Fox, Kathryn 1966-
Fox, Kathryn 1966-
Born 1966. Hobbies and other interests: Playing the harp, keeping a scrapbook.
Home—Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Writer, journalist, physician. Founder of "Read for Life," a literacy program.
Davitt Award, 2005, for Malicious Intent.
Without Consent, Pan Macmillan Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2006, Harper (New York, NY), 2007.
Skin and Bone, Pan Macmillan Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including Australian Doctor, Sun Herald, CLEO, and others.
A former Australian physician with a proclivity for forensic medicine, Kathryn Fox became an internationally known suspense and thriller writer with her 2005 novel Malicious Intent. Writing on her Web site, Fox explained how she transitioned from being a medical doctor to being a writer of thrillers: "Medicine involves putting together a puzzle based on the information you're given, what you observe and investigation results. Solving crime isn't that different. It actually felt pretty natural to combine my love of writing with solving mysteries, especially involving forensic medicine."
In Malicious Intent, Fox introduces Dr. Anya Crichton, a physician and freelance forensic pathologist. Crichton's private life is in ruins: she pays support to her ex-husband, yet has to fight for the custody of their three-year-old son, Ben. She hires on to look into the apparent suicide of an adolescent girl, only to discover frightening parallels in the girl's death and those of other missing young women she has been investigating with her friend, detective Sergeant Kate Farrer. Crichton begins to see the string of deaths as the work of a serial killer or as some hideous conspiracy. Malicious Intent won critical acclaim internationally and catapulted Fox overnight into the major leagues of thriller writers. "Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs—move over," declared Booklist contributor Stephanie Zvirin in her review of this first novel. Zvirin also noted that the "buildup of clues and … gruesome details will please" readers who enjoy this genre. Echo reviewer Robin Osborne also had praise for this debut work, noting that "in Dr. Anya Crichton [Fox] has created an interesting, credible character and set her loose in an intriguing plot." Likewise, Aussie Reviews writer Sally Murphy termed this novel a "gripping offering." Philip Gooden, writing for Shotsmag Review, felt, "Anya Crichton makes an attractive central character, not feisty or grouchy but harassed and human." Writing on MyShelf.com, Michelle Shealy similarly commented, "This is a character with so many possibilities it will be nice to see where author Kathryn Fox leads Anya."
Fox also features Dr. Anya Crichton in her second novel, Without Consent. Here Crichton is trying to hunt down a violent serial rapist. At first a recently released convict is the prime suspect in the crimes. He was in prison for the rape and murder of a fourteen-year-old girl, but Crichton, as she digs deeper into the forensic evidence, senses that this is not the man. Then when two of the victims are killed, Crichton realizes that she has made a major error in this case. Similar critical praise greeted this second work from Fox. Writing in ReviewingTheEvidence.com, Denise Pickles found it an "enthralling read." Pickles went on to note: "The tale proceeds at pace, not slowing down by being bogged in forensic detail. The characterisation is, as before, well done and the plotting excellent." In all, Pickles concluded, Without Consent is a "gripping tale." Shealy, writing on MyShelf.com, also commended this second novel, noting the "fast paced enthralling storyline [that] will keep you turning the pages till the end." A Publishers Weekly critic concluded, "Fox keeps the suspense high, the down-under prose fun and her readers guessing," assuring a thrilling reading experience.
In her third novel, Skin and Bone, Fox lets Dr. Anya Crichton take a holiday, featuring instead her friend, detective Kate Farrer. Kate, working with her new partner, Oliver Parke, is involved in the investigation, as Samela Harris described it in Perth Now, of "a murdered Sydney mother, a missing baby and a mysterious personal trainer." Elizabeth Emanuel, a reviewer for M/C Reviews, was not completely satisfied with this offering, observing that "Kate Farrer is a dreary cardigan of a woman who plods seriously through the novel without humour or any apparent close relationships." The same reviewer went on to note, however, that Skin and Bone "is not without merit." Specifically, the reviewer commented, "Fox more than competently handles grim forensic details without the gruesome descriptions relished by more technically-obsessed writers…. [Fox] will be cooking up further helpings for years to come."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2006, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Malicious Intent, p. 32.
Publishers Weekly, May 7, 2007, review of Without Consent, p. 47.
Aussie Reviews,http://www.aussiereviews.com/ (February 23, 2008), Sally Murphy, review of Malicious Intent.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation Web site,http://www.abc.net.au/ (May 10, 2006), "Kathryn Fox and Marrie Burrows"; (February 23, 2008), "Kathryn Fox."
Echo,http://www.echonews.com/ (February 23, 2008), Robin Osborne, review of Malicious Intent.
Kathryn Fox Home Page,http://www.kathrynfox.com (February 23, 2008).
M/C Reviews,http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/ (November 29, 2007), Elizabeth Emanuel, review of Skin and Bone.
MyShelf.com,http://www.myshelf.com/ (February 23, 2008), Michelle Shealy, reviews of Malicious Intent and Without Consent.
Perth Now,http://www.news.com.au/ (November 14, 2007), Samela Harris, review of Skin and Bone.
ReviewingTheEvidence.com,http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com/ (February 23, 2008), Denise Pickles, reviews of Malicious Intent and Without Consent.
Shotsmag Review,http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/ (February 23, 2008), Philip Gooden, review of Malicious Intent; Dreda Say Mitchell, review of Without Consent.