Jane Harper: The Survivors

Jane Harper uses nature to deepen and further her stories more than almost any writer I can think of.  In her first novel, The Dry, the unrelenting heat and drought affecting Australia becomes a part of the story.  In this novel, set in Tasmania, an island off the coast of Australia, the story takes place in a tiny seaside resort town, and the ocean and the caves surrounding the town are as much a character as any of the humans populating the book.

This is a story of long held grief, secrets, and family dysfunction.  Ready to turn away? Not so fast.  Kieran Elliott has brought his partner Mia and his baby daughter Audrey home to help his mother pack.  His father has dementia and he’s moving to a home, while his mother is moving to an apartment near him.  The house is chaotic and full of boxes, and often all Kieran and Mia want to do it escape. read more

Best of the Last Decade

Reading all kinds of lists about the best crime novels of the past decade, I, of course, being incredibly opinionated, felt I needed to chime in.    Looking through this list one of the things that stick out, as far as my favorite reads are concerned, are a very specific sense of time and place.  Sometimes place is pre-eminent , sometimes time, sometimes both.  These books also contain some of the loveliest writing and most indelible scenes, things that remind me of why I love to read.  So in alphabetical order, my favorites of the last decade or so: read more