Book review: The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Permalink

The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox is a sequel to the 2019 collaboration, The Inn. I really enjoyed that book and loved the characters in particular. It was slated as a standalone but I said I hoped there were more and…. ask and you shall receive. Though not always obvs.

And I loved this sequel just as much. I literally lapped it up, having returned home from a several-day work trip, I ran a bath and dove right in. To the book, not the bath (into which I stepped carefully).

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four-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 (ARC) review: The Silence in her Eyes by Armando Lucas Correa

Wednesday, January 17, 2024 Permalink

I bookmarked the opening sentences of The Silence in her Eyes by Armando Lucas Correa.

On my eight birthday, the world came to a standstill. My mother’s face became a portrait of pain. My father’s face vanished forever.

The story is narrated by Leah, a woman with akinetopsia – or motion blindness. She explains that images stay with her, like photographs. Then she blinks and there’s a new image. It impacts on the way her story unfolds, the way Correa describes her world, what she sees and what she perceives.

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four-stars

Book review: The Professor by Lauren Nossett

Thursday, January 4, 2024 Permalink

The Professor by Lauren Nossett is the second book I’ve read by the former professor. In my review of The Resemblance I talked about it being obvious that she was ‘writing what she knew’ which is an old adage for authors. It too was set at a university and meant that readers were privy to the innermost workings of life-on-campus (and behind closed professorial doors).

This started a little slowly for me. Dragging to the point I was tempted to put it down just after starting, which would draw its reading out and I’d feel less inclined to get back to it, ultimately resulting in a reading slump. However… the action picks up significantly about two-thirds of the way through and Nossett throws in some twists so the novel finishes on a high.

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four-stars

Book review: The Search Party by Hannah Richell

Friday, December 22, 2023 Permalink

The Search Party is the first book I’ve read by Hannah Richell and I enjoyed it though was slightly worried to see a list of characters’ names before the intro. I often struggle if I have to keep flicking back to remind myself who’s who. Though here we’re predominantly in the heads of four couples so don’t have to worry quite as much about the eight children.

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four-stars

Book review: The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 Permalink

The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson is a cleverly delivered story of events taking place 30 years ‘earlier’ and their repercussions. It opens in the present with a woman – alone on Christmas day – pottering around her house going through old boxes, when she comes across an old diary. She flicks through to a section she knows well wondering (though) if she’s prepared to go back and revisit that ‘murderous year’.

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four-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: Kill Your Husbands by Jack Heath

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 Permalink

Kill Your Husbands by Jack Heath is very cleverly written because in the present the police are interviewing the survivors politely, using their title and surname, but in the past (well, very recent past… last weekend) they all use first names. So for a long time we don’t know who’s dead and who’s not.

Weirdly it didn’t occur to me until I started the book that it was a follow-up to Kill Your Brother, which I enjoyed when it was released in 2021. It’s not exactly a sequel as such, rather it features two of the same characters, cop (here recently promoted to detective) Kiara Lui and her girlfriend Elise (held capture in the first book). Their relationship is on rocky ground here, well so thinks Kiara as Elise is acting strangely and keeping secrets from her.

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four-half-stars