrative for no apparent reason.
Posted by Karen
Book Review
This non-fiction book explores the true story of H Division, the punishment division within Pentridge Prison, Melbourne, that operated from 1958-1994
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
This has been languishing on the pile for Way. Too. Long.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
The best part about playing catchup is getting to read some very good examples of different sub-genres.
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
Another from last week's reading - to be reviewed at http://www.newtownreviewofbooks.com
Posted by Karen
Blog entry
Had a bit of a break from work last week so I'm behind with posting these. This was one of those books that I have been looking forward to, set in a part of the world that's not a million miles from home - then and now.
Posted by Karen