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Posted by on 4 Jun, 2024 in Australian Crime Fiction, Bestseller, British Crime, Canberra Weekly, Crime, Television shows, Thriller | 1 comment



This week in the Canberra Weekly, I reviewed a trio of very good crime thrillers by two of the biggest names in the crime fiction arena and an equally good novel by one of the genre’s rising stars!

The Instruments Of Darkness by John Connolly (Hachette, 30 April 2024)

John Connolly is in very good form in his latest Charlie Parker novel The Instruments Of Darkness (Hachette, 30 April 2024).

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“In Maine, Colleen Clark stands accused of the worst crime a mother can commit: the abduction and possible murder of her child. There is little initial evidence, but the town is convinced that she is guilty. The only people on her side are her extravagant lawyer, Moxie Castin, and his haunted private investigator Charlie Parker, who also enlists the help of a disgraced psychic.

This is another beautifully written and darkly compelling crime novel by Connolly, which goes to the heart of contemporary America, while also providing the necessary thrills and twists expected of the genre.  First class.”

I also did a longer review here:

Think Twice by Harlan Coben (Century, 14 May 2024)

Harlan Coben is one of the most popular authors in the world today and his books are always a ‘must read’. In recent years the success of his twisty, unpredictable novels has been enhanced by a well produced succession of Netflix mini-series based on his books, which have ramped up interest and cemented his international standing as a leading storyteller.

His latest book, Think Twice, (Century, 14 May 2024), is another feast of surprises and action that will keep you keenly reading to the end.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Harlan Coben can always be relied upon to provide good entertainment, whether it is a novel or one of his Netflix adaptations. Think Twice returns readers to the world of his popular hero, sports agent Myron Bolitar.  The FBI have come to Myron looking for his former client Greg Downing, whose DNA has been found a murder scene. The only problem is that Myron attended Greg’s funeral three years ago. The FBI are disbelieving, and he soon becomes caught up in the race to find Downing.

This is a typically fast paced, enjoyable tale by Coben, with plenty of twists and turns and unexpected detours. Recommended.”

I also did a longer review here:

Return To Blood by Michael Bennett (Simon & Schuster, 25 April 2024)

Michael Bennett’s Better The Blood was one of my favourite crime debuts of last year. Featuring Auckland detective Hana Westerman, it was a richly described crime novel that encompassed the tropes of the serial killer thriller and the legacy of New Zealand’s colonial past.

His second novel, Return To Blood (Simon & Schuster, 25 April 2024), is probably even better!

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Kiwi author Michael Bennett made an impressive entry into the world’s crime writing ranks with his first novel about Auckland police detective Hana Westerman Better The Blood. His second book opens with Hana resigned from the police and living a quieter life in a small coastal town. The discovery in the sand dunes of the remains of a young Māori woman, however, raises questions about an earlier killing and sets Hana on a collision course with a killer.

This is a very impressive piece of crime fiction. Well plotted, with sharp eyed observations on culture and New Zealand society, it is a ‘must read’.”

I also did a longer review here:

So three good books to check out. I particularly recommend the Michael Bennett book for fans of Australian and New Zealand crime fiction. It is probably one of the best ‘Downunder’ crime novels I have read so far this year, along with the new books by Garry Disher and Dinuka McKenzie.

As always, thanks to the publishers and the Canberra Weekly for the books.

Here is a link to the review on the Canberra Daily (Weekly) site. There is also other reviews and news on the site and it is well worth checking out:

1 Comment

  1. I’ve just bought a copy of ‘Instruments of Darkness’ and am trying to resist the urge to buy the others.

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