Book review: Wimmera by Mark Brandi

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 Permalink

I’d seen quite a bit of hype around Wimmera, the debut novel by Melbourne writer, Mark Brandi whose work has been published in journals, magazines and newspapers in Australia and overseas. In fact, Brandi was awarded the 2016 UK Crime Writers’ Association Dagger for this debut.

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three-stars

A mid year check in

Monday, June 26, 2017 Permalink

I didn’t actually do the ‘resolutions’ or word / phrase / soup of the day / year thing this year. I did identify some things I wanted to ‘do’ before my 50th birthday at the end of 2017, but I really couldn’t be ‘arsed’ identifying things that would (as usual) remain un-done when 2018 rolls around.

I’m still – kinda – on a blogging break of sorts, though seem to be now consistently breaking the break on a weekly basis, so figured I’d join Denyse Whelan today who’s suggested we do a half-year stocktake or mid year check-in. Or similar.

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Book review: Part of the Silence by Debbie Howells

Sunday, June 25, 2017 Permalink

This is the third of Debbie Howells’ books I’ve read and I was particularly blown away by her first, The Bones of You. I also enjoyed The Beauty of the End, and now the author, based in West Sussex, does it again with her third novel, Part of the Silence.

There’s something very engaging about her characters; and her plots generally offer up something a little different. I must confess to being a little disappointed in the ending of this book… though I know that won’t surprise regular readers of my reviews who know I’m kinda hard to please.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Amber and Alice by Janette Paul

Friday, June 23, 2017 Permalink

I think if I’d known rom-com author Janette Paul was also Jaye Ford – Australian suspense / crime fiction author I might have tucked into this book earlier. And not wavered quite so much in the early stages.

I’m afraid I may have been put off by the cover… which was way too glossy and bright (for me!) and reminded me of a UBD or travel guide or something. Of course that latter part is probably with good reason, because the book does offer a bit of an insider’s guide into the Northern Territory and central Australia.

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three-half-stars

Surrendering control… to Siri

Thursday, June 22, 2017 Permalink

It may surprise you to know that – despite happily adopting most forms of technology as soon as viably possible (well, except for Snapchat cos ain’t nobody got time to work that shit out) – I only used GPS / Siri iPhone maps thingy for the first time a few weeks ago.

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Book review: Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 Permalink

It’s been a while since I’ve read any novels by Karen Rose, though I love her books. At one point I’d read so many I had to map them (and their interrelated characters) out – which you can do by accessing her author site!

I would have easily read this latest release in a sitting if my iPad’s battery hadn’t died on me. I very much enjoyed this book and her series are akin to a comfort read for me. Rose (like Nora Roberts) is adept at offering up likeable characters, interesting plot and a good balance between romance and suspense.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

Sunday, June 18, 2017 Permalink

I’m not sure what it is at the moment, but I seem to be reading A LOT of books about missing girls and women. Particularly those held captive for a period of time. Perhaps the very popular Room by Emma Donohue made the topic more palatable for public consumption, or perhaps they’ve always been out there and I’m just stumbling over a heap all at once.

The third straight book I’ve read on the subject, Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin is – as it happens – about the disappearance of two girls. Many years apart. 

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four-stars

Book review: Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Sunday, June 18, 2017 Permalink

You know you can pretty much depend on Nora Roberts to deliver when it comes to romantic suspense. She generally gets the combination and the consistency of the ingredients right and her latest, Come Sundown, is no different. We’re offered likeable, charismatic but not-too-cheesy characters; clear and engaging writing that reels readers in; along with an enjoyable and not overly predictable plot.

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four-stars

The 50th

Thursday, June 15, 2017 Permalink

I travelled to my old stomping ground – Brisbane – a couple of weeks ago for yet another fleeting visit. (I remain surprised that I despise going back there so much!) But I did manage to see a couple of my long-term besties and in doing so faced that dreaded question…. “What are you doing for your 50th birthday?”

The last member of our (original) quartet, who lives in New Zealand, had asked me that same question on the phone the week before. (And yes, it’s true. I make exceptions to my ‘no talking on the phone rule’ for LJ in NZ, my mum and my boss. Though the latter mostly only rings when I’m at work!)

LJ commented on keeping some days off aside for later this year, for my birthday celebrations.

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