Good Reading : September 2009
cover story Home Front The Gener I ner author promote victims’ rights, as LACHLAN JOBBINS reports. n Kathryn Fox’s latest thriller, Blood Born, a young rape victim is discovered unconscious and dying only hours before she is to testify against her accused attackers. For Dr Anya Crichton, the girl’s death is a double tragedy: a shattered family lose their only daughter; and without her testimony, the four brothers accused of the rape go free. It’s the dark stuff readers have come to expect from Kathryn, whose forensic police novels have been compared favourably with those of Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs. In four books, the Australian doctor- turned-writer has marked out her own place in crime fiction. Her debut, Malicious Intent, won the 2005 Davitt award for best crime novel, and was praised by such masters of the genre as Jeffery Deaver and James Patterson. The follow-up, Without Consent, was described by Linda Fairstein as ‘brilliant and breathtaking … a tour de force’. Blood Born reunites forensic physician Anya Crichton and homicide detective Kate Farrer in their most dangerous case yet: investigating a family of criminals who will stop at nothing to keep themselves from jail. 10 goodreading ı SEPTEMBER 2009 family. They just deal with the body, the remains of the person. t t ‘To have Anya cope co fo ch Anya is a front-line doctor who treats female victims in a sexual abuse crisis centre, and aids police and prosecutors trying to apprehend and imprison offenders. She’s one of a new breed of doctors: forensic physicians who are called upon to testify on behalf of their patients in court. Unlike those of her overseas counterparts, Kay Scarpetta and Temperance Brennan, Anya Crichton’s patients are usually alive when she examines them. ‘The reason I made Anya a forensic physician is that I actually think that pathologists have it a bit easier than physicians,’ says Kathryn. ‘Forensic pathologists don’t know the patient and they don’t usually have to counsel the omen in with the emotional fallout of violent crime, both the counselling and the medical forensic side, is the ultimate challenge.’ w o Kate Farrer is one of only two women in the homicide division, and her job brings her into contact with violent criminals every day. Both women are driven, idealistic professionals who are making a difference. But as well as maintaining their professional careers, they face the same personal obstacles as normal people – paying the bills, dealing with difficult colleagues and juggling family and relationships.