Smokey the Cat
Sulari Gentill

Sixty seconds with Sulari Gentill...

A reformed lawyer, Sulari Gentill is the award-winning author of the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, which chronicle the life and adventures of her 1930s Australian gentleman artist, and the Hero Trilogy, based on the myths and epics of the ancient world. She lives on a small farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, where she grows French Black Truffles and writes about murder and mayhem. Sulari.s most recent US releases include "Crossing the Lines," an unusual postmodern crime novel, and "Paving the New Road," the 4th Rowland Sinclair mystery

RTE: Describe yourself in a sentence?

Gentill: Sulari Gentill writes; occasionally she’ll come out of the world in her head to participate in the real one, but she never seems to stay for long.

RTE: What's the one record you'd take to a desert island?

Gentill: Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens (now Yusef Islam)

RTE: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Gentill: When I was growing up I wanted to be a writer, and a movie star, an astronaut, and a cowboy. I became a lawyer. It was only after I’d been practising for a number years that it occurred to me that though I’d probably never headline a playbill, go to Mars, or clean up a gun-slinging town, I could still be a writer. Fortunately the law is an excellent apprenticeship for those who wish to spend their lives making things up!

G.M. Malliet

Sixty seconds with G.M. Malliet...

Jennifer Kincheloe

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March 10 2018

International Women's Day was celebrated last Thursday, so it makes sense that we should start off with a clutch of books that focus on the situation of women, for good or ill. Of course, since these are thrillers after all, ill seems to be the more common condition.

We start off with Christobel Kent and THE DAY SHE DISAPPEARED, which I thought was a serious attempt to get at the problems ordinary women may face in asserting their independence, though a flawed one. It deals with the aftermath of a woman's disappearance as does Lexie Elliott's THE FRENCH GIRL, which is also a character-driven book and one which Meredith Frazier found compelling.

Ever since the huge success of books like GONE GIRL and GIRL ON THE TRAIN, authors and publishers alike have been anxiously searching for work that can pull off the same combination of unexpected twist and multiple narrative points of view. Claire Mackintosh's first thriller did it in spades; her third, LET ME LIE struck me as manipulative rather than genuinely shocking. On the other hand, Susan Hoover very much enjoyed the surprise twists in Sarah J. Naughton's THE GIRLFRIEND. Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel's thriller, STRANGERS, has two point of view narrators, one male, one female, both of whom cannot be telling the truth. (It also has not only two authors, but two translators, which makes for a busy title page.) Lourdes Venard thought it a nice taut thriller though with a stretch at the end. Despite its title, Sheila Connolly's MANY A TWIST is perhaps the most straightforward of the lot. Part of a cosy series set in Ireland with an American protagonist, this one deals with strained mother-daughter relations. PJ Coldren liked it enough to order the first in the series.

Kelley Armstrong returns to Rockton in the Yukon, that fictional off-the-grid settlement for the desperate and the anti-social. Sharon Mensing enjoyed THIS FALLEN PREY and suspects that change is about to take place in this refuge/place of exile. Sharon also notes a shift from John Hart's previous thrillers in THE HUSH, which has a strong supernatural component and is curious to know if this marks a new direction for this excellent writer.

LET DARKNESS BURY THE DEAD, the latest installment of another series, Maureen Jennings' lengthy chronicle of the doings of Toronto policeman William Murdoch, is set in 1917 and deals with the impact of the Great War both on soldiers and civilians. Jim Napier observes that the issues it raises are still relevant a hundred years later.

We welcome a new reviewer this week, Ruth Castleberry, who enjoyed the first in a new series by Phillip Margolin, THE THIRD VICTIM, a legal thriller set in Portland.

David Rosenfelt started out writing legal thrillers, usually with a Golden Retriever in attendance, but lately he's been branching out in different directions. FADE TO BLACK is a police procedural and one that Cathy Downs says is lacking in both coherence and closure. On the other hand, Jim Napier was taken with GETTING OFF ON FRANK SINATRA, by Megan Edwards, which he describes as "part thriller, part romance fiction, part amateur sleuth, and all damsel-in-distress." And, likewise, Caryn St Clair notes that Annelise Ryan's DEAD CALM also combines various sub-genres. In this case it involves a serious crime investigation with more humorous domestic events that usually are confined to cosies.

Our guest this week in the "Sixty Seconds With..." spot is Sulari Gentill. Do pay her s visit in the box to your left

You'll find the latest reports on crime fiction across the sea at CRIMEREVIEW, where our friends take a good look at what's going on in crime fiction in Britain.

We'll be back in a matter of weeks with more to say on what we've been reading. In the meantime, don't forget to spring forward before you go to bed tonight, if daylight savings time kicks in where you are.

If there's anything you'd like to comment on, please feel free to drop us a line.



P.S. If you wish to submit a book for review, please check here before contacting us. Please note that we do not review self-published books.

Our mascot and masthead is Smokey the Cat. Smokey the cat went to the great playground in the sky on April 29, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. He was about 13 years old, had diabetes and only 11 teeth left. He is much happier now. He will remain as our masthead and mascot.

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