The 2017 Ned Kelly Award Winners Are…

Judges on behalf of The Australian Crime Writers Association nominated shortlists in three categories for this year’s Ned Kelly Awards, winners of which were announced earlier tonight (1 September) in Melbourne. The shortlists and winners are provided below (as provided via the #neddies17 hashtag on twitter), with links to reviews here at Fair Dinkum Crime where available but do head over to the ACWA site to see the judge’s comments too.

We congratulate all the winners and thank all the authors for the great reading they’ve provided

Best Fiction

 

Best First Fiction

  • Ron Elliot – BURN PATTERNS
  • Jane HarperTHE DRY(** winner **)
  • Andy Muir – SOMETHING FOR NOTHING
  • Anna SnoekstraONLY DAUGHTER
  • Holly ThrosbyGOODWOOD
  • Laura Elizabeth Wollett – LOVE OF A BAD MAN

Best True Crime

  • Collin Dillon with Tom Gilling – CODE OF SILENCE
  • Duncan McNab – GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER (** joint winner **)
  • Duncan McNab – ROGER ROGERSON
  • Brendan James Murray – THE DROWNED MAN (** joint winner **)
  • Terry Smyth – DENNY DAY
  • Mark Tedeschi – MURDER AT MYALL CREEK

Review: GOODWOOD, Holly Throsby

Synopsis (publisher)

A delightful debut novel of secrets and small town obsessions from Australian musician and songwriter, Holly Throsby.
It wasn’t just one person who went missing, it was two people. Two very different people. They were there, and then they were gone, as if through a crack in the sky. After that, in a small town like Goodwood, where we had what Nan called ‘a high density of acquaintanceship’, everything stopped. Or at least it felt that way. The normal feeling of things stopped.

Goodwood is a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone. It’s a place where it’s impossible to keep a secret.

In 1992, when Jean Brown is seventeen, a terrible thing happens. Two terrible things. Rosie White, the coolest girl in town, vanishes overnight. One week later, Goodwood’s most popular resident, Bart McDonald, sets off on a fishing trip and never comes home.

People die in Goodwood, of course, but never like this. They don’t just disappear.

As the intensity of speculation about the fates of Rosie and Bart heightens, Jean, who is keeping secrets of her own, and the rest of Goodwood are left reeling.

Rich in character and complexity, its humour both droll and tender, Goodwood is a compelling ride into a small community, torn apart by dark rumours and mystery.

My Take
An interesting novel just on the edge of crime fiction. The reader is never sure whether a crime has taken place or not. I found it a read that you had to take slowly just so that you wouldn’t miss anything important.
We see life in the small town of Goodwood in rural Victoria through the eyes of Jean Brown, in her final year of high school. Rosie White, a year older than Jean, is the first to disappear. Her mother goes to wake her one Sunday morning and her bed is empty and her window wide open. Rumours fly thick and fast and the town is divided in opinion on whether she has run away or whether she has been taken, and is even perhaps dead.
The town residents largely regard the town as a safe haven, somewhere where crimes can’t occur, where young people can largely roam without fear of attack. In fact a number of the residents including Jean’s mother have returned to Goodwood after a time away. It is a small town where everybody knows everybody-else, and most “nasty” characters are identified and avoided.
Jeanie doesn’t always understand what she has observed and she is distracted by the arrival of a new girl in town.
When a second person disappears, it seems that something is seriously wrong. The town has turned into a place of danger.
A lovely read, lots of humour, and still enough mystery to keep this crime fiction addict engaged.

My rating: 4.4

About the author
Holly Throsby is a songwriter, musician and novelist from Sydney, Australia. She has released four critically acclaimed solo albums, a collection of original children’s songs, and an album as part of the band, Seeker Lover Keeper. Goodwood is Holly’s debut novel.