Book review: Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Permalink

I suspect Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin will eventually become Detective Emmett Corban #1, but as this is Firkin’s debut novel it’ll probably be updated once the next book in the series comes along. And—in case you’re wondering—I believe there will be another book as Emmett is eminently likeable and Firkin creates an engaging support ensemble to assist in the series’ longevity.

I read Sticks and Stones before Buried by Lynda La Plante and in that review I commented on the fact that our lead detective (Jack) was kinda ungrateful for the opportunity he’d been given in the Serious Crimes Squad. I said that with Emmett in mind… as he’d been keen for a place in the Homicide or Cold Case Squad after a promotion… instead finding himself heading up the Missing Persons’ Unit which he ‘finds’ (#sorrynotsorry) less-than-exciting.

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four-stars

Book review: Buried by Lynda LaPlante

Thursday, May 21, 2020 Permalink

I adore Lynda LaPlante’s Prime Suspect series, along with her ‘young’ Jane Tennison prequels (set in the 1970s) so was excited to see her new release Buried – kicking off a brand new series.

Here we’re introduced to Detective Jack Warr. He’s a bit of an unlikely lead character: he’s not really ambitious and somewhat ambivalent about his career in the Met’s Serious Crimes Squad though many would probably envy the opportunity.

His team is presented with a case however, that intrigues him a little. Even more so when it seems to have personal links to his own family history.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Fair Warning by Michael Connelly

Sunday, May 10, 2020 Permalink

We first met journalist Jack McEvoy in The Poet (published in 1996), one of the first books I read by Michael Connelly. Jack reappeared in The Scarecrow (2009) but he’s been kinda quiet ever since. (Though I know there was a crossover or two with Harry Bosch.)

I’ve actually got very vivid memories of reading The Poet (which is rare given I read a lot of books that are quite similar, AND it was a long time ago) so was keen to be reintroduced to Jack (all of these years later) in Connelly’s new release, Fair Warning.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs

Friday, April 17, 2020 Permalink

I received an early copy of Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs. The Temperance Brennan series was one I once didn’t miss, though haven’t read many in recent years. My mother loved the TV series (Bones) and has read some of the books so I offered it to her first as I wanted to read it closer to its release date.

When she returned it she was a bit ‘meh’. I wondered if Reichs was starting to ‘phone it in’… I’ve talked about other long-running series and authors perhaps becoming too complacent or running out of ideas. However, instead I reminded how different my mother’s taste is to mine. Because I really loved it.

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four-stars

Book review: The Shifting Landscape by Katherine Kovacic

Saturday, April 11, 2020 Permalink

I met Melbourne author Katherine Kovacic at the BAD Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival in late 2019. Her first book, The Portrait of Molly Dean was a finalist for Australia’s premier crime-fiction award, The Ned Kelly Awards.

I’d heard of the book but as I’d assumed it was historical non-fiction I hadn’t read it (usually preferring to chew off my arm than read either historical fiction or non-fiction). But after meeting Kovacic and learning more about the book, I bought it and was enchanted.

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four-stars

Book review: Gathering Dark by Candice Fox

Monday, March 30, 2020 Permalink

I’m always sad when Candice Fox ends a series, but I should know I don’t need to wallow for long as she’s always back with the next big thing. I wasn’t entirely ready for her Crimson Lake series to be over (and perhaps it isn’t?!) but I was able to take solace in the fact she was working on something new. I note this isn’t officially called number 1 (#1) but I’m crossing several limbs it is as I really liked the characters she introduces here.

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four-stars

Book review: Red Dirt Country by Fleur McDonald

Sunday, March 29, 2020 Permalink

I LOVE Fleur McDonald’s Dave Burrows series’. And yes, that apostrophe is meant to be there—I think—cos there are two of them. In case you’ve been living under a rock, McDonald is basically releasing books in two timeframes as if we’re in some weird Sliding Doors-like timewarp thingy.

In addition to an interrelated series set in the present, which features Burrows though he’s not always the headline act, McDonald takes us back in time a couple of decades (kicking off in the late 1990s) to Burrows’ early years as a cop.

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four-stars

Book review: Walk the Wire by David Baldacci

Saturday, March 28, 2020 Permalink

I love Amos Decker. Aka the Memory Man. Walk the Wire is his 6th outing and he and his work partner, Alex Jamison contemplate here how far he’s come socially since they met.

Decades earlier—after almost dying—Decker developed hyperthymesia. Not only is he unable to forget anything but it kinda destroyed his social skills. The remainder of his will to live / ability to feel joy disappeared after the murder of his family.

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four-stars