I started off doing this one by one - got the first one documented and since then have been absymal in keeping up - so without further ado - the ENTIRE list:
Best Series Revisit - Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall - their entire series is being re-released by Harper Perenniel and it's an absolute joy to go back and reread books which are just as good now as they were when first published. If you've not read any of the books from this breakthrough Swedish series - then head off to the bookshop / library! If you have - this re-released series is a ripper because it includes interviews with Maj, introductions from a stunning range of current day writers - all of whom have been influenced by these books, and other bits and pieces to enhance the stories.
*** Favourite Local Books of 2007
Diamond Dove, Adrian Hyland - already mentioned, I read this back in January 2007 and I knew then that I'd read one of my favourites for the year. Great / strong female voice with such amazing cultural awareness, this has got to be a mandatory book for anyone who wants to know something of the reality of outback Australian life. It's a journey book, with a crime. Whatever else you do - read this. It'll provide you with a significantly clearer view of Australia - the sensibilities and sensitivities of those outback communities. And it's laugh out loud funny in places - particularly if you have just ever so slightly an inkling of the real locations behind the fictional names.
Chain of Evidence - Garry Disher. Best of the series so far for me - for some reason this one just clicked. Shared central focus between Hal Challis and Ellen Destry that really worked. Good couple of main threads, touching, evocative, strong.
Sucked In, Shane Maloney. Now I normally like this series as a bit of a meander through the murk of political life, but there's something a bit more in this outing. There was even a touch of poignancy in this one.
The Killing Hour, Paul Cleave. Twisting, turning, fabulously creepy - great second book from NZ Author.
The Low Road, Chris Womersley. Fabulously bleak and hopeless.
Redback, Lindy Cameron. Great thriller with good character development and strong central female characters.
El Dorado, Dorothy Porter. Crime fiction in verse - good crime fiction in verse what's more to the point.
*** Other Locations Favourites for 2007
Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist. Well you knew I'd be pushing this barrow so just shut up and read it. Magnificent, lyrical, touching, tremendous book about crime, punishment, vengeance, bullying and childhood and love.
The Bullet Trick, Louise Welsh. I love quirky and Louise Welsh does the unexpected better than most.
Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand, Fred Vargas. Same reason as above - quirky, her central character is a marvellous study in individualism.
The Death of Dalziel, Reginald Hill. In my eyes even Mr Hill's lesser books are greater than others. I loved this one simply because the worry didn't let up all the way through the book and I'm still not 100% comfortable with what lies ahead.
Broken Skin, Stuart MacBride. Get this bloke to write another 30 or so books and he could be in danger of knocking Mr Hill off my pedestal.
Ice Moon, Jan Costin Wagner. Unbelievably moving.
Cross, Ken Bruen. You have to ask? But seriously there's some change in Jack and it seems to be so stark in Cross.
Crow Stone, Jenni Mills. Debut book - very engaging voice to it.
The End of Mr Y, Scarlett Thomas. I can't decide if I'm recently more drawn to the slightly weird end of the spectrum or if this has been a latent tendency less documented. Either way - weird, compelling book about somebody wanting to live in a book.
The Bethlehem Murders, Matt Beynon Rees. Great central character, different viewpoint, tremendous book.
Black Man, Richard Morgan. Science Fiction thriller.
Emily Tempest has been away from Central Australia for a long time - uni, travel, dead-end jobs. Finding trouble all over the world. Now she's back at Moonlight Downs, the community where she grew up, half in the Aboriginal world, half in the white. And true to form, there's trouble. An old friend brutally murdered and mutilated. An old enemy the only suspect. Until Emily starts asking questions.
Take a nail-biting mystery, an epic setting and a heroine with a talent for stirring things up. Throw in an affectionate flogging of outback Australia's melanoma-encrusted hide - and Diamond Dove may be the wittiest and most gripping debut of the year.
(Now released overseas under the title Moonlight Downs)
Ten year old Katie Blasko is missing. Detective Sargeant Ellen Destry, alert to rumours of a paedophile ring operating on the Peninsula, is thinking abduction. Her colleagues are thinking bad family, truancy. Her boss is thinking about the media. And everyone, including Ellen is wondering whether she's good enough to handle this without D.I. Challis. But Hal Challis is a thousand kilometres away, watching his father die. Ellen Destry's running the show on her own. And if she's right, Katie Blasko may be running out of time.
Now pushing fifty, Murray Whelan is spinning his wheels in parliament - a toothless cog in Labor's stalled political machine.
But when the remains of a long-lost union official are found in dried-up Lake Nillahcootie, Murray soon gets sucked into some murky waters. For a start, it seems that his old mate Charlie Talbot was implicated. But Charlie has just dropped dead of a coronary occlusion in the dining room of the Mildura Grand Hotel, leaving behind a lot of unanswered questions. The press are sniffing around and Labor's enemies are lining up for a free kick. Then there's the blackmail attempt.
And as if that wasn't enough, there's an ALP preselection going pear-shaped.
They come for me as I sleep. Their pale faces stare at me. Their soft voices tell me to wake, to wake. They come to remind me of the night, to remind me of what I have done.
Only Charlie doesn't know what he's done. His clothes are covered in blood, there's a bump on his forehead and news reports state the two women he was with the night before have been brutally murdered. Charlie knows Cyris is the murderer - except the police don't believe Cyris exists. Nor does Charlie's ex-wife, Jo. He desperately wants her to believe him but she doesn't. As Charlie goes on the run with Jo bound and gagged in the car boot, he tries to figure out whether Cyris is real or imagined.... And the killing hour approaches yet again.
A young petty criminal, Lee, wakes in a seedy motel with a bullet in his side and a suitcase of stolen money, his memory hazy as to how he got there. Soon he meets Wild, a doctor who is escaping his own disastrous life, and the two men set out for the safety of the countryside.
As they flee the city, they develop an uneasy intimacy, inevitably revisiting their pasts even as they desperately seek to evade them. But Lee and Wilde are not alone: they are pursued through an increasingly alien and gothic landscape by the ageing gangster Josef, who must retrieve the stolen money and deal with Lee to ensure his own survival. Ultimately, all three men are forced to confront the parts of themselves they sought to outrun.
Part dark thriller, part modern tale of alienation and despair, The Low Road seduces the reader into a story that unfolds and deepens hypnotically. This is a brilliant debut novel.
Commander Bryn Gideon and the crack Australian ‘Redback Retrieval Team’ rescue hostages from Pacific island rebels. American journalist Scott Dreher, researching computer war-game training, uncovers links between Western government agencies and known terrorist groups.
Meanwhile ritual killings in London and Tokyo, a bomb on a European train, an assassination on an Australian beach, and an attack on a US army base have half the world on high alert. The question is: are these incidents the work of isolated opportunistic terrorists, or part of something more sinister?
Gideon’s Redbacks join the race to expose the ultimate conspiracy of a truly evil force; one that plays both sides of the terror divide against each other.
There is a serial child killer stalking the streets of Melbourne.
The victims are killed gently, lovingly, a gold mark traced on their forehead.
This killer doesn't hate children. This killer believes in childhood innocence at any cost.
Unflinching and morally uncompromising, El Dorado is the story of a friendship under siege, and the very long shadows that jealousy and betrayal can cast. It is both a complex thriller and a compelling reading experience from Australia's maverick and most versatile poet.
It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night....
Sometimes an author can make a considerable mark with their first book (as Louise Welsh did with The Cutting Room and almost immediately lose momentum with their next outing. The Bullet Trick is proof that Welsh is no one-trick pony, and this highly entertaining (if, at times, baffling) novel will be gratefully received by those who like their fiction eccentric and unabashed--Welsh doesn't shy away from presenting us with the more extreme forms of human behaviour, sexual or otherwise.
The protagonist here is a Glaswegian conjurer who has seen better days. Those who know their literature of the Gothic (and Louise Welsh is certainly of that number!) will no doubt spot that the author has christened her anti-hero William Wilson--the same name, in fact, as the luckless hero of the Edgar Allen Poe tale of sinister duality. Welsh's Wilson is desperate to escape from his crushing existence in Glasgow, and jumps at the chance to perform his conjuring tricks in the cabarets of Berlin. Leaving behind people who he most definitely wants out his life in this free and easy foreign city seems like the best move of his career. But Welsh implies that (like the Poe character with whom he shares his name), Wilson's real problems lie within himself, with the external danger he encounters a manifestation of the sickness in his own soul.
If the above makes The Bullet Trick sound like a depressing read, nothing could be further from the truth. This is exuberant stuff, floridly plotted and crammed full of the kind of over-the-top characters that we encounter far too little these days in most parochial fiction. It's also worth noting the Welsh's second novel could not be more different from its predecessor, and if she is going to come up with something quite distinct with every new book, that alone is going to mark her out from most of her contemporaries.
Between 1943 and 2003 nine people have been stabbed to death with a most unusual weapon: a trident. In each case, arrests were made, suspects confessed their crimes and were sentenced to life in prison. One slightly worrying detail: each presumed murderer lost consciousness during the night of the crime and has no recollection of it.
Commissaire Adamsberg is convinced all the murders are the work of one person, the terrifying Judge Fulgence. Years before, Adamsberg's own brother had been the principal suspect in a similar case and avoided prison only thanks to Adamsberg's help.
History repeats itself when Adamsberg, who is temporarily based in Quebec for a training mission, is accused of having savagely murdered a young woman he had met. In order to prove his innocence, Adamsberg must go on the run from the Canadian police and find Judge Fulgence.
There was no sign of life. But not for a second did Pascoe admit the possibility of death. Dalziel was indestructible. Dalziel is, and was, and forever shall be, world without end, amen. Everybody knew that. Therein lay half his power. Chief constables might come and chief constables might go, but Fat Andy went on forever.
Caught in the blast of a huge explosion, Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel lies on a hospital bed, with only a life support system and his indomitable will between him and the Great Beyond. Meanwhile, his colleague, Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe, is determined to find those responsible.
Ignoring his own injuries, the advice of his friends, and the pleas of his wife, Pascoe follows a winding trail to the Templars, a mysterious group that believes the only way to fight terrorism is through terror. Where the arm of the law cannot reach, their work begins. Soon Pascoe comes to suspect that they may have support and sympathy in high places, from men ready to accept the death of a policeman or of any other innocent bystander as regrettable but unavoidable collateral damage.
From the streets of Manchester to the Yorkshire countryside, Pascoe searches for the truth. And above it all, like a huge zeppelin threatening to break from its moorings, hovers the disembodied spirit of Andy Dalziel.
There’s a rapist on the streets of Aberdeen and the violence of the attacks is escalating. Police fear sooner rather than later one of the victims will die. While Detective Sergeant Logan Macrae’s girlfriend is acting as bait, Macrae is working on finding out who is responsible for inflicting the wounds on a body dumped outside the hospital.
Some films are discovered; bondage and discipline featuring the dead man, police begin to wonder if the man was the victim of a session gone wrong or if someone out there has developed a taste for inflicting serious damage. The investigation takes Macrae into the twilight world of the BDSM scene with some unexpected and reluctant help from one of the uniformed constables who has some unusual interests.
Two parallel narratives: a young policeman whose wife dies in her sleep; and a serial killer who dispatches his victims in a peaceful, bloodless way. We spend time with both young men, sharing their anxieties. Their respective plights result in a story that is both haunting and unsettling.
cross /kr�s/ n., v., & adj.
1 an ancient instrument of torture
2 in a very bad humour
3 a punch thrown across an opponent's punch
Jack Taylor brings death and pain to everyone he loves. His only hope of redemption - his surrogate son, Cody - is lying in hospital in a coma. At least he still has Ridge, his old friend from the Guards, though theirs is an unorthodox relationship. When she tells him that a boy has been crucified in Galway city, he agrees to help her search for the killer.
Jack's investigations take him to many of his old haunts where he encounters ghosts, dead and living. Everyone wants something from him, but Jack is not sure he has anything left to give. Maybe he should sell up, pocket his Euros and get the hell out of Galway like everyone else seems to be doing.
Then the sister of the murdered boy is burned to death, and Jack decides he must hunt down the killer, if only to administer his own brand of rough justice.
Kit Parry is reluctant to take the job shoring up the ancient quarries beneath her hometown of Bath — a place as riddled with memories she d rather forget as it is with Roman ruins. The miners certainly don t want her there, and her burgeoning romance with lanky foreman Gary looks likely to complicate matters even further. But when dark developments threaten the spa town s placid façade, Kit must face up to the past she s tried so desperately to bury. Someone wants her out of Bath — that much is clear — but who was it that brought her childhood to an abrupt end in the summer of her fourteenth year? Why has she never been back to Bath, and how did she escape her violent father? When Kit stumbles across evidence of a lost Mithraic temple, the mysteries in her own past become entangled with a search for what could be the archaeological discovery of the decade — and what turns into a dangerous obsession...
A cursed book. A missing professor. Some nefarious men in gray suits. And a dreamworld called the Troposphere?
Ariel Manto has a fascination with nineteenth-century scientists--especially Thomas Lumas and The End of Mr. Y, a book no one alive has read. When she mysteriously uncovers a copy at a used bookstore, Ariel is launched into an adventure of science and faith, consciousness and death, space and time, and everything in between.
Seeking answers, Ariel follows in Mr. Y’s footsteps: She swallows a tincture, stares into a black dot, and is transported into the Troposphere--a wonderland where she can travel through time and space using the thoughts of others. There she begins to understand all the mysteries surrounding the book, herself, and the universe. Or is it all just a hallucination?
For decades, Omar Yussef has been a teacher of history to the children of Bethlehem. When a favourite former pupil, George Saba, is arrested for collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Palestinian guerrilla, Yussef is convinced that he has been framed. With George facing execution Yussef sets out to prove his innocence.
The future isn’t what it used to be since Richard K. Morgan arrived on the scene. He unleashed Takeshi Kovacs–private eye, soldier of fortune, and all-purpose antihero–into the body-swapping, hard-boiled, urban jungle of tomorrow in Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies, winning the Philip K. Dick Award in the process. In Market Forces, he launched corporate gladiator Chris Faulkner into the brave new business of war-for-profit. Now, in Thirteen, Morgan radically reshapes and recharges science fiction yet again, with a new and unforgettable hero in Carl Marsalis: hybrid, hired gun, and a man without a country . . . or a planet.
Marsalis is one of a new breed. Literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth’s distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back–and into a lucrative living as a bounty hunter and hit man before a police sting landed him in prison–a fate worse than Mars, and much more dangerous.
Luckily, his “enhanced” life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skills to bring in another fugitive. But this one is no common criminal. He’s another Thirteen–one who’s already shanghaied a space shuttle, butchered its crew, and left a trail of bodies in his wake on a bloody cross-country spree. And like his pursuer, he was bred to fight to the death. Still, there’s no question Marsalis will take the job. Though it will draw him deep into violence, treachery, corruption, and painful confrontation with himself, anything is better than remaining a prisoner. The real question is: can he remain sane–and alive–long enough to succeed?