Book review: All The Rage by Cara Hunter

Friday, January 17, 2020 Permalink

When I shared that I’d be reading this book a few people commented on how much they love Cara Hunter’s books and the DI Adam Fawley series. I was embarrassed that I’d not heard of them before. It may be because they’re more popular overseas than here in Australia. Either that or I live under a rock, I’m not sure.

But although I’ve started with number four (and I hate entering series’ part way through) I very much enjoyed this book. I suspect I’ve been privy to some spoilers from previous outings but I’d definitely still be interested in reading some earlier books in the series.

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four-stars

Book review: Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 Permalink

This book opens with a murder. It’s one of a series by a killer known as the Nine Elms Cannibal. We meet Kate Marshall, a detective on the case, some of her colleagues including her boss Detective Chief Inspector Peter Conway. As I hadn’t really read the backcover blurb properly it came as a surprise then that the usual crisis / climax (ie. Kate’s life threatened by the baddie) happens just after the book kicks off. And the killer is found. Huh?

Of course we then leap forward 15 years to meet Kate in the (not quite) present day. I’ve not read any of Bryndza’s books before so did wonder briefly if Kate had been referenced in another series as the information we receive about the preceding decade and a half is pretty scant, though more is eventually shared.

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three-half-stars

Book Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Sunday, December 8, 2019 Permalink

When I attended a romance readers conference a few years ago, New Zealand author Nalini Singh was oft-mentioned. As romance and paranormal romance aren’t genres I read (particularly the latter) I’d not heard of her, but now know she’s much-loved internationally with over 20 books to her name.

A Madness of Sunshine is her first crime novel. It’s set in New Zealand – a place she obviously knows well as the landscape of the south island – its untamed beauty in particular – plays a central role in the unfolding tale.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Darkness For Light by Emma Viskic

Monday, November 25, 2019 Permalink

I missed Resurrection Bay when it was released in 2015. Of course I’ve no excuse now (four years later) for not reading a copy of the much-lauded debut novel by Emma Viskic. And. I. Really. Must. Read. It.

I read her second And Fire Came Down, also featuring Caleb Zelic, but – though I loved Viskic’s writing – I didn’t get the hype over the main character (and therefore the series he was carrying).

Viskic’s new release Darkness for Light, the third in the series however is my favourite so far (noting of course I’ve not read the first!). I devoured this in a sitting and engaged with Caleb far more than I did in the previous book. I’m not entirely sure why that is… but here I really enjoyed the time I spent with him and now can’t wait for more.

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four-stars

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