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Archive Discoveries

  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. Read on >
  • It’s 100 years since
 Roald Dahl’s birth on 13 September 1916. For many years now, 13 September has been celebrated as Roald Dahl Day.  I love all of Roald Dahl’s books. I love the naughty antics his characters get up to in so many of his stories. I love reading about the fascinating life he led – especially his wartime flying exploits – and I really loved how he made the nasty grandmother in George’s Marvellous Medicine just go ‘pop’ and disappear. I think we all have someone in our life we’d like that to happen to occasionally. If you are yet to read his memoirs – Boy and Going Solo – I can’t recommend them highly enough. Read on >
  • Who would have thought that in the largely homogeneous country of China that there could be a group of people who could trace their lineage back to invading Romans? TONY GREY uncovered this intriguing bit of information while travelling in China, and here he tells how he came to write his historical novel, The Tortoise in Asia, which tells the story of Romans travelling along the Silk Road in ancient times. Read on >
  • Australian novelist NICOLA MORIARTY is the youngest of six siblings, two of whom – Jacyln and Liane – are also accomplished novelists. Her latest novel, The Fifth Letter, examines the relationships of a group of friends after a letter-writing dare uncovers a festering cache of secrets andr esentment. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • AOIFE CLIFFORD is the winner of the Scarlet Stiletto Award for one of her crime stories, but All These Perfect Strangers is her first novel. The Melbourne-based crime novelist talks with us about New Year’s resolutions, her Irish poet grandfather and the similarities between writing a novel and creating a papier-mâché puppet.  Read on >
  • If you set out to write a thriller, you’re going to have to do some research. And while your story will be fiction, you’ll probably uncover more than a few fascinating real-world facts, as Australian thriller author L A LARKIN discovered while researching for her latest novel, Devour. Read on >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. Read on >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author Amy Stewart stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with a officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series based around Constance and her two sisters, set in New Jersey in 1915. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, Angus Dalton finds out more. Read on >
  • He has worked as a wilderness guide, a ranch hand and a dogsled musher – and he’s also a skilled marksman. But ERIK STOREY, a lover of the great outdoors, has come in out of the wild for long enough to turn out his first novel, Nothing Short of Dying. A thriller set in the mountainous landscape of western Colorado, it features Clyde Barr, a man with a military past who is fresh out of prison. We talked with Erik recently about dealing with rejection, the lure of western Colorado and his number-one tip for surviving in the wild. Read on >
  • The 1970s and 80s saw DAVE WARNER lead two influential punk-rock bands. His demanding musician’s lifestyle left little time for writing anything but his next single. Nowadays Dave is a full-time screenwriter, novelist and playwright, but he still takes to the stage every so often for a good old-fashioned rock-out. ANGUS DALTON finds out more about Dave’s life and his latest crime novel, Before It Breaks. Read on >
  • Serious social issues, including the plight of unwed mothers, domestic violence and the place of women in Australia's history are wrapped up in poignant romace in VICTORIA PURMAN's new novel, The Three Miss Allens. She spekas with MAUREEN EPPEN about the inspiration behind the family saga set on the South Australian coast. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 4 Star Review Nutshell is probably unlike any other thriller you have read, largely because it is narrated by a foetus. This is an original novel that will resonate with anyone familiar with the story of Hamlet. Enjoy the Shakespearean undertones and the elegant prose. Read on >

  • 4 star review Hill’s dense, satisfying storytelling shines a critical and satirical light on contemporary America culture and introduces a cast of quirky characters – some strangely beguiling, others despicably toxic – all caught up in a series of bizarre events and experiences. Read on >

  • 2 star review Take a fiercely intelligent, ambitious, and profoundly naive college student. Add a brilliant physics professor and a dash of infatuation, and bake slowly in the stifling social mores of mid-20th century small-town USA.     Read on >

  • 3 star review Abel is dying, and the disembodied voice of a nurse is asking him to give a full account of himself. In dreamlike stream-of-consciousness prose, Abel tells the story of his life.     Read on >

  • 4 star review The title (based on a quote from Martin Luther King Jr: ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’) is what drives Ruth to take on the big issue of racism that she has pushed to the back of her mind for too long. Read on >

  • 4 star review This collection of short stories is a skilful exploration of characters who seem to inhabit a nebulous world: visible, present and yet somehow adrift on the margins of society. After the Carnage is a fine collection of stories and bodes well for her next novel, due out later this year. Read on >

  • 2 star review In this sixth book of the ‘Ancient Egypt’ series, Pharaoh Tamose is dead, leaving Taita, his chief advisor, in charge of the remnants of Pharaoh’s army, which faces an overwhelming Hyksos army. Their defeat seems unstoppable until succour arrives from a most unexpected source, and Taita emerges the victor. Read on >

  • 1 star review The college narrative presents Charlie, a wannabe entrepreneur who is trying to start a business, and Ellie, who is attempting to finish a dissertation on Nietzsche. Read on >

  • 4 star review The Rules of Backyard Cricket is an astute exploration of character and family. Serong takes us from ’70s suburbia through to a brutal present in which ex-cricketer Darren Keefe is cable-tied and lies wounded in the boot of a car. During his frightening ride, Darren remembers the life that has led him to this point. Read on >

  • 4 star review A tightly written thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you reading until the last page. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue