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Omar El Akkad (Picador, $30) In the late 21st century, oil is outlawed, Louisiana is underwater, unmanned drones enforce “order” and the Second American Civil War has begun. Unthinkable?
The Blood Miracles
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Lisa McInerney (John Murray/Hachette, $29.99) In the Irish city of Cork, gangster-lite Ryan Cusack is having dangerous second thoughts about his lowlife career choice. McInerney’s crackling prose is a revelation.
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Rachel Leary (Allen & Unwin, $29.99) Lost in the Van Diemen’s Land wilderness after escaping brutal servitude then “saved” by homicidal bushrangers, the heroine of this ripping colonial yarn is fighting to survive.
Move Fast and Break Things
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Jonathan Taplin (Macmillan, $32.99) “Culture” is now defined by digital monopolies: Facebook, Amazon, Google. Copyright security for content creators is history. Taplin serves food for thought.
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Elizabeth Day (Harper Collins/4th Estate, $29.99) A clever outsider worms his way into high society. When his privileged position is threatened, things turn feral in this witty and smartly structured literary thriller.
The Secrets She Keeps
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Michael Robotham (Hachette, $32.99) When the worlds of two very different women collide it turns out they share a very dark secret. The suspense is relentless in this psychological thriller.
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Katie Kitamura (Allen & Unwin/Clerkenwell Press, $35) In this taut literary thriller, a woman arrives in a Greek fishing village seeking her estranged husband. His belongings remain in his hotel room, but he has disappeared.
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Jenny Zhang (Bloomsbury Circus, $22.49) The first book selected for Lena Dunham’s new Lenny publishing imprint is a collection of often quite graphic short stories set in New York’s Chinese community.
Tell No Lies
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Gregg Hurwitz (Penguin/Michael Joseph, $32.99) A probation counsellor to violent offenders is caught up in a serial murder case in this masterful crime-thriller from the author of Orphan X.
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Tex Perkins with Stuart Coupe (Pan Macmillan, $35) From Beasts of Bourbon to The Cruel Sea, Tex Perkins has swaggered rock’n’roll for 30 years. His sardonic wit gets a polish from legendary music journo Coupe.
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Christopher Bollen (Simon & Schuster, $32.99) For Ian Bledsoe, hanging out with old school chum Charlie in the Greek Islands is good therapy. Then Charlie disappears, leaving Ian at the wheel of his dodgy deals.
The Pacific Room
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Michael Fitzgerald (Transit Lounge, $29.95) Researching the final days of Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa, an art historian becomes immersed in a dreamlike netherworld of legend, spirits and Polynesian politics.
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
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Hannah Tinti (Allen & Unwin/The Clerkenwell Press, $29.99) An outlaw looks after his teenage daughter the best he can until his past catches up with them both in this new novel from the award-winning author of The Good Thief.
Under the Sun
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Lottie Moggach (Picador, $35) Everyone thinks she’s living the dream in Spain. The reality is not so sun-kissed. Anna runs a dingy expat bar and has made a bad business deal with a local gangster.
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Diksha Basu (Bloomsbury, $29.99) This insightful and often hilarious tale about social climbing, aspiration fatigue and status anxiety among the Delhi riche of the New India is soon to be a TV series.
Woolloomooloo: A Biography
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Louis Nowra (New South Books, $34.99) An entertaining “biography” of one of Sydney’s roughest, toughest waterfront neighbourhoods with its rich history of sly grog shops, razor gangs, sailors and sin.
Lola: A Novel
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Melissa Scrivner Love (Allen & Unwin/Point Blank, $26) Lola, a resourceful LA gang leader, is caught in the middle of a turf war between a Mexican drug cartel and a corrupt city official in this powerful debut.
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As told to Mark Abernethy (Pan Macmillan, $29.99) Mike is an Aussie building contractor but his alter ego, “Big Unit”, hunts terrorists and drug cartels for the Pentagon. True tales from the undercover frontline.
City of Crows
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Chris Womersley (Pan Macmillan, $33) On the road in medieval France, a resourceful woman searches for her abducted son with the reluctant aid of a recently released fraudster and a bit of witchcraft.
Ali: A Life
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Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster, $50) He was “the Greatest” and Muhammad Ali, heavyweight champion of the world, conscientious objector and Muslim, changed the face of boxing forever. This is a meticulously researched biography of a fascinating fighter.