It seems I’m not the only one whose reading for this challenge has tapered off as we pass the three-quarter mark of the year as there were only 35 reviews or interviews posted for the crime, mystery, thriller and true crime category since the last round up in August. A fair number of those relate to books which have already been highlighted in one way or another via this year’s roundups so I’ll focus on some titles that haven’t been discussed before).

resurrectionbayviskicAt The Newton Review of Books Karen discussed debut crime novelist Emma Viskic’s RESURRECTION BAY which features a unique and intriguing central character

The protagonist, investigator Caleb Zelic, has been profoundly deaf from early childhood, and the way that influences his life, his relationships and the manner in which he functions day to day is built seamlessly into this narrative. It’s clear from the way he lives that this is a condition requiring management, but it also encourages acute observation and an ability to assess situations and people by non-verbal means.


Caleb…is not just a deaf man. He’s also a very good friend and when his childhood mate, a cop and father, is brutally killed and Caleb is the one to discover his body, there is no way he’s going to let this just roll. Not simply because he’s one of the main suspects, but because somebody’s killed a friend and colleague. This makes it personal for him, and for another friend, ex-cop Frankie.

and this is only a fraction of Karen’s praise for the novel

Beautifully understated observations, and the sly, dry sense of humour dotted throughout Resurrection Bay are part of what make this debut novel a joy to read, especially as there is no overshadowing of story by character or vice versa. There’s a deftly handled plot working its way from the murder of Gary through the investigations conducted by Caleb and Frankie to the threats from unknown quarters, and the possibility that there’s police corruption involved. There are more than enough red herrings along the way to keep the determined puzzle solver occupied, and perfect sense in the connections that eventually fall into place.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

biglittlelies-moriartyau Kira at Reading, Writing, Running reviewed Davitt Award Winning (and New York Times best-selling) BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty and says

Liane Moriarty spins an incredible story surrounding school parent politics, and deeper issues that society tends to overlook in favour of things such as money and beauty. At the beginning of the book, we know someone is dead, and that a murder investigation is underway, but we don’t know who the victim is, and certainly not the murderer.

and then

The humour in this book doesn’t detract from the serious message that underlies it. I finished this book within a day or so of opening it, needing to know what happened next…I related to the setting and the characters in this book (even if the characters themselves were an exaggerated version of reality). The social commentary was great, it really resonated with me.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

PrivateSydneyPattersonFoxDeborah from Debbish Dotcom shared an interview with Kathryn Fox who is the latest author to collaborate with publishing juggernaut James Patterson. I can’t blame any author for leaping aboard the Patterson gravy train in a day and age when making a buck from one’s art is nigh on impossible but I can’t say I’m too keen to wade into PRIVATE SYDNEY despite being a huge fan of Fox’s other work. But the interview gives an interesting insight into the process of producing a book with Patterson and Fox had only good things to say

Working with James is like getting a Masters degree in pace. I’ll take the lessons I learned into every thing I write from now on. Being exposed to a wider audience is a bonus.

I hope the wider exposure brings her the new fans she deserves, though I kinda hope not all her books have the Patterson pace in future.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

RiskFerrisLouise from A Strong Belief in Wicker was among the reviewers to discuss Fleur Ferris’ RISK but the only one not to provide any spoilers so she gets a koala stamp (does that show my age?) and a thanks for bringing this topical tale to our attention

Risk is a totally modern cautionary tale of young girls looking to have fun and to meet boys online. Taylor and Sierra both chat with a cute guy on a chat website. Sierra goes to meet him and everyone’s life is changed forever when she doesn’t come back when she said she would.

Louise found the book compelling and says

Risk is exciting and fast paced and Fleur’s years as a police officer and paramedic give the story and writing great authenticity.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hopefully there’s something in this selection for all of you, if not check out all the reviews posted this year (you can search by genre)

About Me

I’m Bernadette Bean. I’ve been reading avidly for as long as I can remember, blathering about the subject since late 2008 at Reactions to Reading, am co-host of Fair Dinkum Crime, a site devoted to promoting and discussing Australian crime fiction, and have twice been a judge for a national crime fiction award.