Winner – Children’s Book

Clara is a small scruffy chook who is tormented by the rooster and the other hens. She escapes by watching a girl detective on TV and sees herself as a fellow crime-solver. She can’t speak human but writes a letter that there is an egg thief in the area ….

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Winner – Best Debut Book

Leah Swann’s writing is subtle which makes the narrative developments even more frightening. The finale leaves readers in a dark, ambiguous place, and sparked questions among the judges. Sheerwater is a standout, and we look forward to reading more from Leah Swann.

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Winner – Best Young Adult Crime Book

Through … vividly written characters the author skilfully introduces themes of family violence, teenage pregnancy, entrenched racism and family secrets. Then she weaves them into a more complex story of loss and love, beauty and horror.  An outstanding work by a talented author.

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Winner – Best Adult Crime Novel

The Good Sister is bursting with surprising twists and laced with a sinister undercurrent. It’s a novel of unforeseen love, betrayal and danger which concludes with a satisfying and rewarding ending. Judges enjoyed the journey.

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The Missing Girl by Kerry McGinnis

Kerry McGinnis’s latest novel The Missing Girl is a terrific little read, laced with gothic elements: a mysterious disappearance, secret compartments, hidden identities, betrayals and lies. And, of course, there’s always McGinnis’s trademark lick of romance.

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The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart

Propelling the reader back and forth between the 1940s, 1960s and 1980s, The Silent Listener is an unforgettable literary suspense novel set in the dark, gothic heart of rural Australia. Warning: depiction of family violence will make you quiver and wince.

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