Australian YA author Justine Larbalestier – award winner, one half of the genre’s debatable power couple and owner of the best surname in the industry – has been writing her latest novel for quite some time. Fans and bloggers will be familiar with her many months of research into the 1930s and its seemingly limitless length. The wait will soon be over for the release, but those darn lucky ones down under will get their hands on it first. I’m not at all jealous of my New Zealander co-editor. Nope.
Razorhurst will be published by Allen & Urwin in Australia and New Zealand in July, with Americans following behind in March 2015 courtesy of Soho Teen, a publisher that specialises in “a select list of YA mysteries and thrillers by international bestsellers, award winners, and debut novelists with stellar credits.” As Larbalestier mentioned on her blog, the publisher only release 12 books a year, so their choice of this particular book signals something special.
And boy, does that synopsis sound special!
The setting: Razorhurst, 1932. The fragile peace between two competing mob bosses—Gloriana Nelson and Mr Davidson—is crumbling. Loyalties are shifting. Betrayals threaten.
Kelpie knows the dangers of the Sydney streets. Ghosts have kept her alive, steering her to food and safety, but they are also her torment.
Dymphna is Gloriana Nelson’s ‘best girl’, experienced in surviving the criminal world, but she doesn’t know what this day has in store for her.
When Dymphna meets Kelpie over the corpse of Jimmy Palmer, Dymphna’s latest boyfriend, she pronounces herself Kelpie’s new protector. But Dymphna’s life is in danger too, and she needs an ally. And while Jimmy’s ghost wants to help, the dead cannot protect the living . . .
With Larbalestier promising her highest body count in a novel (something we would rather like more of in YA, to be honest) and a blurb by Elizabeth Gilbert hinting at age crossover potential, this is a future release we’ll have our eyes on, even if some of us on the site have to wait a little longer. Still not jealous.