Reviewer: LS

By this author

Culture February 17, 2018

The Passengers

Sarah and her granddaughter Hannah are travelling from San Diego to Australia by cruise liner. It’s a homecoming of sorts, as well as the completing of a circle: Sarah was a war bride who left her family back in Sydney in 1946 to sail to the American …

Books February 03, 2018


Children in peril make for gripping stories – think The Brothers Grimm and Dickens, A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Light We Cannot See. In Sign, Colin Dray’s debut thriller, the child in question is Sam, a young …

Books December 02, 2017


As Margaret Atwood wrote in The Blind Assassin, “It’s the end of the world every day, for someone.” When a great many people are dead and dying in horrific circumstances in fiction, settings and plots are usually post-apocalyptic: some …

Books November 18, 2017


Ali Smith’s 2016 novel, Autumn, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and acclaimed as the first serious post-Brexit novel. Winter, the second in her “Seasonal Quartet”, is just as stunning and continues Smith’s extreme engagement …

Books October 28, 2017

Atlantic Black

On the surface, A. S. Patrić’s Atlantic Black is the story of a 17-year-old girl, Katerina Klova, and the 24 hours she spends unaccompanied aboard the Aquitania as it steams across the Atlantic on New Year’s Eve 1938. Her travelling …

Books October 07, 2017


Australia has a thriving community of horror writers but only rarely does local horror find a mainstream readership. Lois Murphy’s classy, clever debut, Soon, deserves to be that rare example. Soon is a haunted house story – except …

Books September 09, 2017

The Choke

Miles Franklin-winner Sofie Laguna has developed such a characteristic literary style that it’s easy to forget that The Choke is only her third novel for adults. Here, her child narrator is Justine Lee, who is 10 in the early ’70s when the …

Books September 02, 2017

The Museum of Words

“A memoir of dying is exceptionally wrenching,” wrote the novelist Tom Rachman in 2016, “because we know the end at the beginning, and so meet with an effortful, pulsing person who will soon be neither.” In the pages of The Museum of Words, …

Books August 12, 2017

The Lone Child

Anna George’s first book was the well-regarded crime thriller What Came Before. Her new novel, The Lone Child, is less criminal and more psychological in focus, but it’s just as thrilling. It’s a story about the effects of motherhood …