Book review: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Friday, January 15, 2021 Permalink

There’s been a bit of buzz around Girl A by Abigail Dean. That can be both a good and bad thing. I read it earlier than planned as I was excited about it, but at the same time I probably had heightened expectations as a result.

For much of this book I wasn’t sure if I was reading about a cult, or about kidnapped children. Dean keeps it pretty vague for a while and readers are on edge, recognising that we don’t have the full story. Waiting for more.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Therapist by BA Paris

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Permalink

The Therapist is the third book I’ve read by BA Paris and both others, Bring Me Back and The Dilemma, were edge-of-your-seat reads.

Our main narrator for The Therapist is Alice who’s recently moved with her partner into a new enclave in London, called The Circle. It sounds a bit Steptoe Wife-like but it isn’t. The couples living there are all quite different albeit slightly insular in the gated community.

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three-half-stars

Book review: My Best Friend’s Murder by Polly Phillips

Sunday, January 3, 2021 Permalink

I was part-way through My Best Friend’s Murder by Polly Phillips when it occurred to me it might be set in Australia. What I very much liked about that thought was not that it might be set in my home country, but rather it translated into any number of locations. An excellent idea for a debut author which would make the book relevant and relatable across a number of english-speaking markets. Of course there might (also) have been references to places or landmarks I missed or didn’t recognise!

And I very much enjoyed this book, reading it in a sitting on Christmas night when I was supposed to be bingeing on a new Netflix release.

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four-stars

Book review: The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

Friday, January 1, 2021 Permalink

I enjoyed The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher more than expected. I think I’d assumed there would be some laborious backstory that resulted in Juno going to live with the Crouch family. That she obsessively idolised them in some single-white-female-stalker way (which she only does a little) or she’s coerced or kidnapped or similar.

But that’s not at all the case. And the circumstances involved are probably one of the best parts of the plot. Certainly NOT expected; something I didn’t see coming.

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four-stars

Book review: Tell Me Lies by JP Pomare

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 Permalink

Tell Me Lies is JP Pomare’s third novel and there’s always a level of uncertainty and suspicion about the unfolding plot. In the first of his books, Call Me Evie, readers were presented with characters offering different perspectives and unsure who to believe and trust. In the second, In The Clearing Pomare does someone quite clever with the timing and here… well, we know someone dies at the hands of someone else but Pomare cleverly includes snippets from media clippings and court testimony that could come from anyone at any time at all.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Stepdaughter by Debbie Howells

Friday, December 4, 2020 Permalink

The Stepdaughter is the fourth book I’ve read by Debbie Howells and it sat on my iPad for months and months as I’d believed its publication was deferred until next year. (And I only just discovered it wasn’t / isn’t.)

I very much enjoyed Howells’ first psychological thriller, The Bones of You, in particular.

Her latest is another complex story of relationships and of secrets and lies. I should also mention that it features domestic violence and references to child pornography (though no details etc).

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three-half-stars

Book review: Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 Permalink

I read Kimberly Belle’s Dear Wife just months ago. When I read the blurb for her new release Stranger in the Lake it made me worry a little about her take on marriage as both featured missing, murdered and fearful wives.

Interestingly I was a little torn as I read this. Though I enjoyed the book overall, the things I liked about the book and our characters in the beginning ended up being the things that ultimately frustrated me.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Sunday, August 30, 2020 Permalink

The Girl from Widow Hills is the third book I’ve read by Megan Miranda and each has been very different though all nice and twisty.

In some ways it’s a familiar premise… a young woman running from her past gets caught up in a murder that means her secrets are uncovered. I fully expected it to be slightly cliched with our lead Olivia, becoming the police’s key suspect. Interestingly however, it’s really only Olivia who second-guesses herself.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Hermit by SR White

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 Permalink

Hermit by SR White is not at all what I expected. Someone else told me the same thing and I didn’t understand what they meant. Weirdly I was intrigued rather than particularly engaged for much of the book. But then things are revealed towards the end that are shocking. Like… beyond-imaginable shocking.

Some of the revelations come from left field and ultimately help us understand the quiet hermit-like man accused of the crime central to this book. There is, however, also a sense of frustration and injustice that the ending brings. And that’s complicated a little by the fact that White ultimately whets our appetite and leaves us wanting more.

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four-stars