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.

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Praise for Lapse

Looking out over an ebb tide from the back verandah was like watching God painting stripes…

Disgraced former lawyer Clementine Jones is on the shores of paradise—Queensland’s Great Sandy Straits—trying to outrun her past.

Bored with her house-sitting gig, she becomes a reluctant recruit to the local government group, campaigning to save an endangered turtle as developers close in. Then a body is found at the base of a quarry, and Clem’s world is turned upside down.

The police say suicide. Clem’s convinced it was murder. She also knows she’s the only one interested in tracking down the killer.

Well, the only one apart from her friend Torrens, ex-con and reformed standover man. And he’s got his own fight on his hands.

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Praise for White Throat

Find out more about the White-throated Snapping Turtle here: Greening Australia; Scientific American; Recovery Plan; really cute baby turtles and hatchlings video.

Follow progress to save the White Throated Snapping Turtle here


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

‘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.’
Emma Viskic

‘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.’
Books+Publishing (starred review)

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

‘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.’
West Weekend

‘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.‘
ReadPlus Reviews

‘[A] thrilling page turner’
Brisbane News

‘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.’
Canberra Times

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

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

‘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.’
Kirkus (starred review)

‘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.’


‘Clem Jones is back with a vengeance. New town, different villains, but same dogged pursuit and badass bravado.’
Candice Fox

‘Thornton delivers another pacey thriller filled with hot button issues.’
Pile by the Bed

‘Sarah Thornton’s second crime novel featuring Clementine Jones, is as compulsive as her first, Lapse…both are well crafted, exciting, and entertaining reads. I’m already looking forward to the next.’
Book’d Out

‘[Thornton’s] scene-setting is vividly descriptive.’

‘White Throat is riveting mystery with a clever storyline and likable lead protagonist…Old and new fans will enjoy this newest addition to the Clementine Jones series.’
Book Reviews & More

‘audacious action sequences and broad humour… a diversity of voices and language usages, from the vernacular to the bureaucratic… does not dumb down the public interest issues…’
The Weekend Australian

‘[White Throat] makes a great summer afternoon escape.’
L.J.M Owen, Sisters in Crime

‘Clementine Jones is a great character—clever, resourceful, determined…[Sarah Thornton] has delivered another fast-paced crime thriller anchored around a flawed and engaging heroine.’
The Blurb

‘Crisply composed, unspooling with finely judged pace and suspense. A good bet for anyone casting about for a new Australian crime series.’
Sydney Morning Herald (pick of the week)

‘White Throat is not only thrilling reading but also a timely reminder of the threat to Australia’s endangered native species from greedy vested interests.’
Canberra Times

’Thornton delivers an engaging, action-packed tale with a good touch for setting.’
NZ Listener

‘There is humour in every encounter Clementine has, partly created by her own healthy disrespect for conventional boundaries. Doors and rules create only trifling obstacles. The canine cast are equally entertaining and thoroughly endearing.’
Otago Daily Times

‘A great narrative, descriptively Australian, wonderful characters, and a series I intend to follow.’
Good Reading