Category Archives: Garry Disher

Interview: New Jersey crime writer, Wallace Stroby


Wallace Stroby was an award-winning journalist who quit his job as an editor at New Jersey’s Star-Ledger of Newark newspaper, to write crime fiction full time. A life long New Jersey native, he is the author of six books, of which his debut, The Barb Wire Kiss, was a finalist for the 2004 Barry Award for best first novel. His last three books, Cold Shot to the Heart, Kings of Midnight, Shoot the Woman First, feature the female professional criminal character, Crissa Stone. This is an edited version of an interview, which I conducted at Noir Con 2014 in Philadelphia, that originally appeared in issue 17 of Crime FactoryHis latest Crissa Stone book The Devil’s Share, is out now.

Let’s start of with your recent books featuring the character of Crissa Stone. What was the inspiration behind writing these?

I always wanted to write a book from the point of a view of a career criminal. In my third novel, Gone ‘Til November, half of the book was from the point of view of an ageing black hit man but the main character was actually a woman, the only female sheriff’s deputy in a small town, a woman in a man’s world and I liked that idea. So coming off Gone ‘Til November I wanted to combine those two and do a story about a career criminal who was a woman in a man’s world.… Read more

My year in books: Karen Chisholm

I’ve very happy to welcome Karen Chisholm as the next contributor to the ‘my year in books’ series I’m running on this site over December.

Karen probably does need any introduction for many of you, especially readers in Australia. For those of you who are not familiar with her work, I think it’s accurate to say she’s one of the foremost crime fiction reviewers in the country. She’s certainly one of the most prolific. If you want proof, check out her great site, AustCrimeFiction.

Over to you, Karen.

Up front, I hate doing best of book lists. Obviously there’s the chance that I’m going to change my mind a nanosecond after crafting the definitive list. But the major problem is that if you’re as lucky as I am to read a lot of really good books every year, getting those numbers down to five ends up with some very arbitrary decisions being made. Which never seems fair, particularly as there is some seriously great storytelling going on out there.

So, in no particular order, and apologies for the massive cheating going on, the book(s) that have stayed with me in 2013 are:

The Discword Series, Terry Pratchett

Nothing like starting a limited list cheating, but the Discworld Series is and will always include some of my all time favourite books.… Read more

Book review: Bitter Wash Road

Bitter WashGarry Disher has been writing crime fiction for longer than I’ve been reading it.

I love his work and think his books are getting better and better.

If you want proof, check out his latest novel, Bitter Wash Road.

Unlike Disher’s other crime fiction, the Wyatt series and the Challis and Destry police procedurals, Bitter Wash Road is intended as a stand alone.

The story is told from the perspective of Hirsch, a whistle blowing cop, him self under suspicion of corruption, who has been exiled to a one-man police station in the small town of Tiverton, located in dry wheat and wool country south of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.

The first few chapters are a master class in class in how to write a tense, atmospheric crime thriller.

Called out to investigate a report of shots being fired on Bitter Wash Road, Hirsch ends up being the first cop on the scene of a terrible crime, a young local girl found dead in a ditch.

The dead girl had a reputation for being a bit wild, a taste for hitch hiking, with all the innuendo that goes with it. Everyone, including his boss, an old school cop called Kropp, thinks it is a hit and run. Hirsch is not convinced.… Read more

Updates: Contrappasso, the noir issue, Garry Disher at the Melbourne Crime & Justice Festival

cp noir front cover raw

I’ve recently discovered Contrappasso, a great magazine of international writing and poetry edited by a bunch of folks in Sydney, including some one who has recently become a friend, Matthew Asprey Gear.

Pulp Curry readers might be interested to know the latest issue of Contrappasso has a noir theme. There’s a grab bag of excellent material focusing on noir fiction and film, everything from The Maltese Falcon to The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Dashiell Hammett, Charles Willeford and Walter Mosley.

There’s poetry by Barry Gifford and Floyd Salas (whose 1969 book, What Now My Love I reviewed on this site a few weeks ago), amongst others, and a load of great essays, including my piece on the little known Australian noir films, Money Movers and Heatwave.

The issue is available here and will set you back just $9.50. 

And while I’m pulling on your coat, another reminder that I’ll interviewing Australian crime writing legend Garry Disher at the Reader’s Feast Crime & Justice Festival, this coming Sunday, November 17.

If you find yourself at a loose end Sunday morning, do come along. It’ll take place 10am, Sunday, November 17 at the Reader’s Feast Bookstore, 162 Collins Street, Melbourne. My session is just one of many events that will take place over the three days of the Crime & Justice Festival. … Read more

Sixty Minutes with Garry Disher at the Crime & Justice Festival

Bitter WashA quick heads up that I’ll be interviewing Australian crime writing legend Garry Disher at the Reader’s Feast Crime & Justice Festival, on Sunday, November 17.

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Disher. Have been ever since I picked up the first of his Wyatt novels, Kickback, in the early nineties. He’s got a new one out, Bitter Wash Road. We’ll be talking about that, his other books, including the Wyatt and Challis and Destry books series, and his tips to crime writing. If you’re luck, we might even discuss the time he wrote for television.

I’m half way through Bitter Wash Road and it’s terrific. Set in rural South Australia, it involves a police whistle blower and an investigation into the hit and run killing of a teenage girl that unearths terrible secrets.

The plot is as hardboiled as they come and the writing is simply wonderful.

Dare I say, it might even be Disher’s book best yet.

I’ll post a longer review of this book in the next week or so.

If you have the time, do come along to my discussion with Garry. It takes place 10am, Sunday, November 17 at the Reader’s Feast Bookstore, 162 Collins Street, Melbourne. The ticket will set you back $6, which is not too steep a price to listen to one of the best Australian crime writers working today.… Read more