For reasons unknown I’ve not read Eliza Henry-Jones’ first novel… the very popular and highly praised In the Quiet, but I read an essay by the Yarra Valley-dwelling writer last year in Rebellious Daughters and was excited to receive her latest novel… the aptly named Ache.
The Liar by Steve Cavanagh is the THIRD excellent legal thriller I’ve read in the last few months. In my reviews of both A Criminal Defense by William L Myers Jnr and Say Nothing by Brad Parks, I commented on the fact it’d been a while since I’d read any courtroom dramas / legal procedurals, but I’ve certainly been getting my fix recently and it’s reminded me how much I loved early work by Scott Turow and Steve Martini.
I didn’t realise until I picked this book up that it was a translation. I had some bad experiences with translated books a few years ago and have pretty much stayed away ever since – which I know is very close-minded and English-centric of me. I can’t help but wonder how it works as well… so much of someone’s writing is caught up in the way they turn a phrase, which makes a translated book very VERY dependent on its translator. It’s almost as if they could make, or break, a book.
I know this will surprise those who are aware of my love of mysteries and thrillers resplendent with twists and turns; however… I would have been happy if this book by Dennis Lehane would have continued with the interesting backstory / character study of our lead character, Rachel – without any mystery to be unravelled.
The book opens with Rachel shooting her husband (oops, sorry, #spoileralert) but I loved the stuff that came before that… how Rachel came to be; rather than what came after.
I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction that doesn’t involve serial killers or murder and mayhem. I am however, expanding my reading repertoire and enjoying more Australian literature and general fiction.
I think I’d expected JD Barrett’s The Song of Us to be pretty light… akin to Zoe Foster Blake’s The Wrong Girl or Bridget Jones or similar. But, it was different, with some interesting messages lying beneath the entertaining prose and narrative.
Fans of Linwood Barclay may remember his recent trilogy, set in Promise Falls. I loved the first instalment (Broken Promise) struggled just a little with the second (Far From True), but enjoyed the third (The Twenty-Three) more.
It did however, end with a cliffhanger. My mother later read it… “It can’t end there!” she wailed. Okay, so she may not have wailed…. that just sounded better. 🙂 #alternativefacts
Well, the trilogy* did end. Officially. Until this – featuring some of the characters we came to know and love – was released… in some circles as a standalone, but also billed as Promise Falls #4!
For reasons unknown this book wasn’t on my radar when it was released in Australia in 2016. Like many I’d loved Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, but was not quite as enamoured with the sequel, The Rosie Effect.
It wasn’t until I mentioned I had an electronic copy of this book that a friend commented that she’d read it last year. And she wasn’t a fan, which made me a tad reticent. As it happens, I can understand her antipathy but enjoyed elements of the book nonetheless…
Regular readers of this blog will know I don’t read non-fiction. Indeed, I usually don’t touch it with a ten foot pole. However… sometimes I find myself stretching out of that comfort zone (as I’ve done recently in relation to romance and historical fiction).
And while we’re confessing to our many sins, I should add I don’t recall reading Mia Freedman’s work before. I mean, I don’t live under a rock, so I know who she is and I’ve seen her speak on TV shows and probably browsed snippets here and there. Perhaps I was still reading Dolly or read Cosmo during her editorial years. I’m not sure. But I’ve not been a regular reader of Mamamia and I hadn’t read her previous books before picking up Work Strife Balance.
And although I’m not entirely sold on the structure of the book, I LOVE her writing. Like, LOVE love it. It’s like the proverbial warm blanket you pull over yourself as the cold air hits. You’re engulfed by something intimate and familiar and comforted by its ease and honesty. (And yes, the whole blanket metaphor went out of the window at the end there, but you know what I mean.)
A quick glance at debut author Kirsty Manning’s website will alert visitors and readers that she’s most certainly passionate about travel and food, both of which feature strongly in her her debut novel The Midsummer Garden, which is set in France, Italy (Tuscany) and Australia (Tasmania).