Fiona Hardy

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Website: http://readingkills.com/

Twitter: @readwatchtweet

Fiona Hardy blogs about Crime Fiction at readingkills.com and puts together the Dead Write column for the Readings Monthly newsletter. In her spare time she sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton.

Reviews

The Hand That Feeds You by A.J. Rich

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I’m never sure about the idea of two authors collaborating to write – surely, there would just be constant fighting about where to put commas? – but from the first few pages of this book I was immedi…

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The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Defence lawyer Will Harris has barely recovered from being hospitalised after going rogue in his first book, Blood Witness, when he and his lover Eva are attacked and threatened by strangers who tell…

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Before it Breaks by Dave Warner

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

DI Daniel Clement lives in a patchy so-called apartment on top of a supply store by the wharf, trying to piece his life back together after abandoning his excellent career in crime-prone Perth to bec…

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The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Claus Moreany’s publishing house is on the verge of going under when his distractingly beautiful employee Betty discovers unknown author Henry Hayden’s manuscript in a pile. Frank Ellis becomes a run…

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The Invisible Man from Salem by Christoffer Carlsson

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Similar in tone to last year’s hit The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (both books were written by authors young enough to fill this reviewer with some jealousy), The Invisible Man from Salem ha…

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If She Did It by Jessica Treadway

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Hanna and Joe Schutt are unsure about their awkward daughter Dawn’s first love, the handsome yet unnerving Rud, but are pleased to see their daughter happy – until the night they are viciously beaten…

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Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Swedish Lapland, June 1717 (note, this reader virtually never reads things set in the past): Finns Maija and Paavo take their children Frederika and Dorotea to Sweden, away from the fear that has bea…

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Ferdinand von Schirach

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Okay, let’s face it: I’m making The Girl Who Wasn’t There my book of the month so that some of you will read it and then we can talk about it. I’d also recommend you read Schirach’s first book, Crime

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A Murder Unmentioned by Sulari Gentill

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

There is something so completely delicious about Rowland Sinclair and his louche band of comrades, the rapscallion Australian heroes of Sulari Gentill’s 1930s-set series. I could eat them all up with…

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Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

In 1998, Walter Kirn is waiting to become a father and up for a noble distraction: driving a paralysed Gordon setter named Shelby from his home state of Montana to New York City. There, Shelby would …

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Malice by Keigo Higashino

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I am not a perfect reader. I can get impatient, huffing if a book hasn’t grabbed me by page three. And then I read something like Malice and it serves as a lesson that giving a book the chance to get…

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The Few by Nadia Dalbuono

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Detective Leone Scamarcio is a straight cop with a bent history: his father was a leading member of the Mob, and while he might not have inherited his father’s criminal inclinations, his father’s rep…

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Life or Death by Michael Robotham

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Some plots grab your attention as swiftly as a viper can attack your ankle: it’s unexpected, gets the blood going and you’ll be feeling the effects well after you’ve been bitten. Audie Spencer Palmer…

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What Came Before by Anna George

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I made a lot of notes in this book, a lot of marks on the page to remind me of particular lines or moments. A note beside the scene of retired lawyer Reg, in his lounge room, hearing his young, blood…

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The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

When I thought about it, the last time I did such an intense marathon read of a book was probably when the final Harry Potter book came out. I was working that day, and a kid was reading it in the co…

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Claustrophobia by Tracy Ryan

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Beginning renovations can often unearth some unpleasant things beneath the floorboards or behind walls, yet when Pen Barber is cleaning before work begins on the bush-tangled Perth home she shares wi…

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Lonely Graves by Britta Bolt

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

According to my research (i.e. reading the note at the start of this book), Amsterdam will hold funerals for any anonymous people – those without family, for example – who die there. These services h…

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The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Before using this hefty book as a doorstop this autumn, enjoy the 600 pages of small-town intrigue, Russian-doll narrative, backwards chapters and a story that has such a twist I almost called in dea…

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The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Nicki Clements is driving her son’s sports uniform to school when a police blockade puts a dent in her travels. It’s at the barricade that she sees him: the police officer who knows a piece of her se…

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Beams Falling by P.M. Newton

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

If you’ve ever entertained the thought that years of reading crime fiction have given you enough insider knowledge to become a blisteringly incredible police officer, this is the book to make you say…

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Morning Phase by Beck

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Late one warm Wednesday in February, sitting in the gathering dark with a tart glass of wine, I listened to Beck’s Sea Change in anticipation of its new companion album, Morning Phase. I smiled after…

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Deserving Death by Katherine Howell

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

On a springtime morning in Sydney, two paramedics get a call: to attend to a collapsed woman in Sydenham. The paramedics recognise the address, and when they arrive their worst fears are confirmed: t…

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North of Boston by Elisabeth Elo

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Most of the crime books I love have characters I feel invested in; this, Elisabeth Elo’s first book, I adored for the writing. Pirio Kasparov, head of her mother’s perfume company, isn’t easy to love…

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Banana Girl by Michele Lee

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

In the build-up to her departure for Laos – the homeland of her Hmong parents – Michele Lee wanders through Melbourne’s bars and streets, and the history of her life and relationships. She talks to h…

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Gentlemen Formerly Dressed by Sulari Gentill

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

It’s 1933 and the well-bred but occasionally low-brow Rowland Sinclair has just escaped torture in Germany, fled Paris, and is waiting in England for passage home to Australia. However, he and his fa…

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Cross and Burn by Val McDermid

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan’s Major Incident Team is in tatters: the people she counted as her closest associates – both professionally and publicly – are in new jobs, or unemployed, or in…

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Perfect North by Jenny Bond

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

During the warm summer of 1897, Sweden sent a hot air balloon to the Arctic with the aim of being the first country to reach the North Pole. By the end of summer, it was clear: the three men had not …

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The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I’m reluctant to admit that this flew under my radar when it was quietly released earlier in the year, but since the news that The Cuckoo’s Calling, with its underwhelming cover, is actually disguisi…

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The Never List by Koethi Zan

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Nineteen years ago, best friends Sarah and Jennifer were in a car accident that killed Jennifer’s mother. The two girls, bound together, made a list of things to never do that would keep them safe. S…

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The Dying Beach by Angela Savage

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Australian-born private investigator Jayne Keeney now lives in Thailand and is enjoying a holiday in Krabi, along with her business partner and lover, Rajiv. The country continues to seduce her with …

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News

Best new crime in June

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH: Before it Breaks by Dave Warner

DI Daniel Clement lives in a patchy so-called apartment on top of a supply store by the wharf, trying to piece his life back together after abandoning his excellent career in crime-prone Perth to become a DI on Western Australia’s far-northern coastline. Forsaking that life to follow his estranged wife and young daughter back to his h…

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Best new crime in May

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH: The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

Claus Moreany’s publishing house is on the verge of going under when his distractingly beautiful employee Betty discovers unknown author Henry Hayden’s manuscript in a pile. Frank Ellis becomes a runaway bestseller, subsequent books sell millions, and Hayden becomes a wealthy man living in a beautiful house with his lovely wif…

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Best new crime in April

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH: The Invisible Man from Salem by Christoffer Carlsson

Similar in tone to last year’s hit The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (both books were written by authors young enough to fill this reviewer with some jealousy), The Invisible Man from Salem has a skilled yet youthful feel to it that never detracts from an unnerving and deadly tale. Suspended police officer Le…

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Best new crime in March

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH: If She Did It by Jessica Treadway

Hanna and Joe Schutt are unsure about their awkward daughter Dawn’s first love, the handsome yet unnerving Rud, but are pleased to see their daughter happy – until the night they are viciously beaten by a croquet mallet in bed, leaving Joe dead and Hanna with facial injuries so acute that they leave her, nearly three years later, stil…

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Seven crime novels to read this February

by Fiona Hardy

BOOK OF THE MONTH Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

Swedish Lapland, June 1717 (note, this reader virtually never reads things set in the past): Finns Maija and Paavo take their children Frederika and Dorotea to Sweden, away from the fear that has beaten Paavo into a shadow of the man he once was. They settle in Lapland, beside the mountain Blackåsen, ill-equipped for living in an isolated and st…

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Our youngest ever reviewer: Meet Rocket

by Fiona Hardy

Bookseller Fiona Hardy recently interviewed her two-year-old daughter Rocket about a picture book they’d read together: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. Here’s Fiona on what went down.

A lot of the time, customers ask if Klassen’s slightly edgy work is really for children or more for parents (I bought my first of his books before I had a kid). But my two-year-old has always loved his books, even if she …

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