Likely best known for his 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark, which was later adapted into Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Schindler’s List, Thomas Keneally has been penning a crime thriller series set within Australia’s formative colonial years. Collaborating with his daughter, journalist Meg Keneally, the author has seamlessly blended his encyclopaedic knowledge of our convict forefathers with Meg’s ‘sharp, journalist mind’ to craft the world of the titular Hugh Monsarrat, the Keneallys’ answer to Sherlock Holmes.
‘The surge of technology into our lives hasn’t replaced what we used to do with our time – it’s on top of it, so I’m forever hearing from people who only get to read novels on holidays now. And there, perhaps, is where the novella comes in. It goes deep, but it doesn’t go long. It offers some of the commitment and satisfaction of a novel, but it’s the length of an evening or a domestic plane flight. If the novella didn’t exist, this would be a great time to invent it.’