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To Know My Crime (Fiona Capp, Fourth Estate)

The cover blurb on Fiona Capp’s To Know My Name asks the reader, ‘how far would you go, for the ones you love?’. It’s a fair summary of this compelling new literary noir from Capp, though the question could as well have been, ‘does every action have a consequence?’ or ‘do your sins always find you out?’ Part noir thriller (think Raymond Chandler post-global financial crisis) and part tragic family story, the action takes place mainly at Portsea on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, as former investor Ned attempts to use blackmail to rescue the financial future of his now paraplegic sister Angela. It can’t end well, and doesn’t. Capp’s writing shows off the glorious location, and the novel rolls out in a setting of stunning physical beauty. However, the heart of the story lies in its complex treatment of moral choice and moral hazard, and it’s the tale of risk, blackmail and guilt that carries it. Each character in this carefully crafted work has been so well fleshed-out that our interest in and sympathy for their fates is fully engaged. It’s a thoroughly rewarding novel, which asks tough questions about choice and consequence.

David Gaunt is the co-owner of Gleebooks


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