Book review: The Torrent by Dinuka McKenzie

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 Permalink

I’d heard a lot of good things about The Torrent by Dinuka McKenzie and now that I’ve read it, am happy it’s tagged on Goodreads as Detective Kate Miles #1 meaning there are more to come. Of course my finely honed deductive skills also noted the inclusion of a preview of book number two at the end of The Torrent, so….

McKenzie’s introduced us to an engaging lead in Kate and I liked the support cast we’d expect to see again – her husband, her work partner, her boss and her father. There’s a bit of backstory and baggage in relation to her father’s past but it doesn’t overwhelm the story unfolding here in any way which also includes a nice balance of the crime/s-at-hand and the usual personal stuff impacting on work lives – particularly that of cops’.

four-stars

Book review: The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

Sunday, April 10, 2022 Permalink

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan is a standalone – a departure from the Irish-born Australia-dwelling’s Cormac Reilly series that I’ve enjoyed over the past four-ish years. I’ve read many good things about [The Murder Rule] over recent months and I can only agree as McTiernan manages to offer readers a likeable (though agenda-laden) lead, intriguing plot and several twists and turns to keep us guessing.

four-stars

Book review: Dream Town by David Baldacci

Monday, April 4, 2022 Permalink

Dream Town by David Baldacci is the third in the Aloysius Archer series featuring former soldier, turned inmate, turned private investigator. A couple of years (in book-land, one year in real life) have passed since we last met Archer in A Gambling Man and he’s obviously been honing his detecting skills under stalwart and old-school PI Willie Dash.

We (along with Archer) are reunited with wannabe starlet Liberty Callahan here – though she’s more of a sounding board (and object of desire) than involved in Archer’s case.

four-stars

Book review: Rising Dust by Fleur McDonald

Thursday, March 31, 2022 Permalink

Western Australian-based author Fleur McDonald includes a note at the start of this novel, commenting on how this series – featuring a young Detective Dave Burrows ultimately connects to her other (contemporary) series – featuring an older Dave. It’s meant all along those who’ve read both series know about the demise of Dave’s first marriage but McDonald expertly eked that storyline out… until now.

The events of the previous book in this series, Something to Hide, were fairly catastrophic and something from which there’s no going back. McDonald’s latest, features Dave in the aftermath of that, grappling with his future and potentially the loss of his family. Amidst some good old outback crime of course.

four-stars

Book review: Daughters of Eve by Nina D Campbell

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 Permalink

Daughters of Eve by Nina D Campbell opens with a bang and continues from there. I actually chuckled at the opening line and was hopeful the novel might continue in that droll cliché-ridden gumshoe style of voice (cos I miss Robert B Parker!).

It doesn’t but Campbell’s written the novel from the point of view of Detective Emilia Hart, who’s an engaging and likeable lead. She’s not perfect but not overly flawed so certainly relatable, and the perfect host for this debut outing.

four-stars

Book review: Reputation by Sarah Vaughan

Monday, March 7, 2022 Permalink

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan is the third book I’ve read by the former English political correspondent. I enjoyed her the popular Anatomy of a Scandal which has been adapted for television and coming to Netflix in April 2022. I wasn’t as enamoured with Little Disasters which had a stronger parenting focus as – regular readers of my reviews will know – my eyes glaze over at the mention of judgmental parents and parenting wars and the like.

She’s returned to what she knows best here however and the focus is very much on the world of politics. (And the private lives of those who run for office and the media reporting on them.)

three-half-stars

Book review: Dead Horse Gap by Lee Christine

Friday, February 4, 2022 Permalink

Dead Horse Gap by Lee Christine is the third book I’ve read by the New South Wales-based author. They’re part of a series but Christine’s able to fairly easily provide context so it’s not problematic if you come in partway through. Reading them as a series though, does allow you to know the characters a little better and gives readers a sense we’ve travelled on that journey (#sorrynotsorry) with them. It’s particularly true in the case of two newer police officers, Mitch and Nerida, who benefit from the guidance and experience of their boss DS Pierce Ryder.

The series is set in and around the Snowy Mountains and as it’s not an environment I’m at all familiar with, I love the ease with which Christine is able to place readers amidst the snow fields, reflecting the crisp clean icy weather and the difficult terrain.

four-stars

Book review: 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

Thursday, January 27, 2022 Permalink

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard is the first book I’ve read to centre around the Coronavirus. I mean, it’s not specifically about the virus but its plot turns upon the arrival of the virus in Ireland in 2020 and its resulting upheaval.

Of course many other novels have started to reference Covid in some way or another. Generally it’s a reflection on recent concerns or extra cautions required, but 56 Days is very much about the early days of the virus and I was surprised at how evocative this was. I quite enjoyed being reminded of our thoughts and feelings back then. When we knew so little.

Having said that this is also a murder mystery so… Covid really only provides the opportunity.

four-stars

Book review: The Girl She Was by Alafair Burke

Wednesday, January 5, 2022 Permalink

Missing memories or amnesiac episodes are always good fodder for crime fiction and thrillers. Particularly when it’s indicated that one of the central characters everyone knows and loves may in fact NOT have always been quite as loveable.

It’s certainly the case in Alafair Burke’s latest book, The Girl She Was. Although it features her popular detective, Ellie Hatcher and references a pivotal point in her life, it’s not actually part of that series; rather it’s a standalone novel so perfect for both fans and newcomers.

four-stars