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

Book review: The Whispers by Heidi Perks

Sunday, July 18, 2021 Permalink

The Whispers by Heidi Perks is an intriguing read. It’s one of those books featuring a narrator who may – or may not – be reliable. On one hand they appear entirely normal and only worried about a missing friend, but on the other their behaviour seems excessive. Bordering on obsessive and increasingly worrying.

But then it seems that others are keeping secrets so we’re not entirely sure who to trust.

three-half-stars

Book review: When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

Friday, July 2, 2021 Permalink

One of Michael Robotham’s very popular standalone books The Secrets She Keeps, examines an unlikely friendship between two women. His latest release When You Are Mine is similarly themed, featuring a toxic friendship that shifts into obsession.

It occurs to me some of Robotham’s best work seem to be less about the solving of crimes and more about people; human nature – the best of it and the worst – and it’s this insight into our behaviour, that make his books addictive reads.

five-stars

Book review: Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Sunday, June 27, 2021 Permalink

It’s very weird to read two similar books in close succession. Obviously it’s not the fault of either author, both of whom have invested significant time and energy in their story ideas.

Falling by TJ Newman is an excellent thriller featuring a pilot whose family (back home) is held hostage; the captors threatening to kill them if he doesn’t purposely crash his plane, killing everyone onboard.

Clare Mackintosh’s latest book Hostage is similarly themed, though focussed on a flight attendant whose young daughter is threatened unless she (the mother, not the 5 year old!) takes down the plane.

four-stars

Book review: Dream Girl by Laura Lippman

Friday, June 25, 2021 Permalink

In her latest novel, Dream Girl, Laura Lippman is able to draw on her knowledge and experience of writing and the publishing industry to offer up a fairly blunt insight into the life of an author.

Through her lead character Gerry, she also offers some commentary on ‘cancel culture’. I couldn’t quite decide if she was supportive of society’s current penchant for calling out bad or inappropriate behaviour and prejudices, or slightly cynical about how easily some to use (the notion of) ‘cancel culture’ to dismiss stuff that annoys us or with which we disagree. Either way, Gerry finds himself constantly wondering if he’s able to say something or think something lest he be berated for its inappropriateness. It’s interesting because, as we gain more insight into his character and his background there’s a sense that the ‘he doth protest too much’ thing is actually rather warranted.

three-half-stars