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Posted by on 6 Jan, 2022 in Australian Crime Fiction, British Crime, British Thrillers, Canberra Weekly, Crime, Thriller | 0 comments



Canberra Weekly 6 January 2022

This week in the Canberra Weekly I reviewed three good crime novels to start the year off with.

The Russian Wife by Barry Maitland (Allen & Unwin)

First up is The Russian Wife (Allen & Unwin) by Barry Maitland. This is the fourteenth entry in his series about London detectives David Brock and Kathy Kolla, and is another stellar read by Maitland. Combining strong characterisations, clever plotting and interesting observations on art and architecture, it is a very enjoyable police mystery.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Popular Australian author Barry Maitland starts the year’s reading off for us, with the fourteenth novel in his series about London detectives David Brock and Kathy Kolla. The Russian Wifeopens with Brock looking into a minor fraud matter, which soon escalates when the wife of a prominent art collector is found dead, while Kolla finds herself wrongly accused of corruption. The story starts strongly with some good scenes, and Maitland keeps the reader interested with his usual astute plotting, engaging characters and nice sense of place. Another masterful display of the mystery writer’s craft by the always reliable Maitland.”

I also did a longer review back in November 2021:

Good Cop Bad Cop by Simon Kernick (Hachette)

British writer Simon Kernick can always be relied upon to produce a highly entertaining read and Good Cop Bad Cop is no exception.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“You always know what you are going to get with a Simon Kernick novel; fast frenetic action and plenty of it, and this is certainly the case with Good Cop Bad Cop. Over the course of a long night what really happened fourteen years ago when undercover cop Chris Sketty stopped a terrorist attack in the heart of London is finally revealed, and the consequences will be bloody.  Kernick excels at this type of twisty, ingenious story and the book rockets from one murderous surprise to the next. Highly entertaining, it is the perfect summer read for the beach or the pool.”

I also did a longer review before Christmas:

Cry Wolf by Hans Rosenfeldt (Harper Collins)

Hans Rosenfeldt is best known as the creator of the popular television shows The Bridge and Marcella. In his first solo novel, Cry Wolf (Harper Collins), he has produced a dark and compelling tale about crime and greed in a small town on the border between Sweden and Finland.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Those after some fictional relief from the heat of summer, will enjoy this dark Nordic tale of drug dealers, minor crooks, the Russian Mafia and a single-minded female assassin.  Set on the icy border between northern Sweden and Finland, Cry Wolf is a gritty story by Hans Rosenfeldt, the creator of the award winning television shows The Bridge and Marcella. Featuring one of Rosenfeldt’s trademark quirky female detectives, the unhappy Hannah Wester, Cry Wolf is a well-crafted and gripping crime novel that excels in its finely wrought characterisations and vivid descriptions of the countryside around the Swedish city of Haparanda. A compelling read.”

I also did a longer review back in December 2021:

In all, an interesting and enjoyable mix of crime novels to start the year off with.

This week’s column can also be found on the Canberra Weekly site, along with other book reviews and current news:

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