Book review: The Running Club by Ali Lowe

Thursday, March 16, 2023 Permalink

I was worried The Running Club by Ali Lowe would be a bit like books about motherhood – featuring cliquey groups to whom I can not relate. I know people ‘inside’ of those groups don’t see the fact that they can be exclusive, but those ‘outside’ certainly do. Casual discussions about times and pacers and the like are similar to those about school drop-offs, P & C committees or playdates, for those of us on the ‘outside’.

However, though the club itself is how these meet – like The Trivia Night in Lowe’s first novel – merely a vehicle or way in which to bind a group of disparate people together in a way that isn’t natural so ultimately explodes before hopefully recovering and re-forming (in more ways than one!).


Book review: I Will Find You by Harlan Coben

Friday, March 10, 2023 Permalink

I Will Find You by Harlan Coben starts by introducing readers to David, a man in prison for murdering his son Matthew. He tells us he didn’t do it but didn’t fight the conviction because he blames himself anyway. David’s a likeable lead and though the book unfolds in first person, it occasionally dips into a second person narrative, as if he’s talking to us… so we know HE also knows most people in prison claim to be innocent.

He’s accepted his fate however until his former sister-in-law arrives with a photograph of a boy she believes to be Matthew – supposedly murdered by David five years earlier.


Book review: Apartment 303 by Kelli Hawkins

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 Permalink

I received an advance copy of Apartment 303 by Kelli Hawkins as well as a final copy so I gave my mother the former to read before I got to it… and she read it very very quickly (within a day, while I was with her) and loved it.

I also very much enjoyed this novel and Hawkins does a great job at muddying the already-murky waters of Rory’s life with a misdirection or three. On one hand I kinda guessed who was up to some of the nefarious exploits (given they seemed to have an agenda of sorts), but I certainly didn’t guess why, or how they played out against other elements of the plot. Hawkins is able to keep threads completely hidden, revealing them just when we think we’ve got it worked out.


Book review: Dark Mode by Ashley Kalagian Blunt

Saturday, March 4, 2023 Permalink

For reasons unknown I initially thought Dark Mode by Ashley Kalagian Blunt fell into the ‘horror’ genre but then I read the publicity blurb and realised it was right down (or do I mean up?) my reading alley…. a thriller featuring a series of murders, inspired by a real-life serial killer! I must admit Ultimo Press has really hit the ground running. Though just over two years old TWO of my favourite three books last were published by the newish kid on the block, and this book by Kalagian Blunt is another stellar offering.


Book review: Judgement Day by Mali Waugh

Monday, February 27, 2023 Permalink

Judgement Day by Mali Waugh is essentially a police procedural but we dip enough into the world of the judiciary that it equally qualifies as a legal procedural. Either way it’s an excellent debut by Waugh and gives us a twisty crime to solve and infuses just enough of the non-investigative stuff to offer up characters of substance I’d like to meet again.


Book review: Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder by Kerryn Mayne

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 Permalink

I assumed Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder by Kerryn Mayne was going to be cosy crime fiction. Given the title. But it isn’t. It’s actually an at-times funny but also bittersweet story about loss, grief and abandonment as well as friendship, joy and acceptance. The book’s namesake, Lenny (Helena), is an absolute delight in the same way Eleanor Oliphant, Grace Atherton and Susan Green all were.

I was smitten from the very first line, sharing the opening chapter on social media because I was deep in like. And an oversharer.


I can change the battery. And tomorrow will come. When things are not okay

Monday, February 20, 2023 Permalink

Life has been a bit up and down lately. Long story and nothing much I can really talk about. Last week was a bit of a challenge with some work stuff but also my mum had (minor) surgery and I travelled away to take her and moved out of my comfort zone multiple times over just a few days. It’s something that’s happened over the last few weeks in fact.

You know that feeling when you drop (and shatter) your work phone and think ‘NOTHING MORE CAN GO WRONG’ and as the youngsters say, ‘nek minute…’

Book review: A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno

Saturday, February 18, 2023 Permalink

A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno is a hard book to review. It’s amazingly written. The concept is very clever and Dalgarno’s prose switch from a fairly chatty and mundane narrative to something more confronting… jolting readers out of our comfort zone and reminding us that the narrator is (in fact) dead.


Book review: Fire With Fire by Candice Fox

Sunday, February 12, 2023 Permalink

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Aussie writer Candice Fox. Her series (Eden Archer; Crimson Lake; and Harriet Blue) gave us some quirky, often-annoying, but endearing  characters I’ll long remember. I enjoyed her 2022 release The Chase but struggled a bit as we were given a number of leads and I didn’t connect as much as usual and my attention (and affection) was diluted. I was pretty much alone in my thinking though as the book won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction.

Fox’s latest, Fire With Fire, delivers on multiple fronts and she’s introduced some fabulous characters I very much hope to meet again. Fox is a great storyteller but I believe the magic in her work comes through the characters she creates and manages to humanise within such a short amount of time… building on that with each outing and offering them a story arc that doesn’t necessarily involve growth and evolution but rather everything from redemption to revenge.