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Book Review: Crime Writer by Dime Sheppard

Book Review: Crime Writer by Dime Sheppard

Book Review: Crime Writer by Dime Sheppard

2 October 2021

In Crime Writer, the line between reality and the fictional world becomes blurred for protagonist Evie Howland. Mockup created by

Reviewed by Jessica Morris

As a lover of stories, fictional characters often feel like close friends. My appreciation of Elizabeth Bennett, Harry Potter, and members of The Baby-Sitters Club (truly) means I can almost envisage their modern-day behaviours. Then I shut my book and keep living in reality.

Upcoming Australian author Dime Sheppard takes this fandom one step further in her debut novel Crime Writer. Delightfully, she tells the story of mystery novelist Evie Howland who interacts with her fictional characters daily. And before you go thinking this is a psychotic thriller, let me assure you that Evie is 100 per cent mentally well. As per the book, this is a phenomenon many writers encounter.

It’s a delightful and intriguing premise given Evie writes crime thrillers starring Detectives Jay Ryan and Carolyn Harding, fictional members of the New York City Police Department. But things go sideways when the rest of the world can see and hear her fictional heroes. And that means her fictional villains – namely the Blade, a psychotic murderer, are also in the real world. Cue the drama.

Crime Writer is a thrilling, more-ish novel. The premise alone could have tipped this plot into a cliché romance trope. Yet, Sheppard masterfully depicts her characters with a sense of real-worldliness. Her characters' insecurities go hand in hand with their action-packed lives, ultimately making them more honest and authentic. Add in some well-placed wit, romance and a plot twist, and I devoured this story in two days.

I know Dime Sheppard as an industry contact, but this book is my first experience of her as an author. Crime Writer isn’t a Christian novel, but as a Christ-follower, Sheppard’s faith and real-world experience give her characters dignity and accountability above the fray. This is the type of quality storytelling I want to see more Christians make, and I can’t wait for book two.

Crime Writer is available now online and at all good bookstores.



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