According to Goodreads, it’s mystery and thriller week! I thought it might be a good time to share some of the crime and thriller books I’ve been reading lately. Here’s three mini book reviews for Hades by Candice Fox, The Dry by Jane Harper & The Bat by Jo Nesbo.
And that just so happens to be what I’ve been reading lately. Here’s my top 3 crime and mystery novels I’ve read recently.
Hades by Candice Fox (2014)
[Spoiler alert in this review] This book is one for Dexter fans. Candice has skilfully crafted an intriguing cast of characters, a compelling premise and a real sense of place which brings Sydney and its suburbs alive.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Frank Bennett who transfers into a Sydney Police Department and partners with Eden Archer. She’s elusive, antisocial, beautiful and Frank is fascinated by her. He comes with his own emotional baggage and takes an instant disliking to Eden’s brother and fellow cop, Eric.
The reader is also privy to the viewpoint of Hades Archer, the man who raised Eden and Eric following a family tragedy. He sees their potential as well as their darkness and helps them channel their urges and tendencies and to conform to his own slightly warped moral code.
It’s not long before Frank suspects there’s more to the mysterious façade Eden displays to the world and he questions exactly what side of the law she is on.
The crime plot in this novel is very clever and interesting, but it’s the overall story arc which presents a series of questions the characters will face over the course of the series that really drew me in and made me buy the sequel (Eden) as soon as I could get my hands on it. Highly recommended!
The Dry by Jane Harper (2016)
I loved this book! There’s nothing I love more than a book with a setting that is just as complex and fascinating as the characters who live in it. Harper has truly succeeded in bringing the drought-ridden rural town of Kiewarra to life and it sets the mood for the story; a slow, holding your breath kind of pace, that mimics the rhythm of your breath if you took a long hike in the middle of the outback. That’s very much how this story unfolds. The suspense draws you in, the characters keep you there- guessing and questioning who can be trusted- and then the plot twists keep you on your toes. What can I say? Read it!!! Harper has become an auto-buy for me, so please hurry up and release another book!
The Bat by Jo Nesbo (1997)
Where have I been for the past twenty years? Of course I’ve heard about Jo Nesbo, but it’s taken awhile before I jumped on the bandwagon. I’m so glad I picked up the first Harry Hole thriller and it won’t be the last. Harry Hole is a Norwegian Detective who is extremely flawed (of course, what fictional cop isn’t?!) but very likeable. There’s just enough of him to keep the reader intrigued, but not too much that it interferes with the unfolding plot. The Bat, which is the first book in the series and is set In Sydney back in the late 90’s. I really enjoyed experiencing my city through the eyes of a foreigner. Nesbo explores some very poignant social and cultural issues that are still very relevant in today’s society and I thought his ability to explore this as an outsider to be very fascinating. The plot twists were clever and I’d like to read more about Harry Hole’s adventures- lucky for me there’s another 10 books in the series!
[Hades by Candice Fox & The Dry by Jane Harper were read & reviewed as part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017]