Crime Fiction

Estelle Tang reviews 'Hindsight' by Melanie Casey

Estelle Tang
26 August 2013

Cass Lehman keeps to herself – her mother and grandmother tell other residents of sleepy Jewel Bay that she is agoraphobic. Her real reason for staying in her house for the past nine years is that she has a terrifying kind of ‘retrocognition’: if Cass passes over a place where someone has died, she experiences their death. And death, as it turns out, is ... More

Laurie Steed reviews 'The Dunbar Case' by Peter Corris

Laurie Steed
26 March 2013

Known in certain quarters as ‘the godfather of Australian crime fiction’, Peter Corris is certainly persistent. Prior to this, he has written thirty-seven novels involving the wily, irrepressible Cliff Hardy. The Dunbar Case showcases an older but still sprightly Hardy, who deals with maritime mysteries, amorous women, and a notorious crime family.

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Scott Macleod reviews 'The Holiday Murders' by Robert Gott

Scott Macleod
06 March 2013

Robert Gott’s The Holiday Murders fittingly begins with steely-eyed detectives examining a gruesome crime scene on Christmas Eve, 1943. The bodies of a father and son are found broken and bloodied in the dead of night, the son nailed to the floor in a ‘savage parody’ of the Crucifixion. From the memorable opening sequence, Gott demonstrates an int ... More

Simon Collinson reviews 'The Toe Tag Quintet' by Matthew Condon

Simon Collinson
31 January 2013

Matthew Condon is a writer who confounds expectations. He followed his prize-winning epic novel The Trout Opera (2007) with Brisbane (2010), a meditative exploration of the city’s rich history. In The Toe Tag Quintet, he turns his hand to crime. This is not a novel but a series of novellas about a detective’s exploits following his retiremen ... More

Sky Kirkham reviews 'The Midnight Promise' by Zane Lovitt

Sky Kirkham
26 September 2012

The Midnight Promise, Zane Lovitt’s début novel, is billed not as a detective story, but as a detective’s story. It is a minor grammatical change that makes for a major shift in the focus of the tale. Here there is no major dramatic revelation – no car chase, forensic science, femme fatale. Instead, the reader is offered a character study of a m ... More

Dean Biron reviews 'Promise' by Tony Cavanaugh

Dean Biron
09 July 2012

Promise is set on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, although it might as well be Siberia so far as any claims to historical or social verisimilitude are concerned. Just about every stereotype ever devised in the name of crime fiction has been assembled here, resulting in a story so over the top as to stretch credulity beyond breaking point.

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Joy Lawn reviews 'Dead Heat' by Bronwyn Parry

Joy Lawn
23 April 2012

Proudly popular fiction, Dead Heat is a romantic thriller set in a north-western New South Wales National Park. Organised crime in fiction generally operates in a large city or on the coastline, but author Bronwyn Parry sets her plot in the bush. The inclusion of bushland and animals creates unique plot obstacles and possibilities for both the criminals and the authorities, and it is a ... More

Alan Vaarwerk reviews 'After the Darkness' by Honey Brown

Alan Vaarwerk
21 March 2012

In After the Darkness, the third novel by Victorian writer Honey Brown, suburban couple Bruce and Trudy Harrison have their lives upended by a brutal attack while holidaying on the Great Ocean Road. This is only the tip of the narrative iceberg. Indeed, their ordeal at the hands of an opportunistic psychopath happens with such speed that the reader feels as disoriented as the victims d ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Cooking the Books' by Kerry Greenwood

Francesca Sasnaitis
27 February 2012

For many years I have looked forward to the ongoing exploits of Kerry Greenwood’s sassy heroine Phryne Fisher – the marvellous descriptions of period detail and fashion, the historical background of her ripping yarns – and have wilfully ignored occasional anachronisms of language or behaviour.

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Dean Biron reviews 'Comeback' by Peter Corris

Dean Biron
20 January 2012

Peter Corris’s Comeback, the thirty-ninth or some such book in his Cliff Hardy series, is yet another to be plucked from the apparently bottomless ocean that is the crime fiction genre. Ageing private detective Hardy – as adept with his fists as he is tactful with the ladies – skulks around a Sydney crammed with scabrous cops, fat-cat entrepreneurs, hired muscle, slinky prostitut ... More

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