Aussie Book Review: Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson

rough Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson


Review copy provided by publisher/ netgalley

Penguin, January 2013

 Synopsis- Funny, romantic, and action-packed, Rough Diamond introduces Australia’s own Stephanie Plum – the unforgettable Erica Jewell.

The shock ending to Erica Jewell’s marriage left a huge hole in her bank balance and a bigger one in her heart. And now her life goals make a very short list: no surprises, no debt and, definitely, no men. That is, until she finds one bleeding to death in her Melbourne garden one stormy Friday night.

Jack Jones is a man whose emotional wounds are more life-threatening than the bullet in his shoulder. Under orders, he recruits Erica to his secret team of vigilantes, and Erica suspects her safe, predictable world is about to be turned upside down.

And she’s absolutely right.

Review- Rough Diamond is a witty, action-packed debut novel by Australian author Kathryn Ledson. I hoped this book would be the first in a series and after dropping by the author’s website it looks like it will be- YAY!

Set in Melbourne, Rough Diamond is an exciting new series with a funny, outspoken and full-of-trouble heroine, Erica Jewell- who gives Stephanie Plum a run for her money!

Erica Jewell is quite happy with her mundane life consisting of a PR job, weekly dinners at her parent’s house and paying off her deadbeat ex-husband’s debt. It’s not until a sexy, mysterious gunshot victim lands on her doorstep- whom she suspects a terrorist- with two requests: don’t tell the police and to phone the number on a nameless business card. Intrigued and possibly a little naive, Erica does as he asks but not before consulting with her bossy best friend Lucy whom confirms she’s out of her mind.

Once Erica dumps the man known as Jack Jones on a park bench and watches him be picked up by a couple of blokes in a pie van, she believes the burst of excitement in her life has disappeared too. But it’s really just the beginning, Erica is thrown into a whirlwind adventure once she is recruited in an underground ‘team’ who seem to play by their own rules and outside the law to keep the city safe from terrorists. Stolen fertiliser to car bombs and kidnappings, Erica gets a reality check into the darker side of Melbourne. But she takes it with a grain of salt and working alongside handsome Jack Jones certain eases the strain, as does the hefty cash payments she’s receiving for her new job.

The romance sub-plot between Erica and Jack weaves its way throughout the story and I liked how the relationship developed gradually upon a friendship bound with attraction, playfulness and loyalty. Written in first person, it was always a little uncertain where Jack’s feelings lie, though his actions were clear neither questioned their relationship because of fear of what they would lose if they did. Both Erica and Jack have loved and lost and neither are ready to risk their hearts again.

Reading it on my kindle it felt like quite a lengthy book with many little plots and plenty  happening but I was entertained the entire way. I’m not quite sure how else to explain why I loved it so much other than Erica being a fantastic heroine, it was witty and the romance was engaging. What’s usually dragged out throughout a series was stepped up in this novel. We didn’t have to wait for the next book for Erica and Jack to kiss or *ahem* do more… which was great as I’m a touch impatient.

The only reason I didn’t give this book a five star was because of the ending. I wanted a bit more closure between Erica and Jack and at the time I didn’t realise it was the start of the series, so my rating reflects my immediate feelings upon finishing the book.

I highly recommend Rough Diamond, it’s a really fun Australian mystery with a loveable heroine and a mysterious hero. It’s a book not to be taken too seriously with improbable situations but that’s what makes it fun! I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series!

Overall Rating



Rough Diamond can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers

This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge:



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