I always enjoy getting to know the work of new-to-me authors; it broadens my reading horizons. And, the more variety among the voices in crime fiction, the stronger the genre is. That’s why I’m always pleased to participate in the New (To Me, Anyway) Author meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. By the way, if you’re not already following that excellent blog, you want to, sooner rather than later. It’s a treasure trove of crime fiction reviews.
This quarter, I finally got to ‘meet’ Caroline Overington, and I’m very glad I did. Overington is a journalist who’s won several prizes, including the News Limited Sir Keith Murdoch Prize for Journalism in 2006 and the Walkley Award, which notes and rewards excellence in journalism. She’s used that background to good effect in her other writing, too. In fact, she was the 2015 winner of the Davitt Award for Crime Fiction, for her true crime book, Last Woman Hanged.
I first ‘met’ her, though, through Sisters of Mercy. In that novel, journalist Jack ‘Tap’ Fawcett is asked to cover the story of a missing visitor to New South Wales, Agnes Moore. As Fawcett begins to look into the case, he learns more about Moore’s background and life. And that’s how he learns that she has a much-younger sister, Sally Narelle ‘Snow’ Delaney. As he continues to report on the case, Snow begins to write to him from the prison where she’s incarcerated. As the story goes on, we follow both the case of Agnes Moore, and the crime for which Snow was convicted. As Snow tells her story, mostly through letters, we learn her history, and her perspective on the events that led to her imprisonment. As those events unfold, Overington also explores some larger social issues, and how they play out in New South Wales.
Overington has written other standalones as well, including The Lucky One, Matilda is Missing, Ghost Child, and I Came to Say Goodbye. Each has a different take on the psychological thriller. And several of them explore the dynamic among partners and family members.
Want to know more about Sisters of Mercy? It’s right here.
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Crowded House’s I Feel Possessed.