I've read some of the other "(Insert city) Noir" series over the last few years, so was keen to see the very recent offering from my own city (current home, at least), especially being a writer of hard-boiled and noir crime myself.
So, this is an eclectic collection - some well-known names on the crime writing scene here, others I'd never heard of, in the crime genre anyway. Overall, the writing is good quality and the book is an entertaining read. Being a local here in Sydney, many of the stories definitely conjure up the local scene and feel pretty well. I enjoyed all the stories, without exception, although some resonated more with me than others. My stand outs are those by Mark Dapin and Leigh Redhead. There are certainly some beautifully drawn characters in various of the tales, and there are some lovely twists, as one would hope for from a "noir" label.
My only reservation is one of personal taste - I like my noir reading to be gut-punchingly dark and with little regard for sensitivities. I like controversy, discomfort, and brutal rawness. For me, this collection erred towards the tamer side of noir - I didn't come across pages which leapt out and smacked me in the face, unlike the hard-core noir I'm used to reading from Americans (and some Brits). This is very much a personal opinion, but I tend to find Australian fiction these days does seem to be preoccupied with not causing offence or upset. I guess that may be the result of this country's obsession with political correctness. And that's something which, in my view, is incompatible with the harder side of noir.
However, that said, if you're happy with your noir on the tamer side, then you'll probably find this a 5-star read. The storytelling is solid, after all.
Bringing you hard-boiled and noir tales of crime and corruption. And various related opinions!