Book Review: Thicker than Water by Lindy Cameron

I got Lindy Cameron’s name off the ‘Crime’ suggested reading list for the Australian Women Writers: 2012 Challenge and searched for a book of hers through my local library catalogue. It came up with Thicker than Water, which is actually the third in her series featuring former cop and now PI Kit O’Malley. Cameron assumes that the reader has some familiarity with Kit and so doesn’t go in for explanations of her character in the book, unlike author Janet Evanovich who has narrator Stephanie Plum give a potted history of herself at the beginning of each book, but this doesn’t detract from the book once you get your head around the vast cast of characters and get into the narrative. Then it is off at a fast but enjoyable pace in and out of Melbourne crime families, long running disputes, red herrings, dead ends and all sorts of enjoyable bits and pieces. I also really liked that although the body count was high, for once it wasn’t all women and there wasn’t a whisper of blame that any of deceased had somehow brought their deaths upon themselves, except for maybe the predominant dead character who had a long list of people who might have been interested in his demise.

Things this book offers:

Kick arse female primary character, who happens to also be a lesbian.
Kick arse female characters both lesbian and not lesbian of all ages.
Lots of Bechdelicious moments.
Lots of lesbians talking about something other than being lesbian (not sure what the Bechdel equivalent of this is).
Lots of women who are just friends.
Well fleshed out characters both female and male.
Lots of hot lesbian sex scenes written for the female gaze.
A complex plot and a really good fictional Melbourne underbelly.

Like most crime novels there are moments when you wonder if the police really would allow a non-cop that much access to information, but I think that is more a genre thing than a failing of this particular book. Because really how would most crime fiction go if you didn’t get an idea of what the police were thinking?

I really enjoyed this book and I will go looking for more of Lindy Cameron’s work for my bookshelves.

This is my fourth review for the Australian Women Writers: 2012 Challenge and I have actually finished reading the 10 book minimum that I set myself, although I haven’t finished Carpentaria yet although having read other reviews of this I will persevere and I think I’m getting a hold on it. I have also started ‘The Hand that Signed the Paper’. Cracking read so far, but I’m only a few pages in. Damn this need to sleep!

I have read:
Indigo Girls by Penni Russon (YA)
2. Fleeced by Lisa Thompson (Chicklit)
3. All that Happened at No. 26 by Denise Scott (Non Fiction, Bio)
4. The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers by Delia Falconer (Literary)
5. The Service of Clouds by Delia Falconer (Literary)
6. Gone: 25 of the world’s most chilling and bizarre kidnappings by Wendy Lewis (Non Fiction)
7. The Children by Charlotte Wood
8. Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks (YA)
9. The Old School by PM Newton (Crime)
10. Thicker than Water by Lindy Cameron (Crime)

Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies

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6 replies

  1. Sounds like a great series, will have to check it out. Well done on achieving your 10 book minimum.

  2. I’m intrigued by the description of great relationships (sexual and non) between the women in this book. Will have to check it out.

  3. @Janine – This challenge has been fantastic I must say. I can’t think of any reason I haven’t read more Australian Women Writers in the past, apart from just not thinking about it but having delved into their works now I can say they are on par with the best in the world, plus it is nice to read something taking place in cities you recognise. Reading the ten was surprisingly easy, if I don’t count the late nights were I fought off sleep so I could finish the book. Luckily I was on holidays for most of it.
    @Tigtog – there was nothing forced about any of it, unlike with some authors where the sexuality of the characters is highlighted as if the author is saying ‘look at me being inclusive’. In Thicker it’s just who the characters are. It was really refreshing.

  4. Hi Mindy
    Congratulations on being the second person to finish the AWW 2012 challenge. I’m so glad you’ve found it a rewarding experience and would love to think you’ll continue to read and review books by Australian women throughout the year. Please feel free to continue to add links to the site, if you do write more reviews.
    Also, don’t forget “read-a-review & comment” Wednesdays. If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag is #aww2012, but anyone can join in. Just go to the challenge page, click on one of the reviews, read it and comment. It’s a way of supporting other partipicants through their challenge – to know readers are reading their reviews – and of finding new authors you might like to read.

  5. Thanks Elizabeth, I certainly will be continuing it is too much fun to stop.

  6. You’ve convinced me to look for this series – it sounds like something I would enjoy
    Thanks for sharing your AWW review!
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

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