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

Book review: Strangers by CL Taylor

Sunday, April 5, 2020 Permalink

I read Cally (CL) Taylor’s Sleep last year and enjoyed the Agatha Christie-esque whodunnit.

In that book Taylor offered us several narrators and she does the same in her newest release, Strangers.

I loved the way Taylor introduces each of the three lead characters as we slowly and steadily build a relationship with each. She offers up a circular plot structure; so we start at (or near) the end before going back in time as the story unfolds from the viewpoints of the three leads in the previous week.

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four-stars

Book review: Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Sunday, March 15, 2020 Permalink

I must say, it was great to read a book featuring a backcover blurb that doesn’t give too much away. I mean, I assumed it kinda did and that the plot itself was going to be straight forward. But it’s not….

In fact at one point I thought I knew what was coming, but I was wr-wr-wrong. And I very much loved that about this book.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

Saturday, March 7, 2020 Permalink

Apparently Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin appeared on several ‘books to look out for in 2020’ type listings prior to its release last month.

I’ve mentioned before I never read other reviews before I’ve written my own and rarely (even after that) check out feedback on Goodreads (or similar).

In this case however—on closing the last page—I did mark it off as ‘read’ on Goodreads and scrolled down to see what others were saying. Because I was, and still am, kinda torn.

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four-stars

Book review: The Second Wife by Rebecca Fleet

Thursday, March 5, 2020 Permalink

This book wasn’t at all what I expected. Given the title I was expecting some first wife vs second wife battle rife with petty jealousy and sneaky sabotage.

Had I been the sort of person to check the backcover blurb before reading I would have had a better idea what was coming, but I tend to dive straight in when I choose my nightly reading fodder, so I was pleasantly surprised (as am a bit over bitchy wives’ tales).

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four-stars