Book review: The Community by Christine Gregory

Sunday, July 14, 2024 Permalink

The Community by Christine Gregory was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect but found I appreciated that it was set just a couple of hours from where I live, so I knew of places Gregory mentions, including a trip into the inner eastern suburbs of Brisbane where I used to live. I also liked journalist Lars Nilsson who prefers to keep to himself but is forced to be more involved with the local community when a dead body is found.

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four-stars

Book review: A Good Place to Hide a Body by Laura Marshall

Thursday, July 11, 2024 Permalink

A Good Place to Hide a Body by Laura Marshall starts off with a prologue and it’s a clever move by Marshall. Not the use of a prologue of course as it’s quite common, but the way she leaves us hanging at the end of it… allowing us to make certain assumptions, before moving three months into the past when a family’s lives were turned upside down.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Truth About the Devlins by Lisa Scottoline

Monday, July 8, 2024 Permalink

The Truth About the Devlins by Lisa Scottoline seemed familiar to me. I’m unsure if I started reading it at some point earlier… I even had the same thought in response to the opening pages – an assumption the narrator was a woman (one I’d had before).

TJ (a guy!) is the black sheep in a family of lawyers, having spent time in prison as a result of alcoholism that started in his teens. He’s on track now, though working in a tokenistic investigator job in the family company. Despite changing his ways he continues to feel inferior to his brother and sister and a disappointment to his parents.

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four-stars

Book review: The Haters by Robyn Harding

Saturday, July 6, 2024 Permalink

The Haters by Robyn Harding takes readers into the world of books and publishing. It’s something Harding would know well of course, given her profession. And this new release reflects the good, the bad and the ugly of that world – albeit with an underlying agenda spurring online trolling and bullying.

I’ve seen similar things play out on social media. A negative review and a defensive author striking out, only to then have the reviewer’s supporters (or grumpy people in general) heap onto the author. Or vice versa… an author reacting badly to a negative but fair and very very subjective review (which all reviews are, of course). **We humans are complicated walking talking animals resplendent with baggage from life experiences and our own thoughts, feelings and behaviour, so our perception of anything is personal and tainted by all that’s come before.**

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four-stars

Book review: A Talent for Murder by Peter Swanson

Thursday, July 4, 2024 Permalink

A Talent for Murder by Peter Swanson is the third in a (loosely linked) series. I hadn’t realised that and – as I’ve read eight of Swanson’s usually-twisted books – I only discovered belatedly I’d read the previous book in the series (The Kind Worth Saving) though not remembered the series’s namesakes in any detail.

Despite knowing of his proclivity for twisty-ness I was thrown a little in the early stages of this book as Swanson puts us in the heads of several characters he then wantonly kills off. It was a little disconcerting as I’d identified with them, not realising they weren’t going to be our main narrators.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Middle of the Night by Riley Sager

Sunday, June 30, 2024 Permalink

According to Goodreads and this site Middle of the Night by Riley Sager is only the second book I’ve read by the American author since 2017 when I inhaled the popular, Final Girls. Although a couple of more recent books seem familiar, perhaps I only coveted them from afar rather than getting review copies or picking them up. Like Final Girls this is centred around an old mystery, stirred up when one of the players returns to his childhood home.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Storm Child by Michael Robotham

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 Permalink

Storm Child by Michael Robotham is the fourth in this series and though (with this) we’ve now uncovered long-buried backstories of our two lead characters, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven and his former patient Evie Cormac, I’m very much hoping we’ll continue to see them pair up and hunt down baddies.

I initially worried I’d not enjoy this as much as usual as I’m not a fan of novels featuring white collar crime, organised crime, including people trafficking and the like – generally preferring a twisted deep-seated motive (ie. psychopathy or trauma not money) – driving my criminals, but this certainly won me over.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Our Holiday by Louise Candlish

Friday, June 21, 2024 Permalink

There was something about Our Holiday by Louise Candlish that reminded me of the very popular (novel and tv series) Big Little Lies. Perhaps it was neighbourhood / school politics playing out similarly in a small coastal community popular with wealthy holiday-makers. There’s certainly a pervading simmering tension present – between parents and their children, couples and families as well as unrest between the locals and the ‘blow-ins’ who’ve snapped up all of the best land and houses and priced permanent residents out of the rental and home-buying market.

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four-stars

Book review: This Is Why We Lied by Karin Slaughter

Tuesday, June 18, 2024 Permalink

This Is Why We Lied by Karin Slaughter is the twelfth in the series featuring Will Trent, but also features his (new) wife Sara Linton – who of course has starred in a couple of Slaughter’s series. Here the pair have just gotten hitched and Will decided to take Sara to a remote glamping spot – one he yearned to visit as a child in a foster care group home nearby. Of course they stumble into some family drama and when there’s a murder on their first night the pair feel duty-bound to seek justice for the victim.

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four-stars