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Posted by on 19 Jun, 2023 in Australian Crime Fiction, British Crime, Canberra Weekly, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Outback Crime | 0 comments



This week in the Canberra Weekly I reviewed two very different crime novels by Australian Margaret Hickey and British author Tasha Sylva. Also included is an evocative debut novel by local Canberra author Ayesha Inoon about finding yourself in a new country.

The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva (Welbeck, 1 June 2023)

British author Tasha Sylva shows good promise with her debut suspense novel The Guest Room, (Welbeck,
1 June 2023).

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“After the mysterious, violent death of her beloved sister in a London park, Tess is grief stricken and lonely. She moves into her sister’s home to retain a contact with the police investigation, but has to take in boarders in order to pay the bills. To pass the time, she goes through her guests’ possessions, imagining the stories they hold. One day she finds a diary and becomes caught up in a guest’s dangerous obsession.

After a slow start, Tasha steadily ratches up the suspense in this creepy tale, which culminates in a taut and surprising climax.”

In all, The Guest Room is a solid debut that will appeal to fans of Lisa Jewell and Lesley Kara.

I did a longer review a couple of weeks back:

Broken Bay by Margaret Hickey (Penguin, 13 June 2023)

Margaret Hickey provides another good addition to the growing canon of Australian outback noir fiction with her latest novel Broken Bay (Penguin, 13 June 2023).

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Margaret Hickey is becoming a seasoned veteran of the outback crime scene with two good books already to her credit. Now joining the earlier entries in her DS Mark Ariti series is Broken Bay.

Ariti is having a break from his one-man police station in the harsh interior of South Australia, and taking a few days forced holiday in the decaying coastal town of Broken Bay. The break is disrupted, however, when the town becomes the scene of a terrible tragedy, and Ariti is dragged into a murder investigation.

A good, well-constructed and engaging mystery with vivid characters and a nice sense of place.”

I also did a longer review a few weeks back:

Untethered by Ayesha Inoon (HQ)

For those that like to read a little wider than crime fiction, I also reviewed Untethered (HQ) by Canberra author Ayesha Inoon.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

Untethered by Canberra author Ayesha Inoon. is an evocative and moving debut that draws on the author’s own experiences.

Zia is coerced into an arranged marriage in her country of Sri Lanka, but when the rising violence there spurs her husband to emigrate to Australia, she finds herself isolated from her family and trapped in an increasingly unstable marriage. With courage she sets off to carve a new life in the midst of uncertainty and surprising opportunity. Untethered is a nicely written novel that skilfully weaves together themes of family, tradition, identity, racism, and new beginnings. A revealing and insightful read.”

Happy reading!

Here is a link to the Book Pages in the Canberra Weekly, where you can find a wide range of reviews and book news:

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