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

Book review: Clear My Name by Paula Daly

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 Permalink

I’ve read a few of Paula Daly’s books now (four according to Goodreads, including last year’s Open Your Eyes) so received emails from her UK and US publishers about her latest release, Clear My Name.

I really liked the lead character in this book and would ‘love’ for Tess to feature in a series. In some ways she’s kind-of an unlikely narrator… in her 40s and someone who didn’t quite achieve all they wanted. And though she’s settled into a job she enjoys, there’s a sense she’s biding time. (And worryingly I could kinda relate!)

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four-stars

Book review: Where The Dead Go by Sarah Bailey

Monday, August 5, 2019 Permalink

I’ve really been enjoying Sarah Bailey’s crime fiction series featuring Gemma Woodstock. The first novel, The Dark Lake was set in Gemma’s rural hometown of Smithson. The second (which I enjoyed more), Into The Night leapt forward a few years and was set in Melbourne.

And in this latest novel Gemma is on leave when she takes a case in Fairhaven, near Byron Bay. It’s another small Australian town but one characterised by beaches, tourists and caravan parks – offering up a quintessential Aussie coastal town, that’s a little different.

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four-stars

Book review: The Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Monday, July 29, 2019 Permalink

The blurb for this bills it as a ‘standalone’ novel. However… I’d be surprised if this doesn’t become a series – assuming it’s well-received that is.

Patterson and Fox establish an excellent cast of characters (though they also kill off a few!!!) – and it feels like we’re on the precipice of getting to know some of the mysterious guests of the inn more. And I’d certainly like to do so.

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four-stars

Book review: Good Girl Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

Monday, July 22, 2019 Permalink

Michael Robotham is one of my favourite Aussie authors. I really enjoy his writing, his story-telling and the characters he offers. He wrapped up a nine-book series featuring clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin¬† via The Other Wife last year.

And here Robotham introduces a forensic psychologist who apparently briefly popped up in The Secrets She Keeps and it’s a wonderful start to (what I assume to be) a new series.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Better Sister by Alafair Burke

Friday, May 24, 2019 Permalink

Every time I read one of her books I confess my love for Alafair Burke. I’m not as wedded to her series with Mary Higgins Clark as I am to her solo books, but she has offered up consistently good legal thrillers for years. Plus I like the way she interacts on social media. #seriously

I also like that her books often offer a taste of contemporary culture and politics – here through the #MeToo and #ThemToo movement as well as light (and deft) reference to the current US political and legislative environment.

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four-stars

Book review: Hush Hush by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Monday, May 6, 2019 Permalink

I missed the first book in this series (Never Never) but have adored both Fifty Fifty (2017) and Liar Liar (2018). In those reviews I comment on what I think is Candice Fox’s influence or role in the creation of the lead character as I really (really) like Harriet Blue, our enigmatic but troubled lead.

Fox excels in creating amazingly complex (not to mention annoying but likeable) characters and has done the same in her Crimson Lake  and Eden Archer series. Of course the short chapters and pace of the novel reflect the style for which James Patterson is known.

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four-stars