Book review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Sunday, September 15, 2019 Permalink

Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood was met with much adoration and acclaim. I still haven’t read it but leapt at the chance to read her second novel, The Woman in Cabin 10, and was – I must admit – a tad disappointed.

The premise of her latest, The Turn of the Key, sounded interesting however, though I was a little worried when there was talk of ghosts and haunted houses as I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre, however this didn’t really go in that direction and was sufficiently gripping that I easily read it in a sitting.

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four-stars

Book review: Snake Island by Ben Hobson

Thursday, August 29, 2019 Permalink

I was on a bit of a reading hiatus when Snake Island by Ben Hobson was published. I wasn’t exactly sure it was the sort of book I’d enjoy… not specifically being crime fiction or a psychological thriller. However, upon reading, it reminded me a bit of Trent Dalton’s excellent Boy Swallows Universe, though traverses less time and the events probably more tragic and futile.

I’ve read a lot of books set in small Australian towns and am very much looking forward to a session I’m attending at BAD Crime Writer’s Festival in Sydney called Country Noir because there’s something about stories set in rural and regional Australia that effortlessly reflect darkness or foreboding (am thinking of Emily O’Grady, Sofie Laguna and Jane Harper, for example). Generally there’s also a sense of community though here readers are left with a sense of some of the characters living in isolation and despair.

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four-stars

Book review: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

Friday, August 16, 2019 Permalink

I’ve actually never played Never Have I Ever, but this book by Joshilyn Jackson leverages off an adult version of the game… unexpectedly played by a group of inebriated women – who (I felt) interestingly see themselves as wives and mothers, rather than independent beings. And yes, that’s a bit judge-y but all definitions of the ‘book club’ early on suggest it’s the club of mothers with young children. There’s a SEPARATE group for the mothers of teens. (Of course that is completely irrelevant, but just kinda weird for this middle-aged singleton.)

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Saturday, August 10, 2019 Permalink

I had planned to only read a little of this book one evening. I should know myself better as it’s rare that I can put a book down once I start, but The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell offered a really strong sense of menace. Or doom. Or maybe just suspense…. so I had to keep reading.

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four-stars

Book review: The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

Thursday, August 8, 2019 Permalink

Anthony Capella, writing as JP Delaney is garnering quite the reputation for offering readers twisty psychological thrillers. The first I read, The Girl Before was incredibly clever (and very popular) and – surprisingly – I enjoyed his second book, Believe Me even more.

Now I’ve read the third, an obvious theme around fantasy, infatuation and perfection is emerging. And again, in The Perfect Wife, he’s creatively pushing boundaries and giving us something quite new.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

Sunday, August 4, 2019 Permalink

I’ve long been a fan of Laura Lippman: her standalone novels as well as her (reporter-turned-PI) Tess Monaghan series.

In my review of Sunburn I note that Lippman is vague about the timing of plot elements so is able to keep we readers guessing. And here, in her latest standalone, she adopts the interesting approach of introducing a lot – like lots and lots – of narrators…. some of whom we meet but briefly. It could be confusing, but it actually works well. And is kinda clever.

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four-stars

Book review: The Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Monday, July 29, 2019 Permalink

The blurb for this bills it as a ‘standalone’ novel. However… I’d be surprised if this doesn’t become a series – assuming it’s well-received that is.

Patterson and Fox establish an excellent cast of characters (though they also kill off a few!!!) – and it feels like we’re on the precipice of getting to know some of the mysterious guests of the inn more. And I’d certainly like to do so.

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four-stars

Book review: Good Girl Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

Monday, July 22, 2019 Permalink

Michael Robotham is one of my favourite Aussie authors. I really enjoy his writing, his story-telling and the characters he offers. He wrapped up a nine-book series featuring clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin  via The Other Wife last year.

And here Robotham introduces a forensic psychologist who apparently briefly popped up in The Secrets She Keeps and it’s a wonderful start to (what I assume to be) a new series.

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four-half-stars