Book review: Hi Five by Joe Ide

Thursday, November 21, 2019 Permalink

I adored the first book in this series featuring Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) by Joe Ide, named after its lead character.  I was a little disappointed by the second, Righteous but enjoyed the third, Wrecked, Which brings us to Ide’s latest release and the fourth instalment, Hi Five.

Interestingly I think what I struggled with in the second novel was the increased involvement of IQ’s childhood friend (and kinda loveable rogue) Juanell Dodson. Dodson plays a larger role in this book again but I’m finding myself becoming accustomed to the fact he jousts well with IQ, even if it means the latter no longer seems to be quite the scary-smart and savvy character I initially fell in love with.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Starting from Now by Fleur McDonald

Sunday, November 3, 2019 Permalink

I’m really enjoying this (interrelated) series by Fleur McDonald. It really doesn’t matter where you enter because each of the books works easily as a standalone. Detective Dave Burrows is the link between books, but each introduces new characters whose stories are central to the plot.

There’s usually a smidge of romance and a crime or two and they’re all set in rural or regional Australia. Given her own farming background, McDonald effortlessly conveys a real sense of the lives our characters lead and she always manages to reflect on topical issues. Here she touches on both new technology being introduced to farming communities as well as the inadvertent impact protestors can have on the animals / communities / subject matter they believe they’re protecting.

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four-stars

Book review: The Great Divide by LJM Owen

Saturday, November 2, 2019 Permalink

It’s hard not to use the word atmospheric when writing about this book. It’s certainly that and continues the fine tradition I’ve experienced recently with Tasmanian crime fiction and small-town noir.

Set in Tasmania’s winter this – I assume to be the first in a new series – offers readers a sense of bleak and dismal foreboding – in a good way – well-suited to the book’s dark storyline and some long-hidden sinister secrets.

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three-half-stars

Book review: A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci

Friday, October 25, 2019 Permalink

I adore David Baldacci’s Amos Decker (Memory Man) series. I was also excited when he introduced a new protagonist, FBI agent Atlee Pine, last year in Long Road to Mercy.

The book ended up delving a little into conspiracies and spies and the like, so my excitement waned a little (as it’s not a topic of interest to me) but I really liked Pine and the support cast offered in the first of that series. There were a few changes to some of the key players in the new release, A Minute to Midnight, which I enjoyed more than its predecessor. I still loved Pine… and found the plot itself more engaging.

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four-stars

Book review: The Night Fire by Michael Connelly

Monday, October 21, 2019 Permalink

I was very excited when Michael Connelly started pairing long-time fan favourite Harry Bosch with newcomer Renee Ballard. It is interesting though as I think Ballard’s character is sufficiently strong and charismatic enough to carry a series on her own. Having said that the pair are perfect foils for each other. Partners but not partners. Officially, anyway. And I like there’s a recognition of what it is the other does well (or not) and a mutual respect continuing to grow between the pair.

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four-stars

Book review: Vendetta in Death by JD Robb

Saturday, October 12, 2019 Permalink

I participated in some Q&A thingy on Twitter the other day. Someone asked a range of questions for followers to answer. One was: which author’s books do we own the most of. (And I’m sure that sentence isn’t grammatically correct, but #whatevs!)

Mine was pretty easy. Thirty-two (32) JD Robb books from the In Death series, I said. And number 33 arrived the day after.

Of course, her latest Vendetta in Death, is in fact the 49th in the futuristic cop series and I’m fairly sure I just requested the next for review – the aptly named Golden In Death – out in February 2020.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Mitford Scandal by Jessica Fellowes

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Permalink

This is the third in the Mitford Murder mysteries and I’m probably enjoying each new release more than its predecessor/s. In my review of The Mitford Murders I mentioned that author, Jessica Fellowes wrote companion books for Downton Abbey so is obviously passionate about this era and knows her stuff. And in that book, as well as the second in the series, Bright Young Dead, the research she undertakes and the way she weaves facts and true events into fiction makes more interesting – and surprisingly educational – reading.

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four-stars

Book review: How The Dead Speak by Val McDermid

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 Permalink

I try hard not to write reviews with spoilers. Or ones that give away too much of the plot. Of course it also means I sometimes re-read a review of a book before starting the next book of the series and – unless it’s ingrained into my mind for some reason – I rarely remember the detail.

So, given two years has passed since Val McDermid’s last Tony Hill / Carol Jordan novel Insidious Intent was published (and I can’t believe it’s that long!), I’d completely forgotten Tony had gone to jail. I can’t remember any of the specifics, but that’s kind-of a good thing as newcomers to the series won’t be lost, suddenly introduced to characters – many of whom have been around now for 11 novels (and 24 years).

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four-stars

Book review: The Dirty Dozen by Lynda La Plante

Monday, August 19, 2019 Permalink

It wasn’t until after I read this book (that) it occurred to me we can’t be that far from the Jane Tennison we eventually meet in the Prime Suspect series. Though I guess a decade is a lifetime in Jane’s world.

In the last book in this series Murder Mile, I commented that there seemed to be less sexist crap (misogynist bullshit I think I said) than in previous novels, but sadly her entry into the all-male Flying Squad, sees Jane yet again struggling with prejudice despite ‘integration’ seven years earlier.

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four-stars