January 8, 2019 | in

January Fresh Talent


The Rumour

How well can we ever really know another person? It’s a deeply troubling question, and one that provides writers with a wealth of possibilities to explore. In The Rumour, author Lesley Kara does just that, taking readers to the English seaside town of Flintstead where, rumour has it, one of the residents is a murderer living under a false identity.

Joanna is a single (well, it’s complicated) mum who would do anything for her son Alfie. Newly arrived back in her old home town, she is finding it difficult to fit in when she hears the other mothers gossiping about Sally McGowan, a woman who many years previously, at the age of ten, killed a younger boy. McGowan has now been given a new identity for protection – an identity that may have brought her to Flintstead.

The Rumour is a slow burn of a book, allowing the dark, creepy atmosphere of Flintstead to unfurl around the reader; you’re never quite sure if something is wrong, never quite reassured that it isn’t. Joanna is a flawed but sympathetic protagonist, who discovers the social capital in spreading rumours, as well as the nasty bite of being on the wrong end of one.

The characters are as hard to pin down as the truth in this novel, keeping a reader guessing at their motives … and at what will happen next.

Rebecca Sutherland, WHSmith Australia

Click here to read about Lesley Kara’s inspiration for The Rumour.

Click here to read about Lesley Kara’s experience at the Faber Academy.

Content supplied by Penguin Books Australia

 Man at the Window

When a boarding master at an exclusive boys’ school is shot dead, it is deemed accidental. A lazy and usually drunk detective is sent to write up the report. Cardilini unexpectedly does not co-operate, as he becomes riled by the privileged arrogance of those at the school. With no real evidence he declares the shooting a murder and puts himself on a collision course with Perth’s elite. As he peels back layers, the school’s dark secrets being to emerge.

Man at the Window is the first in the Detective Cardilini series, set in 1960s Western Australia.

Half Moon Lake

On a summer’s day at Half Moon Lake, Louisiana, four-year-old Sonny Davenport mysteriously disappears.  For two years, his parents search across the South, offer large rewards and struggle not to give in to despair.

Then, miraculously, the boy is found in the company of a tramp. 

But is he truly Sonny Davenport? When an unwed farm worker travels from Alabama to lay claim to the child, newspapers, townsfolk, even the Davenports’ friends, take sides.

As the trial begins, and two desperate mothers fight for ownership of the boy, they discover that truth is more complicated than they’d ever dreamed.

Check out a research piece here!

Check out Book Club notes here!

Content supplied by Penguin Books Australia

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not alone, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about.

Check out the trailer here!

Content supplied by Simon & Schuster Australia

My Sister, The Serial Killer

When Korede receives a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that Korede has to clear away. She should probably go to the police, but as they say, family always comes first.

Until, however, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him dead: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other.

Call Me Evie

Meet Evie, a young woman held captive by a man named Jim in the isolated New Zealand beach town of Maketu. Jim says he’s hiding Evie to protect her and that she did something terrible back home in Melbourne. 

In a house that creaks against the wind, Evie begins to piece together her fractured memories of the events that led her here.

Jim says he’s keeping her safe. Evie’s not sure she can trust Jim, but can she trust her own memories?

A stunning thriller for fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train from an exciting new Australian voice.



TitleJanuary Fresh Talent