Book talk: Deadly podcast novels


This week, Jeff Popple reviews three novels about deadly podcasts! More of Jeff’s reviews can be found on his blog:

book cover

The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

Bantam, $32.99

Donlea is one of my favourite crime authors and is very adept at weaving true crime elements into his entertaining novels. In The Suicide House, the detective pairing of Rory Moore and famed profiler Lane Phillips are hired to assist on a true crime podcast about the massacre of two students by a teacher at an elite Indiana boarding school. The case is officially closed, but suspicions are raised by the string of suicides that have occurred in its wake. Donlea excels in this sort of multiple viewpoint crime novel which quickly grabs the reader’s attention and keeps them happily reading until the surprising climax.

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Michael Joseph, $32.99

Australian author Megan Goldin burst onto the American crime scene last year with her bestselling chiller, The Escape Room. She has now returned with the even better The Night Swim, about a popular true crime podcaster, Rachel Krall, who goes to a small North Carolina coastal town to cover a controversial rape trial. Whilst there she becomes caught up in a cold case investigation about the drowning of a teenager 25 years before. This well plotted and immensely engaging novel provides plenty of twists and suspense, while also exploring themes of abuse, small town mentality and sexual stereotyping. Highly recommended.

Final Cut by S. J. Watson

Text, $32.99

In S. J. Watson’s Final Cut a film maker, Alex, heads to the decaying Yorkshire seaside town of Blackwood Bay to shoot a documentary about the former bustling community and the disappearance of two girls years before. The locals, however, are suspicious of her intentions and Alex soon finds herself entangled in an old mystery and under threat. Watson skilfully combines the usual crime novel tropes of dual timelines, a potentially unreliable female narrator, cold cases and the current fascination with true crime documentaries to produce an intriguing novel that steadily draws you in and keeps you interested. An enjoyable mystery.

For more book talk: