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Posted by on 9 Jan, 2023 in Australian Crime Fiction, Bestseller, Canberra Weekly, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Thriller | 0 comments



Canberra Weekly, 5 January 2023

This week in the Canberra Weekly I reviewed three new crime and thriller titles suitable for summertime reading in Australia.

The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath, (Head of Zeus, 10 January 2023)

First up is Rebecca Heath’s debut adult crime novel The Summer Party, (Head of Zeus, 10 January 2023).

Ideally titled for Australian summer holiday reading, The Summer Party is set on the South Australian coast and smoothly moves back and forth between 2019 and the summer of 2000.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“The aptly titled The Summer Party is a good book to start the year’s reading with.  Set on the South Australian coast, Rebecca Heath’s debut adult novel moves back and forth between 2019 and the summer of 2000. After two decades of silence Lucy Ross is back in Queen’s Point to clean out the home of her recently deceased grandmother. Her arrival in the now booming beach town, however, coincides with the discovery of human remains on the beach, and brings back into light events from 2000 that still haunt Lucy.  A smoothly written and highly entertaining summer read.”

The Summer Party is a breezy mix of coming of age novel, domestic suspense and crime fiction. The descriptions of the South Australian coastal milieu are convincing and Lucy Ross is an engaging, slightly fragile character. The relationships are interesting and the central mystery plot is solid, although it stretches credibility at times.

The detailed emotional entanglements may not appeal to those that enjoy straight investigative crime novels, but overall it is an enjoyable piece of summer holiday reading that will satisfy fans of writers such as C. L. Taylor and Lisa Jewell.

The Summer Party will be released in Australia on 10 January 2023 and on Kindle in the United Kingdom on 5 January 2023.

The Next Girl by Pip Drysdale (Simon & Schuster, 30 November 2022)

Pip Drysdale’s The Next Girl, (Simon & Schuster, 30 November 2022), is more edgier than The Summer Party and has a crisper, sharper feel to it.

Pip has been a bright addition to the realm of modern, psychological, romantic, suspense and I like the unpredictability of her plots. In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Pip Drysdale is one of the brightest new stars in the realm of first person psychological suspense and The Next Girl is another briskly paced tale with an edgy, but engaging, narrator. Billie is unfairly dismissed as a paralegal in New York legal firm when a case goes wrong, and she is blamed. Following a drunken night out, Billie decides to take revenge on the sleazy doctor and serial offender at the centre of the case and sets in train a dangerous series of events. A good contemporary thriller with clever twists and a touch of romance.  Romantic suspense for the Netflix generation.”

I also did a longer review before Christmas:

Hunting Time by Jeffery Deaver (Harper Collins, 24 November 2022)

Jeffery Deaver’s novels always make for good holiday reading and his latest, Hunting Time (Harper Collins, 24 November 2022), is another action packed, twisty thriller that moves along at a very brisk pace.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Security expert Colter Shaw is hired by the eccentric CEO of a technology company to track down and help one of his staff who has gone missing. Allison Parker is a brilliant engineer who is on the run from her abusive ex-cop husband, who has just been released from prison, and a pair of deadly assassins. Shaw joins the pursuit of Allison and soon finds that nothing is like it seems.  As is usually the case with a Deaver novel, Hunting Time is full of action, suspense, and twists, as well as interesting dollops of forensic detail.  A good piece of summer escapism.”

I also did a slighter longer review before Christmas:

So some good light, enjoyable summer reading books. In my next post I will be looking at an impressive bunch of earlier 2023 crime releases by Australian authors.

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