"A savvy, entertaining environmental thriller" The Age

'The best Antarctic thriller since Ice Station.' James Phelan

Antarctica is the coldest, most isolated place on earth. Luke Searle, maverick glaciologist, has made it his home. But soon his survival skills will be tested to the limit by a ruthless mercenary who must win at any cost.

The white continent is under attack. The Australian team is being hunted down. Can Luke stay alive long enough to raise the alarm?The countdown has begun. T minus 5 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes … 

Download the first chapter of Thirst here.

 

Praise for L.A. Larkin ...

'Action that hits like an icepick in the back of the head.' John Birmingham, author

'A savvy, entertaining environmental thriller.' The Age 

‘A frantic rollercoaster of plot twists until the final resolution.’ The Herald Sun   

'Deserves comparisons to Michael Crichton and John Grisham' ABC North Queensland

'This Antarctic thriller is a rollicking good read, with a true hero and fabulous accompanying cast' Vanda Symon, author

LARKIN'S LATEST

Welcome to my blog, Larkin’s Latest. Twice a week I will post an article on topics such as thriller writing; book reviews; details of my events or those of other authors; updates on my next thriller; the research I am doing; environmental, social and political news; as well as the latest from Antarctica – the setting of Thirst.

21 September, 2014

I'm in St-Germain-des-Pres enjoying the fine September weather, amazing food and the quirky traditions and French style of the Parisienne. But apart from the irresistable cakes and pain au chocolat in the boulangeries - my favourite boulangerie is Paul - I'm in Paris researching the plot for my next thriller in the Olivia Wolfe series. I've had to veer away from the relaxing cafes and the magnificent architecture and focus on the seedier side of Paris, exploring dark alleys and crypts and parks known for their dark secrets, such as the leafy Bois de Boulogne. But it is hard not to be distracted by the vibrancy of the local people whom I love, and the opulance and extravagance of the magnificent building and art. I was at the Musee d'Orsay when I took this photo through the clock, out over the Seine, of the Lourve opposite. It's easy to overdose on culture and fail to observe everyday life -...

04 September, 2014

The co-operation of experts and sources is essential for a crime fiction author because it not only contributes to a story's credibility, but it helps me create well-rounded and interesting characters, to bring locations to life through the bricks of detail, and often results in a whole new set of ideas and plot twists. I have been incredibly lucky with the help I have received from people like retired Detective Chief Superintendent David Gaylor, who met me at Gatwick airport yesterday and introduced me to a number of the airport police. The officers were very generous with their time and, after some initial trepidation about revealing security information, really got excited about the climax of my next thriller, set - you guessed it - at an airport. I don't want to give the climax details away but I now know something about the three thousand security cameras at the airport (yes, 3000!), the firearms they use, and the dangerous security issues they have to deal with. These officers do an amazing job!

30 July, 2014
Okay, fictional murder and mayhem, anyway. 
 
I'm delighted to invite all budding crime fiction authors in Sydney to join me at my first ever combined detective fiction and thriller writing weekend course at The Australian Writers' Centre in McMahons Point on 11 and 12 October.
 
The top ten living crime fiction authors have sold 450 million books and the figure just keeps rising. Even J.K. Rowling is now writing crime fiction. Do you love gritty detectives, troubled PIs and cool FBI agents, and want to write your own story? Or are you a fan of fast-paced, high stakes thrillers with a hero plunged into danger and on a seemingly impossible mission? Do you aspire to be a Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Stieg Larsson, David Baldacci, John Le Carre, John Grisham or Michael Robotham? These authors inspired me, and I hope to inspire you.
 
By the end of the course you will have (or...
10 June, 2014

What makes a compelling central character?

Mystery and suspense novels, by their very nature, demand complex and intriguing plots. But an ingenious plot is wasted if the protagonist and the antagonist have failed to hook the reader. If we’re not emotionally engaged with the hero, why should we care what happens to him or her? If the villain isn’t a worthy or credible adversary, then the tension and suspense is lost. Crime fiction is about the ‘battle’ of wits between two talented and fascinating people who, broadly speaking, represent the forces of good and evil. At the story’s climax, the protagonist and the antagonist will come together for the final confrontation Can the hero capture the mass murderer? Will the global catastrophe be averted? However, the story’s crescendo only matters if the reader cares about the hero. It is characters such as Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, Inspector Rebus, Dr Tony Hill, Precious Ramotswe and Hercule Poirot that stay with us long after we have finished the book. So contrary to popular myth, crime fiction is not all about plot. The...

19 May, 2014

I ran a detective crime fiction course recently at the NSW Writers' Centre and I kicked off with a very brief history of the detective novel and the different styles and sub-genres of detective stories available today. As I'm sure everyone knows, the 1920s was the "Golden Age" of crime fiction, a time when the amazing Agatha Christie was working her magic. In 1928, a gentleman by the name of S.S. Van Dine created his "Twenty rules for writing detective stories". Many remain true today, but when I read them they always make me smile because he is so very black and white about what constitutes a detective novel. I particularly like rules 6 and 7: 

6. The detective novel must have a detective in it; and a detective is not a detective unless he detects. His function is to gather clues that will eventually lead to the person who did the dirty work in the first chapter; and if the detective does not reach his conclusions through an analysis of those clues, he has no more solved his problem than the schoolboy who gets his answer out of the back of the arithmetic...
09 April, 2014

I was very honoured to be asked to join Mark Colvin on his PM radio show to talk about censorship recently. Here is a link to the conversation transcript and the audio file so you can listen to it, if you wish.

The PM, Tony Abbott, has recently attacked the ABC, claiming it is biased and not on Australia's side. In my opinion, what he's really complaining about is that the ABC is, in fact, reporting in an unbiased way and is asking the PM awkward questions. He doesn't want the ABC to talk about Edward Snowden or about the plight of boat people arriving here. He prefers the tame press who know that if they keep the PM happy, he'll give them the scoops. There is very little true journalism left. The days when journalism was about uncovering the truth, no matter whom it might upset, are almost gone. There are powerful corporations to consider, mining contracts to take into account. In the UK, the BBC, The Guardian and The Independent soldier on and do a valiant job. In the USA, The New York Times...

RESEARCH LINKS

Herald Sun, Antarctic Ice Melting,...

In this interview at The Sydney...

This video demonstrates how to...