When it comes to crime fiction, mothers are too often cast as one-dimensional, tragic or hysterical minor players. Shaking up the tired tropes, gripping new novels by Jane Caro (The Mother), Dinuka McKenzie (The Torrent) and Laura Elizabeth Woollett (The Newcomer) unfold through the eyes of complex, deftly drawn mothers pushed to their limits absolving, avenging and protecting their families. The authors sit down with Suzanne Leal to discuss why mothers provide such engaging and humanising perspectives in crime writing.

Jane Caro (Australian)

Jane Caro

Jane Caro AM is a Walkley Award-winning Australian columnist, author, novelist, broadcaster, advertising writer, documentary maker, feminist and social commentator. Jane appears frequently on Q&A, The Drum and Sunrise. She has created and presented five documentary series for ABC's Compass, airing in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. She and Catherine Fox present a popular podcast with Podcast One, Austereo Women With Clout. She writes regular columns in Sunday Life. Her latest thrilling novel is The Mother.

Dinuka McKenzie (Australian)

Dinuka McKenzie

Dinuka McKenzie is an Australian writer and book addict. Her debut crime-fiction manuscript The Torrent won the 2020 Banjo Prize and was published by HarperCollins Australia in February. Her unpublished manuscript Taken was longlisted for the 2020 Richell Prize. When not writing, Dinuka works in the environmental sector and volunteers as part of the team behind the Writers' Unleashed Festival. She lives in Southern Sydney in Dharawal Country with her husband, two kids and their pet chicken.

Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Australian)

Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Laura Elizabeth Woollett is the author of a short story collection The Love of a Bad Man and two novels Beautiful Revolutionary and The Newcomer. The Love of a Bad Man was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction and the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. Beautiful Revolutionary was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction. Laura was the City of Melbourne's 2020 Boyd Garret writer-in-residence and is a 2020-22 Marten Bequest scholar for prose.

Suzanne Leal (Australian)

Suzanne Leal

Suzanne Leal is the author of novels The Teacher's Secret, Border Street and The Deceptions, for which she won the Nib People's Choice Prize and was shortlisted for the Davitt Awards. A regular presenter at literary events, board member of the BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival and co presenter of the BAD All About Crime podcast. Suzanne is the host of Thursday Book Club, a relaxed, friendly book club connecting readers online. Suzanne's new novel will be published in 2023.