Are you on the hunt for some top-shelf Australian literary crime? Jock Serong's Quota is just the ticket.
Quota opens with the feel of a tight, sophisticated city courtroom drama and pans out to investigate a murder in a small coastal town. Clearly a city boy out of his comfort zone, Charlie has to throw his rulebook out the window, unravel the evidence, gain the confidence of the accused and a rapport in the township. Along with piecing together a case, he starts to examine his own choices and piece together his own life.
The township of Dauphin is a struggling fishing village and Jock Serong writes with real tenderness scenes of rolling coastlines, unfathomable seas and the nature of fishing. He captures the instinctive joy of the catch and questions where do you cross the line? Is the legal way always the right way? What goes on outside the quota?
Jock Serong has brought his A-game to this criminal tale and I will be lining up for the next book from this thoughtful, talented writer.
In November 2014 Jock Serong was a guest speaker at our Wine and Crime ... all things Noir' Event. I follwed up the night by asking him about what he's been reading!
Kirsty: What have been your standout reads for 2014?
Jock: My standout reading highlight for the year has been This Sporting Life by David Storey. Written I think in the early 70s, heartbreaking tale of a lost and failing athlete, works perfectly as a study of the power relationships in sport today. I was reading it as research for my next novel, but it leapt out of the research category with ease.
Kirsty: What crime novels can you recommend reading?
Where it all began: Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. Not a thriller at all but the greatest of morality tales. Camus' The Outsider for similar reasons. Wayne Macauley's The Cook, Garry Disher's Bitter Wash Road as examples of where Australia is heading off in a unique direction. And Angela's The Dying Beach is wonderful!
For an extract of Quota, by Jock Serong, click here.
I was sent a review copy of Quota from Text Publishing. All opinions are my own.