4 November 2009

Review: A CERTAIN MALICE, Felicity Young

Creme de la Crime, 2005, ISBN 0-9547634-4-0, 278 pages

As one of my friends is won't to say, life is really too short to spend precious time re-reading books. I originally read A CERTAIN MALICE back in 2006, soon after its publication.

So why have I just re-read it? Well, it is our discussion book over on oz_mystery_readers for the next few days starting tomorrow, and my memory just isn't what it used to be. And I'm glad I took the time to do it!

Back in 2006 I wrote
"Felicity Young, new West Australian author, hits the spot with her debut book. Senior Sergeant Cam Fraser accepts an appointment to run the police station in a small country town in West Australia to get away from the trauma that he and his 15 year old daughter have experienced in the last 3 years. He was brought up in this town, but his expectations of a quiet life are shattered with the discovery of a charred body after a bushfire in the grounds of a local school. To complicate matters the police at the station are mainly young and inexperienced, apart from Vince against whom there have been many complaints by locals. And what are the school principal and her husband hiding? The story moves at a good pace and the plot is well woven. Young makes good use of the uniqueness of her Australian setting." and I rated it at 4.5

I don't think I need to tell you more about the plot here, except to say that my rating has gone up to 4.8. After this re-reading what I want to tell you about is Felicity Young's considerable air of assurance in this her debut novel. If you are looking for an Australian author to start reading, then here is certainly one for you.

Felicity currently has 3 published books, and one on the way. Her website is at http://www.felicityyoung.com

If you are in Australia Booktopia has all 3 Felicity Young titles available.
So do Felicity's publishers Fremantle Press.
Look for A CERTAIN MALICE, AN EASEFUL DEATH, and HARUM SCARUM.
If you are outside Australia try the Book Depository: A CERTAIN MALICE, and HARUM SCARUM are both in stock, although the latter is a bit expensive.

My mini-review of AN EASEFUL DEATH - my rating 4.6
Somebody is killing young women in Perth, Western Australia, and then, post-mortem, posing their painted bodies carefully in relatively public places. The first body is painted bronze, the second silver ... you get the picture. False clues are left stuck to the bodies, and each has AN EASEFUL DEATH written down one leg. This is the second novel by Felicity Young. It features D.S. Stevie Hooper newly seconded to the Serious Crime Squad in Perth. She is young, un-married with a young daughter, keen to do well, and working with a boss who is also a good friend. In this case Stevie is the liaison with the eminent profiler who is helping the squad with the case. Quotes from publications by the profiler appear as tag lines in each of the chapters (but I must confess, didn't always seem significant to me). The action of the book mainly seems to happen over a one week period and comes thick and fast. There are plenty of candidates offered for the serial killer and I must confess I punted for the wrong one!

Check my review of HARUM SCARUM.

4 comments:

Bernadette in Australia said...

I agree Kerrie - an excellent novel which took advantage of its Australian setting without making me cringe. I read it a year or so ago but hopefully can contribute something to the discussion at OzMR

Dorte H said...

I love re-reading a good book. With my memory, I don´t remember much of it anyway, just the feeling that this was good. And the advantage is that you can enjoy every page of it, certain that you are going to like the ending :D

Margot Kinberg said...

I often find that I enjoy a book more when I re-read it. One can find a lot of "hidden lights" in a book if one goes through it more than once. That doesn't always mean I fall in love with a book I disliked the first time, though ; )

Australian Bookshop said...

I concur with the comments above. I really do enjoy re-reading a book and discovering something new. I haven't read 'A certain Malice' but I have read 'Harum Scarum' and I really enjoyed it. I think I'll give this one a go.

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