Book picks similar to
The Soldier's Curse by Meg Keneally
A Room Made of Leaves
Kate Grenville - 2020
What follows is a playful dance of possibilities between the real and the invented.Grenville's Elizabeth Macarthur is a passionate woman managing her complicated life-marriage to a ruthless bully, the impulses of her own heart, the search for power in a society that gave her none-with spirit, cunning and sly wit.Her memoir reveals the dark underbelly of the polite world of Jane Austen. It explodes the stereotype of the women of the past- devoted and docile, accepting of their narrow choices. That was their public face-here's what one of them really thought.At the heart of this book is one of the most toxic issues of our times- the seductive appeal of false stories. Beneath the surface of Elizabeth Macarthur's life and the violent colonial world she navigated are secrets and lies with the dangerous power to shape reality.A Room Made of Leaves is the internationally acclaimed author Kate Grenville's first novel in almost a decade. It is historical fiction turned inside out, a stunning sleight of hand that gives the past the piercing immediacy of the present.
The Good People
Hannah Kent - 2016
Watching them fade into the grey fall of snow, Nance thought she could hear Maggie's voice. A whisper in the dark. "Some folk are born different, Nance. They are born on the outside of things, with a skin a little thinner, eyes a little keener to what goes unnoticed by most. Their hearts swallow more blood than ordinary hearts; the river runs differently for them." Nóra Leahy has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and is now burdened with the care of her four-year-old grandson, Micheál. The boy cannot walk, or speak, and Nora, mistrustful of the tongues of gossips, has kept the child hidden from those who might see in his deformity evidence of otherworldly interference. Unable to care for the child alone, Nóra hires a fourteen-year-old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow's house. Alone, hedged in by rumour, Mary and her mistress seek out the only person in the valley who might be able to help Micheál. For although her neighbours are wary of her, it is said that old Nance Roche has the knowledge. That she consorts with Them, the Good People. And that only she can return those whom they have taken...
A Few Right Thinking Men
Sulari Gentill - 2010
In Australia's 1930s the Sinclair name is respectable and influential, yet Rowland has a talent for scandal.Even with thousands of unemployed lining the streets, Rowland's sheltered world is one of exorbitant wealth, culture and impeccable tailoring. He relies on the Sinclair fortune to indulge his artistic passions and friends ... a poet, a painter and a brazen sculptress.Mounting tensions fuelled by the Great Depression take Australia to the brink of revolution.
The Diggers Rest Hotel
Geoffrey McGeachin - 2010
Sent to investigate a spate of robberies in rural Victoria, he soon discovers that World War II has changed even the most ordinary of places and people.An ex-bomber pilot and former POW, Berlin is struggling to fit back in: grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder, the ghosts of his dead crew and his futile attempts to numb the pain.When Berlin travels to Albury–Wodonga to track down the gang behind the robberies, he suspects he's a problem cop being set up to fail. Taking a room at the Diggers Rest Hotel in Wodonga, he sets about solving a case that no one else can – with the help of feisty, ambitious journalist Rebecca Green and rookie constable Rob Roberts, the only cop in town he can trust.Then the decapitated body of a young girl turns up in a back alley, and Berlin's investigations lead him ever further through layers of small-town fears, secrets and despair.The first Charlie Berlin mystery takes us into a world of secret alliances and loyalties – and a society dealing with the effects of a war that changed men forever.
A Beautiful Place to Die
Malla Nunn - 2008
It is 1952, and new apartheid laws have recently gone into effect, dividing a nation into black and white while supposedly healing the political rifts between the Afrikaners and the English. Tensions simmer as the fault line between the oppressed and the oppressors cuts deeper, but it's not until an Afrikaner police officer is found dead that emotions more dangerous than anyone thought possible boil to the surface.When Detective Emmanuel Cooper, an Englishman, begins investigating the murder, his mission is preempted by the powerful police Security Branch, who are dedicated to their campaign to flush out black communist radicals. But Detective Cooper isn't interested in political expediency and has never been one for making friends. He may be modest, but he radiates intelligence and certainly won't be getting on his knees before those in power. Instead, he strikes out on his own, following a trail of clues that lead him to uncover a shocking forbidden love and the imperfect life of Captain Pretorius, a man whose relationships with the black and coloured residents of the town he ruled were more complicated and more human than anyone could have imagined.The first in her Detective Emmanuel Cooper series, "A Beautiful Place to Die" marks the debut of a talented writer who reads like a brilliant combination of Raymond Chandler and Graham Greene. It is a tale of murder, passion, corruption, and the corrosive double standard that defined an apartheid nation. I
Chris Hammer - 2018
A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don't fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can't ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest's deadly rampage.Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is now the one in the spotlight. His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal. Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town's secrets stay buried.A compulsive thriller that will haunt you long after you have turned the final page.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Joan Lindsay - 1967
After lunch, a group of three of the girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of Hanging Rock. Further, higher, till at last they disappeared.They never returned.Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction the reader must decide for themselves.
Jock Serong - 2018
They have walked hundreds of miles across a landscape whose features—and inhabitants—they have no way of comprehending. They have lost fourteen companions along the way. Their accounts of the ordeal are evasive.It is Lieutenant Joshua Grayling’s task to investigate the story. He comes to realise that those fourteen deaths were contrived by one calculating mind and, as the full horror of the men’s journey emerges, he begins to wonder whether the ruthless killer poses a danger to his own family.
The Silent Listener
Lyn Yeowart - 2021
Cold dark secrets . . .In the cold, wet summer of 1960, 11-year-old Joy Henderson lives in constant fear of her father. She tries to make him happy but, as he keeps reminding her, she is nothing but a filthy sinner destined for Hell . . .Yet, decades later, she returns to the family’s farm to nurse him on his death bed. To her surprise, her ‘perfect’ sister Ruth is also there, whispering dark words, urging revenge.Then the day after their father finally confesses to a despicable crime, Joy finds him dead - with a belt pulled tight around his neck . . .For Senior Constable Alex Shepherd, investigating George’s murder revives memories of an unsolved case still haunting him since that strange summer of 1960: the disappearance of nine-year-old Wendy Boscombe.As seemingly impossible facts surface about the Hendersons – from the past and the present – Shepherd suspects that Joy is pulling him into an intricate web of lies and that Wendy’s disappearance is the key to the bizarre truth.
Diane Armstrong - 2005
A mother's silence, a village with a terrible secret, and an Australian woman who travels to Poland to uncover the truth ... When forensic dentist Halina Shore arrives in Nowa Kalwaria to take part in a war crimes investigation, she finds herself at the centre of a bitter struggle in a community that has been divided by a grim legacy. What she does not realise is that she has also embarked on a confronting personal journey. Inspired by a true incident that took place in Poland in 1941, Diane Armstrong's powerful novel is part mystery, part forensic investigation, and a moving and confronting story of love, loss and sacrifice. 'A deeply moving and inspiring novel' GOOD READING 'A bold adventure of a novel ... Here is a consummate writer at the top of her form. A fine fictional debut from a writer who's already made her mark' CANBERRA TIMES 'Profoundly moving, compelling and superbly written' AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY
Charlotte Wood - 2019
But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three.They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur; Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual; and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they've remained close all these years, the grieving women gather at Sylvie's old beach house--not for festivities this time, but to clean it out before it is sold. Can they survive together without her?Without Sylvie to maintain the group's delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface--and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we're forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship from an award-winning writer.
Kerry Greenwood - 1989
When the opportunity presents itself, Phryne decides it might be amusing to try her hand at becoming a lady detective in Australia. Immediately upon settling into Melbourne's Hotel Windsor, Phryne finds herself embroiled in mystery. From poisoned wives and cocaine smuggling, to police corruption and rampant communism (not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse), Cocaine Blues charts a crescendo of steamy intrigue, culminating in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.
A Dissection of Murder
Felicity Young - 2007
Murder treats everyone equally...A woman. A doctor. A beastly science. At the turn of the twentieth century, London's political climate is in turmoil, as women fight for the right to vote. Dody McCleland has her own battles to fight. As England's first female autopsy surgeon, she must prove herself as she also proves that murder treats everyone equally... After a heated women's rights rally turns violent, an innocent suffragette is found murdered. When she examines the body, Dody is shocked to realise that the victim was a friend of her sister - fuelling her determination to uncover the cause of the protester's suspicious death. For Dody, gathering clues from a body is often easier than handling the living - especially Chief Detective Inspector Matthew Pike. Pike is looking to get to the bottom of this case but has a hard time trusting anyone - including Dody. Determined to earn Pike's trust and to find the killer, Dody will have to sort through real and imagined secrets. But if she's not careful, she may end up on her own examination table ...
True History of the Kelly Gang
Peter Carey - 2000
of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silences my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a word I write but this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false.”In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.
Craig Silvey - 2009
His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan.Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it's here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery.With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse.In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.