10 March 2022

Review: Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson

Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson book cover

Being a fan of true crime documentaries myself, the premise for Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson held immediate appeal. Jack is the creator of a true crime docuseries and succeeds in achieving a new trial for a wrongly convicted man who is later released. When a new victim is discovered, Jack is forced to question everything. Did he help a murderer walk free?

Set in NSW, the narrative involves a winery and a vineyard and several characters with questionable backgrounds and potential motives. The documentary scene was an interesting perspective and the Australian setting and dialogue was a joy to read.

There's also some terrific character insight, like this discussion between two characters about guilt and grief.
"Bullshit. Regret. Guilt. They don't exist. What you're really feeling is grief. Whatever decision you made, whatever you think you regret, you thought you were better than that. And then, when it came to the crunch, you weren't. And you know that now." Page 41
At this point in the novel, the character in question realises that he's grieving the loss of the person he thought he was. So profound!

Don't worry though, there's plenty of lighter moments too, like this one that made me snort (no kidding):
"You fuck with one of us, you fuck with all of us. I see you snooping again, I charge you. Got that? Now - he pointed to the door - I think you have a busy day of fucking off to take care of." Page 94
What a sensational insult! I'm trying to remember this so I can use it in the future but I doubt it'll pack as much punch as it does on the page. I found out after finishing this debut novel that in addition to being Australian, the author is a twin and together with his brother they are the Stevenson Experience. They've toured their musical comedy all around Australia and at the coveted Edinburgh festival, so it's no wonder the author was able to make me chuckle while reading a crime thriller. (Jack Heath is brilliant at this!)

Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson kept me entertained throughout and I didn't pick the 'whodunnit'. The tension continues to build until the exciting denouement and I can highly recommend this for fans of Australian crime fiction. Greenlight is the first in a series to feature producer Jack Quick and the second - released in 2020 - is called Either Side of Midnight which I've added to my TBR.

Before I can get to that though, I've accepted a request from the publisher to review Benjamin Stevenson's latest book Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone which is a standalone mystery coming out at the end of this month.

All in all, I've enjoyed my introduction to Benjamin Stevenson and am looking forward to the next one.

My Rating:

Would you like to comment?

  1. Sounds great Tracey, thanks for sharing your thoughts

    1. You're welcome Shelleyrae, it's great to discover another talented Aussie author.


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