I’m a fan of Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne / Nicola Tanner series but also very much enjoyed (perhaps more!) his standalone 2021 release, Rabbit Hole. His latest novel, The Last Dance, kicks off a new series featuring Detective Declan (Dec) Miller… a witty wiseass I can soooo envisage on the big or small screen. Miller’s constant (almost compulsive) commentary is hilarious and it would translate well – if done properly with someone with great (droll) comedic timing.
Book review: The Fall Between by Darcy Tindale
‘On an icy 5-degree September morning in Orange, New South Wales, four people unknowingly set off a chain of events that would lead to three deaths and a major homicide investigation….’ is the alluring opening paragraph of The Fall Between by Darcy Tindale and it sets the tone for this debut crime fiction novel, which will hopefully become the first in a new series. It goes on to reference the domino effect and what comes next is a reminder that life can be treacherous and being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have dire repercussions.
Book review: Into the Night by Fleur McDonald
Into the Night by Fleur McDonald is the latest in the young(er) Dave Burrows series. I’ve explained in the past that McDonald has two series on the go featuring the likeable rural crime squad detective – one early in his career, and one…. well, later. I love both and it’s fascinating to see how much older Dave has been influenced by mentors we meet earlier in his life.
Another thing I always comment on when reading McDonald’s books is how effortlessly she is able to place readers in their rural settings and relay complex details about agriculture, farming and life on the land in a way that is palatable and relatable to a non-lover of rural life (or being outside in general!) like moi.*
Book review: Judgement Day by Mali Waugh
Judgement Day by Mali Waugh is essentially a police procedural but we dip enough into the world of the judiciary that it equally qualifies as a legal procedural. Either way it’s an excellent debut by Waugh and gives us a twisty crime to solve and infuses just enough of the non-investigative stuff to offer up characters of substance I’d like to meet again.
Book review: Dead Tide by Fiona McIntosh
Dead Tide by Fiona McIntosh is the fourth in the popular DCI Jack Hawksworth series and when it opens Jack is lecturing at University while recovering from injuries resulting from his last outing.
He very much stumbles across the case he pursues in this book, one which takes him from Scotland Yard to Australia where the majority of this book is set.
Book review: In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan
We’re not yet in 2023 and I already wonder if In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan will be one of my favourite books released in that year. It’s a debut novel that feels as if it’s written by a seasoned author. One who’s confident with their craft and characters they’ve created. In fact, I did check a couple of times to see if our lead, Detective Chief Superintendent Kat Frank had featured in previous outings.
She hasn’t but I loved that Callaghan gives us a senior, experienced and confident protagonist and one who’s a significant way through her career and life. Kat’s likeable but has baggage. She’s talented but also fallible.
Book review: Retribution by Sarah Barrie
Retribution by Sarah Barrie is the second in the series featuring (former sex worker and computer hacker) Lexi as well as DI Rachael Langley and her nephew Finn Carson (also a cop), and I for one was excited by their return as I really liked Lexi when she was introduced in Unforgiven.
Here she’s joined the police and when the book opens is on nightshift with a likeable new partner and mentor while secretly continuing to chase after Damon Vaughn, the man who’d tried to kill her when we last met.
Book review: Desert Star by Michael Connelly
I’ve enjoyed Michael Connelly’s pairing of stalwart Harry Bosch with Renee Ballard who we first met in The Late Show, a reference to the fact that Ballard worked nights. When this opens Bosch and Ballard haven’t spoken for some time and their relationship’s tense. I was worried I’d missed something and thought their previous outing (The Dark Hours) had ended amicably.
We pick up here a year later however, and quickly learn that plans for the pair to go into business together did not come to fruition and Ballard (instead) returned to the LAPD… leaving Bosch hanging.
Book review: Broad River Station by Fleur McDonald
Broad River Station by Fleur McDonald is the latest release in the interrelated series featuring Detective Dave Burrows who heads up Barker Police Station. McDonald tends to keep the focus on outback / farming related crimes and I like that about these books and her young Dave Burrows series. It very much sets them apart from other outback or rural (Oz) crime fiction. I know nothing about farms or rural life but thanks to her own knowledge and experience, McDonald manages to effortlessly engage readers in the unfolding plot – giving us enough detail that we understand the context (and receive a smidge of education at the same time) – but aren’t overwhelmed with superfluous complex information.