Winner of the 2013 Queensland Literary Award – Best Emerging Author

When you’re at the end of the line with nowhere to turn – how far would you go to protect the one you love?

A man is found dead in an inner-city suburb, a police officer walks the blurry line between duty and loyalty, and a young woman from the  wrong side of the tracks is on the run. Ana soon becomes a suspect in the murder investigation, and as sole carer for her younger sister is  desperately trying to stay ahead of the law. In a surprising twist, the detective in charge of the case is no stranger and Ana is forced to face  her past and the things she has left behind. Unsure of who she can trust and isolated by her crime, Ana is drawn into a passionate affair that  breaks all the rules.

From the winner of the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards – Best Emerging Author category, Gap combines a gripping crime thriller with a  style evocative of Dorothy Porter’s cult classic, The Monkey’s Mask.


Praise for Gap

‘This warm, spare novel is a powerful reminder of how young people can fall through the gaps, alone and unseen. Jessen’s story moves at a crackling pace. You will not want to put it down, and when you do, you’ll want to read it all over again.’

Lisa Jacobson, author of The Sunlit Zone

‘Never flowery, Ana’s voice has a blunt idiomatic quality that demands an immediate reread after the first race-through.’ 

Books + Publishing

‘It’s a narrative that often connects with Australian readers…It’s a gutsy homage to Porter, but Gap is additionally great as Jessen’s own study of rough love and resilience.’

Readings Monthly

‘Gap is unafraid and unapologetic. Jessen embraces what Porter has called ‘the language of the streets’ and it walks the walk.’

Cordite Poetry Review

‘It certainly packs a punch. It’s amazing how few words can tell such a deep and emotional story.’

The Big Book Club

‘Jessen does an extraordinary job not only of evoking a grim urban landscape but also of sketching tangled loyalties and conflicting loves, as well as the turbulent emotions of guilt, fear and escape.’

Sydney Morning Herald ‘Spectrum’

‘Hers is a voice with a ring of honesty. Jessen renders ethical uncertainty memorably.’


Gap is out now through University of Queensland Press. Purchase a copy from all good bookstores and online through several outlets including UQP and Booktopia For the digitally inclined, Gap can also be purchased as an e-book through all the main channels. A free sample is available through the UQP website.


Join the Conversation


  1. Just finished reading this today! Such a page turner! I couldn’t put it down. Beautiful written 🙂

  2. Hi Bec, I read Gap because my daughter suggested that I read it. She is studying it as ACU. It is really quite stunning and was hard to put down. Your characters, the visual images that you created for me, let alone the suspense of where it was going was remarkable. I hope that there will be more to come. I also know that my daughter contacted you and you kindly spent much time in responding to her. I appreciate your capabilities as an author and hope to hear so much more from you in the future and I love you as a person for being so kind and caring when responding to my daughter. I believe that you have made a marked impression on her. I wish you nothing but success and look forward to reading more of your work in the future. You are a kind and beautiful person.

    1. Hi Mark, thank you so much for your kind words, your message made my day. It is so nice to hear positive feedback, even two years after the work has been published. I’m so glad it resonated with you, and that Riana thought to pass it on. It was wonderful to connect with your lovely daughter. The best part of being a writer is hearing feedback from readers so I was more than happy to respond and talk about the work. If that made some sort of impression then I am really thankful. Thank you again 🙂

  3. Hi Bec, Thank you for your reply. You made a remarkable impression on Ri and I think you will have a fan (well two) for the rest of your life. Take care and I wish you all the best for the future. Regards Mark

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