Pile by the Bed reviews The Island by Adrian McKinty, a Deliverance-style survival thriller set on a remote Australian island.
Pile By the Bed lists the Top 5 crime fiction novels of 2019 and 5 more honourable mentions
Pile by the Bed review The Chain, a compulsive stand alone thriller by two time Ned Kelly Award winner Adrian McKinty
In 2017, most of the top crime was Australian. Adrian McKinty took out the Ned Kelly Award for the sixth novel in his Sean Duffy series – Police at the Station and they Don’t Look Friendly. Candice Fox was shortlisted for the same award for Crimson Lake – the first book in her new series set in steamy far north Queensland. Michael Robotham’s The Secrets She Keeps was a stand-alone page turning thriller with two intriguing women at its centre. Mark Brandi’s debut novel Wimmera, a story of the impacts of child sexual abuse, not only on the victim but on all those around them, was a revelation. And Attica Locke went to rural Texas and revealed the deep seated vein of institutionalised racism in the United states in Bluebird Bluebird Honourable mentions: Under the Cold Bright Lights by Garry Disher Too Easy by JM Green Places in the Darkness by Chris Brookmyer Corpselight by Angela Slatter
It is a common trope in crime fiction that the protagonist detective often finds themselves in some sort of mortal peril. So much so that it starts to feel like a bit of cliché. But for Sean Duffy, a Catholic policeman in a mainly Protestant police force in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, mortal peril is just a fact of life. From the first book in this award winning crime series Sean has been checking under his car for mercury tilt switches every time he leaves his house. So it comes as no surprise to long term fans that book 6, sporting the mouthful name Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, opens with Sean being marched to his execution through a remnant patch of Irish forest. But, being Sean, as he puffs his way asthmatically through a bog he still manages to keep his mordant sense of humour: “A bullet in the head will fix an incipient asthma attack every time.” Flashback to Sean visiting his parents with his girlfriend and new baby Emma and being relieved to be called back to Carickfergus to investigate the murder of a small time drug dealer. From the start his…