Author of Eight Lives, Susan Hurley Shares her Five Favourite Thrillers

Author of Eight Lives, Susan Hurley Shares her Five Favourite Thrillers

About Susan Hurley:

Susan Hurley has worked in medical research and the pharmaceutical industry for more than thirty years. Her research has been published in high profile medical journals like the Lancet and her writing has appeared in Kill Your Darlings, The Australian, The Big Issue, Mascara Literary Review and literary journals, magazines and newspapers. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Peter Carey Short Story Award and Eight Lives, her first novel, was shortlisted for the 2018 UK Caledonia Novel Award. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and labradoodle.

Purchase a copy of Eight Lives here  // Read our review of Eight Lives here

Five thrillers I love, by Susan Hurley

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carré

Published around 60 years ago, this was le Carré’s breakout novel and still tops best-thriller-ever lists, deservedly. Alec Leamas, a British spy whose East German asset is ‘blown’ then murdered, goes undercover. Or has he gone rogue? It’s super fast-paced, the prose is spare and the twist is fabulous. John le Carré, I’m in awe.

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

I’ve listened to all thirteen audiobooks of Louise Penny’s novels featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Gamache is the opposite of the detective-as-troubled-soul trope. He’s from the almost-too-good-to-be-true mould, as is the fictional setting for most of the series: the town of Three Pines, near Montreal. Penny gives Gamache highly technical, often grisly, murders to solve, which he always does. In The Beautiful Mystery, Gamache and sidekick Jean-Guy Beauvoir travel to another idyllic setting: a monastery on the shores of a Quebec lake where the monks chant beautifully, until the choir master is murdered. It’s my favourite of the series, despite the cliff-hanger ending, which I usually find annoying.

Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson

Published in 1994 and recently reissued, Kolymsky Heights is the ultimate hero’s journey. Johnny Porter’s mission is to find out what’s going on at a Russian research station in Siberia. First, he has to get there. A Canadian Inuit, Johnny can speak multiple languages, build a car from scrap parts and successfully feign yellow fever with the help of a super pill. These skills come in handy en route. Once his mission is accomplished, he has to get back home. The chase on the ice at the border, switching between Johnny’s point of view and that of the bad guys, is a stand out.

Conclave by Robert Harris

Cardinals from around the world gather in the Sistine Chapel to vote for the next Pope. What could possibly go wrong?  More than I could ever have imagined. Robert Harris is a master of suspense.

Restless by William Boyd

The brilliant William Boyd’s novels range from a James Bond thriller (Solo) to Sweet Caress, a wonderful story about the life of a fictional photographer. But his spy thriller, Restless, is my favourite. Sally Fairchild writes a memoir, and gives it to her adult daughter, Ruth, a struggling single mother and English teacher. It turns out that Sally is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian emigre and former British spy. It further turns out that Sally/Eva believes her life as a spy is not over.  Ruth suspects Sally is going gaga, but mother and daughter eventually join forces to sort things out.

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          Publisher details

          Eight Lives
          Author
          Susan Hurley
          Released
          26 March, 2019

          Synopsis

          Former refugee David Tran becomes the Golden Boy of Australian medical research and invents a drug that could transform immunology. Eight volunteers are recruited for the first human trial, a crucial step on the path to global fame for David and windfall gains for his investors. But when David dies in baffling circumstances, motives are put under the microscope.With its origins in a real-life drug trial that ended in tragedy, Eight Lives is told from the perspectives of David's friends, family and business associates, who all played a role in his downfall.A smart, sophisticated thriller that explores power, class and prejudice, Eight Lives will keep you engrossed until the last page.
          Susan Hurley
          About the author

          Susan Hurley

          Susan Hurley has worked in medical research and the pharmaceutical industry for more than thirty years. Her research has been published in high profile medical journals like the Lancet and her writing has appeared in Kill Your Darlings, The Australian, The Big Issue, Mascara Literary Review and literary journals, magazines and newspapers. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Peter Carey Short Story Award and Eight Lives, her first novel, was shortlisted for the 2018 UK Caledonia Novel Award. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and labradoodle.

          Books by Susan Hurley

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          1. Michele Williams says:

            Hello Susan,
            I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. It still has me thinking about the intrigue of it two weeks after I finished it. John is now reading it and my book group are too ,after I recommended it .
            It was great to meet you and Jamie on the Three Capes Walk. We have now paid deposits for the Overland Track in March next year- I’m feeling a little bit intimidated already.
            Hope you are both well,
            Michele Williams