Best Crime Fiction/Thrillers Reads of 2015

I have been deliberating on the books to include on this list for the past two weeks; I have read so many great crime fiction/thriller reads this year it is hard to limit my response to just a few.  But I will try:)    Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy? Is there one that you think should be include on this list?


Happy New Year, wishing you many exciting reads in 2016.


My Best Crime Fiction/Thriller Reads of 2015 ( in no particular order):


Cover Resurrection Bay


My review here:



Cover The Butterfly Enigma

My review here:

Cover The Crossing

My review here:

Cover Three Lives Down

My review here:

Cover Give the Devil His Due

My review here:

My review here:


cover Crucifixion Creek Barry Maitland


My review here:




Tennison Lynda La Plante Cover


My review here:




The Shut Eye

My review here:





Cover Good Money J M Green


My review here:





Cover Only To Die Again


My review here:




Cover Pretty Girls


My review here:




My review here:




Book Cover: A Time To Run - J M Peace: Pan Macmillan


My Review here:




Cover Charlie Presumed Dead


My review here:




Cover Limbo Amy Andrews


My review here:




Cover The Huntress Moon


My review here:





Cover - Risk


My review:




The Zig Zag Girl

My review here:




Cover Kingdom Of the Strong


My review here:





I must stop….so many great books….


Apologies for the formatting error – every time I correct and update the formatting changes!






Best Australian Author Reads 2015

This year I have read some great books by Australian authors and it has been very difficult to decide a “Best of  2015 “. I cannot nominate just one book or one author but have managed to narrow my selection to my top fifteen.  If you get an opportunity to read any of these you will not be disappointed. In no particular order here they are: ( have edited to show link to review)


Description: Caleb Zelic, profoundly deaf since early childhood, has always lived on the outside – watching, picking up tell-tale signs people hide in a smile, a cough, a kiss. When a childhood friend is murdered, a sense of guilt and a determination to prove his own innocence sends Caleb on a hunt for the killer. But he can’t do it alone. Caleb and his troubled friend Frankie, an ex-cop, start with one clue: Scott, the last word the murder victim texted to Caleb. But Scott is always one step ahead.

This gripping, original and fast-paced crime thriller is set between a big city and a small coastal town, Resurrection Bay, where Caleb is forced to confront painful memories. Caleb is a memorable protagonist who refuses to let his deafness limit his opportunities, or his participation in the investigation. But does his persistence border on stubbornness? And at what cost? As he delves deeper into the investigation Caleb uncovers unwelcome truths about his murdered friend – and himself.

Resurrection Bay is the exciting debut novel by Melbourne-based award-winning crime writer Emma Viskic.

‘Viskic has created a genuinely unique and captivating character who deserves a place alongside Jack Irish and Cliff Hardy.’ – P.M. Newton

More here:


Cover The Butterfly Enigma

Description: A thrilling new novel from the author of the ‘Resisting the Enemy’ series. Lena, the lost child… Found wandering the streets of wartime Paris. No-one knows her real name or where she came from. Australia in the ‘Swinging Sixties.’ Lena is working in the Melbourne Law Courts. One day in court she hears a man’s voice. A voice that sounds hauntingly familiar. A voice that chills her to the core. Is it possible that this man has something to do with her unknowable past? Lena embarks on a search for more. A newspaper story. A history. A connection. And slowly, layer by layer, the past is peeled away, revealing a picture of evil involving thousands of lives and touching on Lena’s own personal tragedy. ‘The Butterfly Enigma’ ranges from the submarine-patrolled sea lanes of the Baltic to the staid courtrooms of mid-sixties Australia, to the island of Crete, to Paris, Tel Aviv and the inner workings of the Mossad, and to Rio de Janeiro. A gripping story of one young woman’s search for her lost past. Above all, her passionate and overwhelming desire for justice and retribution.

More here:


Cover The Simplest Words

Description:  A selection of short pieces – both fiction and non-fiction – from one of Australia’s greatest literary treasures.

From one of Australia’s greatest novelists comes this fine collection, a storyteller’s journey. These short stories and essays, written over the last forty years, comprise an insightful and intelligent meditation on the life of the novelist and the culture of contemporary Australia. Personal and intimate as many of these pieces are, this collection forms a kind of assured autobiography, of the sort that only Alex Miller could write.

Alex Miller’s stories are told with a rare level of wisdom and profundity, engaging the intellect and the emotions simultaneously. Stories are, after all, in his blood.

More here:


Cover Three Lives Down

Description: Dan Taylor has survived two attempts on his life. The rest of his team are missing, and now a terrorist group has stolen a radioactive isotope from a top secret government project.

Can Dan survive long enough to prevent a nuclear disaster on British soil?

With the Prime Minister determined to re-negotiate the country’s place in the European Union, and deals being struck behind closed doors, Dan stumbles across a plot that will shake the country to its core.

If his mission fails, his enemies will overthrow the British government, and Dan will be a wanted man.

If he wants to succeed, he’ll have to sacrifice everything.

More here:


Cover Give the Devil His Due

Description: The 7th book in the award-winning Australian historical crime fiction Rowland Sinclair Mystery Series

When Rowland Sinclair is invited to take his yellow Mercedes onto the Maroubra Speedway, renamed the Killer Track for the lives it has claimed, he agrees without caution or reserve.

But then people start to die.

The body of a journalist covering the race is found in a House of Horrors, an English blueblood with Blackshirt affiliations is killed on the race track, and it seems that someone has Rowland in their sights.

A strange young reporter preoccupied with black magic, a mysterious vagabond, an up-and-coming actor by the name of Flynn, and ruthless bookmakers all add mayhem to the mix.

With danger presenting at every turn, and the brakes long since disengaged, Rowland Sinclair hurtles towards disaster with an artist, a poet and brazen sculptress along for the ride.

More here:


cover Crucifixion Creek Barry Maitland

Description:  A meth-addicted biker shoots a woman during a police siege. An elderly couple commit suicide on the terrace of their favorite café. An unidentified white male is stabbed to death in the street.

For Sydney homicide detective Harry Belltree, not long out of the military and a grueling tour of Afghanistan, these three deaths appear to be just another day at the office. Until, that is, he identifies the stabbing victim as his own brother-in-law Greg, and journalist Kelly Pool suggests there’s a link between the three incidents. It seems Greg and the old couple had ties to the same man, a corrupt money man with a murky past and friends in both high places and low.

Harry Belltree can’t get officially involved in Greg’s murder, but he’s not going to leave it in the hands of others. That’s when he goes off-grid to investigate the links between these deaths. That’s when things start to get dangerous.

More here:


Cover Good Money J M Green

Description: Introducing Stella Hardy, a wisecracking social worker with a thirst for social justice, good laksa, and alcohol.

Stella’s phone rings. A young African boy, the son of one of her clients, has been murdered in a dingy back alley. Stella, in her forties and running low on empathy, heads into the night to comfort the grieving mother. But when she gets there, she makes a discovery that has the potential to uncover something terrible from her past — something she thought she’d gotten away with.

Then Stella’s neighbour Tania mysteriously vanishes. When Stella learns that Tania is the heir to a billion-dollar mining empire, Stella realises her glamorous young friend might have had more up her sleeve than just a perfectly toned arm. Who is behind her disappearance?

Enlisting the help of her friend, Senior Constable Phuong Nguyen, Stella’s investigation draws her further and further into a dark world of drug dealers, sociopaths, and killers, such as the enigmatic Mr Funsail, whose name makes even hardened criminals run for cover.

One thing is clear: Stella needs to find answers fast — before the people she’s looking for find her instead.

Set in the bustling, multicultural innerwest of Melbourne, Good Money reveals a daring and exciting new voice in Australian crime fiction.

More here:


Book Cover: A Time To Run - J M Peace: Pan Macmillan

Description: A Time to Run is a tense crime thriller set in the Queensland bush featuring a cop-turned-victim and a Wolf Creek-style killer.

J.M. Peace is a serving police officer on the Sunshine Coast and over the past 15 years she has worked throughout south-east Queensland in a variety of different capacities.

J.M. writes with chilling authenticity and a strong Australian voice.

The hunt is on


A madman is kidnapping women to hunt them for sport.


Detective Janine Postlewaite leads the investigation into the disappearance of Samantha Willis, determined not to let another innocent die on her watch.


The killer’s newest prey isn’t like the others. Sammi is a cop. And she refuses to be his victim.



More here:


Cover Close Your Eyes

Description: I close my eyes and feel my heart begin racing

Someone is coming

They’re going to find me

A mother and her teenage daughter are found brutally murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince. Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself the ‘Mindhunter’, trading on Joe’s name, has jeopardised the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger. With no shortage of suspects and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discover links between these murders to a series of brutal attacks where the men and women are choked unconscious and the letter ‘A’ is carved into their foreheads. As the case becomes ever more complex, nothing is quite what it seems and soon Joe’s fate, and that of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer . . .

More here:


Cover The Waiting Room

Description: Compelling, moving and memorable. Graeme Simsion.  The Waiting Room captures the sights, sounds, accents and animosities of a country overflowing with stories. Dina is a family doctor living in the melting-pot city of Haifa, Israel. Born in Australia in a Jewish enclave of Melbourne to Holocaust survivors, Dina left behind a childhood marred by misery and the tragedies of the past to build a new life for herself in the Promised Land. After starting a family of her own, she finds her life falling apart beneath the demands of her eccentric patients, a marriage starting to fray, the ever-present threat of terrorist attack and the ghost of her mother, haunting her with memories that Dina would prefer to leave on the other side of the world. Leah Kaminsky plumbs the depths of her characters’ memories, both the sweet and the heart-wrenching, reaching back in a single climactic day through six decades and across three continents to uncover a truth that could save Dina’s sanity – and her life.

More here:


Cover - Risk

Description: Best friends Taylor and Sierra meet a hot guy in a chat room online. Both fall for Jacob’s charms, but as usual, the more outgoing and vivacious Sierra overshadows Taylor and wins his attention.

Taylor’s devastated – Sierra already kissed Callum, Taylor’s secret crush, over the summer holidays. Life’s not fair, especially when Sierra’s around.

Moving quickly, Sierra sets up a date with Jacob on Friday after school. She asks Taylor and their friends to cover for her. Even though she’s upset, Taylor is still Sierra’s best friend and agrees to help.

But Sierra abuses the favour and calls to say she’s going to spend the night with her date. She doesn’t come home all weekend, doesn’t answer her phone and nobody’s heard from her. Taylor is torn. She doesn’t want to betray Sierra by telling her parents but at the same time she’s concerned for her welfare.

Finally, Callum convinces her to tell. The police are called and their worst fears are confirmed when Sierra’s body is found miles from Melbourne a week later. Devastated, Taylor becomes obsessed with finding Sierra’s killer. As clues emerge, Taylor races against time to try to save the predator’s next victim.

More here:


Cover Kingdom Of the Strong

 Description:  Acclaimed crime writer Tony Cavanaugh is back with a gripping new novel featuring Australia’s answer to Michael Connelly’s Hieronymus Bosch – Darian Richards.

Darian Richards is an ex-cop, a good one. He did whatever it took to solve a crime and stop the bad guy. Whatever it took! But after sixteen years as the head of Victoria’s Homicide Squad, he’d had enough of promising victims’ families he’d find the answers they needed. He had to walk away to save his sanity.

Now Police Commissioner Copeland Walsh has tracked Darian down. He needs him to help clear an old case. The death of Isobel Vine. The coroner gave an open finding. An open finding that never cleared the cloud of doubt that hovered over four young cops who were present the night Isobel died.

Twenty-five years later, one of those young cops is next in line to become police commissioner, so Copeland Walsh needs the case closed once and for all. In his mind there is only one man for the job. One man who would be completely independent. One man who has never bowed to political or police pressure. One man who knows how to get the job done – Darian Richards.

Darian is going back to stir a hornet’s nest. But once Darian is on a case he won’t back off tracking down evil, no matter who he has to take down.

More here:


Book Cover The Soldier's Wife - Pamela Hart

Description: Ruby and Jimmy Hawkins are sure their love will last forever, despite Jimmy being sent to Gallipoli only weeks after their marriage. Amid the desperate battles of the Dardanelles, Jimmy dreams of the future they planned together and writes Ruby letters full of love and longing.

Back in Sydney, Ruby must face challenges she never could have imagined as a young country bride. Finding a place in the city and taking a job as a bookkeeper in a timber merchant’s yard, she discovers that working in a man’s world is fraught with complications, especially when her employer suffers a devastating loss and she is expected to take the reins.

When Jimmy returns wounded in both body and spirit, he and Ruby come close to losing everything in the aftermath of war. They must find a new way to live and to love if their marriage is to survive.

More here:


Cover Limbo Amy Andrews

Description: Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’ fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child.

When ex hillbilly-punk rocker turned cadaver make-up artist Joy Valentine is visited by the ghost of a high-profile murder victim begging for Joy’s help to find her kidnapped baby girl, Joy knows from experience the cops are going to think she’s crazy. So she takes it to the one guy she knows who won’t.

The last thing disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator Dash Dent expected is a woman from his past turning up to complicate his present with a nutty, woo-woo story. The problem is he knows Joy is telling the truth and he can’t ignore the compelling plight of baby Isabella whose disappearance six months prior transfixed the nation.

Discounted and discredited by the police, Dash and Joy work together to uncover the mystery and find Isabella, with a whacky supporting cast including Eve, a brothel madam; Stan, an excommunicated priest; Katie, Dash’s ten-year-old daughter; and two horny goldfish. It’s a race against time and against all odds – but the real battle for Dash and Joy might just be keeping their hands off each other.

More here:


Cover The Life Of I

Description: Far from being the work of a madman, Anders Breivik’s murderous rampage in Norway was the action of an extreme narcissist. As the dead lay around him, he held up a finger asking for a Band-Aid.

Written with the pace of a psychological thriller, The Life of I is a compelling account of the rise of narcissism in individuals and society. Manne examines the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and the alarming rise of sexual assaults in sport and the military, as well as the vengeful killings of Elliot Rodger in California. She looks at narcissism in the pursuit of fame and our obsession with ‘making it’. She goes beyond the usual suspects of social media and celebrity culture to the deeper root of the issue: how a new narcissistic character-type is being fuelled by a cult of the self and the pursuit of wealth in a hypercompetitive consumer society.

The Life of I also offers insights from the latest work in psychology, looking at how narcissism develops. But Manne also shows that there is an alternative: how to transcend narcissism, to be fully alive to the presence of others; how to create a world where love and care are no longer turned inward.

More here:






Post Script: MKR: Best Of The Best Cookbook – Seven Network (Operations) Ltd

For the fans!

Cover MKR Best of the Best Cookbook

MKR: Best of the Best Cookbook

Seven Network (Operations) Ltd

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733634758



For the first time ever over 100 of the best-loved, top-scoring recipes from six seasons of MY KITCHEN RULES Australia are collected together in one beautiful volume.

MY KITCHEN RULES, Australia’s most watched cooking show, has helped ignite the passions of millions of home cooks.


Now, in one stunningly photographed and beautifully presented cookbook, you have the chance to make all your favourite recipes in your own kitchen. Plate up Veronica & Shadi’s Grilled Swordfish, Sammy & Bella’s Salmon Fish Fingers, Nic & Rocco’s Macarons Six Ways, Luke & Scott’s Zesty Prawn Salad, Dan & Steph’s Lamb Roulade with Smoked Carrots and Mint Pesto, Helena & Vikki’s Baked Moussaka or Jac & Shaz’s Red Velvet with Chocolate and Raspberries.


With all the best dishes from the first six seasons of the show, you and your family can create your own instant restaurant, cook and compare your meals to your favourite teams’ and score the results just like Pete and Manu.


My View:

This is a lusciously presented recipe book – the food photography and presentation are works of art! The recipes are mouth-watering and elegant. If you are cooking for that special occasion this will be your go to recipe book!

What you can expect:


Chocolate Mousse Cake – divine! (Yes I went to the back of the book first J ) p.170

Chocolate Peppermint Delice (p.199)

Red Velvet with Chocolate and Raspberries (p.199)

Deb’s Trifle – perfect for Christmas (p. 209)


Turkey San Choi Bow     (p. 3)

Breakfast Damper (p.15)

Scotch Egg (p.56)

Prawn Cakes – a favourite of mine (p. 60)


Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken (p.89)

Baked Moussaka (p.121)

Nasi Goreng (p.104)


And so much more!


Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Emma Viskic

Welcome Emma Viskic to my blog.  Emma is a Melbourne based crime fiction writer. She has won two of Australia’s premier crime friction short story awards: the Ned Kelly S.D. Harvey Award (2014) and the New England Thunderbolt Award (2013). She has had stories placed and shortlisted in numerous other competitions and been published in Award Winning Australian Writing. She wrote the final draft of Resurrection Bay while being mentored through the UK WoMentoring Project. Emma is also a classically trained musician.

Emma Viskic

Emma Says:


When I was a child… I spent most weekends and evenings playing ‘Adventure’ with my brother and sister. We’d travel to distant planets on our backyard swings, exploring strange landscapes and fighting monsters. For some reason this often involved real life danger to my (much younger) brother, but it never ended with a trip to hospital. Well, hardly ever.


My favourite book of 2015… I read a lot of great books this year, but one that has really stayed with me is Black Rock, White City by Alec Patrić. It follows the story of Jovan, a Serbian refugee and poet, who now works as a janitor in an outer-suburban Melbourne hospital. There is a thriller-like plot threaded through the novel, but it’s the examination of Jovan’s character, his past losses and present struggles, that draws you in. It’s a raw, sad, beautiful book.



Inspiration…where did the inspiration for your protagonist in Resurrection Bay – Caleb Zelic, come from ?

My murky subconscious! My rough drafts are directed by pure instinct. It’s only when I’ve written a few chapters that I stop and examine what I’ve got. A first I couldn’t work out why Caleb was deaf. In fact, I couldn’t even work out why he was a man. Where was the kick-arse female detective I’d always assumed I’d write? So I examined what I’d written and began to see glimpses of a girl I’d gone to school with. She shared many of the same qualities as Caleb: she was watchful, proud, hyper-aware, and profoundly deaf. But Caleb shared traits with other people I’d known too, all of them men. Wonderful, complicated, uncommunicative men. So in many ways, I think he was born of my need to understand the people around me.



Research… To research Resurrection Bay I spoke with people in the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, tried to learn to lip-read, and began studying Auslan. Because Caleb is so determined to live in the hearing world, I went to my first Auslan class still unsure if he was going to use sign language at all. Ten minutes into my first lesson I knew he had to. It’s a beautiful language, and the perfect way to demonstrate Caleb’s closeness with people. So he speaks English most of the time, but signs with those he loves.



Tell me more about the Womentoring Project…

The WoMentoring Project is an international mentoring service that teams professional literary women with emerging female writers. I wrote the final draft of Resurrection Bay while being mentored by writer and editor, Janette Currie. It was a life-changing experience. Before I was accepted into the program I was writing in a vacuum, with no feedback or advice. Janette gave me guidance and support, and taught me how to see my own work with fresh eyes.



How do the worlds of performing and teaching inform your writing?

Performing and teaching have both been great foundations for my writing. So much of teaching is about psychology, particularly when you teach instrumental music. It’s given me lots of insight into human behaviour. I also find the detailed work of writing similar to playing music. I read my work aloud the same way I practise the clarinet, playing and replaying phrases, adjusting a word here, an emphasis there.


My next book is… Book two in the Caleb Zelic series. It begins six months after the events of Resurrection Bay. I don’t want to give away too much, but I think it’s safe to say that things are looking a bit grim for poor Caleb.


Next year I … (something personal, plans of travel, festivals you will be appearing at, concerts you will be attending/or performing …)

I’m really looking forward to the Perth Writer’s Festival. I’ll be on a few panels, but also spending a fair bit of time gawping at some of my favourite writers.

I love…Eggplant. If I had to choose between only ever eating chocolate or eggplant… I’d choose chocolate, of course. But it’d be a close thing.


The best thing about being a writer… Is disappearing into the words. When the writing is going well I fall into the story and nothing else matters.



You can follow Emma on twitter here:  @EmmaViskic



Post Script: Snowflake Seashell Star Colouring Adventures In Numberland – Alex Bellos with Edmund Harriss

Snowflake Seashell Star

Snowflake Seashell Star: Colouring Adventures in Numberland

Alex Bellos with Edmund Harriss

Allen & Unwin Australia

Canongate Books Ltd

ISBN: 9781782117889

RRP A$19.99



Bestselling author of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland joins the meditative colouring book craze with this mathematical colouring book.


Joyful contemplation of mathematical patterns has long been part of the human experience, from the philosophers of Ancient Greece to the artists of the Renaissance, via Islamic design and Hindu mandalas. Now, Alex Bellos, the bestselling author of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland, takes you on a calming and colourful journey into the magical world of mathematics.


Snowflake, Seashell, Star is full of intricate and divinely beautiful illustrations, using patterns such as loops, waves and spirals, created by Alex Bellos in collaboration with his friend and mathematical artist, Edmund Harriss. Stretch your artistic talents and embrace mathematics’ aesthetic and conceptual exquisiteness.


In 80 glorious images, Alex will teach you how to convey the wonder of mathematics through colour and design. Snowflake, Seashell, Star is an incredible celebration of the overlaps between mathematics and art, learning and play, concentration and calm.




My View:

The introduction to this visually stunning colouring in book says it all “Snowflake Seashell Star is both a field guide for the mathematical adventurer and therapeutic exercise book designed to bring insight and illumination through the mediative experience in colouring in.


Not only are the shapes exquisitely pretty, but they unlock the secrets of an intellectual quest that has been under way for three thousand years. Mathematics is the search to understand the patterns of the universe in their purest form.


No mathematical knowledge is required or assumed. But even in the selection of your colours to use, you will be engaging and enhancing your mathematical intuition.”


This must be my favourite colouring book of the year! Suitable for adults or middle school children upwards, (I think), this would make the perfect gift in any season or for any purpose!




Post Script: Under The Sea – Detachable Postcards to Colour In – Mesdemoiselles

The perfect gift for adult or child.

Cover Under The Sea

Under the Sea Postcards (Colouring for Mindfulness)


Hachette Australia

Octopus Publishing Group, Hamlyn

ISBN: 9780600633099



Enjoy colouring in these 20 intricate postcards, or send them to budding artists, anyone who is passionate about colouring in or who simply loves the sea. There’s a whole world to create here. After a few moments of colouring in you’ll forget the stresses of everyday life.



My View:

I do love this series of hard covered detachable postcard books – the images are beautiful, some are simple, others intricate. The perfect gift for the bored child sitting in the back of the car (the hard cover makes it easy to colour on your lap) or the perfect gift for the child within you.

Post Script – Cats Detachable Postcards to Colour In – Mesdemoiselles

This one is for you FF 🙂

Cover Cats

Cats Postcards: Detachable Postcards to Colour In


Hachette Australia

Octopus Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780600633082




Enjoy colouring in these 20 intricate postcards, or send them to budding artists, anyone who is passionate about colouring in or who simply loves cats.

There’s a whole world to create here. After a few moments of colouring in you’ll forget the stresses of everyday life.



My View:

Great images to colour and you can detach and post them – a fantastic gift idea for a child or the child in you. What more can I add – the description aptly says it all. Creative, stress relieving fun!