11 February 2008

Set in Australia

Just thought I'd bring some books set in Australia to your attention.

There is of course Adrian Hyland's DIAMOND DOVE, currently raising a storm in the US under the title of MOONLIGHT DOWNS.

Western Australian author Felicity Young has had two books published so far

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.
My rating 4.5

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! Felicity says her third book, HARUM SCARUM, also featuring Stevie Hooper, will be published in March 2008
My rating 4.6

One I really enjoyed was THE WHISPERING WALL by Patricia Carlon
60 year old Sarah Oatland has had a stroke and is laid out in her bed 'like a fish on a slab' having lost the ability to speak or move. And then the walls begin to talk. Sarah hears occupants of the house plan a murder and there is nothing she can do to tell anybody about it or to warn the victim. Or is there?… This is an ingenious story, an Australian classic that has weathered the test of time very well. The style is cosy, but there is also nail-biting tension.
My rating 4.8
Patricia carlon wrote her most popular books in the 1960s

Another you could look for is MALICIOUS INTENT by Kathryn Fox
Dr. Anya Crichton has recently struck out to work on her own as a freelance forensic pathologist. Work is a bit hard to find but she is gaining a reputation as a credible courtroom authority. She is not without friendsin the police, the New South Wales State Forensic Institute, and among the criminal barristers. Something about the apparent suicide of Clare Matthews doesn't sit quite right: the fact that, a nun, she disappeared shortly before she was due to take her vows, that she suicided by jumping off the Gap, that she was 6 weeks pregnant, and that she had strange fibres in her lungs. And now another case with similarities crops up: Fatima Deab overdoses on heroine after being missing for some days and her lungs contain the same fibres. Debut publication by Australian author. It is obvious to the reader that Kathryn Fox has a lot to say, lots of issues that she wants to make us aware of, and sometimes this novel takes on a bit of a didactic tone. But the plotting is so good, the tension so well built that by the end I could forgive her anything!
My rating 4.7
Kathryn Fox has 2 more books out now.
Her website is at http://www.kathrynfox.com/

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