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

Book review: The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle

Sunday, August 16, 2020 Permalink

I didn’t get The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle for review but was hearing a lot about it so borrowed it from a friend. Everyone seemed to find it twisty and had a desire to talk about it after they finished. That’s usually a good sign as it might mean you think you know how it ended but are not quite sure. Of course it’s hard for authors to achieve that balance between…. “WTF just happened?” leaving readers confused with too many unanswered questions; and tying everything up neatly with a bow.

This debut novel by New Zealand author Carlyle was probably a tad more predictable than I had anticipated (given the hype). You know what’s ultimately coming but not how, but it’s certainly enjoyable nonetheless.

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four-stars

Book review: A Knock at the Door by TW Ellis

Friday, July 24, 2020 Permalink

I had to re-read the last third of A Knock at the Door by TW Ellis before writing this review. Ellis (aka author Tom Wood writing his first psychological thriller) throws in a twist at the end that is fabulous and exceedingly clever, but made me question a lot that came before. So… I figured I must have missed something.

I can’t say too much about the twist and its impact on everything of course, but I’m not sure Ellis has shaped the narrative sufficiently (a la Louise Candlish’s The Other Passenger, written in an interview style) to pull it off.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

Friday, July 3, 2020 Permalink

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton, released in 2018, came as a bit of surprise and I enjoyed it far more than I expected. I comment in that review that it offered something a bit new. Something fresh.

Hamilton’s new novel, The Last Wife is similarly twisty. Again she gives us an unreliable narrator (who we grow to like, or at least understand), a support cast who have their own secrets and adds in a few twists when we think we’re on the home stretch.

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four-stars

Book review: Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay

Friday, April 24, 2020 Permalink

Debut author Elizabeth Kay works in the publishing industry so knows what works and what doesn’t.

It’s obvious our host Jane is one of the increasingly popular ‘unreliable’ narrators. She tells us that herself at the beginning. About the lies she’s told and what happens as a result. My own thoughts on Jane changed and morphed however… there’s a reluctance initially, to engage. But then we get to know her. We learn her story and it’s hard not to warm to her and like her. But then… well, then things change again. And if you’re like me you can kinda sympathise yet grimace at the same time!

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four-stars

Book review: Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

Friday, April 10, 2020 Permalink

Peter Swanson’s latest release Rules for Perfect Murders (also released elsewhere as Eight Perfect Murders) is a very clever novel. I notice Anthony Horowitz has offered up a recommendation quote for the cover, which makes sense as it’s reminiscent of his (more traditional crime fiction) work as well.

I guess, by its nature the book is (in fact) a homage to crime fiction – particularly that by some of the greats. It’s twisty and very intelligently written. Indeed it’s very different. It could have been amazing but (though still a good read) I felt it fell slightly short of its potential.

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three-half-stars