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Posted by on 21 Jul, 2023 in Australian Crime Fiction, British Crime, British Thrillers, Canberra Weekly, Crime, Thriller | 0 comments



Canberra Weekly, 20 July 2023

This week in the Canberra Weekly, I reviewed three very different crime novels by women authors.

Lowbridge by Lucy Campbell (Ultimo, 5 July 2023)

Lucy Campbell’s debut novel Lowbridge (Ultimo, 5 July 2023) is a good addition to the growing number of small town Australian crime novels set in semi-rural New South Wales.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Canberra writer Lucy Campbell makes a strong entry into the realm of Australian crime fiction with her debut Lowbridge.

Set in the fictional, small country town of Lowbridge, the eponymous novel is a well-crafted, slow burn of a mystery that revolves around the disappearance of a seventeen-year-old girl in 1987. Thirty years later newcomer to Lowbridge, Katherine Ashworth, is trying to recover from her own personal drama and becomes obsessed with the events surrounding the disappearance. Shifting smoothly between 1987 and 2018, Lowbridge is an engaging crime novel, that does a good job of recreating the divisions and tensions in semi-rural Australia.”

I also did a longer review on the blog last week:

Traced by Catherine Jinks (Text, 4 July 2023)

Catherine Jinks is a veteran of the Australian writing scene and her recent novels have combined a solid crime story with an insightful look at social issues, including domestic abuse.

In Traced, (Text, 4 July 2023), she provides an emotional and powerful story around the lingering effects of emotional manipulation and abuse.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Veteran author Catherine Jinks also makes good use of recent events in Traced.

Set during the COVID epidemic, it opens with Jane Macdonald, a contact tracer for a western Sydney hospital, calling a young woman to advise that she has been identified as a close contact and must isolate. The woman becomes hysterical, claiming her fiancé will be extremely angry and that she fears for her safety. Jane soon comes to realise that the fiancé is the same man that she and her daughter have been hiding from for the last 6 years. A powerful examination of domestic abuse and control.”

I also did a longer review on the blog last week:

Zero Days by Ruth Ware (Simon & Schuster, 9 July 2023)

I really enjoyed Ruth Ware’s last novel, The It Girl, which was a clever, well structured murder mystery with a surprising conclusion. In Zero Days she takes a very different approach to the crime novel, and has written a fast moving thriller with a tough, resilient female hero.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Best known for her intricate British whodunits, Ruth Ware heads down a different path with Zero Days, which is a classic chase thriller.

Hired by companies to break into buildings and test security systems, Jack and her husband Gabe are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes wrong, Jack arrives home late to find Gabe murdered. She is devastated, but it soon becomes clear that the police have only one suspect in mind – her. In order to clear her name, and to find her husband’s killer, Jack goes on the run. Fast paced, and highly addictive reading.”

I also did a longer review here:

So some very different takes on the crime genre. I hope at least one of them piques your interest.

The review, and other reviews, can also be found on the Canberra Weekly site:

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