2014 Ned Kelly Awards 

A couple of weeks ago the 2014 Ned Kelly Award winners were announced, and as part of my ‘Monthly Spotlight on Adult Fiction‘ – for my blog readers who don’t mind reading my posts about Kids & YA novels but prefer reading grown up books – this month I will highlight some of the fantastic Australian crime writers shortlisted for the ‘Neds’. The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes honouring our crime fiction and true crime writing. Read my first Monthly Spotlight on Adult Fiction HERE

Never heard of the Ned Kelly Awards? Well neither had I till I became a little more involved with the Australian writing community. Organised by the Australian Crime Writers Association, the awards aim to celebrate the very best in Australian crime writing.

The ACWA is dedicated to promoting greater recognition for crime, thriller and mystery writing in Australia and to protect the general professional interests of all creators of crime and mystery works.

I’ve read the description of each book shortlisted – they all sound fantastic. If you like reading crime then check them out! Click on the all the book cover images below for a link to Goodreads reviews.

 Winner Best Fiction – In The Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty

Adrian McKintyA spectacular escape and a man-hunt that could change the future of a nation – and lay one man’s past to rest. Sean Duffy’s got nothing. And when you’ve got nothing to lose, you have everything to gain. So when MI5 come knocking, Sean knows exactly what they want, and what he’ll want in return, but he hasn’t got the first idea how to get it. Of course he’s heard about the spectacular escape of IRA man Dermot McCann from Her Majesty’s Maze prison.

But finding Dermot leads Sean to an old locked room mystery, and into the kind of danger where you can lose as easily as winning. From old betrayals and ancient history to 1984’s most infamous crime, Sean tries not to fall behind in the race to annihilation. Can he outrun the most skilled terrorist the IRA ever created? And will the past catch him first?

Winner Best First Fiction – Hades by Candice Fox

Candice FoxA dark, compelling and original thriller that will have you spellbound from its atmospheric opening pages to its shocking climax. Hades is the debut of a stunning new talent in crime fiction. Hades Archer, the man they call the Lord of the Underworld, surrounds himself with the things others leave behind. Their trash becomes the twisted sculptures that line his junkyard. The bodies they want disposed of become his problem for a fee. Then one night a man arrives on his doorstep, clutching a small bundle that he wants ‘lost’. And Hades makes a decision that will change everything…

Twenty years later, homicide detective Frank Bennett feels like the luckiest man on the force when he meets his new partner, the dark and beautiful Eden Archer. But there’s something strange about Eden and her brother, Eric. Something he can’t quite put his finger on. When the two detectives are called to the scene of an attempted drowning, they find a traumatised victim telling a story that’s hard to believe – until the divers start bringing up bodies. Frank is now on the hunt for a very different kind of serial killer: one who offers the sick and dying hope at murderous cost. At first, his partner’s sharp instincts come in handy. Soon, he’s wondering if she’s as dangerous as the man they hunt.

Winner True Crime – Murder in Mississippi by John Safran 

John SafranWhen filming his TV series Race Relations, John Safran spent an uneasy couple of days with one of Mississippi’s most notorious white supremacists. A year later, he heard that the man had been murdered – and what was more, the killer was black. At first the murder seemed a twist on the old Deep South race crimes. But then more news rolled in. Maybe it was a dispute over money, or most intriguingly, over sex. Could the infamous racist actually have been secretly gay, with a thing for black men? Did Safran have the last footage of him alive? Could this be the story of a lifetime? Seizing his Truman Capote moment, he jumped on a plane to cover the trial.

Over six months, Safran got deeper and deeper into the South, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder – white separatists, black campaigners, lawyers, investigators, neighbours, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crime, and the world, seemed.

Murder in Mississippi is a brilliantly innovative true-crime story. Taking us places only he can, Safran paints an engrossing, revealing portrait of a dead man, his murderer, the place they lived and the process of trying to find out the truth about anything.

Winner – Sandra Harvey Short Story Award

Web Design by Emma Viskic – Read it HERE 

Head over to the Australian Crime Writers Association for more information about the Ned Kelly Awards. I’ve listed the remaining shortlisted books – click on the book covers for links to Goodreads reviews.  


Bitter Wash Road




Blood Witness

Dead Cat Bounce

Every breath

No Mercy



Forever Nine

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