Hidden Gems: crime thriller books you might have missed

With 23 books now published or available to pre-order, it’s very easy for some of my past books to get overlooked.

With that in mind, and as part of my 10th anniversary celebrations as a published author, I’ve taken the opportunity to look back on some hidden gems that I’d love more readers to discover.

These were first shared on social media over the past four weeks, and so I’ve kept the same order here for ease of reference.

Image shows Look Closer, Under Fire, Call to Arms and Before Nightfall covers against a blue background

Week 1: Look Closer (a fast-paced conspiracy thriller)

I have a huge soft spot for Look Closer, and it makes me a bit sad that more readers haven’t yet discovered it, which is why I kicked off my Hidden Gems series with this one.

This is the book that gave me the confidence to write the first book in my Detective Kay Hunter series, Scared to Death.

Look Closer is a conspiracy thriller that, like a lot of my story ideas, started off with an opening scene going around in my head and once that happens, it means I have to drop everything to find out what happens next!

I love hearing readers’ reactions when they get to the end of Look Closer though – and I’d love to hear what you think!

Click here to learn more about Look Closer.

Week 2: Under Fire (Dan Taylor spy thrillers, book 2)

Under Fire is another of my Hidden Gems I’d like to share with you. It’s the second book in my Dan Taylor spy thrillers series and involved a LOT of research.

Highlights for me were confronting my discomfort with submarines to explore the Oberon class submarine HMAS Onslow at the Australian Maritime Museum, and using my nan and grandad’s old house in Malta as one of the locations in the book.

I hadn’t visited the house since I was 11 years old and while I was there, I phoned my grandad who gave us a guided tour of the old Royal Marines camp over the phone while we walked around the site!

Craig Beck did a fantastic job of narrating the audiobook and if you follow the link below, you’ll find a sample to listen to as well as details about the eBook, print and large print versions.

Click here to learn more about Under Fire.

Week 3: Call to Arms (Detective Kay Hunter, book 5)

My third Hidden Gem is Call to Arms – one of my personal favourites from the Detective Kay Hunter series, but also one of the hardest to write!

After the events of the first four books, Kay is on light duties and getting frustrated that she hasn’t got a case to get her teeth into. Then her mentor Devon Sharp asks for her help in solving a cold case, the ramifications of which shock them both to their core.

Writing this really tested my abilities (and Kay’s!) to try and solve a cold case where witness recollection was faded with time and the clues were buried along with secrets and lies.

I don’t plan ahead with my detective books so I really do follow my characters and find out things the same time they do – it can make for quite a fraught process sometimes, but I love it!

Click here to learn more about Call to Arms.

Week 4: Before Nightfall (an action-packed thriller)

My final Hidden Gem for the current retrospective is my standalone thriller Before Nightfall.

This was the third book I wrote and published after White Gold and Under Fire and although I wanted a palate cleanse from the Dan Taylor spy thrillers before writing book 3, I still wanted to write something in the action/adventure genre.

Before Nightfall is one of the fastest books I’ve ever written – it took 9 weeks writing every day on the train to and from work in Brisbane and I really couldn’t stop my fingers flying over the keyboard every day!

I absolutely loved writing this. There’s something for everyone in this story, and – more importantly – the female character, Kate, isn’t a victim. She’s been through a hostage survival course and intends to try everything to escape.

Research for this included reading a copy of the US Marine Corps’ Individual’s Guide for Understanding and Surviving Terrorism cover to cover – and I still refer to my copy when writing my spy thrillers today!

Click here to learn more about Before Nightfall.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this retrospective look at some of my other books. I can't wait to see what I create over the next 10 years to share with you!

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