Book review: Shock Waves by Fleur McDonald

Thursday, April 4, 2024 Permalink

Shock Waves by Fleur McDonald is the latest book in the ‘young’ Detective Dave Burrows series. He also features as a second character in a present day series and I suspect this one must be getting close to catching up to that as I note he first appeared in 2009.

Here his mentor and boss Bob has been undergoing cancer treatment and is off work. Despite that (and because Bob is bored) Dave involves him on a work trip checking stock but enroute they get waylaid after hearing about an explosion at council offices.

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three-half-stars

Book review: A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci

Sunday, March 24, 2024 Permalink

It’s a terrible thing to admit but I’ve little interest in history (or real life in general – hence my hatred of non-fiction), so avoid books set… anytime before the 1960s basically. A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci is however set in the late 1960s. Around the time I was born in fact. Thankfully I enjoyed the ‘mystery’ on offer (not to mention the unfolding plot) because as a non-American I know very little of the time and events referenced here. It didn’t impinge of my enjoyment of the book, but I’m fairly sure I skimmed bits about politics and legislation that would be known by, or of interest to, Americans.*

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four-stars

Book review: A Stranger in the Family by Jane Casey

Thursday, March 14, 2024 Permalink

A Stranger in the Family (by Jane Casey) is the eleventh book in the Maeve Kerrigan / Josh Derwent series. I requested it as there’s not been much about lately and am extremely relieved I did as I loved it. It was a huge surprise. According to Goodreads I’ve read the first four books in the series and missed out on reading any since.

Kerrigan and Derwent have come a long way since then and I was surprised to see there’d been a flirtation and perhaps some feelings on one or both sides. And though the will they / won’t they was part of the novel and an element I certainly enjoyed, it doesn’t overshadow the investigation at hand.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Body of Lies by Sarah Bailey

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 Permalink

Just when we thought Gemma Woodstock’s story was over, she’s back in Body of Lies. Well that’s to say Sarah Bailey gave Gemma a well-earned rest while she wrote The Housemate, which was published in 2021. But she’s back. In Smithson with Mac her babydaddy, her new baby Scarlett and son Ben. She’s on maternity leave though and grappling with a decision about when and whether to return to her job – in Smithson or elsewhere. She knows she’s uprooted Mac and feels guilty about that. And now he’s distracted and Gemma fears the worst.

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four-stars

Book review: Glenrock by Lee Christine

Friday, February 2, 2024 Permalink

I was initially disappointed that Glenrock by Lee Christine wasn’t going to feature some of the characters from her earlier work but very much enjoyed those she introduced here and now hope to see / meet them again. She introduces a few plot linesĀ  – something that sometimes frustrates me if they ultimately connect in a very nebulous way, but that’s not the case here. She offers two or three distinct storylines that are all connected and merge in a way that isn’t contrived or coincidental. Rather there’s an obvious causal relationship that effortlessly (and tragically) plays out.

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four-stars

Book review: Tipping Point by Dinuka McKenzie

Thursday, February 1, 2024 Permalink

Detective Kate Miles is back in Tipping Point by Dinuka McKenzie, the third book in the series featuring the likeable detective balancing her job and life with her husband, two kids and various relatives who seem to come to the attention of police far more than she’d like.

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four-stars

Book review: Foul Play by Fiona McIntosh

Sunday, January 14, 2024 Permalink

It has to be said that soccer (aka football) fans are gonna love Foul Play by Fiona McIntosh. I’m very much enjoying this series headed up by the charismatic Jack Hawksworth, appreciating that, even though it’s set in England, McIntosh imbues Aussie flavour into each book in the series. Here via an Aussie-raised soccer player doing great things in his fictional UK club, supported by the club’s Australian (mining magnate) owner.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Glasgow Smile by Chris Stuart

Saturday, December 9, 2023 Permalink

The Glasgow Smile by Chris Stuart is the second in the series featuring Detective Roberta (Robbie) Gray. Chris gave me a copy of this when I met her at the Theakston Crime Writing Festival in July and when I opened it to start a few months ago I discovered it had an older sibling so I read that first and very much enjoyed For Reasons of Their Own which introduced Robbie, along with her boss and team, as well as newcomer ‘Mac’.

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four-stars

Book review: The Wiregrass by Adrian Hyland

Sunday, December 3, 2023 Permalink

The Wiregrass by Adrian Hyland is an atmospheric read as he’s able to imbue a real sense of its moody, storm-drenched setting. I don’t know Victoria (or the area) at all but – even though I’m not particularly visual – I could imagine its damp bleakness.

Of course, I hadn’t realised when I requested this that it’s the second in a series. It didn’t really matter however, and I enjoyed it so will now need to go and read the first to learn more about somewhat-maverick cop, Jesse Redpath.

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four-stars