Member Loginmenu


Sarah Thornton

  • awardShortlisted, Best Debut Crime Fiction, Ned Kelly Awards, 2020
  • awardLonglisted, Davitt Crime Awards, 2020
  • awardLonglisted, Booktopia Favourite Australian Book, 2020
  • All it took was a lapse…a momentary lapse…to bring Clementine Jones’ world crashing down. Now she’s living like a hermit in small-town Katinga, coaching the local footy club. She’s supposed to be lying low, but here she is, with her team on the cusp of their first premiership in fifty years—and the whole bloody town counting on her, cheering her on.

    So why the hell would her star player quit on the eve of the finals?

    It’s a question she wishes she’d left alone. Others are starting to ask questions too—questions about her. Clem’s not the only one with a secret, and as tension builds, the dark violence just below the town’s surface threatens to erupt. Pretty soon there’ll be nowhere left for Clem to hide.


    3AW: Great Australian Lives 
    ABC Radio Hobart: Your Afternoon (1:18:00)
    The Book podcast 
    Canberra Times 
    Daily Telegraph ($)
    Kirkus Reviews  
    Radio NZ: Nine to Noon 
    Robert Goodman: Pile by the Bed 

    Sarah Thornton
    About the Author

    Sarah cast off the lines to her legal career not long after being declared Australian Corporate Lawyer of the Year in 2016. These days she’s something of a vagabond, choosing to live on a sailboat with her husband, Dean, writing novels, enjoying everything this big blue planet has to offer and chasing an endless summer. Her Clementine Jones...

    Read Moreright
    Text publication date:
    6 August 2019
    AU Price:
    NZ Price:
    Loading Rating
    Praise for Sarah Thornton

    ‘Clementine Jones is a heroine for our times: fierce, feisty and fallible.’

    Lapse is a quintessentially Australian story of small town conspiracies, dark secrets and footy finals. Part-time coach and accidental sleuth Clementine Jones is a welcome and refreshing addition to the ranks of Australian crime fiction detectives.’

    Lapse is paced like a suspenseful footy match, scoring goals right up to the final siren. Unexpected twists and turns will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the end. Fans of rural crime, the likes of Jane Harper and Sarah Bailey, will enjoy this book.’

    ‘A true page-turner and a surefire hit.’

    ‘Tackling Clem’s guilt and shame with sympathetic and honest clarity, Thornton’s debut is a small-town, high-stakes, mid-season tale that you don’t need to love footy to enjoy.’

    ‘[A] tense thriller that holds the reader captive until the very end…fans of Jane Harper and Garry Disher will enjoy this book.‘

    ‘[An] enjoyable addition to the steadily growing catalogue of Australian rural crime fiction and a very accomplished debut.’

    ‘Thornton…has succeeded in creating a memorable and multi-layered heroine in the determined but fallible Clem…Lapse is a well-paced and absorbing thriller.’

    ‘[A] thrilling page turner’

    ‘There is much to admire in Lapse. Thornton captures the nuances and the tensions of life in a small country town…Lapse is an absorbing read, and an accomplished debut.’

    ‘Sarah Thornton joins authors such as Jane Harper, Sarah Bailey and Matt Dunn in harvesting rich pickings from an increasingly barren landscape.’

    ‘A fantastic debut, simmering with tension, conflict and so many plot twists your head will spin!’

    ‘This is a rip-roaring tale that addresses weighty issues head-on: Discrimination, race-baiting, harassment, physical violence, corporate corruption, and criminality all play major roles in the story…A riveting thriller with a heroine willing to get her hands dirty to find the answers she seeks.’

    ‘Exciting…fans of small-town mysteries should try this for its out-of-the-way locale and brave, likeable protagonist…readers can look forward to more from Clem.’

    Other editions ofLapse
    • Lapse
      ISBN: 9781925774696
      6 August 2019
      Buy ebook
    Other Titles bySarah Thornton