Barry Maitland is a crime novelist who is known for his acclaimed Brock and Kolla series of mystery stories. Born in 1941 in Scotland’s Paisley, Maitland moved to London at a young age and studied architecture at Cambridge University. He also studied and taught at the University of Sheffield. Maitland moved to Australia after he was offered the post of the head of the University of Newcastle’s architecture school in 1984. It was an earthquake a few years later which had almost killed his wife that influenced Maitland to think about a murder mystery. Maitland retired in 2000 to take up full-time writing. He lives in a small town in Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia. Called as one of the top five crime writers of the world, Maitland’s books are published in all English-speaking countries and have also been translated in Germany, France, Japan and Italy.
Order of Barry Maitland Standalone Novels
Order of Kathy and Brock Series
|1||The Marx Sisters||1994|
|3||All My Enemies||1996|
|4||The Chalon Heads||1998|
|7||The Verge Practice||2003|
|12||The Raven's Eye||2013|
Order of The Belltree Trilogy Series
Besides the Brock and Kolla series of novels, Maitland has also written Bright Air, an Australian thriller and the Belltree Trilogy.
The Belltree trilogy follows Homicide Detective Harry Belltree as he looks into the murder of an elderly couple with a suicide pact. This isn’t the sort of case that he would normally investigate, the answer seems pretty cut and dried, but the elderly couple had ties to a moneylender who his brother also had ties with. The rules won’t allow him to investigate his own brother’s murder, but he hopes that this case will bring him closer to the truth.
Belltree ends up going off the grid to investigate as the murder of his brother reminds him of another murder: the murder of his parents. A dark and dangerous series, Maitland takes Belltree (and the readers) to some really interesting places.
The Brock and Kolla series is what Maitland is perhaps best known for. The series follows to Scotland Yard detectives, David Brock and Katherine Kolla on a series of cases.
BARRY MAITLAND AWARDS:
The crime novelist was a joint winner of the Ned Kelley Awards in Australia for his The Malcontenta in 1996 while some of his other works were shortlisted for the same award in other years. His works also finished as finalists for the Barry Award and John Creasey Award.
BEST BARRY MAITLAND BOOKS:
Of the several books that Maitland has penned, there are among the best:
The Marx Sisters: The great granddaughter of Karl Marx has been murdered and Detective Kolla is on the case. When a second granddaughter is murdered, David Brock is brought in to help and a great crime solving team is formed. A classic British mystery that follows the search for the “Marx Sisters” murderer. The sisters lived in an older area of London that was seemingly untouched by history and maintained its authentic culture. The crime isn’t easy to crack for Kolla and Brock (or the reader), but the real draw is getting to know the characters in the book.
Crucifixion Creek: The first of the Belltree Trilogy, this book marks the beginning of a new dark mystery series which leaves the adrenaline charged. The plot thickens after a drug-addicted biker kills a woman, an elderly couple commit suicide on the roof of a café and an unidentified man is stabbed on the street. For Harry Belltree, the homicide detective from Sydney, the three deaths seem to be ordinary in the beginning. But soon he finds out that the stabbed man to be his own brother-in-law and somebody tells him that the three incidents are not without any connection. It looks Harry’s dead brother-in-law and the elderly couple had link with the same man, a corrupt one with not so bright past. Harry couldn’t get himself officially involved in the investigation of his brother-in-law’s death but he is not going to let it go either. He, therefore, decides to go off the grid to probe the links between the three deaths.
The Malcontenta: After The Marx Sisters, detectives Kathy Kolla and David Brock of the Scotland Yard return in The Malcontenta. This book is about Kathy who goes on a temporary assignment away from London and in a desperate attempt to avoid the second-rate assignments, she takes up an investigation in the unnatural death of a young physiotherapist at a local spa. Soon, it becomes clear that what seemed to be an apparent suicide, is not above complications. Is there something fishy going on to protect wealthy people in the case? Kathy is removed from the case before she discovers the truth and she runs to Brock for help. The latter then becomes a client and soon both of them learn that spas can be dangerous – particularly if you are being targeted. The Malcontenta won the Ned Kelley Award as the Best Novel.
No Trace: Described as one of the finest crime novels of the present time, No Trace is about the abduction of a six-year-old girl named Tracey Rudd from her home in a London neighborhood known for its artists and their bohemian styles. There was no warning or violence related with the abduction and Tracey was the third kid to be abducted under similar circumstances in a few weeks. Tracey is the daughter of an artist Gabriel Rudd who is known for a grotesque work centered on his wife’s suicide which happened five years ago. Detectives Kathy Kolla and David Brock begin their hunt for the abducted child and her kidnapper who has a suspicious links with the strange community of artists and other people in the neighborhood.