It’s that time of year for ‘best of’ lists. Usually a ‘top five’ or ‘top ten’ proposition, I’ve decided to go with my top six Australian crime reads for 2015, seeing as how it makes for a neat collage.
First, some stats. In 2015, I read a total of 23 crime novels and three true crime/non-fiction books. Of these 26 titles, 17 were written by Australian authors and 19 were written by women. Fourteen were released this year. Of the 2015 releases, my picks are:
Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic (Echo Press), set in Melbourne and on Victoria’s southwest coast, is a noirish tale featuring a profoundly deaf protagonist; a stunning debut.
Garry Disher’s The Heat (Text Publishing) is a lean, taut thriller — rather like I imagine the protagonist to be — that finds professional thief Wyatt in Noosa to steal a painting.
In another impressive debut, JM Green combines a gritty take on inner city Melbourne with gallows humour in Good Money (Scribe).
Ann Turner’s background as a film-maker shows in her debut novel, The Lost Swimmer, a compulsive psychological thriller set in gorgeous Mediterranean locations.
Anna Jaquiery’s new Serge Morel novel, Death in the Rainy Season (Mantle), set in Cambodia, is rich and atmospheric, with an intelligent and satisfying plot.
And my friend and sister in crime Sulari Gentill’s seventh novel in the Rowland Sinclair series, Give the Devil His Due (Pantera Press), is a witty and wonderful read.
I’m also giving an honourable mention to a novel I read this year, which was released last year, Tracy Ryan’s Claustrophobia (Transit Lounge). Ryan’s novel manages to be both beautifully written and teeth-grindingly tense. I also reckon it qualifies as a rare example of Australian noir.
But what about you? What did you read in the way of crime fiction in 2015, and what were your stand-out reads?
I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish readers of this blog a happy, healthy and restorative festive season, however and wherever you spend it. For my part, I shall be in Bangkok…