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...
Pile by the Bed reviews The Constant Rabbit by British fabulist Jasper Fforde - a broad satire that takes on immigration and prejudice.
Pile by the Bed reviews The Safe Place by Anna Downes a domestic thriller set on a remote luxurious estate in the South of France.
Pile by the Bed reviews The Bluffs by Kyle Perry a crime fiction debut set in the wilds of Northern Tasmania featuring haunted characters with dark secrets.
Pile by the Bed reviews Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia which true to its title is a gothic horror thriller set in the mountains of Mexico in the early 1950s.
Pile by the Bed reviews Peace Talks by Tim Finch a meditative story of love and loss.
Pile by the Bed reviews an evocative Australian debut set in Southern Tasmania - The Octopus and I by Erin Hortle.
Pile by the Bed reviews Where Angel Fears to Tread Robert Perrier's too-cutely named debut featuring an anti-hero hitman and dealing with corruption on the mean streets of Brisbane.
Pile by the Be reviews Stormblood - debut science fiction by Australian author Jeremy Szal. A space opera that is part military science fiction, part low-down cyberpunk adventure, part murder mystery, and part first person shooter.
Pile by the Bed reviews The Last Trial by Scott Turow, another masterful courtroom drama set in his fictional Kindle County featuring ageing defense attorney Sandy Stern.
Pile by the Bed reviews Elly by Maike Wetzel (translated from German by Lyn Marven) - a short, sharp, stark novel dealing with the aftermath of a child's disapperance.
Pile by the Bed reviews Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin an effective debut crime thriller procedural set on Melbourne's mean streets.
Pile by the Bed reviews Rise and Shine by Patrick Allington - an idiosyncratic post-apocalyptic tale that prompts readers to think differently about their world.
Pile by the Bed reviews Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth, a page-turning modern fantasy anchored around a flawed heroine that blows up common fantasy conventions and tropes.
Pile by the Bed reviews The End of October by Lawrence Wright - a fictionalised account of a deadly, highly contagious, global pandemic that hits close to home
Pile by the Bed reviews Goldilocks by Laura Lam, a philosophical, humanist science fiction thriller with a little bit of fairytale at its core.
Pile by the Bed reviews Seven Lies an unreliable narrator thriller debut by Elizabeth Kay
Pile by the Bed reviews The Book of Koli (The Ramparts #1) the start of a new post-apocalyptic trilogy by MR Carey
Pile by the Bed reviews Frying Plantain the debut novel by Zalika Reid-Benta, a series of short stories which follows the life of a young girl of Jamaican descent growing up in Canada.
Pile by the Bed reviews Desire Lines by Felicity Volk an Australian romance that spans the second half of the Twentieth Century
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...