* Copy courtesy of The Reading Room, Random House Australia and NetGalley *
Kate Forsyth is one of my favourite contemporary Australian authors, and I've read and reviewed Bitter Greens (5 stars), The Wild Girl (5 stars) and Dragonclaw: Book One of the Witches of Eileanan (4 stars) over the last few years. I've even had the pleasure of interviewing Kate on Carpe Librum, you can click here to read the interview.
Dancing on Knives is her latest novel, published in June 2014 although it's not a re-telling of a fairytale. Dancing on Knives is set on a run-down coastal farm outside of Narooma in NSW and is the story of a family torn apart by secrets.
At twenty years of age, Sara is the oldest daughter of the family, and is so haunted by past events she hasn't left the family farm in more than 5 years.
Dancing on Knives is a rural murder mystery with Sara trying to work out who killed her talented and moody artist father while finding herself in the midst of a budding romance.
Dancing on Knives is a gritty and dark tale and I really felt the isolation of each of the characters. The mystery kept me guessing although I wasn't moved by the romance. It's interesting to note that Kate Forsyth originally wrote this story at the tender age of sixteen and since then, it has undergone several incarnations over the years before being published as Dancing on Knives.
It must be said that I didn't enjoy Dancing on Knives as much as her other novels, however it was refreshing to read something entirely different from this author.
My rating = ***
P.S. I loved the reference to Brett Whiteley and his work on page 198 of the novel; he's my favourite Australian artist of all time.