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Karen M. Davis is a former police officer and detective with 20 years' experience in the New South Wales Police Force. Karen has seen it all. From a uniform officer in general duties to a detective with the State Crime Command, she has performed a variety of duties as an investigator; including conducting investigations into serious and organised crime.

Hurt on duty, Karen Davis retired from the New South Wales Police Force as a Detective Senior Constable after twenty years of service. Her debut novel, Sinister Intent, is released on August 1.

Karen joins us today to share her five most influential books.

A FORTUNATE LIFE BY A.B.FACEY

I read this book at school when I was about thirteen and loved it. I remember being amazed at the author’s positive attitude towards everything that had happened to him. Having endured much hardship, surviving the war, losing siblings and two sons, Facey still considered that he had a fortunate life. Instead of focusing on what he didn’t have or what he had lost, he was grateful and happy for what he had; a home, a loving wife and family. Reading this book was inspirational, a lesson in life’s values and I remember that even at a young age I was amazed at what an incredible man A.B.Facey was.

RIVER GOD BY WILBUR SMITH

I read this book maybe fifteen years ago and found that I was instantly immersed in the story. From the first page Smith takes you into a magnificent ancient Egyptian land that is full of erotic sex, adventure and danger. The way it is written, the wording, the style, is like nothing I had ever read before and still haven’t. I was consumed with the life of the main characters, the drama and mystery of all that they encountered in their journey of survival. I read the whole series to find out as much as I could about what happened to them. I could easily read this book over and over again. It is brilliant!

FOREVER BY JUDY BLUME

This was another book I read as part of the school syllabus when I was about fifteen. I couldn’t believe we were required to read it because it was very explicit when it came to sex. It was like a form of sex education before sex education exited and being young and innocent, it left a lasting impression on me. The main character, Katherine, who is in her late teens, is involved in a very hot and heavy relationship with her boyfriend. She thinks she will be with him and love him forever but she discovers that at such a young age there are other temptations to deal with and forever is a very long time.

THIS TIME FOREVER BY LYNNE WILDING

It’s not every day that you get to read a book that has been written by your mother that’s based on the life of her mother - my beloved grandmother. Set in the eastern suburbs of Sydney around the Randwick racecourse in the era of world war two, this novel is an entertaining and enjoyable read. Another more personal reason I loved this book is because it gave me the opportunity to get a glimpse into the past, as well as into my family’s history.

PATRICIA CORNWALL SCARPETTA SERIES

The first crime book I ever read was one of Patricia Cornwall’s. I can’t remember exactly which novel it was but I do know it got me hooked on the whole Scarpetta series. I loved them. Right from the start I became absorbed in a world of forensic science and grisly murders – being a police officer this was stuff I found interesting and could relate to with to a certain extent.

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