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...
Pile by the Bed reveals the top 5 science fiction books for 2019 (and 4 honourable mentions)
Pile by the Bed reviews Darkness for Light by Emma Viskic (Caleb Zelic #3) finds it essential reading for fans of this award winning series.
Pile by the Bed lists the top five fantasy novels of 2019 (with three honourable mentions)
Pile by the Bed reviews The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson - the final stunning volume in the mind-bending Wormwood trilogy.
Pile by the Bed reviews The Wife and the Widow by Christian White, the follow up to his award winning debut The Nowhere Child and describes it as another page-turning stand alone thriller.
Pile by the Bed reviews Peace by Garry Disher, the long awaited (but a little unexpected) follow up to Bitterwash Road and calls is a "masterclass in crime fiction".
Pile by the Bed Reviews The Quantum Garden (Quantum Evolution #2) by Derek Kunsken, sequel to The Quantum Magician.
Pile by the Bed reviews Your House Will Pay the debut novel by Steph Cha that explores the ongoing echoes of 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Pile by the Bed reviewes To Calais, In Ordinary Time by James Meek, a journey across England in 1348, a time of impending plague
Pile by the Bed reviews Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke (Highway 59 #2) - Insightful, atmospheric, engaging and tense.
Pile by the Bed reviews Warrior of the Altaii, the previously unreleased debut novel from Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan
Pile by the Bed reviews The Divers' Game by Jesse Ball, short and disturbing connected stories set in a dystopian world.
Pile by the Bed reviews Blood in the Water by Jack Flynn a propulsive stand alone thriller set in and around Boston Harbour.
Pile by the Bed reviews In Darkness Visible by Tony Jones, which looks at the Balkan war and its aftermath, sequel to his historical thriller The Twentieth Man.
Pile by the Bed reviews The Operators by Barry Heard, a thriller that draws on his own experiences in Vietnam.
Pile by the Bed reviews Bruny by Heather Rose - an Australian political thriller set in Tasmania in the not too distant future.
Pile by the Bed reviews Silver by Chris Hammer, Martin Scarsdale #2, sequel to Scrublands.
Pile by the Bed reviews The Burning Land, the debut novel by BBC journalist George Alagiah set in South Africa and finds it timely and engaging.
Pile By the Bed reviews The Nickel Boys, by Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead, the story of a reformatory school in Florida in the 1960s.
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 ...
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...
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 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 ...
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...
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...