Book review: Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins

Thursday, April 7, 2022 Permalink

Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins is the fourth book I’ve read by the English author and she certainly does domestic noir brilliantly. I was fooled here for much of the novel and quite surprised by the direction it takes. I note in my review of When I Was Ten I commented on her adding in a few twists when we assumed we had all of the answers and she does the same thing here. It takes a clever writer to keep secrets from her readers when her narrators are seemingly telling us everything we need to know.

four-stars

Book review: Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Saturday, April 2, 2022 Permalink

In naming his third novel Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone, I think Benjamin Stevenson might have been attempting to rival Adrian McKinty’s Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly. When it comes to book title length I mean!

I’ve very much enjoyed Stevenson’s previous novels, Greenlight and Either Side of Midnight. They both featured a crime documentary-maker and were set in TV land. The lengthily named Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone is a departure, but almost certainly my favourite (of his) to date and I can’t imagine it not being one of my favourite books of the year. And that’s all because of its telling.

four-half-stars

Book review: All She Wants by Kelli Hawkins

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 Permalink

All She Wants by Kelli Hawkins is about a woman who wants a family… a woman who is desperate for a family. I mean ostensibly she wants a baby, but she really wants the whole kit and caboodle. A family. As someone who went through fertility treatment in my early 40s (as a single woman) I could relate to some of Lindsay’s obsessiveness and the daydreams of a long-expected child.

I could similarly relate to how much it smarted to see others with children, taking it for granted and seemingly rubbing it in my face – though of course they weren’t. The pill nonetheless was bitter.

four-stars

Book review: The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Saturday, March 12, 2022 Permalink

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is the fourth book I’ve read by the editor/writer duo and all four books have a place on my bookshelf which is a clear indicator I’ve enjoyed them enough to decide to keep them – which I don’t often do nowadays.

Their latest is another twisty and intriguing tale that I very much enjoyed. It wasn’t quite what I expected which is a good thing. At its centre is a disgraced therapist and I was expecting someone dodgy with nefarious motivations which is not at all the case.

four-stars

Book review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Monday, February 14, 2022 Permalink

Lucy Foley’s 2021 novel The Guest List was popular with readers and critics alike so it bodes well that I actually enjoyed her latest novel The Paris Apartment even more. It’s choc-o-block full of twists and surprises – bumping this up to a rare 4.5 star rating from me.

However… I have to confess the unlikeability of basically ALL of the characters meant I was tempted to be less generous. Though, of course I realise (in some ways) Foley’s issuing a challenge to we readers to dislike yet engage with [our lead protagonist in particular] at the same time.

four-half-stars

Book review: I Shot The Devil by Ruth McIver

Monday, October 4, 2021 Permalink

The manuscript of I Shot The Devil by Ruth McIver won the coveted Richell Prize for Emerging Writers in 2018. It certainly has it all. McIver’s writing is eloquent and stylistic, we’re offered an intriguing plot as well as interesting and complex characters.

I found the pacing a little rushed as we neared the conclusion and was a tad confused about who did what, but that’s probably more about my attention span than anything else.

four-stars

Book review: Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda

Friday, September 17, 2021 Permalink

Such a Quiet Place is the fourth of US author, Megan Miranda’s novels I’ve read. It’s about the aftermath of murder in a (kinda) gated community, setting up an intriguing locked room-type mystery. Almost. To the relief of the locals someone was arrested and convicted of the crime. But there’s now the question of whether they were actually guilty.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding

Tuesday, August 10, 2021 Permalink

It has to be said… ‘Oh my god, how many secrets can one family have?’ Although, having said (exclaimed?) that some of the secrets Adler family members are keeping are blown (by the keeper) way out of proportion. Of course, others are doozies, so….

The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding is centred around a family that seems to be just that. And we’re told parents Thomas and Viv work hard to make it appear so. But cracks are appearing. All at once, and it’s a reminder that – from the outside – you never know what’s happening on the inside.

three-half-stars