Latest Stories

Swell Summer Reads – Glenrock by Lee Christine

We’re always on the lookout for our next page turner, and when Newcastle author Lee Christine’s latest novel Glenrock (published by Allen & Unwin) landed on our desks we dove right in. As the title suggests, this one is set right here in Newcastle and will appeal to anyone that loves crime fiction or mysteries (plus a little bit of romance). We had a quick chat with Lee to find out more.
Book cover titled 'Glenrock' by Lee Christine and a coffee

What kind of reader will enjoy Glenrock?

Glenrock will appeal to readers of crime fiction, police procedurals, thrillers, and mysteries. Glenrock also has a thread of romance woven into the narrative, but this is secondary to the crime plot. I think readers who enjoy the challenge of piecing the puzzle together will enjoy this book.

What inspired the story and when did the idea first come about?

The story was inspired by the location.  I write stories set in real places. My Snowy Mountains crime trilogy is set in Charlotte Pass, Thredbo and Dead Horse Gap/Khancoban respectively. I look for a location I know well when crafting a new story. I favour natural landscapes, so Glenrock State Conservation Area stood out for me. 

I’m also born and bred in Newcastle, and other than living in Sydney for a while I’ve lived here all my life. Once I had the location, I began weaving several ideas I had together which involved corruption in high places and comparative morality. There are also strong themes of revenge, distrust and family woven throughout the story.

Book cover titled Glenrock by Lee Christine
Photography on cover by local photographer, David Diehm

Was it always going to be set in Newcastle? Why did you choose the Glenrock State Conservation Area as the backdrop for the crime?

Yes, the story was always going to be set in Newcastle. I chose Glenrock State Conservation Area because it is a beautiful tract of coastal land which includes Flaggy Creek, cascades and a rainforest.  It also has a rich history in itself.  A mine, possibly one of the oldest in Australia, was built on the edge of the freshwater lagoon to supply coal to a nearby copper smelter. When the mine closed in 1832, BHP gifted the land around the lagoon to the Scouts. The Scouts remediated much of the area by planting thousands of trees on what had been left as a barren landscape. Then, during WWII, the army took over the scout camp and there are gunners bunkers along the ridge line. I was able to bring a little of this rich history into the story.

We’re a Newcastle-based magazine, do you have any favourite spots that are worth mentioning? Anywhere in particular you like to go to write?

I do enjoy Café Inu in Carrington. It gets a mention in the book, not by name, but locals will recognise the description of the café. The back courtyard of Goldbergs on Darby Street is another favourite spot of mine, as is Equium Social at Mayfield.

We’re always on the lookout for new authors to discover – what were the last three books you read and enjoyed?

The Tilt by Chris Hammer

Kill Your Husbands by Jack Heath

Night Fire by Michael Connelly

Image from Lee's Instagram account.

Glenrock Synopsis

After Justice Maurice Tempest dies violently in the Glenrock State Conservation Area in Newcastle, local detective Senior Sergeant Callan O’Connor is urgently called to the scene.

Days later a second body is found in the same location, turning what had looked like a revenge killing into so much more.

Former political journalist Angela Avery has been spending a lot of time at the Hunter Valley Prison interviewing a soon-to-be-released forger, and when O’Connor’s investigation reveals an interest in him Angela is determined to protect both her source and her fledgling relationship with O’Connor.

Meanwhile, two young female lawyers from a law firm in Sydney have disappeared.

Are the missing lawyers connected with the dead judge? Can O’Connor unravel the connections before the body count rises further? And how much does Angela Avery really know?

You can find out more about Lee and her other titles online here.

Words: Hannah Mills

Grab the latest Swell

You also might be interested in

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00
Measurements (cm) XS S M L XL XXL
A: Half Chest 46 49 52 55 58 61
B: Body Length 66 69 72 74 76 78
C: Sleeve Length 19.5 20.5 21.5 22.5 22.5 23.5