Fremantle Press has been recognised on the Ned Kelly Awards shortlist for the third year in a row. Burn Patterns by Como author Ron Elliott is in the running for a 2017 Best First Fiction prize in Australia’s most prestigious crime writing award.
Elliott, who is currently working on a new crime series set during WA’s gold rush, said he was honoured to make the list and that he hoped it would result in more people hearing about Burn Patterns.
‘I’m in very good company as there are some terrific books on the shortlist,’ said Elliott. ‘Readers really liked my main character, and I have some great conversations about who they thought did the crime and whether they picked the guilty party. Burn Patterns is a police procedural but by delivering the story through the eyes of Iris Foster, an arson profiler and wounded psychologist, I was able to follow the solving of the crime through her sometimes narrowed, sometimes suspect view. This made writing Iris’s journey as exciting for me as I hope it is for the reader.’
Elliott joins Fremantle Press’s Dave Warner (Before It Breaks), Alan Carter (Prime Cut) and Peter Docker (Sweet One), who have all been either shortlisted or have won the award in the past six years. Publisher Georgia Richter said crime writing in Western Australia was going from strength to strength.
‘Along with two Ned Kelly Awards and two more shortlistings, books on our crime list have made the CWA International Debut Dagger shortlist and the Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist. They have developed a strong international following, with titles published in Germany, France, Spain, the UK and the USA,’ said Richter.
In their announcement the Australian Crime Writers Association said the Best First Fiction category reflected a wide field, with styles and settings that included rural and city locations, humour, and explorations of family and wider society. Elliott is shortlisted alongside The Dry by Jane Harper, Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra, The Love of a Bad Man by Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Goodwood by Holly Throsby and Something for Nothing by Andy Muir.
The winners of the Ned Kelly Awards will be announced at the Melbourne Writers Festival on Friday 1 September. More information is available from the Ned Kelly Awards website.
Burn Patterns is available in all good bookstores and online.