Category Archives: Australian crime fiction

My top 10 crime reads of 2017

Late last year the German culture website, CulturMag, asked me to nominate my top 10 reads for 2017. My list is now live (and in English), along with contributions from a number of other individuals and can be seen in full here.

As usual, it is a mix of old and new fiction, as well as some of the non-fiction books I enjoyed. What were your top crime reads of 2017?

Ghost Money reading, Summer crime work shop & other end of year notices

I know I am not the only one who will be glad to wave goodbye to the end of a long year. Before I head off for a few weeks break, I just want to give you all a quick heads up about a few things that are happening, that you might like to check out.

First up, a big thanks to The Segilola Salami Podcast for having me on to read from my first novel, Ghost Money. Ghost Money originally came out in 2013 and it is still a book that is dear to my heart. The story takes place in Cambodia, 1996, just as the long-running Khmer Rouge insurgency is fragmenting and competing factions of the coalition government scrambling to gain the upper hand. Missing in the chaos is businessman Charles Avery. Hired to find him is Vietnamese Australian ex-cop Max Quinlan. Anyway you can hear me read a couple of chapters, talk about the origins of the book, and why I wrote it here.

If you like what you hear and want to pick up a copy of Ghost Money, you can do so via Amazon.

The good folks at Writers Victoria have asked me to run a day-long class for emerging authors on January 15.… Read more

Cover reveal for the re-release of Gunshine State

Here’s the new cover for the re-lease of my second novel, Gunshine State, which will be dropping from Down and Out Books in February 2018.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

Gunshine State found itself without a home when its original publisher, 280 Steps, closed shop earlier this year. I am eternally grateful to Eric Campbell and the gang at Down and Out for giving the book a second chance.

Gunshine State is a heist thriller set in Queensland, Melbourne and Thailand. Think Richard Stark’s Parker, Garry Disher’s Wyatt, and Wallace Stroby’s Crissa Stone. Add a touch of Surfers Paradise sleaze and a very dangerous stopover in Asia.

Gary Chance is a former Australian army driver, ex-bouncer and thief. His latest job sees him in Queensland working for Dennis Curry, an aging Surfers Paradise standover man. Curry runs off-site, non-casino poker games, and wants to rob one of his best customers, a high roller called Frederick ‘Freddie’ Gao. While the job may seem straightforward, Curry’s crew is anything but. Frank Dormer is a secretive former Australian soldier turned private security contractor. Sophia Lekakis is a highly-strung receptionist at the hotel where Gao stays when he visits Surfers. Amber is Curry’s attractive female housemate and part of the lure for Gao.… Read more

Noir at the Bar Melbourne redux & other upcoming literary events

Just updating Pulp Curry readers about some literary events I’ll be part of in August and early September.

First up, Melbourne’s second Noir at the Bar will take place on Tuesday, August 15, at Grub Street Bookshop, 379 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Some of Melbourne’s best noiristas will be on hand to read their crime fiction to you. Featuring Des Barry, Annie Hauxwell (author of the Catherine Berlin crime books), Jessica Curry, Ian Rogers (author of The Student, which I recently reviewed on this site) and Laura Elizabeth Woollett, whose short story collection, The Love of a Bad Man, has been published by Scribe. Yours truly will be doing MC duties on the night.

The first Noir at the Bar Melbourne event earlier this year had a great crowd and a great atmosphere and we are hoping this one will be the same. Kick off is 7pm. Entry is free, the drinks will be cheap & there will be books for sale. So, come and support some great authors and Melbourne’s coolest second hand bookshop. More details are available at this link. Hope to see you there.

August also sees the annual Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) at which I’m involved in a number of events. I’ll be interviewing Tom and Meg Keneally about their historical crime fiction series of books, The Soldier’s Curse and The Unmourned, on Saturday September 2 at Dandenong Library and Sunday, September 4, at ACMI Cinema 1.… Read more

Book review: The Student

Regular Pulp Curry readers will know I have a particular fondness for noir fiction. In particular, Australian noir fiction. And, let’s be honest, when all is said and done, there’s not much Australian noir fiction, and I mean really noir fiction, out there. The publication of Iain Ryan’s The Student adds another more book to this rather slender canon of local crime writing.

I reviewed Ryan’s debut novel, Four Days, on this site when it was released in late 2015. A very dark police procedural set in the Queensland cities of Cairns and Brisbane in the 1980s, the plot of Four Days involves a borderline sociopathic cop with a drinking problem who becomes obsessed with the case of a murdered prostitute, in the process coming up against a police hierarchy who are keen to bury any investigation into her death.

Now Melbourne based, Ryan grew up in Queensland – a place that for various I am also very familiar with – and he completely nailed the corruption and picturesque sleaze that typified much of the state in the eighties, a time when its police force was one of the most violent and corrupt in Australia. Ryan cited James Ellroy as a major influence and I was particularly taken with the way he was able to pay homage to legendary crime writer without sinking into pastiche or cliche.… Read more