CANBERRA WEEKLY COLUMN: 20 MAY 2021 – RECENT CRIME FICTION
This week in the Canberra Weekly I reviewed three new enjoyable crime novels ideal for winter reading.
First up was Peter James’ latest Inspector Roy Grace novel, Left You Dead (Macmillan, May 2021). This is the seventeenth novel in James’ popular series, which has just been given a boost with the release of a television show based on the first two books in the series.
It was another solid entry in the series with an intriguing central plot and a shocking development in Grace’s personal life. Fans of the series will keenly devour this one.
I did a longer review of the book earlier this month: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/left-you-dead-by-peter-james-macmillan-may-2021/
Second up was Katherine Firkin’s impressive second novel The Girl Remains (Bantam, May 2021). Katherine’s debut, Sticks And Stones, was a solid first novel, but I think that The Girl Remains is a stronger and better plotted book. There are some good twists and turns, and Katherine has achieved a better balance this time around between the crime story and the various personal sub-plots.
I did a longer review of the book earlier this month: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/the-girl-remains-by-katherine-firkin-bantam-may-2021/
Finally, Russ Thomas’ Nighthawking is a good follow-up to his well received first novel, Firewatching. Once more featuring DS Adam Tyler and DC Mina Rabbani from the Cold Case Review Unit, it is well plotted crime novel with an interesting background. In the Canberra Weekly I said:
“Nighthawks are treasure hunters who operate under the cover of darkness, seeking the lost and the valuable. They operate outside the normal rules for archaeologists and are not averse to breaking the law to get what they want. When the body of a young woman is found in Sheffield’s beautiful botanical gardens with ancient Roman coins covering her eyes, Detective Superintendent Adam Tyler finds himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawks as he tries to find a killer. Thomas is a skilled plotter and Nighthawking is an entertaining crime thriller.”
I particularly liked the background information on Nighthawks and archaeology and thought that the characterisation of Tyler was better developed and more mature this time around. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Thanks to the publishers and the Canberra Weekly for the books.
A copy of this column and other reviews can be found on the Canberra Weekly site: https://canberraweekly.com.au/category/entertainment/books/