Book review: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

Friday, June 7, 2024 Permalink

The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley is the third book I’ve read by the British author and I’ve enjoyed them all. She seemingly draws on long-kept secrets and develops intriguing and complex plots around relationships – testing family ties and friendship boundaries. Here the launch of a new luxurious wellness retreat brings together a disparate group of story tellers (in the present) and a diary-writer (in the past), the two converging in fresh tragedy as past secrets are revealed.

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four-stars

ARC review: Running Cold by Susan Walter

Sunday, June 2, 2024 Permalink

In a recent review of one of her older books (Over Her Dead Body) I commented that I follow US author Susan Walter on social media, having loved a book of hers I read in 2023, Lie by the Pool. I noted a week or two ago she mentioned that an October 2024 release was available for early readers on review site, NetGalley, so I jumped on and requested it. At the time I had nothing awaiting my reading attention that’s being published in the next few weeks so started Running Cold on a Friday night after some work travel. And I was again hooked and kept reading until I finished the book.

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four-stars

ARC review: The Lake of Lost Girls by Katherine Greene

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 Permalink

The Lake of Lost Girls by Katherine Greene isn’t out until later this year but I had an early copy and (at the time of reading) nothing else on my Kindle due to be published soon so figured I’d jump in early. And I discovered that Katherine Greene is the pen name of bestselling authors A Meredith Walters and Claire C Riley. And is it just me or is it weird they both have initials in their names? Interestingly they’re both based in the UK but this is set in a small American college town and it’s their second collaboration.

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four-stars

Book review: Last One to Leave & Fool Me Twice by Benjamin Stevenson

Friday, May 24, 2024 Permalink

I was so excited to get this book I even made an Instagram reel. And I hate reels as even the smoothest people often look awkward and or like naff try-hards. 🙄  Anyhoo, these novellas (by the very-talented Benjamin Stevenson) came out as Audible Originals a couple of years ago and have now been paired as a double-header and the quality of both stories is excellent. I can imagine them as episodes of Black Mirror or similar. They’re suspenseful, creepy and very very clever.

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four-stars

Book review: Tell Me What I Am by Una Mannion

Friday, May 17, 2024 Permalink

I actually first read Tell Me What I Am by Una Mannion in 2023. I didn’t review it immediately and recently found the draft I’d written. I recall overthinking it a little, which is something that often prevents me putting fingertips to keyboard. And then too much time had passed. I knew I’d enjoyed it – though ‘enjoy’ seems to be the wrong word to use in a book like this, but it pulled me in and buried me deep. I recently watched The Marsh King’s Daughter (on Prime) based on a book I’d read and was reminded of this… and others similarly themed.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Anna O by Matthew Blake

Sunday, February 4, 2024 Permalink

Anna O by Matthew Blake borrows its title from the pseudonym of a patient who inspired (or at least influenced) Freud’s origins of psychoanalysis. Of course the character in this book is referenced thus as she either has resignation syndrome (a withdrawal from life – which IS a real thing), or is faking it to avoid murder charges. Also… her name is Anna (Ogilvy).

This book has been pretty hyped so my expectations were heightened. I received an early copy while at the Theakston Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate last July. I’d expected big things as a result so held off reading it until just before the Australian publication date in early February 2024. And it has to be said my thoughts on it changed many times over the course of its 440-ish pages.

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four-stars

Book review: The Fury by Alex Michaelides

Sunday, January 21, 2024 Permalink

The Fury by Alex Michaelides reminded me very much of Benjamin Stevenson’s Ernest Cunningham books, particularly Everyone on This Train is a Suspect, as our narrator is one of the main characters in the story… playing quite a central role and speaking to us (as if in second person) in a very conversational way. Although it has to be said that our host here, playwright Elliot, is more arrogant than Stevenson’s novelist Ernest.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Fiction Writer by Jillian Cantor

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 Permalink

I enjoyed The Fiction Writer by Jillian Cantor though the end let it down a little for me. I mean, I liked where it finished… but then Cantor went a bit further, and for me, it was one twist too far. That said, this is an intriguing book – several tales within a tale. Within a tale. Or in some ways… fan fiction run amok!

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three-half-stars

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