Book review: The Last Dance by Mark Billingham

Saturday, May 27, 2023 Permalink

I’m a fan of Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne / Nicola Tanner series but also very much enjoyed (perhaps more!) his standalone 2021 release, Rabbit Hole. His latest novel, The Last Dance, kicks off a new series featuring Detective Declan (Dec) Miller… a witty wiseass I can soooo envisage on the big or small screen. Miller’s constant (almost compulsive) commentary is hilarious and it would translate well – if done properly with someone with great (droll) comedic timing.

Continue Reading…

four-half-stars

Book review: Echo Lake by Joan Sauers

Friday, May 19, 2023 Permalink

Echo Lake by Joan Sauers is an atmospheric read, set in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. It’s an area I don’t know at all but Sauers does a great job of placing readers amidst the frost and drizzle, with the setting very much reflective of the book’s tone, rather than overpowering the unfolding narrative.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: The Fall Between by Darcy Tindale

Thursday, May 11, 2023 Permalink

‘On an icy 5-degree September morning in Orange, New South Wales, four people unknowingly set off a chain of events that would lead to three deaths and a major homicide investigation….’ is the alluring opening paragraph of The Fall Between by Darcy Tindale and it sets the tone for this debut crime fiction novel, which will hopefully become the first in a new series. It goes on to reference the domino effect and what comes next is a reminder that life can be treacherous and being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have dire repercussions.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: Into the Night by Fleur McDonald

Thursday, April 6, 2023 Permalink

Into the Night by Fleur McDonald is the latest in the young(er) Dave Burrows series. I’ve explained in the past that McDonald has two series on the go featuring the likeable rural crime squad detective – one early in his career, and one…. well, later.¬† I love both and it’s fascinating to see how much older Dave has been influenced by mentors we meet earlier in his life.

Another thing I always comment on when reading McDonald’s books is how effortlessly she is able to place readers in their rural settings and relay complex details about agriculture, farming and life on the land in a way that is palatable and relatable to a non-lover of rural life (or being outside in general!) like moi.*

Continue Reading…

three-half-stars

Book review: Eleven Liars by Robert Gold

Monday, April 3, 2023 Permalink

Eleven Liars by Robert Gold is the second book in the series featuring journalist Ben Harper, who we met in Twelve Secrets when he was forced to revisit his own tragic past. Here Ben’s still working for his quirky boss finishing up a podcast offering newly-uncovered secrets involving his family when he literally stumbles across a new mystery.

Continue Reading…

three-half-stars

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.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

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.

Continue Reading…

four-half-stars

Book review: In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan

Tuesday, December 27, 2022 Permalink

We’re not yet in 2023 and I already wonder if In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan will be one of my favourite books released in that year. It’s a debut novel that feels as if it’s written by a seasoned author. One who’s confident with their craft and characters they’ve created. In fact, I did check a couple of times to see if our lead, Detective Chief Superintendent Kat Frank had featured in previous outings.

She hasn’t but I loved that Callaghan gives us a senior, experienced and confident protagonist and one who’s a significant way through her career and life. Kat’s likeable but has baggage. She’s talented but also fallible.

Continue Reading…

four-half-stars