CANBERRA WEEKLY 8 JULY 2021: NEW AUSTRALIAN FICTION
This week in the Canberra Weekly I reviewed three new novels by Australian authors Michael Robotham, Kim Lock and Maya Linnell.
First up was the latest rural romance by popular author Maya Linnell, Magpie’s Bend.
Maya has a lovely engaging writing style and her books have deservedly attracted widespread interest. In the Canberra Weekly I said:
“Maya Linnell is one of the nicest people on the Australian writing scene and her rural romances have deservedly found a growing audience. Magpie’s Bend is the latest instalment in her series about the McIntyre sisters and this time follows bush nurse Lara McIntyre as she tries to save a local store and deal with past trauma in the small country town of Bridgefield. Maya, who lives in rural Victoria herself, brings a good deal of authenticity, pleasant humour and an appealing cast of human and animal characters to her story, and Magpie’s Bend is another enjoyable tale about romance, family and dealing with change.”
Kim Lock’s The Other Side of Beautiful featured a ‘long dog’ called Wasabi, which made it a natural fit for this blog!
In the Canberra Weekly I said:
“It is hard not to like a book that features a sausage dog called Wasabi, and Kim Lock’s The Other Side Of Beautiful is an engaging story about second chances and a life changing road trip from Adelaide to Darwin. Mercy Blain has not been out of her house in two years, but when her home is burnt down, she forced on the road in a rundown campervan with Wasabi and a mysterious box of cremated remains. Enduring badly timed breakdowns, nosy grey nomads and takeaway food, Mercy steadily makes her way towards Darwin and new opportunities. A heart-warming story.”
Michael Robotham is having a stellar year, winning the CWA’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller (2021) for When She Was Good and enjoying good reviews for his latest book, When You Are Mine, which is one of the best novels I have read so far this year. It is a tightly structured novel with some great characters and unexpected twists and is just that little different from Michael’s earlier books.
In the Canberra Weekly I said:
“Michael Robotham is Australia’s leading writer of international crime novels, and his books are regularly found on bestseller lists around the world. With When You Are Mine, he introduces a fresh new character in the form of young London police officer Philomena (Phil) McCarthy. Phil is a smart, university educated officer whose career has been hampered by her estranged father, a notorious London gangster. Her career takes further hit when she becomes caught up in a domestic violence case involving a decorated police officer.
As usual, Robotham’s superior writing, clever plotting and credible characters, help elevate the book into something more substantial than the usual crime novel. Highly recommended.”
I also did a longer review of Michael’s book a couple of weeks ago: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/strong-reliable-female-narrators-late-june-reading-by-michael-robotham-catherine-steadman-and-jane-casey/
So, three very different Australian novels, that provide some enjoyable reading, especially if you are back in lockdown!