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.

four-half-stars

Book review: Retribution by Sarah Barrie

Sunday, December 4, 2022 Permalink

Retribution by Sarah Barrie is the second in the series featuring (former sex worker and computer hacker) Lexi as well as DI Rachael Langley and her nephew Finn Carson (also a cop), and I for one was excited by their return as I really liked Lexi when she was introduced in Unforgiven.

Here she’s joined the police and when the book opens is on nightshift with a likeable new partner and mentor while secretly continuing to chase after Damon Vaughn, the man who’d tried to kill her when we last met.

four-half-stars

Book review: Headcase by Jack Heath

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 Permalink

Headcase by Jack Heath is the fourth in the series featuring cannibalistic problem solver Timothy Blake. Annoyingly my review of this book’s predecessor, published in 2020, mentions it ending with a bit of a twist. Alas I shared no spoilers and as I was super keen to read this, I was too impatient to go back and skim Hideout to jog my memory.

It didn’t actually matter however. I’m assuming perhaps that the love of Blake’s life, FBI agent Reese Thistle found out about his flesh-eating predilections and the pair broke up, as here he’s pining for her while working with new partner Zara on a covert CIA operation in the US.

four-stars

Book review: In Her Blood by Nikki Crutchley

Saturday, November 26, 2022 Permalink

In Her Blood by Nikki Crutchley introduces two families and a missing girl; stories unfolding decades apart. Both families have been torn apart by tragedy and loss, but they’re not blameless we learn and Crutchley offers some very flawed and unlikeable characters in this dark and twisty read.

three-half-stars

Book review: Desert Star by Michael Connelly

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 Permalink

I’ve enjoyed Michael Connelly’s pairing of stalwart Harry Bosch with Renee Ballard who we first met in The Late Show, a reference to the fact that Ballard worked nights. When this opens Bosch and Ballard haven’t spoken for some time and their relationship’s tense. I was worried I’d missed something and thought their previous outing (The Dark Hours) had ended amicably.

We pick up here a year later however, and quickly learn that plans for the pair to go into business together did not come to fruition and Ballard (instead) returned to the LAPD… leaving Bosch hanging.

four-stars

Book review: Broad River Station by Fleur McDonald

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Permalink

Broad River Station by Fleur McDonald is the latest release in the interrelated series featuring Detective Dave Burrows who heads up Barker Police Station. McDonald tends to keep the focus on outback / farming related crimes and I like that about these books and her young Dave Burrows series.┬áIt very much sets them apart from other outback or rural (Oz) crime fiction. I know nothing about farms or rural life but thanks to her own knowledge and experience, McDonald manages to effortlessly engage readers in the unfolding plot – giving us enough detail that we understand the context (and receive a smidge of education at the same time) – but aren’t overwhelmed with superfluous complex information.

four-stars

Book review: East of Alice by Annie Seaton

Sunday, October 30, 2022 Permalink

East of Alice by Annie Seaton is the first book I’ve read by the Australian author, not realising she wrote thrillers and crime fiction (thinking she wrote rural romance). And I enjoyed this a lot. Particularly the quintessentially Australian setting. Though it’s a long time since I’ve been to Alice Springs, the organisation I work for has an office there and several projects outside of the town and – having been to the West Kimberley in West Australia this year a couple of times – I could imagine some of the landscape Seaton very vividly describes here.

three-half-stars