Review: Front Page News

I applied for this title from Netgalley on a whim. And I’m so glad I did!

Stacey McCallaghan is a recent arrival in the small Queensland town of Toomey, working as a cadet reporter. Small town journalism isn’t generally earthshattering – a procession of sports reports, cattle sales and bowls tournaments.

Until the first death.

Stacey is glad to have something a bit more exciting to write about, but this turns sour as more bodies turn up and she moves up the suspect list. The police don’t seem to be following the right leads, so it looks like Stacey will need to show them how it’s done.

front page news

Katie Rowney’s debut novel is an absolute delight. It’s a light-hearted, quick read, written with that quirky Aussie sense of humour.  I really enjoyed her use of language and witty turn of phrase. She really captures the atmosphere of small town life and the difficulties of being a newcomer to a place where everyone else has known each other for generations.

Stacey is a great main character -she’s young, but knows her own mind and doesn’t take crap from anyone. And there are some great feminist one-liners that had me saying things like “Amen sister!!”.

‘”Boys will be boys” is just a stupid expression people use when they should be saying “Arseholes will be arseholes.”

Hell yeah!

The book has a great cast of characters – you can certainly tell that Rowney has drawn on her own journalistic experience here. It was great to see good balance between male and female characters – I find that Aussies tend to overpopulate stories, particularly those with rural settings with particular male stereotypes. The plot is well paced, right up to the climactic ending.

What else can I say – read it! It’s so much fun!!

5 out of 5 Nancy Drew references.

With thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books Australia.


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