Sydney Noir

Edited by John Dale. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-61775-581-1
Sydney is a good choice for Akashic’s first noir anthology set in Australia, since, as Dale notes in his introduction, it “has more unsolved murders than any other Australian city, as well as more drive-by shootings and more jailed politicians.” The 14 uniformly strong selections feature familiar subgenre figures: gangsters, ethically compromised cops, and people bent on revenge for the loss of a loved one. The volume’s standout is Philip McLaren’s “Black Cul-De-Sac,” which opens with a man named Craig, “the aboriginal liaison” for the Redfern region of Sydney, arriving at a dark alley where a murdered black man has been found. Craig has become the “politically appointed watchdog” after a wave of black deaths in police custody, a role that bears further exploration in future stories. Two other tales warrant singling out: Gabrielle Lord’s “Slow Burn,” with its sophisticated, slow-motion vengeance plot, and Mark Dapin’s dark-hued “In the Court of the Lion King,” an account of a grim struggle for survival in a Sydney prison. Fans of dark crime fiction will want to seek out other works by these contributors, most of whom will be unfamiliar to American readers. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2018
Release date: 01/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-61775-687-0
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-61775-688-7
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