2018 Shortlist

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2018 Short List

We're happy to announce the Shortlist of books for the Ned Kelly Awards in 2018.

Our judging panels are made up of booksellers, book industry luminaries, readers, critics, reviewers and commentators.

Their decisions are final, and the ACWA Committee thanks them most sincerely for their time, care, consideration and professionalism.

Best Fiction

Sulari Gentill
Judges Comments

An intricate dance of mystery and psychological suspense that blurs the lines between real and fictional, sanity and insanity, obsession and love.

Alan Carter
Judges Comments

A police procedural, witness protection combination set in the breathtakingly beautiful New Zealand countryside full of menace and intrigue.

Candice Fox
Judges Comments

Set in Far North Queensland where the climate is hot, the people a bit outside the box, and the crime realistic and nasty. Fox's characters have complex backgrounds, different current lives, and you're never sure about their futures.

Anna George
Judges Comments

Steeped in sadness, longing, regret and loss, this combination of psychological thriller and domestic noir is haunting.

Iain Ryan
Judges Comments

Dark, brisk, dry noir that captures Queensland rural / regional life in a small town, on a small University campus, where everything happens at break-neck speed, and nobody knows how to escape their past.

Garry Disher
Judges Comments

A new and very welcome twist on the cold-case unit, Disher delivers a realistic, nuanced and not exactly perfect new character, in a great inner-city setting that drips new series potential from every page.

Best First Fiction

Sarah Schmidt
Judges Comments

An intimate and claustrophobic imagining of the Lizzie Borden story.

Sarah Bailey
Judges Comments

A police procedural with a strong emphasis on character and setting, the victim is given life through the memories and emotions of her childhood friend now lead investigator of her death.

Megan Goldin
Judges Comments

A psychological thriller delving into the minds of the wife of a manipulative man and a female cop with emotional issues of her own.

Mark Brandi
Judges Comments

An atmospheric, well written book, about class, ethnic difference and paedophilia, set in a small country town overwhelmed by inter-generational secrets.

True Crime

Mark Abernethy
Judges Comments

Stories from the man himself: mild-mannered, tradie, knock about bloke, Mike Daly who also was a counter intelligence specialist, and now takes private contracts to work covertly in some of the world's most dangerous trouble spots. When he's not working as a builder.

Campbell McConachie
Judges Comments

A well-researched, engagingly written exploration of how a seemingly ordinary, likeable bloke could have a secret life as a cold-blooded killer, told by somebody who met, and befriended, that bloke.

Tanya Bretherton
Judges Comments

Solidly researched, expertly told and very engaging historical story about infanticide, and the difficulties that many women lived through in 1920's Sydney.

Graham Archer
Judges Comments

Fascinating, detailed and well researched tale of a gross miscarriage of justice by a system more concerned with maintaining the status quo than pursuing justice.

Gabriella Coslovich
Judges Comments

A detailed, court based account of a famous Australian art fraud, the manner in which this author has wrestled a complex and long running case into line within these pages is impressive.