Pile by the Bed reviews Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa, a novel that takes readers into the heart of the Syrian civil war.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson (Wormwood #2).

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Pile by the Bed reviews Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald (Luna #3). A lunar thrill ride of action, political manoeuvring and violence.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Tiamat’s Wrath by JAmes SA Corey (The Expanse #8) - another top entry in a great space opera series

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Pile by the Bed reviews To Kill the Truth, the latest thriller from Sam Bourne.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Comeback by Lindsay Tanner, the second in his Jack Van Duyn crime series set in inner Melbourne.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Eight Lives by Susan Hurley - a medical thriller that looks at the dangerous interface between business and science.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Woman in Darkness, the latest thriller by Charlie Donlea.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Flowers Over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti, an Italian procedural set in a small skiiing village in the Italian alps.

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Pile by the Bed reviews A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine - a strong modern space opera debut.

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Pile By the Bed reviews the Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the new fantasy novel by Booker Prize winner Marlon James

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Pile by the Bed reviews Ben Smith's debut novel Doggerland, a dystopian novel with echoes of Beckett and Cormac McCarthy.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Rip by Mark Brandi - "another assured, powerful piece of crime fiction".

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Test by Sylvain Neuvel a timely, Black Mirror-style look at citizenship tests.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan, Cormac Reilly #2 - "another great Irish procedural".

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Pile by the Bed reviews Hunter by Jack Heath, Timothy Blake #2 -"another compulsive page turner"

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Pile by the Bed reviews Slow Motion Ghosts, a new historical procedural crime novel, by Jeff Noon

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Pile by the Bed reviews Gallowstree Lane an English crime fiction procedural by Kate London (Collins and Griffiths #3)

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Pile by the Bed reviews String City by Graham Edwards

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Pile by the Bed reviews Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz, the fourth Orphan X thriller.

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The Silent Inheritance by Joy Dettman
Crime , Review / 14/03/2016

Joy Dettman delves into a world of crime in her latest novel. Over a wide cast of characters she manages to fit in a whole spectrum of crime and general meanness into a small space: from a serial killer through to a hit and run, perjury and drug dealing. The Silent Inheritance ranges across a large group of characters so it takes a while to get going. Sarah Carter, deaf since birth, is trying to get a promotion but is passed over for...

Fever City by Tim Baker
Crime , Historical , Review / 10/03/2016

There is nothing more certain than death, taxes and books about the assassination of JFK. This event had everything – sex, drugs, mafia, movie stars, the FBI, the CIA, communists. And to top it all off, as Tim Baker does not hesitate to point out in Fever City, it was an event that changed the course of America and world history. The shooting of JFK  has always been the motherload for conspiracy theorists but also for crime writers. ...

Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn
Fantasy , Review / 06/03/2016

Lian Hearn returns to her best-selling faux-Japanese fantasy world in a new four book series being published in Australia in two volumes. Set three hundred years before her Tales of the Otori, The Tale of Shikanoko is pure sword and sorcery fantasy with a Japanese twist. As with her Otori series, the setting is not Japan, or even a Japanese version of ancient Japan, but it is a Japan-like world heavily based on the myths, legends and...

The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore
Crime , Recommended , Review , Thriller / 06/03/2016

Many crime novels straddle the line between crime and horror. Serial killers, on the whole, are the stuff of nightmares and crime writers have been falling over themselves for some time to up the gore factor. While horror novels usually rely on some form of supernatural agency and do not necessarily have the neat resolution of the crime genre, the bloody results are often the same. And so it is with The Poison Artist – a crime novel ...

How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball
Literature , Recommended , Review / 06/03/2016

It is easy to compare any novel narrated by a disaffected American teenager with the seminal Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield has become the archetypical American teen – intelligent, insightful and with plenty of promise but constantly fighting against a system which seeks to pigeon hole and repress. Lucia, the eighteen year-old narrator of How to Set a Fire and Why, fits into this mould but this is a very different tale and a ve...

Down Station by Simon Morden
Fantasy , Review / 06/03/2016

Doorways into magical lands are a venerable fantasy tradition going back centuries in English fiction. Think Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan. In the Twentieth Century we had the seminal Narnia series and plenty of imitators followed. More recently we’ve even seen a modern deconstruction of that mythology in books like Lev Grossman’s Magician’s series. In this context, Simon Morden’s Down Station seems a little staid. The central ide...

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

The sinking of the Titanic, now over one hundred years ago, is still one of the most famous disasters in history. So it is no wonder that it has been the subject of countless books and films. Given this, the question has to be whether there is the appetite for yet another novel exploring this incident. The answer, strongly given by David Dyer in his debut The Midnight Watch, is an unqualified yes. The Midnight Watch is not primarily ...

Fall by Candice Fox
Crime , Recommended / 23/01/2016

  Eden Archer, Australia’s answer to Dexter Morgan, and her damaged partner Frank Bennett are back at work in Fall, investigating a series of murders of women joggers. Underlying this investigation is another one by Frank’s lover (and former psychologist) Imogen, who solves cold cases in her spare time and is closing in on Eden’s true identity. There is plenty else going on in Fall, with Eden’s ex-crimelord father Hades having a...

Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt
Fantasy , Literature , Review / 05/01/2016

Patrick deWitt has gone into fractured fairytale territory in his latest novel. Undermajordomo Minor, set somewhere in Europe, sometime in the nineteenth century comes complete with castles, dukes, battles, pickpockets, chambermaids and the titular majordomo. Lucien “Lucy” Minor needs to leave home. He lands himself a job as assistant to Olderclough, the majordomo  of the Castle von Aux. On arrival, Lucy finds that Olderclough’s prev...