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Tag / Crime Fiction


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

QBD Book of the Month: Jane Harper’s The Dry

QBD's June Book of the Month is the fabulous literary debut, The Dry by Jane Harper.

the-dry-smaller-versionCountry towns keep their secrets close.  When the struggles of rural life are made worse by a long harsh drought, something has to give.
A young farmer has murdered his wife and son, then taken his truck into the dry scrub and shot himself. At the family's funeral emotions are high. The rage of the townsfolk is made worse by the arrival of a Melbourne policeman, Aaron Falk, who had left the town many years before under a cloud. He had come to say farewell to his childhood friend only to find that things may not be as clear cut as they seem. The killer's mother is sure there has been a mistake, so Aaron takes a few days leave to look into the initial police investigation. The evidence doesn't add up and a few locals make sure his visit is not a pleasant one.
When the local police sergeant starts asking questions too, a past mystery and the  bloody murder suicide lead to a story that twists and turns through past hatreds, local secrets and closets full of skeletons.
Teenage love and betrayal, lies and secrets uncovered, small-town hatreds and old fashioned police work had me guessing to the end. For a first-time novelist Jane Harper has written an assured and masterful murder mystery.
- David, QBD Woden

QBD Reviews: The Silent Inheritance by Joy Dettman

I've been a Joy Dettman fan since the release of her first novel, Mallawindy. She has a way of writing that gives you enough clues to start off but then continues to drop little snippets, as the story unfolds, to expand on her characters lives.
The Silent Inheritance does not disappoint! I particularly enjoyed this one because of its primary setting around the Melbourne suburbs of Blackburn/ Forest Hill/Vermont, my backyard. It's always fun to identify the streets, buildings & businesses that are personally know to me.
I thought I had the killer figured out on page 266 but Dettman does like to leave you guessing until the end...
So now I've finished and yet again waiting for her next offering. As much as I love her works, she frustrates me no end with her conclusions- I usually hold the book with both hands, shake it, and cry out!
- Susan, QBD Eastland

About the book:
silentineritanceSarah Carter, mother of twelve-year-old Marni, is raising her daughter alone in a small granny flat in suburban Melbourne. A serial killer, dubbed 'The Freeway Killer', is headline news and when Marni's classmate is abducted from the mall where Sarah and Marni shop, their city no longer feels safe.
Detective Ross Hunter's investigation into the abduction leads him to dead ends - until an unrelated incident sends him to the door of Freddy Adam-Jones, an unscrupulous barrister, who is guarding a secret that could ruin his life.
When an unexpected windfall changes the lives of Sarah and Marni, their sudden wealth opens doors long closed, and threatens to cast light on history better left buried.
What might Sarah's past reveal? What is her connection to Freddy? And can Detective Ross Hunter discover the link in time to save a young girl's life?
In The Silent Inheritance, author of the bestselling Woody Creek series brings another unforgettable cast of characters to life in a brand new story.