Australian readers are likely to still know Melina Marchetta for her breakout young adult novel Looking for Alibrandi (1992). Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is crime genre novel. But while it relies on some of the genre conventions it also manages to subvert some of them, particularly with its focus on some teen protagonists.
Ignore all the book comparisons as it doesn’t do this clever little mystery justice; it is all about the journey here and the big reveal is not the tantalizing part of the read. THE LAST ACT OF HATTIE HOFFMAN is a very satisfying read and deservedly one of the buzz books of the summer.
As the teen struggles to deal with both the mental and physical trauma, Jenny’s parents make the decision to allow medics try a new drug on their daughter that will serve to delete the immediate painful memories of the attack.
There is no denying Peter Corris’ status as the godfather of modern Australian crime. Corris took the American private investigator corner of the crime genre and made it uniquely Australian. Still going now after 33 years, gumshoe and Sydney icon Cliff Hardy is back in action for the forty-second time in Win, Lose or Draw.
What you can expect is clever writing and plotting, great characters, pitch perfect dialogue, some stand out scene setting, laughter, action, pathos, friendship, a bit of romance and a heap of enjoyable madness.
SCARED TO DEATH is the first in a new series from Australian based author Rachel Amphlett. It's a switch from the earlier espionage styled Dan Taylor novels, to a police procedural featuring Detective Kay Hunter.
You'll nip through this novel in one or two sittings; it is not dragged down by the minutiae of a police investigation (though there is a detective still working the case) and the speed and ease in which young people live their responsibility-free lives is conveyed well.
The two biggest challenges with writing historical fiction need to be overcome from the get-go. It is necessary to engage the reader from that first chapter so that they are not constantly running off to fact check. So the first challenge is adhering (or appearing) to the constraints of historical accuracy
The Whistler is John Grisham’s twenty-ninth legal thriller and once again shows that the formula which he practically invented in his early books – a combination of social commentary, legal shenanigans and fairly low key action that occasionally generates real thrills – is still working.
Sometimes a book just simply drops out of nowhere straight into the best of the year list with minimal fanfare. TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL is undoubtedly going to remain one of the best things I've read this year for a whole lot of reasons.
For a series that initially was only going to run for a couple of books, the Leone Scarmacio series seems to have developed legs. The Hit is the third in the series and leaves plenty of balls in the air for future instalments. Which is welcome as this is a series that has improved with each outing.
THE FIREMAN for sure has that post apocalyptic wonder (who will survive, how will they survive?) and does a good job of conveying the fear and confusion in one pocket of the world as it all goes to hell.
People who love the golden age of detective fiction, who, as Susan puts it, like to curl up with a cosy mystery when it is raining outside knowing that everything will be explained at the end, or who spend their Friday nights in Midsomer (a place which gets named checked far too many times in this novel) will love Magpie Murders.
Styled as a thriller from the legal world, CYANIDE GAMES introduces Peter Tanner - criminal defence barrister, widower, father. Very much one of the good guys, one of those that takes on a hell of a lot and seems to pull results together despite the odds.
Sometimes you just can't shake the idea that an author really doesn't like their characters much. Flaws and troubles aplenty are one thing - but weighing everybody down in a story with just about every possible problem known is another kettle of fish altogether.
NOTHING SHORT OF DYING is the debut release from author Erik Storey, which arrived with considerable fanfare. It's flagged as something that will have Lee Child's Reacher watching over his shoulder which clearly flags this is action packed, with a lone hero up against it from all sides central character.
... as the pieces fall into place it is clear that Maitland has had tight control on his overarching plot from the beginning of this series so that Slaughter Park is both a compulsive and satisfying conclusion.
'Watch out Jo Nesbo!' is printed in a bright red circle on the front of I'M TRAVELLING ALONE. It seemed like a rather brave claim to be making before starting this book, and bordering on rash having now finished it.
The follow up to a fascinating book Australia's Most Murderous Prison, AUSTRALIA'S TOUGHEST PRISONS: INMATES tells the story of a number of people in prison - for a change not all of the usual role-call of participants that show up in these sorts of books.
While Underground Airlines shares much of its messaging with recent books and films about slavery it also joins a list of provocative alternate histories such as Fatherland and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union which use crime fiction tropes to explore and expose their worlds.