Things have slowed a little in the crime reviewing space for the AWW Challenge but we’ve had a healthy 46 posts discussing 32 distinct works since the last round up.

SchmidtSeeWhatIHaveDoneThe most popular book for discussion was Sarah Schmidt’s SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE which is a fictionalised re-telling of the story of Lizzie Borden. This book received attention in the last round up so I won’t spend long on it here but did want to highlight Justine Hyde’s evocative review at The Newtown Review of Books.  If, like me, you like reviews which give you a real sense of the book they are discussing you’ll certainly know whether or not Schmidt’s book is for you with gems like this

Schmidt weights this murderous tale with decay. The novel is thick with vomit, decomposing bodies, putrid fruit, rancid soup, rotten teeth, congealed blood, and stinking breath. But the decay is infused with sensuality. Schmidt is clearly fascinated with dissecting and describing the guts of life…The effect is overwhelming and claustrophobic, always teetering on the edge of too-muchness. It is the kind of book you want to read with a hand over one eye to shield your gaze.

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FosterHiddenHoursAnother popular title for discussion lately is Sara Foster’s tale of a woman who has repressed memories of a childhood trauma and as an adult becomes a suspect in a colleague’s murder. Fellow writer Marie McLean says of THE HIDDEN HOURS

Sara’s writing provides vivid imagery, making both the settings and characters come to life. I found the story line plausible: a young Australian woman working in London, lonely and socially awkward, gets intoxicated at the Christmas party and can’t remember being with her boss’s wife at the time of her death, although CCTV cameras and eye witnesses place her at the scene. Her fear and frustration is believable, as is the urge to find out what happened that night, despite the risk of her buried childhood trauma resurfacing.

and at Beauty and Lace Michelle says

The Hidden Hours is an engrossing tale of the secrets that tear apart families and the fear you face when you can’t even trust yourself. Two intriguing mysteries rolled into one captivating story that left me on the edge of my seat.

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the-girl-in-kellers-way-by-megan-goldin-255x390Foreign correspondent Megan Goldin has turned her hand to fiction writing with a debut novel of suspense called THE GIRL IN KELLERS WAY. I liked the fact that Jo at Booklover Book Reviews tells us to “…look past the use of ‘Girl’ in the title because this novel features women and very gritty adult issues.” Last year I refused to read any books with the featuring ‘girl’ in the title and even though I’m being less restrictive with myself this year I am still wary of the ultra annoying term. Jo goes on to say

Although the perpetrator’s identity was clear to me early on, Goldin’s well constructed red-herrings and gradual disclosure of the complex criminal means, motives and web of deceit sustained my interest. By this story’s conclusion readers are left with much food for serious thought.

Jo’s discussion of the book includes some thoughts from the author entitled Does Suspense Have a Place In A Wired World?

At Deborah said of the book

I very much enjoyed this debut thriller by Goldin who offers us interesting and complex characters – if not always likeable, and a twisty and uncertain plot – cleverly keeping us in the dark for much of the novel. And then there’s the ending…. which I can’t talk about it without giving stuff away…

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specialones_coverI loved the way Cassandra Page started her review of Em Bailey’s young adult novel THE SPECIAL ONES

This book, you guys. After spending literally months in one world, reading a huge trilogy, zipping through this little thing was like a breath of fresh air.

A breath of creepy, creepy fresh air.

What more do you need to know?

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Awards Season SistersLogo

The Davitt Awards honour excellence in crime writing by Australian women writers and this year there are 99 titles eligible for the various categories. It’s an impressive list and I am prevaricating over which of the ones I have read will get my precious Reader’s Choice vote. If you are a paid-up member of Sisters in Crime Australia you can share my agony. And if you’re not a member…join!

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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.