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After reading a few thrillers lately I got to thinking about writers in the crime and thriller genres and the research they need to do to make their books seem real. Research can be an exciting part of writing any book. Determining how a killer might think and how their victim could become entrapped is one thing, but I can’t imagine looking at dead people or reading detailed reports of the methods that serial killers use to stalk and murder their prey.That’s the sort of awful stuff police deal with and psychologically struggle with for the rest of their lives. But could even researching this sort of thing affect a writer? 
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Former pop-punk rocker LEN VLAHOS tells Good Reading about his new YA novel, Life in a Fishbowl, and how Marcus Zusak inspired him to write from the perspective of a brain tumour. Read on >
  • Creativity is often thought of as a special gift bestowed on only a handful of lucky people. But as Australian novelist SUE WOOLFE points out, it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Here are five tips she used to create her latest collection of stories, Do You Love Me or What? Read on >
  •  Looking for an engrossing historical fiction read? gr has rounded-up eight of the best for you to try.   The books in Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series have undergone a renaissance recently after
being adapted into a BBC
TV series that has gained a cult following. When Claire Randall is thrown back in time from 1945 to 1743 she finds herself in a very different Scotland, where she is branded as an outlander or Sassenach (a derogatory word for an English person) in a country run by clans and invaded by Redcoats. Try this series if you like a well-researched historical sagas that have swashbuckling adventure and a bit of romantic romping. Read on >
  • ABC journalist and science writer IAN TOWNSEND cut his teeth as a novelist in 2007 with Affection, which told the story of a plague outbreak in 1900. His next novel, The Devil’s Eye, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2009. Now with Line of Fire, he turns his pen to narrative non-fiction to tell the story of Richard Manson, an 11-year-old boy who was accused of espionage and shot by the Japanese during World War II in New Guinea. Read on >
  • FIONA CAPP is the internationally published, award-winning author of three works of non-fiction, including her memoir That Oceanic Feeling – which won the Kibble Award – and five novels, including Gotland, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona lives in Melbourne and works as a freelance writer and reviewer. Her latest novel, To Know My Crime, is a story of blackmail, risk, corruption, guilt and consequences set on the Mornington Peninsula. We asked Fiona to tell us about the books that have shaped her view of the world. Read on >
  • Think of the typical problem drinker, and we usually imagine alcoholics, drink-drivers, underage drinkers and the perpetrators of one-punch attacks. The brother of Brisbane writer ELSPETH MUIR was none of these things. But three days after a heavy night of drinking, he was found dead in the Brisbane River – his blood alcohol level was 0.25 at his time of death. Elspeth tells us about her memoir, Wasted, an investigation into Australia’s drinking culture, and what might have been done to prevent Alexander’s death.  Read on >
  • Read this and the ordinary world disappears,’ says Stephen King of
‘The Passage’ series. ANGUS DALTON talks with bestselling author JUSTIN CRONIN about his post-apocalyptic trilogy, the vampiric creatures he created to end humanity, and the last instalment of the series, The City of Mirrors. Read on >
  • Alison Evans is a genderqueer writer, lover of bad movies, and co-founder of the zine Concrete Queers. Here Alison tells us about her new spec-fic novel, Ida, and non-binary identities in YA fiction. Read on >
  • For many of the families of servicemen killed in World War I, a terse telegram from the government was never going to be enough to assuage their grief. Families wrote back in their thousands, seeking more information about the fate of their loved ones. It was the task of James M Lean to reply to these families and, as author CAROL ROSENHAIN outlines in The Man Who Carried the Nation’s Grief, he did so with extraordinary empathy and sensitivity. Read on >
  • The town of Sorrento in southern Italy sits high on a clff above the Tyrrhenian Sea, whose waters are sobuoyant and warm that you can doze off while floating on its surface. But as author KATE FURNIVALL found, the nearby city of Naples is steeped in a history of danger and wartime poverty. The UK author tells gr her latest novel, The Liberation, was inspired by the secret tunnels, mafia strongholds and the of child street gangs she encountered on a recent visit to the Bay of Naples. Read on >
  • LUCY DURNEEN lectures in creative writing in Plymouth, England, and is the assistant editor of the literary journal Short Fiction. We asked her about the apparent resurgence of interest in short stories, her beginnings as a writer, and the blending of realism and fantasy in the stories in her new collection, Wild Gestures. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The boy of this book’s subtitle was Georg Forster, son of the German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster, who so annoyed his shipmates on Cook’s second great circumnavigation of the globe. A N Wilson uses a complex but deftly handled narrative structure to capture the complexity of Georg’s life, much of which was spent travelling. Read on >

  • ‘Who holds the whip hand?’ asks a question on the back cover of this book.Never have I been so intrigued by a blurb. Separated into two collections of short stories, Mihaela Nicolescu’s ‘The Returning’ and Nadine Browne’s ‘Playing Dead,’ this anthology is primarily concerned with women’s stories. Read on >

  • Welcome to the Late Roman Empire in the early 4th century CE. This is a pretty good read and recommended for those who want a different take on the Rome they know.   Read on >

  • Almost without exception, the characters in this novel are vividly rendered, and their attitudes and relationships – however unlikely – are entirely believable. I enjoyed almost every moment of this lovely story. Read on >

  • Thirty-something food photographer Kit is engaged to Scott, a talented but emotionally distant industrial designer with whom she has little in common. Raph is everything Scott is not: warm, sexy and mysterious. Should Kit dive into an unknown future with Raph, or play it safe with Scott? Is the man of her dreams everything he appears to be? Read on >

  • I was hooked and found myself enjoying spending time with these quirky, likeable people. A great book for the holidays. Read on >

  • Norman invites his stepmother to live with him, his wife and their three children. She proves to be an cantankerous lodger. But it’s only after she dies that the full extent of her malevolence is revealed.    Read on >

  • What would you choose to see if you could have one moment of history played out in front of your eyes? Dickinson’s novel immerses you. It can require concentration to keep up with the flow of the story but it’s worth the effort for readers who love a good time travel mystery. Read on >

  • In the distant future, the Earth has turned on humanity, almost as if in revenge for the way it has polluted, raped and pillaged the planet’s resources over the centuries. Rain is a long-forgotten memory, and the world has been reshaped by a colossal rise of the oceans, far beyond even the most pessimistic predictions of contemporary real-world pundits.  Read on >

  • Here I Am is a difficult read – not because it’s not good – but because it’s uncomfortably good. The complex subject matter, the characters and the world that Jonathan Safran Foer creates rings all too true.       Read on >

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