Book review: Anatomy of a Killer by Romy Hausmann

Sunday, August 27, 2023 Permalink

This is the second book I’ve read by Romy Hausmann (her first Dear Child, was also translated by Jamie Bulloch) and I’ve enjoyed both. I’m conscious though, some might grapple with the subject matter Hausmann tends to tackle – involving complex family relationships with child-centric themes.

Here we meet 24yr old Ann, home one night for dinner with her father when the police come knocking to accuse him of being a serial child murderer – responsible for nine deaths over a spate of a dozen years.

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four-stars

Book review: Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead by Jenny Hollander

Tuesday, August 8, 2023 Permalink

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead by Jenny Hollander was another freebie in my goody bag at Harrogate’s Theakston Crime Writing Festival in July. Given the state (ie. heaviness) of my luggage, I made a concerted effort to read some of the ARCs while overseas and leave them behind for others to find and enjoy.

Weirdly I’d just read another book about a ‘survivor’ and their guilt (or lies) so this book seemed most apt… although it’s actually quite different and is less about someone lying than about a survivor who’s pushed away memories of a tragic event from a decade earlier.

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three-half-stars

Book review: None of This is True by Lisa Jewell

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 Permalink

The title of Lisa Jewell’s latest book, None of This is True could be seen as offering readers a huge spoiler. And it does and it doesn’t. It – along with the blurb however – warns us that trusting Josie Fair comes with some risks. But Jewell manages to unravel Josie’s story in a way that keeps readers guessing. The book itself unfolds in the present (at the time of [ahem] certain events), and later… when all of the stories have been told and secrets apparently revealed.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Quiet Tenant by Clemence Michallon

Friday, June 23, 2023 Permalink

The Quiet Tenant by Clemence Michallon was a proverbial sleeper for me. Not because I thought it wasn’t paced well. I noticed other bloggers, bookstagrammers and reviewers commenting on it being slow out of the gate, some saying they ended up putting it aside. I confess I had ignored it for some time, the blurb making it sound a tad predictable. Hence my surprise when I was intrigued from its opening, with Michallon able to offer multiple voices and give readers insight into the complexities of human nature as we look upon a serial killer who’s also a helpful and thoughtful member of his community, and devoted father.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding

Sunday, June 4, 2023 Permalink

The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding took me by surprise. I read the blurb and made some assumptions. As I started reading and met Lee and Hazel I pictured it… the way it was going to play out. I could see it clearly and felt disappointed. Knowing that what was to come was going to be an anticlimax. Predictable. I’d read many versions of this book before.

So… you can imagine my surprise when the first major twist comes and the book goes in a completely different direction. And it happens not once, not even twice, but three times. Or maybe it was more. I lost count.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Half Brother by Christine Keighery

Friday, April 21, 2023 Permalink

The Half Brother by Christine Keighery is a bit like a car crash. Not in the sense it’s bad. More in the sense that you can see what’s coming but are powerless to stop it. Keighery puts us in the heads of sisters Hannah and Stef – dissimilar but close when we first meet them – and their half-brother Alex… who we learn from the outset has quite a dastardly agenda which means Keighery is able to create a sense of menace that oscillates throughout the novel.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Dark Mode by Ashley Kalagian Blunt

Saturday, March 4, 2023 Permalink

For reasons unknown I initially thought Dark Mode by Ashley Kalagian Blunt fell into the ‘horror’ genre but then I read the publicity blurb and realised it was right down (or do I mean up?) my reading alley…. a thriller featuring a series of murders, inspired by a real-life serial killer! I must admit Ultimo Press has really hit the ground running. Though just over two years old TWO of my favourite three books last were published by the newish kid on the block, and this book by Kalagian Blunt is another stellar offering.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath

Monday, January 2, 2023 Permalink

Fun fact: I’m rethinking the way I review books and decided I’d switch to instagram predominantly. The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath was to be my first attempt. So I jotted down some thoughts. I did pretty well initially with this…

Quick take: fascinating characters Рsome more twisted than others, long-kept secrets, dual timelines that intersect perfectly, well-paced with a series of twists that would not make Ben Shapiro* happy because author Rebecca Heath has kept secrets from us! Egad!

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four-stars

Book review: The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle

Saturday, December 10, 2022 Permalink

The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle crosses the new wave of ‘influencers’ with the not-so-new world of mommy bloggers with a blast from the past… the Single White Female-trope.

I was a smidge worried when we opened with the mummy blogger theme, thinking we’d been there and done that over a decade ago. What else was there to say? But Belle manages to blend that world with today’s influencers (albeit via Instagram rather than TikTok) and this decades toxic propensity for doxxing, serious trolling and bullying and and the dreaded curse of being cancelled. I mean… I was blogging over a decade ago when the mummy/parenting bloggers were a big thing and the side-chat was snide and bitchy but rarely encouraged violence or involved threats.

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three-half-stars