Crime Fiction

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 ...

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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Comeback by Peter Corris

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February 2012, no. 338

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 ...

Diego Maradona is the greatest football player I have ever seen, but as a coach he sits somewhere between a comic opera and a train wreck. Philip Larkin was one of Britain’s finest poets, but to read his music criticism is to wish someone had heaved his typewriter into the nearest river. Ronald Reagan qualified as an A-grade B-movie actor, yet as president – the biggest acting role on the p ...

In contemporary crime fiction, first-person narrators can often sound irritatingly implausible, either too much the Marlovian stoic or too much the Holmesian savant. This is not the case with The Fix, Nick Earls’s latest offering, in which the narratorial voice is convincing from the first page. Then again, The Fix is hardly a conventional work of crime fiction; it has some ...

When Holly Love heads to the Blue Mountains to marry her fiancé, Andrew McNish, after a quick romance, she doesn’t expect to end the day penniless, homeless, jobless, and jilted. After she takes refuge in Andrew’s empty office with her few remaining possessions and a bottle of Moët, Holly’s shock is replaced by a determination to find and confront him. She h ...

Michael Duffy, perhaps best known as a newspaper columnist and contrarian, and co-presenter with Paul Comrie-Thomson ...

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Prime Cut sounds like the title of a glossy Hollywood thriller. Fortunately, Alan Carter’s début novel is a gritty and engrossing look at crime and racism in a small Western Australian town. Cato Kwong is a Chinese-Australian detective who has been working in the lowly ‘Stock Squad’ since a disastrous arrest some years before. In the novel’s openin ...

Miss Maude Silver, Miss Jane Marple, where are you, with your splendid and authoritative bosoms, your discreet inquiries, natural reticence, and cunning powers of deduction? Oh, a long way from these sisters in crime.

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