Book review: The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

Sunday, July 3, 2022 Permalink

I hadn’t realised new release The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell was a sequel to the popular The Family Upstairs, published in 2019.

I’ve not read all of Jewell’s books but had read that one and one of our narrators was offering a bit of a recap and I thought, “That sounds familiar…” before going onto Goodreads to discover this was – in fact – a follow-up. I think – in all honesty – it works better having read the original. I didn’t remember the details but (reading my old review and some others on Goodreads) helped remind me of the backstory.

three-half-stars

Book review: One Last Secret by Adele Parks

Sunday, June 26, 2022 Permalink

Most of One Last Secret by Adele Parks unfolds in second person… our narrator Dora talking to us. The readers. Occasionally Parks slips out of the ‘explanatory’ style of prose she kicks off with, into more first person musings, but as a fan of second person narration I liked the intimacy it offers. It’s particularly important here as Dora is an escort and conscious ‘we’ may judge her for that. She doesn’t apologise or even explain her choice of career, rather asks that we accept that without judgement or pity. And it’s easy to do as Dora is likeable and goes about her business as just that… her business. Her job.

three-half-stars

Book review – White Noise by Mercedes Mercier

Monday, June 13, 2022 Permalink

A publishing friend of mine (who knows of my penchant for crime fiction) suggested I’d like debut novel, White Noise by Mercedes Mercier. And they certainly weren’t wrong. I had the opportunity to read an early copy back in February, but decided to wait for the final before posting my review. Of course an unexpected trip away meant I wasn’t here when the final copy arrived, but now I’m back home I’ve been able to re-read Mercier’s debut novel and again very much enjoyed meeting prison psychologist Lauren.

four-stars

Book review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

Sunday, May 22, 2022 Permalink

I’ve not read Sulari Gentill’s popular Rowland Sinclair series given I tend to stay away from historical fiction but I absolutely adored the Ned Kelly award-winning After She Wrote Him, which I read in 2020, also known as Crossing the Lines.

It was a complete mindf*ck in many ways, but rather than find it frustrating I thought it incredibly clever and kinda jealous that I’d never be able to think of anything quite so complex and twisted.

Thankfully Gentill does it again in her latest release, The Woman in the Library. Again it’s about a writer. Or rather two writers and one – or maybe both – are using the other’s life as inspiration. And just to make things twistier, one of the writers is actually writing about a writer and events taking place in her life and those she meets.

four-half-stars

Book review: The Island by Adrian McKinty

Saturday, May 21, 2022 Permalink

The Island by Adrian McKinty has been getting a lot of attention from well-respected authors and publishing industry types, and it’s very much deserved. His last standalone, The Chain, was equally well-received, winning Ned Kelly and Barry Awards on its release.

The Island has probably given me a better understanding of the type of writer he is. It’s certainly action-packed. It’s exciting. It’s fast paced. There’s some depth to the characters, though more to our protagonists than our antagonists. It reminded me very much of action-packed reads by Gregg Hurwitz and the recent borderline horror reads by Gabriel Bergmoser.

four-stars

Book review: The Curfew by TM Logan

Thursday, May 19, 2022 Permalink

As a non-parent I got tired of books about parenting – warring parents and those judging others so have been trying to steer clear of them. The Curfew by TM Logan includes an element of that… relationships between parents and their kids and with other parents, but it’s more about parents trying to get to the bottom of a mystery involving their son… and forced to ponder the extent of that involvement.

So this appealed to mystery-loving me. Someone goes missing. It’s not who we initially think. Or even who we next think. And even then there’s a weird silence around the missing person. Teenaged friends with them at the time are strangely silent when it’s obvious they should be doing everything they can to help them be found. Unless of course they have some other ulterior motive. But how on earth do you get a group of teenagers to keep a secret without one of them caving…. ?

four-stars

Book review: Verity by Colleen Hoover

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 Permalink

I’ve only read one book by Colleen Hoover – It Ends With Us – and I very much enjoyed it. Hoover has had a bit of a cult-following for years but seemingly found a new audience thanks to TikTok (BookTok) over the past year or so. Her 2018 novel Verity is a departure from her usual work but very much in my suspense and thriller-loving wheelhouse.

I’d heard good things about this book since its re-release earlier this year but hadn’t been able to find my copy until this past weekend when I finally removed an array of debris from the back seat of my car!

So I finally dove in. I would have easily read this in a sitting as it’s not long but I’d embarked on something new in the slow cooker, so put it aside at about 3/4 of the way through, though it had gotten very exciting….

four-stars

Book review: When We Fall by Aoife Clifford

Monday, April 18, 2022 Permalink

I loved Aoife Clifford’s first two books, All These Perfect Strangers and Second Sight so am not entirely sure why it took me so long to get to her latest release, When We Fall. I didn’t receive it for review but reading her books are no-brainers for me so I finally dragged myself to the store to get a copy… and I wasn’t disappointed.

Like Second Sight, it’s an atmospheric read and Clifford captures small seaside living well. And… the book opens with a bang, grabbing our attention with a macabre discovery. If I knew more about fishing I’d make some clever analogy about hooking we readers and reeling us in, given the fishing-village-like setting, but sadly I got nuthin…

four-stars