I’m delighted to be reviewing what must be the definitive pocket guide to crime fiction, film and TV from Australia and New Zealand by Craig Sisterson.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Australian and New Zealand crime and thriller writing is booming globally, with antipodean authors regularly featuring on awards and bestseller lists across Europe and North America, and overseas readers and publishers looking more and more to tales from lands Down Under.
Hailing from two sparsely populated nations on the far edge of the former Empire – neighbours that are siblings in spirit, vastly different in landscape – Australian and New Zealand crime writers offer readers a blend of exotic and familiar, seasoned by distinctive senses of place, outlook, and humour, and roots that trace to the earliest days of our genre. Southern Cross Crime is the first comprehensive guide to modern Australian and New Zealand crime writing. From coastal cities to the Outback, leading critic Craig Sisterson showcases key titles frommore than 200 storytellers, plus screen dramas ranging from Mystery Road to Top of the Lake.
Fascinating insights are added through in-depth interviews with some of the prime suspects who paved the way or instigated the global boom, including Jane Harper, Michael Robotham, Paul Cleave, Emma Viskic, Paul Thomas, and Candice Fox.
Craig Sisterson is probably one of the best known faces around in the crime fiction world, he’s interviewed some of the world’s top authors, and he’s been the judge of numerous crime fiction awards and written countless articles on the subject. What this man doesn’t know about the genre, you could write on the back of a postage stamp.
So when Craig brought out Southern Cross Crime, offering a guide to crime fiction, television and film from Australia and New Zealand I immediately knew that it would be jam packed with information and a lead on what some of the best Yeah Noir there is around. I was not wrong at all! Be warned, approach this book with a notebook, pen and your bank card as I hadn’t even finished reading the first section and already my virtual TBR pile was threatening to topple over.
Divided into handy sections, you can read this from start to finish, cherry pick the chapters or sections you want to read or search for specific areas/authors. But whatever way you choose to read the book, just know that you are going to come out the other end much more knowledgeable about NZ and Australian crime, and with your bank balance very much lighter.
Craig has such an engaging style of writing; he really pulls you into the world of crime fiction down under, with his passion for the work he talks about as he takes the reader on a literary tour of his own native New Zealand and neighbouring Australia.
This is a must buy for crime fiction lovers across the world!
Southern Cross Crime is available to purchase via
and all good book stores
About the author
Craig Sisterson is a features writer, editor, and crime fiction expert from New Zealand who writes for newspapers, magazines, and websites in several countries. A former lawyer and legal journalist, in recent years Craig has interviewed hundreds of crime writers and talked about the genre on national radio, top podcasts, and onstage at arts, literary, and crime fiction festivals on three continents. He’s been a judge of the McIlvanney Prize in Scotland and Ned Kelly Awards in Australia, and is founder of the Ngaio Marsh Awards and is co-founder of the Rotorua Noir with crime writer Grant Nicol. Craig has lived and worked in a few countries, and backpacked through dozens more. He currently lives in London.