Tagcrime fiction

Sarah Bailey – Body of Lies

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2024
Cover design Luke Causby/Blue Cork
Cover images Adobe Stock

The body snatching that occurs early in this novel will immediately flag for those of us of a certain vintage both the 17th, 18th and 19th century practice of the removal and sale of corpses for medical dissection and the fanciful sci-fi novel The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Jack Finney,1954) and film adaptations (1956, 1978, 1993 and 2007).

Sarah Bailey talks to Barbie about Body of Lies
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Bruce Nash – All the Words We Know

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2024
Cover design Design by Committee
Cover illustrations Shutterstock

We find ourselves distracted by the author’s scintillating language games from the fact that this is really a work of crime fiction.

Bruce Nash talks to Barbie about All the Words We Know
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Dinuka McKenzie – Tipping Point

HarperCollinsPublishers, Australia, 2023
Cover design HarperCollins Design Studio
Cover images shutterstock.com

It is difficult to put a DInuka McKenzie down once started, and Tipping Point, her third Detective Kate Miles crime fiction, is no exception.

Barbie spoke to Dinuka McKenzie about Tipping Point
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Lee Christine – Glenrock

Allen &, Australia, 2024
Cover design by Nada Backovic
Cover images Getty Images/Liliya Krueger (model); David Diehm Photography (background)

Lee Christine’s latest crime thriller is an exercise in comparative morality. It’s a fast-paced delve into the nefarious deeds and nasty people in places of power, high and low, touching on the justice system, organised crime and to a lesser extent by implication, the police force and prison system.

Lee Christine talks to Barbie about Glenrock
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Erina Reddan – Deep in the Forest

Pantera Press, Australia, 2023
Cover design Elysia Clapin
Cover image Shutterstock/Shift Drive

What a clever author Erina Reddan is! Whilst this novel is an edge of the seat thriller, highly filmic and so visually graphic it could easily be a television drama series, it is also a beautiful literary work, rich in imagery and complex in its themes and motifs. It’s delicious reading.

Erina Reddan talks to Barbie about Deep in the Forest
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Jack Heath – Kill Your Husbands

Published by Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023
Cover design and illustrations by Luke Causby/Blue Cork

Jack Heath could easily have stepped sideways into romance fiction with this one. All the elements are there – the intense attention on four partnered relationships, tensions and affairs, desire and power plays, veiled conversations and secrets, sex and intrigue.

Jack Heath talks to Barbie about Kill Your Husbands
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Nilima Rao – A Disappearance in Fiji

Echo Publishing, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK
Australia, 2023
Cover design by Lisa White
Cover illustration by Nancy Liang

Nilima Rao’s debut crime fiction is set in Fiji in 1914 and is a damning indictment of colonialism and its cruelties. The system of indentured labour which brought tens of thousands of poverty-stricken Indian workers to Fiji to work on the sugar plantations was ripe for abuse.

Nilima Rao talks to Barbie about A Disappearance in Fiji
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The Origin of Evil – film review

Palace Electric Canberra
From Thursday 19 October 2023
Thriller, French with English subtitles
123 mins, rated MA15+

The Origin of Evil (L’Origine du Mal) was shown in the 2023 Alliance Française French Film Festival. It is billed as ‘wickedly funny’, though we found it to be wickedly clever and not funny at all.

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BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival

State Library of NSW
1-5 November 2023 and live streamed nationally 

 BAD Sydney celebrates Australian crime writing with a program of author panels, entertaining social events, writing workshops, guided walks and the opportunity to pitch to a publisher.

Barbie spoke to BAD Sydney’s Catherine de Peloux Menage
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Susan Duncan– Sleepless in Stringybark Bay

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023

We move into this book in the same way we might make our way into a new community; there is a gradual uncovering of place, of personalities and the way things are done. While this is a crime fiction story with a non-police investigator in the persona of an ex-journalist, it is the picture of personal lives and the connecting embrace of community that first commands our attention.

Susan Duncan talks to Barbie about Sleepless in Stringybark Bay
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Lenny Bartulin – The Unearthed

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023
Cover design Sandy Cull
Cover photograph Ryan Jorgensen/Alamy

Lenny Bartulin’s luscious, richly poetic prose is so beautiful one feels drenched in the pleasure of words, words perfectly chosen and placed.

Lenny Bartulin talks with Barbie about The Unearthed
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Suzanne Leal – The Watchful Wife

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023

This is the fourth of Suzanne Leal’s adult novels, and as with previous works it explores complex moral issues. Told in the voice of the female lead Ellen Wells, it begins with a dramatic early morning visit by the police who have come with sexual misconduct allegations against her teacher husband Gordon O’Hanlon.

Barbie talks to Suzanne Leal about The Watchful Wife
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Ali Lowe – The Running Club

Hodder & Stoughton, a Hachette UK company, 2023
Cover design unacknowledged
Cover photographs Getty Images and Shutterstock

Ali Lowe’s second novel is a wickedly clever commentary on the lure and trappings of wealth. It is a story of secrets and lies – as indeed all crime stories are. And in the end this is a crime story, although our attention is taken up for most of the book by both the peccadilloes and the direst flaws of the author’s cast of characters.

Ali Lowe talks to Barbie about The Running Club
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Alison Booth – Bellevue

Red Door (Ember Press UK), 2023
Cover design by Clare Connie Shepherd)

Alison Booth’s Bellevue is at once a personal and domestic drama and an incisive social commentary on its temporal and geographical settings, the New South Wales Blue Mountains in the 1970s. It is a mystery, a crime novel of sorts, a story of loss and the finding of renewed hope and happiness through community connection.

Barbie speaks to Alison Booth about Bellevue
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