In “A Stone’s Throw Away” Karly Lane again gives readers a highly enjoyable romantic
suspense novel which touches lightly on other genres. Fans will not be disappointed, and new
readers are likely to be converted to fans.
Pip Davenport is an investigative journalist, and a good one. Her latest expose was a triumph,
exposing a corrupt politician and others around him, and resulting in jail sentences. However,
the triumph was tainted to some extent by the threats and attacks from those who wanted to
shut her up.
Pip’s been commissioned to write a book based on the case and her investigative work, so
she’s retreated to Midgiburra to housesit, write, and hopefully recover from the stresses.
Midgiburra is tiny, so should provide peace, quiet, and no distractions.
It works great for about two days, and then Pip decides to take advantage of the drought
that’s largely drained the billabong to remove the rubbish that’s been thrown in it over the
decades. Within hours the workers have dredged up old washing machines, farm equipment –
and a body.
The resulting investigation not only distracts Pip by itself, but offers up two new distractions
in the form of two attractive police officers – Erik Neilsen and Chris Jarrett. This is, I think,
why the novel reminded me of romantic suspense novels from the 1980s. A recurring motif
there was often competing suitors, and the looming suspicion that one – or perhaps both –
was not the man he seemed. This seems a less used motif these days.
Lane uses this tension extremely well, using the two men to inject not just romance but also
increasing suspicion and paranoia into Pip’s life. We see most of the events of the novel
through Pip’s eyes, and she’s a strong character most readers will empathise with. Her
curiousity drives much of the plot and draws readers into the multiple questions she finds
herself poking into.
We share her uncertainty about the men she’s attracted to, her hopes to put the bad things
behind her, and her increasing emotional engagement with the people who lived in her house
There are multiple story lines, and Lane balances them well so that none dominates unduly. I
thought the issues she was investigating were credible and believable, and so were other
people’s reactions to her questions.
This is a romantic suspense novel, but it also touches lightly on historical fiction and the
supernatural. “A Stone’s Throw Away” doesn’t really venture into either genre, but uses
some story telling elements which wouldn’t be out of place there. They fitted into this novel
seamlessly, and helped avoid the tinge of melodrama that sometimes surfaces in romantic
I enjoyed reading this a great deal. It’s an interesting and credible story, populated by
believable and empathetic characters. It’s a fairly light read, due largely to an easy writing
style that draws you along smoothly. It’s likely to appeal to a variety of readers: those
looking for romance, suspense, or contemporary novels will all find something to enjoy.
Copy courtesy of Allen & Unwin (2022)
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading A Stone’s Throw Away by
Karly Lane. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember, and I love sharing that joy.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, across all genres. There’s not much I won’t at least try. I’ve been an enthusiastic book reviewer for years. I particularly enjoy discovering writers new to me, and sharing good writing with others.
My career has included time spent writing and editing technical documents, but it’s fiction that really moves me. I’ve reviewed for a number of different outlets over the years, and have been a judge in literary competitions.
I’m now raising little bookworms of my own, which brings a whole new kind of joy to sharing books.
More of my reviews can be found on my review blog www.otherdreamsotherlives.home.blog .