• Book review: The Gulf by Anna Spargo-Ryan

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Permalink

    I somehow missed Anna Spargo-Ryan’s 2016 debut novel, The Paper House. I had requested it and felt mildly insulted when it didn’t arrive but – despite the praise it received – my apathy paired with my to-be-read (TBR) pile was (and still is) such that I really don’t get to read anything other than the books I receive for review.

    Very happily however, I received her second novel, The Gulf, and was very impressed by the Aussie author. In fact I was enchanted by this book, which offers readers a satisfying blend of bleak hopelessness gently mixed with a sense of whimsy or wistfulness.

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    four-half-stars
  • Author Q & A: The Traitor’s Girl by Christine Wells

    Thursday, May 25, 2017 Permalink

    I usually shy away from historical fiction, although have made a few exceptions in recent times. I also find that I can cope with novels unfolding in two timeframes, commonly adopted in Kate Morton’s books for example.

    The latest novel by Brisbane-based author Christine Wells offers readers dual timelines (so, the best of both worlds – appealing to historical fiction and contemporary fiction lovers alike). It’s the first book I’ve read by Wells and I very much enjoyed her characters and the plot unfolding in the ‘now’ as well as the detail included about the work of female spies and government agencies during the second world war.

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  • Book review: The Girl in Kellers Way by Megan Goldin

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Permalink

    Megan Goldin is a former foreign correspondent, reporting on war and terrorism. She’s now back in her hometown of Melbourne penning fiction and The Girl in Kellers Way, her debut novel is set in small-town America and firmly fits into the very popular genre of domestic noir. So it’s a psychological thriller – my fave! 🙂

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    four-stars
  • Book review – Don’t Let Go by Michel Bussi

    Monday, May 15, 2017 Permalink

    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.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

    Friday, May 12, 2017 Permalink

    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.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: The Song of Us by JD Barrett

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017 Permalink

    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.

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    four-stars