Live event cancelled: Flawed heroes with Emma Viskic, Karina Kilmore, Natalie Conyer & Jacqui Horwood

The live event is cancelled but Sisters in Crime is exploring online options featuring the authors. Stay posted.  

Emma Viskic, Karina Kilmore and Natalie Conyer explore the flawed heroes of their crime novels as they grapple with an equally flawed world. Chaired by author Jacqui Horwood. Their protagonists – a deaf private detective, an investigative journalist and a South African police detective – are each trying to forget or avoid their pasts, but, ironically, this is what drives the plots.

Friday 3 April, 8:00 pmThe Rising Sun Hotel, cnr Raglan Street and Eastern Road, South Melbourne

Emma Viskic headshotEmma Viskic’s critically acclaimed Caleb Zelic series has been published worldwide and won numerous awards. Her hero is irrepressibly stubborn and emotionally repressed or, as one reader put it, ’emotionally constipated’. His stubbornness is one of his strengths – it is how he succeeds in a hearing world despite being profoundly deaf – but it is also his biggest failing. Even when his unwillingness to let go threatens his life or his marriage, he just can’t give in.

Emma’s debut novel, Resurrection Bay, won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and an unprecedented three Davitt Awards. It was shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Gold Dagger and New Blood Awards, and was iBooks Australia’s Crime Novel of the Year. And Fire Came Down won the 2018 Davitt Award for Best Adult Crime Book and was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award. Darkness for Light (Echo Publishing) is out now. She is currently working on the fourth novel in the series. She undertook extensive research to create the character of Caleb Zelic, including learning Auslan (Australian sign language). She is a classically trained clarinettist.

Karina Kilmore headshotThe hero of Karina Kilmore’s debut novel, Where the Truth Lies (Simon & Schuster), is the feisty but flawed journalist Chrissie O’Brian. Chrissie is escaping a criminal past in New Zealand and is struggling to fit into a new country. Parachuted into a senior job at The Argus, she struggles to fit into a newsroom, battling staff cuts and resentment. She soon suspects she has a big story on her hands: the death of a wharfie. This is just the sort of story she needs to crack open if she is to make her mark, but while she attempts to expose the secrets of others, she is desperately trying to keep her own failings hidden.

Karina is a finance writer, a former Herald Sun book editor and a surf lifesaving member.


Detective Schalk Lourens is the hero of Natalie Conyer’s debut thriller, Present Tense (Clan Destine Press), set in Cape Town where she was born and raised. Lourens is required to investigate the murder of retired police chief Piet Pieterse by ‘necklacing’, whereby a tyre is placed around the neck, doused in petrol and set alight. As a young cop, Lourens helped enforce South Africa’s apartheid regime. Now he is burdened by guilt for what he did then and is prepared to fight to ‘make things fair’; he can’t let go until justice is done. At the same time, he feels lost in the new, turbulent South Africa. He can’t work out who to trust, which leads him to make some dangerous decisions.

Present Tense was chosen as The Pick of the Week by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on 25 January. Natalie’s short stories have won several awards in the Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto competitions. She has just submitted her Doctorate in Creative Arts in (of course) crime fiction.

Jacqui Horwood works as a librarian at the State Library Victoria. She won the 2003 Scarlet Stiletto Award, the 2005 Award for Best Crime in Verse, and the 2016 Silver Stiletto. She was shortlisted for the 2019 Scarlet Stiletto Awards, and the 2015 and 2016 Ada Cambridge Biography in Prose Awards. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and e-zines. Jacqui is a former convenor of Sisters in Crime and was a Davitt Awards judge for ten years.


The Rising Sun Hotel (upstairs – no lift)
cnr Raglan Street and Eastern Road, South Melbourne
Melways map 57 H2
Free on-street parking after 6 pm
Trams 1, 12 or 55 or St Kilda Road trams
Photographs are routinely taken at Sisters in Crime events – if you do not wish to be photographed, please tell the photographer

$20 non-members
$15 concession
$12 Sisters in Crime and Writers Victoria members
$10 Youth (under 19)
Tickets not sold prior to the event will be available at the door for $22 / $18 / $15 / $10
Dinner upstairs from 6.30pm (bookings not necessary)
Brothers in Law welcome


Sun Bookshop stall
Sisters in Crime members receive a 10% discount

Additional information
Carmel Shute
0412 569 356