Nick Place is a former resident of Fairfield and he still lives not too far away from us. His first novel for adults is a bit of a crime caper featuring policeman Tony Laver, whose shooting of a criminal came at a bad time in the history of Victoria Police. As a result, he has been shunted out of Major Crime and off into a cycling police patrol. To say that he isn’t happy is something of an understatement. But he dons the lycra and after some time of screaming thigh and sore bum syndrome, he gradually starts to see some value in what he is doing, and is soon solving crime with the best of them. The setting will be known to locals, as Fairfield, Alphington, High Street and Heidelberg all feature. It’s a hoot, and I hope there are more Tony Laver adventures to come. $24.95
As part of our “Meet the author in May” Nick Place will be here in the shop on Saturday May 25th from 11-12.30. Come along, buy a book, meet Nick and get your book signed. It should be fun.
A Light Shining the Forest is Paul Torday’s latest and is a winner! Set in the north east of England it tells the story of some missing children which the police are calling ‘missing persons’ but which the parents call ‘abductions’
Three people are brought together in an unlikely alliance. Norman, the Children’s Czar, is a lifetime bureaucrat who has reached a high position in the public service doing very little and taking no risks. Although he is Commissioner for Children he is unmarried and has no experience of children!
His secretary Pippa, studying part time, spends a lot of time arranging his lunch appointments and meetings ,fetching coffee and making eyes at Willie.
Willie is an ambitious reporter on the local rag who hopes for a story after the first child disappears and the police seem indifferent. When more disappear he smells an even bigger story that will ” make his career”, so he goes to see the Children’s Czar!!
The three of them struggle against the police attitude, the parents and Willie’s editor to find out what happened. What starts out as a tale of incompetence, selfishness and indifference becomes a tale of passion, commitment and bravery. The story twists when people start having unusual dreams and seeing things that disappear.
The culmination in the forest is unexpected and thrilling! $30 large PB
$30 large PB
Michael Robotham says he’ll never be famous because he’s never been to jail, used drugs, failed at a suicide, had a messy divorce or had any other traumatic experience that seem prevalent with some authors.
He should be famous however, for his atmospheric and disturbing thrillers.
Two teenagers went missing. Now known as the Bingham Girls, they went without trace having arranged to run away with a school friend.
The author presents us with two facets of the story. Piper, one of the Bingham girls, writes “ My name is Piper Hadley and I went missing on the last Saturday of the summer holidays three years ago. I didn’t disappear completely and I didn’t run away, which is what a lot of people thought… I’ve been here all along – not in Heaven or in Hell or that place in between whose name I can never remember.”
We read the diary entries and thoughts of Piper as she struggles with long term imprisonment and worse, while on the outside, tragic events unfold that involve psychologist Professor Joe O’Loughlin. He persuades police to re-open the Bingham Girls case and it gets dangerous.
Tense, intriguing and cannot be put down!!
In the aftermath of The Great War veterans were coming home and trying to find jobs and re-enter society. Many of them bore the scars, some physical, some mental, of their experiences. As the Shrine of Remembrance is being built to honour their dead comrades, and the depression is biting, a murder takes place in a factory. The victim is Victor Radcliffe, who as well as having his business interests is vice-chairman of the Praetorian Guard. They are a a collection of conservative well to do war veterans who have a very nationalistic view of Australia and part of that is keeping non-caucasions out of the country. Add a loveless marriage and his wife’s affair to the mix and there are many potential motives and therefore potential suspects for Radcliffe’s murder. Investigating the crime is Inspector James Maclaine and his deputy Harry Devlin, whose gassed lungs threaten his employment. As the Bodyline series plays out on the wireless, Maclaine and Devlin unravel the clues to Radcliffe’s murder. If you enjoyed the Phryne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood or the Rowland Sinclair books by Sulari Gentil you will enjoy The Richmond Conspiracy. I did.
The first book I read by Adrian Hyland was his personal account of the Black Saturday fires in Victoria in January 2009. Kinglakd 350 was a moving and dramatic story not only of that days events, but of what had led up to it, and the aftermath of the catastrophe. More recently I have read Gunshot Road, which is a novel set in central Australia featuring a young woman Emily Tempest and her role with the police as an Aboriginal Community Police Officer. This role has its ups and downs, and often creates suspicion amongst both the white and black communities.
Emily is a terrific character, caring, smart and with a don’t mess with me attitude that gets her into and out of some tricky situations. She is variously helped and hindered by her white colleagues and her Aborignal friends and family as she attempts to solve the crime of murder, although the police think they have it sown up way before Emily does. Her perserverance puts her in danger and her unlikely partner in solving it is a wandering Chinese artist who has an unusual take on life.
There are no dazzling heroes in the book, but some fairly questionable attitudes and not just amongst the white police officers. Aspects of the local cultures add texture to the story, and are dealt with sensitively. I think Adrian Hyland is a writer who cares a lot, about his characters and their lives. He seems to have been diligent in his research, and it helps with understanding the motivations of some people.
A crime story that comes from a different angle than most, Gunshot Road is well worth a look. Emily Tempest was introduced in an earlier book, Diamond Dove, but I hadn’t read that, and don’t feel you have to read it first. $32.95
Tony Cavanaugh has been a script writer and his writing skills show in this, his first novel. It is set around Noosa with a jaded ex gun homicide cop who is supposedly out of the game, as it’s main character. Darian Richards is a cop who still has night mares about some of the cases who worked on when head of the Homicide Squad in Melbourne. When young women start disappearing in the Noosa area, Darian becomes involved, unofficially, in catching the killer. He is unorthodox, with a strong sense of justice, and is out of favour with the local constabulary. A lovely female police officer, herself an outsider in the macho cop culture finds herself unwillingly helping Darian. It puts her in danger from not only the killer, but also from her colleagues.
The tension builds up and is sustained really well. The perspective changes at times. It is mostly from Darian’s point of view, but sometimes it is from the killer’s, and that is seriously creepy.
If you like Australian crime, with slightly blurry edges around the morality issues, this is a good read. Just be careful when you next travel to Noosa!!