Given there were 23 novels nominated for the 2011 Ned Kelly for Best Fiction, there were always going to be plenty of good books and great authors that missed out on the short-list. But I imagine few would have predicted that not a single one of the 'big names' like Peter Corris, Kathryn Fox, Leah Giarratano, Kerry Greenwood, Katherine Howell, Adrian Hyland, Colleen McCulloch and Malla Nunn would make it. I'm surprised - especially given the great things I've heard about GUNSHOT ROAD by Hyland, in particular.
Perhaps this just shows a lack of knowledge on my part of contemporary Australian crime fiction, but I was scratching my head a little when the finalists were revealed as:
- THE HALF-CHILD by Angela Savage (Text)
- THE DIGGER REST HOTEL by Geoffrey McGeachin (Penguin)
- BEREFT by Chris Womersley (Scribe Publishing)
For those out there that have read Australian crime fiction, what do you think of this year's shortlistees? Are they great books that perhaps just haven't yet got the publicity of some of the bigger-name authors? Do you think there are books that have been hard-done-by? I'd love to get your thoughts.