What do these crime thrillers have in common?

A Norwegian storyteller in Australia.

All three crime thrillers are fictional and play out in Australia. However, these crime thrillers are very different from each other.

Both STEALTH and BLOOD SUNSET are written by Australian authors. THE BAT is set in Sydney but the story is created by Norwegian author, Jo Nesbo. The hero in Nesbo’s book is Harry Hole ( spoken as ‘holy’ ), a police detective from Oslo, Norway. Harry is sent to Australia to investigate the murder of a Norwegian student while in Sydney. The underlying purpose for Harry’s journey is a public relations exercise. After several attempts to thwart Harry’s investigations it becomes clear that a serial killer is responsible for the unsolved murders. Harry stays and becomes increasingly entangled in a web of deceit. This crime thriller embarks on a wild ride of surprises halfway through the story, finally revealing the identity of a twisted villain.

THE BAT throws the reader into an abyss of character histories, surprising plot twists and a satisfying ending. The story explores the deep complexities of loyalty and love as well as Harry’s on-going stoush with bourbon.

As a crime thriller, this story is a great read.  Although set in Australia, it lacks the true flavour of being an Aussie crime thriller.

Bushfires in Victoria, a blood sunset in Melbourne.

STEALTH and BLOOD SUNSET are Australian fiction crime thrillers. Both thrillers use diction and jargon that uniquely defines and identifies settings and characters as profoundly Australian.

In BLOOD SUNSET, Rubens McCauley attends the scene of a drug overdose. The death of the young runaway victim appears to be accidental, until anomalies surface to cast doubt on the initial finding. Facts emerge to point to the involvement of a child-pornography ring. Jarad Henry deftly manages the imminent threat of bush-fires and incorporates this backdrop into the complexities of Rubens McCauley’s life as an investigator in St. Kilda. The unfolding investigation of the young runaway’s death ducks and weaves through McCauley’s personal journey of reconciliation of his relationship with his ex-wife, and to recuperate from a gunshot wound. A seasoned detective of twenty years sees McCauley question the politics and workings of the modern police force.

Although this crime thriller does not climax into a final reckoning, the villains do get their come-uppance.

The writing is crisp, gritty and believable. Above all, this crime thriller has a distinct Aussie flavour with great characterization and insight into the sleazy goings-on of street crime.

Mateship.  Is blood thicker than water?

STEALTH is a distinctly Australian crime thriller, written by an Aussie author. This crime thriller unfolds around the theft of seven handguns by a psychotic killer, called Martin. The geographical settings in STEALTH take the reader on a ‘road-trip’ from the streets of Manly to the surf beaches and forests of the South Coast of NSW. The final trip is to the murky creeks of North Queensland, where “lots of things can kill you up here”.

Although the story follows the sordid path of this murderous villain, the real story is about mateship and loyalties. STEALTH explores how life’s unpredictable events shapes relationships and alters the paths taken by its players.  One ripple in the smooth surface of a creek can change the face of good and evil.

STEALTH reveals the villain, Martin, in opening. The reader is coaxed into an emotional journey of loyalty, love, hate and vengeance. Darren Mangan, a cab-driver is an unsung hero whose life teeters on a tight-rope between good and bad.  His life is thrown into turmoil when death touches him at the core.

STEALTH differs from The Bat and Blood Sunset as it does not search for who-dunnit? Or why?

STEALTH takes the reader on a journey while sitting on the shoulder of each of its characters as life dishes out its fare.