Blog

Page: 1

Tag / Crime Fiction


Reviewsday: Crimson Lake by Candice Fox

A thrilling detective novel set in a country town in Cairns, Crimson Lake is the first of two books in a series by Australian author Candice Fox. It breaks from the typical conventions of a hard-boiled novel, with the narrator Ted as a private investigator but still an anti-hero of sorts.

Accused of abducting and sexually abusing a young girl, ex drug-squad cop Ted Conkaffey has moved from Sydney to Cairns to stay on the low. As a means of distracting himself, he becomes a private investigator alongside the energetic convicted murderer Amanda Pharrell as his partner and neither is trusted by local authorities. They take up the challenge of a missing person’s case – - the author Jake Scully, whose wedding ring was found in a crocodile’s stomach - but to make matters worse, both Ted and Amanda are forced to face their pasts in the plight to re-brand themselves while trying to solve the crime. The final result as one would expect is unexpected.

Each character, including the minor ones, has such a strong presence and voice in the first-person narrative. Fox makes us question Ted’s reliability as a narrator and juggle between his guilt and innocence, but we want to trust him because he’s so likable. This works well for the story itself but leaves us wanting to know whether he’s actually the pedophile people say he is. Crimson Lake was so amazing I had to read the sequel Redemption Point the very next day. Candice Fox’s writing has been so successful that she’s begun working with American author James Patterson. Not to mention, she’s lovely to speak to on Twitter and it’s fantastic to see more female crime authors coming out of the woodwork.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was made into a film in the not-too-distant future. That would be a project you’d see me marching behind, complete with flags, banners and demands for a midnight screening. I’d love to see Ted and Amanda on the screen.

~ Jaidyn, QBD Broadmeadows

Meet Our October Book of The Month!

Jane Harper's second novel, Force of Nature, featuring Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk is a gripping crime thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat!
And luckily, it's our October Book of the Month! But we won't gush on...we'll let Jane tell you all about the book herself:

Here's what our teams around Australia are saying:

Following the phenomenal debut of her first novel, 'The Dry', Jane Harper returns with the equally well-written and suspenseful, 'Force of Nature'. Harper successfully combines the whodunit prowess of Agatha Christie with the relentlessness of the Australian Bush. 'Force of Nature' provides a fast-paced read that uses all it's characters to deliver a layered and complex example of crime-fiction. 4.5 stars. - T.S., Innaloo QBD

I loved it! Another spellbinding thriller full of suspense from Jane Harper, just like her debut novel The Dry.
Alice Russell goes missing during a team building exercise in rugged bushland, with Aaron Falk called into help solve the mystery once again. A page turner from the beginning, it kept pace but was a bit anti-climatic at the end. I'm patiently awaiting her next novel! 4 stars. - R.D., Strathpine QBD

Addictive and atmospheric, Force of Nature is suspenseful in a way you simply have to experience for yourself. Jane Harper effortlessly captures a sense of place, highlighting the dangers of the Australian bush as five women try to navigate their way out..and only four return. With a fine line between the truth and lies, and a mini-cliffhanger at the end of each chapter - I could not put it down! 4.5 stars. - E.A., Miranda QBD

Harper lives up to the hype in her highly anticipated sequel, Force of Nature. The characters, plot, and realistic setting are as superb and well-crafted as they were in her award-winning debut The Dry. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoyed Big Little Lies—the book, or the television show—anyone who read and enjoyed The Dry, and all lovers of a good-old-fashioned 'whodunit' story. 5 stars. - T.H., Browns Plains QBD

Jane Harper impresses her ever-widening readership again with this corporate-crime thriller which develops the Australian landscape into a character just as dark, secretive and brooding as the others. Police procedural continues to get its Harper makeover, Patricia Cornwell meets Liane Moriarty with Fiona Palmer standing nearby in a pair of jeans. 3.5 stars. - J.D., Doncaster QBD

Reviewsday: The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

Let me start by saying how much I enjoy reading local Australian content novels. There's nothing wrong with overseas titles but an Aussie title always draws me deeper in. It's not the sometimes over-the-top outback dramas I'm talking about (which I do love!) but the ordinary settings and situations. Things like the seasons being the right way around; the sounds; the localities and the references to society, events & culture. Even Australian crime seems a little bit more believable...

Gemma is a detective in the same regional town that she grew up in. Sometimes that can be beneficial to investigations but at others it can all get just a bit too close to home & personal. This is one such case. The victim is a teacher at the local high school, the same school Gemma attended ten years back- with Rose as one of her classmates. There was some type of connection between the two back then but Gemma swears that her personal feelings will not effect her impartiality to the investigation. Rose appears to have been well liked so who could be responsible for her death? Is it random or personal?

The investigation drags along like the long, hot days of pre-Christmas summer. For Gemma, the case opens up old wounds that she tries to keep hidden from her partners- work & life , but even here the lines are blurred. Gemma is a great detective but will this be the case that breaks her?

A solid debut from Sarah Bailey and one that I really liked.

~ Susan, Eastlands QBD

Have you read The Dry?

the-dry-smaller-version"As he rode away the blowflies were already starting to circle."

Reading this book, I was so intrigued by the two central stories. The holes in the evidence of a present day murder-suicide and the questionable suicide of a young girl 20 years earlier. Harper is a great writer and her background in journalism allowed her to develop a well rounded story that gives and takes at the right moments.

I loved the small town dynamic and the ripple effects of rumours and lies. The characters were well rounded (none of them were bland or unnecessary page fillers) and every one of them played a role in the small dying town of Kiewarra. The effects of the drought on a small farming community were devastating. I really enjoyed how Harper reflected the drought in the personalities and actions of different characters and the overall tone of a dying town. The weather was essentially a focal character in itself, with the effects of the heat uncovering emotions and resentment buried over the years. This was a great debut novel by a promising Australian author.

"His own naivety taunted him like a flicker of madness."
- Zena, QBD Northland

QBD Reviews: The Dry by Jane Harper

Everyone is raving about our Book of the Month, The Dry!

the-dry-smaller-versionSo much happens in this book that it is hard to write a review without giving anything away..
The farming community of Kiewarra is in the midst of drought and when Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife, son and then himself the town reacts.
When federal police investigator Aaron Falk returns to the town after being chased away 20 years earlier to farewell his friend Luke, old wounds and old secrets are re-opened.
With the local police and Luke's parents asking Aaron to stay in town and investigate whether Luke actually did the killings, the story begins to unravel.
Every time I thought I'd figured it out another twist was thrown at me. A stunning debut.. - Melissa, QBD Blacktown

Jane Harper stuns with this haunting debut novel, 'The Dry'. Set in outback Australia, a young family are dead in an apparent murder/suicide. But as an old childhood friend comes home to investigate, it would seem not all is as it appears and a childhood murder mystery comes back to life to haunt those left behind. This novel speaks with a slow drawl that will entrance you from the very first page and have you captivated until the very last.  - Erin, QBD Cairns Manager