Australian BooksNew Releases

Australian Crime Fiction New Releases 2020

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Keep abreast of the newest crime book releases from your favourite best-selling authors and discover new and emerging authors. 

Listed below are the new Australian crime fiction novels that were released in 2020.

Wherever possible the exact release date is included with the publisher details. We have also included the synopsis that was supplied by the publisher and have included the sub-genre(s) we believe the book sits under.

December 2020

White Throat by Sarah Thornton

Publisher: Text Publishing
Pub Date: 1 December 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Looking out over an ebb tide from the back verandah was like watching God paint stripes…

Disgraced former lawyer Clementine Jones is on the shores of paradise—Queensland’s Great Sandy Straits—trying to outrun her past.

Bored with her house-sitting gig, she becomes a reluctant recruit to the local environmental group, campaigning to save an endangered turtle as developers close in. Then a body is found at the base of a quarry, and Clem’s world is turned upside down.

The police say suicide. Clem’s convinced it was murder. She also knows she’s the only one interested in tracking down the killer.

Well, the only one apart from her friend Torrens, ex-con and reformed standover man. And he’s got his own fight on his hands.


November 2020

Consolation by Garry Disher

Publisher: Text Publishing
Pub Date: 1 December 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Looking out over an ebb tide from the back verandah was like watching God paint stripes…

Disgraced former lawyer Clementine Jones is on the shores of paradise—Queensland’s Great Sandy Straits—trying to outrun her past.

Bored with her house-sitting gig, she becomes a reluctant recruit to the local environmental group, campaigning to save an endangered turtle as developers close in. Then a body is found at the base of a quarry, and Clem’s world is turned upside down.

The police say suicide. Clem’s convinced it was murder. She also knows she’s the only one interested in tracking down the killer.

Well, the only one apart from her friend Torrens, ex-con and reformed standover man. And he’s got his own fight on his hands.


Shore Leave by David Whish-Wilson

Publisher: Fremantle Press
Pub Date: 2 November 2020
Sub-Genre: Hardboiled, Noir

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It is Fremantle in 1989 and Frank Swann is at home, suffering from an undiagnosed and debilitating illness. When Frank is called in to investigate an incident at a local brothel, it soon appears there is a link between the death of two women and the arrival of the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in the port city. 

Shore Leave is the fourth book in the Frank Swann series and also features Lee Southern, the main character from True West.


Death in Daylesford by Kerry Greenwood

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: 3 November 2020
Sub-Genre: Private Investigator

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Surrounded by secrets, great and small, the formidable Miss Phryne Fisher returns to vanquish injustice.

When a mysterious invitation arrives for Miss Phryne Fisher from an unknown Captain Herbert Spencer, Phryne’s curiosity is excited. Spencer runs a retreat in Victoria’s spa country for shell-shocked soldiers of the First World War. It’s a cause after Phryne’s own heart but what could Spencer want from her?

Phryne and the faithful Dot view their spa sojourn as a short holiday but are quickly thrown in the midst of disturbing Highland gatherings, disappearing women, murder and the mystery of the Temperance Hotel.

Meanwhile, Cec, Bert and Tinker find a young woman floating face down in the harbour, dead. Tinker, with Jane and Ruth, Phryne’s resilient adopted daughters, together decide to solve what appears to be a heinous crime.

Disappearances, murder, bombs, booby-traps and strange goings-on land Miss Phryne Fisher right in the middle of her most exciting adventure.


The Shearer’s Wife by Fleur McDonald

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: 3 November 2020
Sub-Genre: Police Procedural

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1980: Rose and Ian Kelly arrive in the small South Australian town of Barker for supplies, before driving a further couple of hundred kilometres to begin shearing at Jacksonville Station. Rose, heavily pregnant with their first babies, worries that despite Ian’s impending fatherhood he remains a drifter who dreams of the open road.

2020: When the Australian Federal Police swoop unheralded into Barker and make a shocking arrest for possession of narcotics, Detective Dave Burrows is certain there is more to the story than meets the eye.

After many months of grief over her brother’s illness and death, journalist Zara Ellison is finally ready to begin a new chapter of her life and make a commitment to her boyfriend, Senior Constable Jack Higgins. But when she’s assigned to investigate the Barker arrest, Jack begins to believe that Zara is working against him.

It takes a series of unconnected incidents in Zara’s digging to reveal an almost forgotten thread of mystery as to how these two events, forty years apart, could be connected.


October 2020

Death Leaves the Station by Alexander Thorpe

Publisher: Fremantle Press
Pub Date: 1 October 2020
Sub-Genre: Mystery

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A nameless friar turns up at Halfwell Station at the same time that Ana, the adopted daughter of the station owners, discovers a body in the desert during her midnight walk. But when Ana returns to look for it, the body is gone.

Death Leaves the Station brings the cosy country-house intrigue of crime fiction’s golden age to the Australian wheatbelt, and was written for fans of classic mystery and crime fiction.


Trust by Chris Hammer

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: 13 October 2020
Sub-Genre: Hardboiled

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She breathes deeply, trying to quell the rising sense of panic. A detective came to her home, drugged her and kidnapped her. She tries to make sense of it, to imagine alternatives, but only one conclusion is possible: it’s the past, come to claim her.

Martin Scarsden’s new life seems perfect, right up until the moment it’s shattered by a voicemail: a single scream, abruptly cut off, from his partner Mandalay Blonde.

Racing home, he finds an unconscious man sprawled on the floor and Mandy gone. Someone has abducted her. But who, and why?

So starts a twisting tale of intrigue and danger, as Martin probes the past of the woman he loves, a woman who has buried her former life so deep she has never mentioned it.

And for the first time, Mandy finds denial impossible, now the body of a mystery man has been discovered, a man whose name she doesn’t know, a man she was engaged to marry when he died. It’s time to face her demons once and for all; it’s time she learned how to trust.

Set in a Sydney riven with corruption and nepotism, privilege and power, Trust is the third riveting novel from award-winning and internationally acclaimed writer Chris Hammer.


The Two Lost Mountains by Matthew Reilly

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pub Date: 13 October 2020
Sub-Genre: Action, Thriller

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AN INCREDIBLE VICTORY BUT AT A TERRIBLE PRICE…

Against all the odds, Jack West Jr found the Three Secret Cities but at a heartbreaking cost.

His beloved daughter Lily, it appeared, was slaughtered by Sphinx in a cruel ancient ritual.

TO THE MOUNTAINS AND THE FALL!

With his rivals far ahead of him, Jack must now get to one of the five iron mountains – two of which have never been found – and perform a mysterious feat known only as ‘The Fall’.

Although what is this object on the moon that is connected to it?

A NEW PLAYER ARRIVES

Amid all this, Jack will discover that a new player has entered the race, a general so feared by the four legendary kingdoms they had him locked away in their deepest dungeon.

Only now this general has escaped and he has a horrifying plan of his own…


September 2020

The Survivors by Jane Harper

Pub. Macmillan Australia
Pub. Date: 22 September 2020
Sub-genre: Thriller, mystery

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Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.

Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…


Doom Creek by Alan Carter

Pub. Fremantle Press
Pub. Date: 29 September 2020
Sub-genre: Police Procedural

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Sergeant Nick Chester has dodged the Geordie gangsters he once feared, is out of hiding and looking forward to a quiet life. But gold fever is creating ill-feeling between prospectors, and a new threat lurks in the form of trigger-happy Americans preparing for Doomsday by building a bolthole at the top of the South Island.

As tensions simmer in the Wakamarina valley, Nick finds himself working on a cold-case murder and investigating a scandal-plagued religious sect. When local and international events reach fever pitch, Chester finds himself up against an evil that knows no borders.


Over My Dead Body by Dave Warner

Pub. Fremantle Press
Pub. Date: 29 September 2020
Sub-genre: Mystery

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Cryogenicist Dr Georgette Watson has mastered the art of bringing frozen hamsters back to life. Now what she really needs is a body to confirm her technique can save human lives.

Meanwhile, in New York City, winter is closing in and there’s a killer on the loose, slaying strangers who seem to have nothing in common. Is it simple good fortune that Georgette, who freelances for the NYPD, suddenly finds herself in the company of the greatest detective of all time? And will Sherlock Holmes be able to save Dr Watson in a world that has changed drastically in 200 years, even if human nature has not?


The Mystery Woman by Belinda Alexandra

Pub. HarperCollins
Pub. Date: 2 September 2020
Sub-genre: Gothic Mystery

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She had thought Shipwreck Bay was simply a remote town where people were bored senseless with their little lives. Now she saw its virtuous facade hid something darker, more sinister.

Rebecca Wood takes the role as postmistress in a sleepy seaside town, desperate for anonymity after a scandal in Sydney. But she is confronted almost at once by a disturbing discovery – her predecessor committed suicide.

To add to her worries, her hopes for a quiet life are soon threatened by the attentions of the dashing local doctor, the unsettling presence of a violent whaling captain and a corrupt shire secretary, as well as the watchful eyes of the town’s gossips. Yet in spite of herself she is drawn to the enigmatic resident of the house on the clifftop, rumoured to have been a Nazi spy.

Against the backdrop of the turbulent sea, Rebecca is soon caught up in the dangerous mysteries that lie behind Shipwreck Bay’s respectable net curtains.


Either Side of Midnight by Benjamin Stevenson

Pub. Michael Joseph
Pub. Date: 1 September 2020
Sub-genre: Thriller

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At 9.01 pm, TV presenter Sam Midford delivers the monologue for his popular current affairs show Midnight Tonight. He seems nervous and the crew are convinced he’s about to propose to his girlfriend live on air.

Instead, he pulls out a gun and shoots himself in the head.

Sam’s grief-stricken twin Harry is convinced his brother was murdered. But how can that be, when one million viewers witnessed Sam pull the trigger?

Only Jack Quick, a disgraced television producer in the last days of a prison sentence, is desperate enough to take Harry’s money to investigate.

But as Jack starts digging, he finds a mystery more complex than he first assumed. And if he’s not careful, he’ll find out first-hand that there’s more than one way to kill someone . . .

Seashells and Murder by H.Y. Hanna

Pub. Wisheart Press
Pub. Date: 1 September 2020
Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery

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Ellie can’t believe her luck: instead of a dreary English winter, she’s enjoying an unexpected vacation in sunny Florida… and things get even more exciting when she’s roped in to judge the annual Key Lime Pie Contest at her beach resort. The rivalry is fierce, the recipes are daring, but nobody expects the event to end in murder!

Before long, Ellie is swapping comfy cabanas and sugar-white sand for some serious sleuthing. She soon discovers that everyone has something to hide. Are the contestants really as innocent as they say? Does the resort chef still hold a vindictive grudge? And what was the victim’s wife really doing on the night of the murder?

Meanwhile, Ellie finds that there are other dangers lurking at the resort, such as being robbed at beak-point by Hemingway the parrot! Then there’s her simmering chemistry with the hunky resort doctor–a distraction she doesn’t need. Help comes from Mojito the resort cat, who has a nose for clues, but it turns out that this mystery has more twists than a conch shell.

If Ellie doesn’t solve the case soon, she’s going to find that Florida’s famous pie is really “to die for”…


August 2020

Hermit by S.R. White

Publisher: Headline
Pub Date: 25 August 2020
Sub-Genre: Police Procedural

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HE DISAPPEARED FOR 15 YEARS…SHE HAS 12 HOURS TO FIND OUT WHY.

After the puzzling death of a shopkeeper in rural Australia, troubled detective Dana Russo has just 12 hours to interrogate the prime suspect – a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who simply vanished 15 years earlier.

Where has he been? And just how dangerous is he? Without conclusive evidence linking him to the killing, Dana must race against time to persuade him to speak. But over a series of increasingly intense interviews, Dana is forced to confront her own past if she wants him to reveal the shocking truth.


Pest by Anna Willett

Publisher: The Book Folks
Pub Date: 16 August 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Sightings of a strange girl on the outskirts of the small Australian town of Thorn Tree coincide with the outbreak of a deadly sickness.

The girl appears in people’s nightmares, beckoning them into nothingness.

Maggie’s café lies at the heart of the town, and she quickly becomes embroiled in the unfolding events.

As more people she knows succumb to the illness, Maggie will have to act fast to root out its cause.

Maggie believes that if she understands the girl’s story and finds her, she can save her friends and herself.

But maybe she too has merely been lured into the pest’s evil embrace.

You will not be able to put this thriller down. Certainly, get this book if you like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or Amy Cross.


Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee

Publisher: William Morrow
Pub Date: 4 August 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Celia Lily is rich, beautiful, and admired. She’s also missing. And the search for the glamorous socialite is about to expose all the dark, dirty secrets of Vanishing Falls…

Deep within the lush Tasmanian rainforest is the remote town of Vanishing Falls, a place with a storied past. The town’s showpiece, built in the 1800s, is its Calendar House—currently occupied by Jack Lily, a prominent art collector and landowner; his wife, Celia; and their four daughters. The elaborate, eccentrically designed mansion houses one masterpiece and 52 rooms—and Celia Lily isn’t in any of them. She has vanished without a trace.…

Joelle Smithton knows that a few folks in Vanishing Falls believe that she’s simple-minded. It’s true that Joelle’s brain works a little differently—a legacy of shocking childhood trauma. But Joelle sees far more than most people realize, and remembers details that others cast away. For instance, she knows that Celia’s husband, Jack, has connections to unsavory local characters whom he’s desperate to keep hidden. He’s not the only one in town with something to conceal. Even Joelle’s own husband, Brian, a butcher, is acting suspiciously. While the police flounder, unable to find Celia, Joelle is gradually parsing the truth from the gossip she hears and from the simple gestures and statements that can unwittingly reveal so much.  

Just as the water from the falls disappears into the ground, gushing away through subterranean creeks, the secrets in Vanishing Falls are pulsing through the town, about to converge. And when they do, Joelle must summon the courage to reveal what really happened to Celia, even if it means exposing her own past…


The Night Whistler by Greg Woodland

Publisher: Text Publishing
Pub Date: 4 August 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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The summer of 1966-67. Hal and his little brother have just come to live in Moorabool. They’re exploring the creek near their new home when they find the body of a dog.

Not just dead, but killed.

Not just killed, but horribly maimed.

Constable Mick Goodenough, recently demoted from his big-city job as a detective, is also new in town – and one of his dogs has gone missing. Like other pets around the town.

He knows what it means when someone tortures animals to death. They’re practising. So when Hal’s mother starts getting late-night phone calls – a man whistling, then hanging up – Goodenough, alone among the Moorabool cops, takes her seriously. But will that be enough to keep her and her young sons safe?

Nostalgic yet clear-eyed, simmering with small-town menace, Greg Woodland’s wildly impressive debut populates the rural Australia of the 1960s with memorable characters.


The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Publisher: Michael Joseph
Pub Date: 4 August 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name – and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognised for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation – but the mysterious letters keep coming.

Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered. When Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases, past and present collide. What she finds will change not just the course of the trial, but the lives of everyone involved.


One Summer In Gozo by Richard Samulis

Publisher: Crook Books
Pub Date: 3 August 2020
Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuth

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Following the death of his wife, a retired Australian research scientist nicknamed Fletch decides to get away from it all and heads off to an extended summer holiday on the Mediterranean idyll of Gozo, Malta, with the intention of scuba diving and doing some historical sightseeing. His holiday begins with a minor hiccup but things quickly get back on track as he meets and bonds with a recently bereaved widow Heather, and her teenage daughter Grace. 

Heather and Grace have similarly decided to get away from it all following the death of Heather’s husband – Grace’s father – with the intention of spending some quality time together to help with their grieving. Lazy, happy days follow as the girls decide to follow Fletch’s example by training for their scuba diving certification.

But the happy times don’t last for long as a familiar face from the past arrives on the scene – and Heather immediately starts an affair with the newcomer, Valentin, whom she knew from the past. Grace is appalled and hurt. To make matters worse, Valentin is also playing the field with the hotel manager’s wife.

But then an unexpected and shocking death of the hotel manager follows. Was it an accident? The police think so, but Fletch and Grace suspect it was not, and that Valentin was responsible. They team up to investigate, and the more they uncover, the closer things get to home as more past coincidences are unearthed. After another death no one feels safe while they slowly expose a web of old family secrets, leading to some shocking revelations. More deaths follow, and an arrest made, but the true answers come from a completely unexpected quarter.


Welcome to Ord City by Adrian Deans

Publisher: Fighting Man Press
Pub Date: 5 August 2020
Sub-Genre: Satirical Thriller

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In 2023, Australia reversed its closed border policy and said to the world:

‘Welcome! You are free to come to Australia, but you must spend the first seven years in the Temporary Citizenship Zone around the Ord River.’

Seven years later, Ord City is a teeming Asian metropolis with 2.5 million people preparing for the First Wave – the first tranche of refugees gaining full citizenship – on Australia Day 2030. But mainstream Australia is passionately divided over Ord City, not least because of the risk of letting in terrorists, and dark political forces are bubbling to the surface.

Agent Conan Tooley is sent up to Ord City to look into a routine gangland murder, but finds himself frustrated and confused by the questions that arise at every step. As the days to the First Wave count down, Conan encounters any number of people throwing up obstacles, including The Army of God (a Christian charity active in Ord City); a carload of young people travelling to Ord City for the Illumination Festival the night before the First Wave; and Asif, a deep cell terrorist with a deadly mission. There is also the Shadow Group – mysterious figures who seem to be pulling strings at high levels to achieve some hidden purpose.

As the various subplots wind towards the explosive conclusion, the motives and values of all are profoundly challenged.Welcome to Ord City is a satirical crime thriller set against the backdrop of Australia’s refugee policy and the malleable populism that characterises the Lucky Country in the C21.

Flip-Flops and Murder by H.Y. Hanna

Pub. Wisheart Press
Pub. Date: 1 August 2020
Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery

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English girl Ellie is a ‘fish-out-of-water’ when she arrives in sunny Florida for a vacation with her aunt at a luxury beach resort. But she’s barely dipped her toe in the ocean before she stumbles on a sinister murder. Now Ellie must battle sunburn, jet lag and a cheeky parrot named Hemingway, while trying to unravel the mystery. With a writers’ conference in full flow, there’s no shortage of suspects. Is the killer a jealous rival author? Or the victim’s secret lover? And why are some of the resort staff behaving so suspiciously?

To make things worse, Aunt Olive has gone missing, fueling gossip that she might be on the run. But Ellie is sure that her aunt isn’t guilty. Life gets even more complicated when she starts snooping around the resort. First there’s the resident cat Mojito, who leads Ellie on a wild ‘gator’ chase, and then there’s the handsome resort doctor who sets Ellie’s pulse racing in a different way! As more red herrings than sand dollars wash up on the beach, Ellie must use all her wits to solve the case before her visit to the Sunshine State becomes deadlier than she ever imagined…


July 2020

The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub Date: 31 July 2020
Sub-Genre: Noir

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Frank is a service station owner on a little-used highway who just wants a quiet life. His granddaughter has been sent to stay with him to fix her attitude, but they don’t talk a lot.

When a badly injured young woman arrives at Frank’s service station with several cars in pursuit, Frank and a handful of unsuspecting customers are thrust into a life-or-death standoff.

But who are this group of men and women who will go to any lengths for revenge? And what do they want? Other than no survivors …?

A ferociously fast-paced, filmic, visceral, tense and utterly electric novel, unlike anything you’ve read before. Set on a lonely, deserted highway, deep in the Australian badlands, The Hunted is white-knuckle suspense matched to the fast-paced adrenaline of a Jack Reacher novel and the creeping menace of Wake in Fright. This is unmissable reading.


When She Was Good by Michael Robotham

Publisher: Hachette
Pub Date: 26 July 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Six years ago, Evie Cormac was found hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a brutal murder. But nobody has ever discovered her real name or where she came from, because everybody who tries ends up dead.

He needs answers.

Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven believes the truth will set Evie free. Ignoring her warnings, he begins to dig into her past, only to disturb a hornet’s nest of corrupt and powerful people, who have been waiting to find Evie – the final witness they have been searching for. Unbeknownst to him, Cyrus is leading them straight to Evie. The truth will not set her free. It will get them killed.


Deadman’s Track by Sarah Barrie

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub Date: 8 July 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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A tragic accident, a terrible crime, an unknown threat …

Scarred by a recent tragedy on Federation Peak, Tess Atherton is reluctant to guide a group of young hikers in the wild Tasmanian winter, but it seems safer than remaining amid the violence that threatens them in Hobart. Little does she know that she has brought the danger with her …

Detective Senior Sergeant Jared Denham is closing in on a serial killer, but someone doesn’t want him getting to the truth and the case is becoming personal. He already owes Tess his life, and wants to return the favour – but when it comes to enemies, Jared may be looking in the wrong direction.

Time is running out, and death is stalking them both …


The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

Publisher: Michael Joseph
Pub Date: 2 July 2020
Sub-Genre: Suspense

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When a school group of teenage girls goes missing in the remote wilderness of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers, the people of Limestone Creek are immediately on alert. Three decades ago, five young girls disappeared in the area of those dangerous bluffs, and the legend of ‘the Hungry Man’ still haunts locals to this day.

Now, authorities can determine that the teacher, Eliza Ellis, was knocked unconscious, so someone on the mountain was up to foul play. Jordan Murphy, the local dealer and father of missing student Jasmine, instantly becomes the prime suspect. But Detective Con Badenhorst knows that in a town this size – with corrupt cops, small-town politics, and a teenage YouTube sensation – everyone is hiding something, and bluffing is second nature.

When a body is found, mauled, at the bottom of a cliff, suspicion turns to a wild animal – but that can’t explain why she was discovered barefoot, her shoes at the top of the cliff, laces neatly tied.


Last Known Contact by Phillipa Nefri Clark

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pub Date: 8 July 2020
Sub-Genre: Suspense, Mystery

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Jack Bannerman is missing after failing to meet his son-in-law to go sailing. There’s no evidence of foul play and no sign of a body. So where is Jack?

Ellie thought her father trusted her with his business empire but the discovery of a dark past challenges everything she believed. Her estranged husband was Jack’s last known contact but denies seeing him that day and seizes the opportunity to take over as acting CEO as if nothing untoward has happened. The detective in charge throws Ellie’s feelings of betrayal and loss into further turmoil because a long time ago, they loved each other. Now, she has to work with him to unravel the truth behind her father’s disappearance.

Jack’s trusted advisors are keeping secrets and Ellie’s desperate search for answers puts her in the dangerous sights of a killer.

With a body found at sea and a storm closing in, Ellie has to trust someone with what she knows.

But will trusting the wrong person be her deadliest mistake?


June 2020

Last Survivor by Tony Park

Publisher: Macmillan Australia
Pub Date: 30 June 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller, Adventure

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Greed.

Joanne Flack is on the run – suspected of stealing a rare African plant thought to be extinct and worth millions of dollars.

Danger.

Sonja Kurtz is hired by the CIA to hunt down Joanne and find the link between the missing plant and a terrorist group hiding out in South Africa.

Treachery.

Joanne is a member of the Pretoria Cycad and Firearms Appreciation Society who take it upon themselves to track down the plant … and the traitor in their midst who is willing to kill for it.


Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin

Publisher: Bantam Australia
Pub Date: 2 June 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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It’s winter in Melbourne and Detective Emmett Corban is starting to regret his promotion to head of the Missing Persons Unit, as the routine reports pile up on his desk.

So when Natale Gibson goes missing, he’s convinced this is the big case he’s been waiting for – the woman’s husband and parents insist the devoted mother would never abandon her children, and her personal accounts remain untouched.

But things aren’t all they seem. The close-knit Italian family is keeping secrets – none bigger than the one Natale has been hiding.

Just as the net seems to be tightening, the investigation is turned on its head. The body of a woman is found . . . then another.

What had seemed like a standard missing person’s case has turned into a frightening hunt for a serial killer, and time is running out.

But to really understand these shocking crimes, Emmett and his team will need to delve back through decades of neglect – back to a squalid inner-city flat, where a young boy is left huddling over his mother’s body . . .


April 2020

The Long Shadow by Anne Buist

Publisher: Text Publishing
Pub Date: 28 April 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Write down something about yourself, as a mother, that worries you.

Psychologist Isabel Harris has come to the outback town of Riley because her husband Dean is assessing the hospital—the hub of the community—with a view to closing it down. Isabel, mostly occupied with her toddler, will run a mother–baby therapy group. But on the first day she gets an anonymous note from one of the mothers: 

The baby killer is going to strike again. Soon.

Then a series of small harassments begins.

Is it an attempt to warn Dean off? Or could the threat be serious? A child was murdered in Riley once before.

As Isabel discovers more about the mothers in her group, she begins to believe the twenty-five-year-old mystery of a baby’s death may be the key to preventing another tragedy.


Prey by L.A. Larkin

Publisher: Clan Destine Press
Pub Date: 20 April 2020
Sub-Genre: Private Investigator, Thriller

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Four murders. Four countries. One terrible secret.

Olivia Wolfe, the hero of Devour, is back.

A journalist who travels the world exposing heinous crimes, Wolfe has more enemies than most. But this time some very powerful people want her stopped for good.

When the anonymous source for her latest story is killed, Wolfe must unravel the terrible secret that connects a series of gruesome murders.

Betrayed and isolated, Wolfe is soon being hunted by a faceless killer.

Can she stay alive long enough to expose the shocking truth?


Inheritance of Secrets by Sonya Bates

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub Date: 20 April 2020
Sub-Genre: Suspense

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No matter how far you run, the past will always find you.

Juliet’s elderly grandparents are killed in their Adelaide home. Who would commit such a heinous crime – and why? The only clue is her grandfather Karl’s missing signet ring.

When Juliet’s estranged sister, Lily, returns in fear for her life, Juliet suspects something far more sinister than a simple break-in gone wrong. Before Juliet can get any answers, Lily vanishes once more.

Juliet only knew Karl Weiss as a loving grandfather, a German soldier who emigrated to Australia to build a new life. What was he hiding that could have led to his murder? While attempting to find out, Juliet uncovers some disturbing secrets from WWII that will put both her and her sister’s lives in danger …

Gripping. Tense. Mysterious. Inheritance of Secrets links the crimes of the present to the secrets of the past and asks how far would you go to keep a promise?


Sheerwater by Leah Swann

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub Date: 1 April 2020
Sub-Genre: Suspense

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Ava and her two young sons, Max and Teddy, are driving to their new home in Sheerwater, hopeful of making a fresh start in a new town, although Ava can’t help but keep looking over her shoulder. They’re almost at their destination when they witness a shocking accident – a light plane crashing in the field next to the road. Ava stops to help, but when she gets back to the car, she realises that somehow, among the smoke, fire and confusion, her sons have gone missing …

From a substantial new Australian writing talent, Sheerwater is tense, emotional, unforgettable. Perfect for readers of Mark Brandi’s Wimmera and Stephanie Bishop’s The Other Side of the World, this is a beautifully written, propulsive, gut-wrenching and unputdownable novel – an aching, powerful story of the heroic acts we are capable of in the name of love.


March 2020

The Shifting Landscape by Katherine Kovacic

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: March 2020
Sub-Genre: Mystery

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Art dealer Alex Clayton travels to Victoria’s Western District to value the McMillan family’s collection. At their historic sheep station, she finds an important and previously unknown colonial painting – and a family fraught with tension. There are arguments about the future of the property and its place in an ancient and highly significant indigenous landscape.

When the family patriarch dies under mysterious circumstances and the painting is stolen, Alex decides to leave; then a toddler disappears and Alex’s faithful dog Hogarth goes missing. With fears rising for the safety of both child and hound, Alex and her best friend John, who has been drawn into the mystery, join searchers scouring the countryside. But her attempts to unravel the McMillan family secrets have put Alex in danger, and she’s not the only one.

Will the killer claim another victim? Or will the landscape reveal its mysteries to Alex in time?


Gathering Dark by Candice Fox

Publisher: Bantam Australia
Pub Date: 31 March 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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A convicted killer. A gifted thief. A vicious crime boss. A disillusioned cop. Together they’re a missing girl’s only hope.

Blair Harbour, once a wealthy, respected surgeon in Los Angeles, is now an ex-con down on her luck. She’s determined to keep her nose clean to win back custody of her son.

But when her former cellmate, Sneak Lawlor, begs for help to find her missing daughter, Blair is compelled to put her new-found freedom on the line. Joined by LA’s most feared underworld figure, Ada Maverick, the crew of criminals bring outlaw tactics to the search for Dayly.

Detective Jessica Sanchez has always had a difficult relationship with the LAPD. And her inheritance of a $7 million mansion as a reward for catching a killer has just made her police enemy number one.

It’s been ten years since Jessica arrested Blair for the cold-blooded murder of her neighbour. So when Jessica opens the door to the disgraced doctor and her friends early one morning she expects abuse, maybe even violence.

What comes instead is a plea for help.


A Testament of Character by Sulari Gentill

Publisher: Pantera Press
Pub Date: 3 March 2020
Sub-Genre: Historical Mystery

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In fear for his life, American millionaire Daniel Cartwright changes his will, appointing his old friend Rowland Sinclair as his executor.

Soon murder proves that fear well founded.

When Rowland receives word of Cartwright’s death, he sets out immediately for Boston, Massachusetts, to bury his friend and honour his last wishes. He is met with the outrage and anguish of Cartwright’s family, who have been spurned in favour of a man they claim does not exist.

Artists and gangsters, movie stars and tycoons all gather to the fray as elite society closes in to protect its own, and family secrets haunt the living. Rowland Sinclair must confront a world in which insanity is relative, greed is understood, and love is dictated; where the only people he can truly trust are an artist, a poet and a passionate sculptress.


Where the Truth Lies by Karina Kilmore

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub Date: 1 March 2020
Sub-Genre: PI Thriller

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When investigative journalist Chrissie O’Brian lands a senior job at The Argus, she is desperate to escape the nightmares of her past. Her life has become a daily battle to numb the pain. But her job is something she can do better than anyone else – and the only thing that keeps the memories at bay.

A face-off on the waterfront between the unions and big business is just the kind of story to get her career back on track. But after a dockworker who confided in her turns up dead, Chrissie becomes obsessed with unravelling the truth. When a gruesome threat lands on her desk, it’s clear someone is prepared to do anything to stop her. 

But who is more dangerous – a ruthless enemy or a woman pushed to the edge? Used to fighting her own demons, this is one battle Chrissie is determined not to lose.


February 2020

The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub Date: 24 February 2020
Sub-Genre: Suspense

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Police corruption, an investigation that ends in tragedy and the mystery of a little girl’s silence – three unconnected events that will prove to be linked by one small town.

While Detective Cormac Reilly faces enemies at work and trouble in his personal life, Garda Peter Fisher is relocated out of Galway with the threat of prosecution hanging over his head. But even that is not as terrible as having to work for his overbearing father, the local copper for the pretty seaside town of Roundstone.

For some, like Anna and her young daughter Tilly, Roundstone is a refuge from trauma. But even this village on the edge of the sea isn’t far enough to escape from the shadows of evil men.


The Devil Inside by D.L. Hicks

Publisher: Pantera Press
Pub Date: 4 February 2020
Sub-Genre: Police Procedural

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Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Revelation 2:10

In a peaceful coastal town, a young woman is found brutally murdered, a piece of scripture held tightly in her hand. Local detective Charlotte Callaghan is put on the case, and she’s glad for the distraction – Gull Bay can be a hard place to keep a secret, and she’s holding on to a few.

After Charlotte asks her brother, Father Joseph Callaghan, about the verse, her suspicions fall on his parishioners. Then a second victim is found, along with another biblical message.

A dark betrayal is concealed within the small community. For Charlotte, there’s something personal about this case, something that threatens the very core of her beliefs. Can she unravel this mystery before it tears her town apart?

A gripping crime novel about murder, betrayal, and the monsters who hide in plain sight.


Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: 4 February 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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When ski patroller Vanessa Bell discovers human bones high on Mount Stillwell at Charlotte Pass ski resort, Detective Sergeant Pierce Ryder of the Sydney Homicide Squad is called in to lead the investigative team.

Arriving in the isolated, snowed-in village with Winterfest celebrations underway, Ryder soon determines that the bones are those of Celia Delaney, a young woman who disappeared from the ski resort in 1964 during the biggest winter storm in Australian alpine history.

When a second murder takes place, Ryder suspects that the deaths are related, and that the person responsible is still in the village. Amid the escalating tension, Ryder is desperate to make an arrest before the stakes rise even higher.

Set within the stunning Snowy Mountains, this intriguing mystery uncovers deadly, long-buried secrets in the valleys and mountains of this iconic area.


One Thing Leads to Another by David W. Roberts

Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers
Pub Date: 27 February 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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It’s 1970s Adelaide, an elderly transport magnate, living in a retirement village with his much younger attractive wife, dies suddenly from a heart attack. The family is furious, when they discover he has left his fortune entirely to the young wife, whom the family regard as nothing more than a high class call girl.

Three years later, a surprising death-bed confession, results in Chief Inspector Johansson and his offsider, Senior Constable, Tania Markovina, being appointed to try and untangle a string of crimes committed over a period of twenty years, all of which, in some way, involved the deceased magnate.

Uncovering the nature of the crimes is difficult, but identifying who the perpetrators actually are, is an even greater challenge. There are a number of likely suspects. Unraveling the whole story involves dogged police work in Adelaide, Sydney, the central west of New South Wales and even beautiful Samoa.

Eventually, the elusive criminals are identified. They are clever and dangerous and hunting them down proves a risky business. What will be the final outcome?


January 2020

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Pub Date: 21 January 2020
Sub-Genre: Thriller

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Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and The Widow is an unsettling thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she’s forced to confront the evidence of her husband’s guilt. But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives.

Brilliant and beguiling, The Wife and The Widow takes you to a cliff edge and asks the question: how well do we really know the people we love?