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.
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?
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.
Jody mourns the loss of what she felt could have been the most important relationship she has ever had. Her world that had begun to show so much hope with a blossoming new friendship has once again become a dark place. The other flat residents of the converted church had generally kept to themselves and it was only Abe who had made an effort to connect to the shy and lonely Jody.
There's something deliciously intriguing about the idea that a top spy could lose a briefcase, which, rather than chock full of official secrets and classified documents, instead contains three mince pies, two fruit pies, the NZ Listener, a Penthouse magazine, and unfortunately a diary chock full of gossip.
Miranda Rader once was known as Randi the problem teen. Rejected by her family after a brush with the law, Randi’s life seemed to then be heading down all the wrong roads. Fortunately, the time spent in youth detention becomes the making of her.
The Baltimore Boys is a family saga hooked around the mysterious tragedy (every action at some point seems to presage this event). But while it is often engaging on the surface it is not very satisfying.
Your reviewer is new to this (incredibly popular) author so it was a reading requirement to find out (reasonably quickly) why it is that author Mary Kubica is in the ‘must read’ stable of so many crime and mystery readers. It didn’t take long.
Australian author Megan Goldin’s debut does tick off on some of the aspects of the domestic noir sub-genre indicated by the title: strained domestic relationship, creepy controlling male character and an unreliable narrator. And she does so in a way that brings something new and a little chilling to the genre.
The White Road is a hard novel to pigeon hole. Part adventure novel, part slacker comes of age novel and part ghost story. Sarah Lotz plumbs the depths and scales the heights in a book that is not for claustrophobes or those with vertigo.
The Girl Who Was Taken does not have any of the domestic noir genre trappings of the current crop of ‘Girl’ books with which it might be compared (on title alone). Rather, it is an effective, page turning crime thriller with a well handled mystery and an engaging and resourceful protagonist.
Eddie Flynn continues to be one of the great thriller protagonists of recent years. He has the skills of a conman when he needs them, the tactical brain and silk tongue of a trail lawyer and every now and then goes all action hero.
Looks like this might be the first novel in an ongoing series which frankly is excellent news. Eva Destruction can only get better with age, wisdom and a litre or ten more of dodgy wine with her mates.
In a short author interview at the end of Ragdoll, Daniel Cole explains how he put the novel together. He wanted something that was less po-faced that the run of the mill British television crime drama but something not as cheesy as American television crime drama like Castle.
FULL BORE, as is with the other works by this author, does leave you feeling a little bit melancholic about our shared Australian past but reassures us that life goes on and that there will always be much more to experience.
Dennis Lehane takes a swerve away from his long running Kenzie and Genaro series (which includes Gone, Baby Gone) and his recent prohibition and gangsters trilogy to deliver a psychological thriller of sorts.