Thrillers or psychological suspense novels featuring missing kids aren’t a rarity. I went to a session at Bad Sydney Crime Writers Festival about ‘missing children’ in books and they touched on a something I – as a non-parent – found interesting.
I’ve not read any of Mandy Magro’s books before though heard of the Far North Queensland-dwelling author who has over a dozen novels to her name.
This appealed as it sounded as if it included some suspense and though I don’t read ‘romance’ I don’t mind romantic suspense. (Or apparently books featuring ‘romantic elements’ which I hadn’t realised was a sub-genre of some sort!)
Christian’s White’s The Nowhere Child was extremely well received when released in 2018. I didn’t read it at the time and heard White speak about it at the BAD Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival in early September. I liked the premise so decided I’d buy a copy there.
Then however White commented on the fact he’d set it in a certain place in America as it was the only place they still trained snake charmers (or something). I asked someone if snakes really did feature in the novel. They laughed when I said I was phobic, but it seriously turned me off reading it. Though I’m sure I would have enjoyed it.
His second novel, The Wife and the Widow offers no snakes. It’s extremely twisty though and has a mid-way surprise to rival that of Clare Mackintosh’s fabulous I Let You Go.
It’s hard not to use the word atmospheric when writing about this book. It’s certainly that and continues the fine tradition I’ve experienced recently with Tasmanian crime fiction and small-town noir.
Set in Tasmania’s winter this – I assume to be the first in a new series – offers readers a sense of bleak and dismal foreboding – in a good way – well-suited to the book’s dark storyline and some long-hidden sinister secrets.
For some reason I don’t see new release listings for some publishers. Text Publishing is one, though one of my favourite books in the last few years was one of theirs – Toni Jordan’s The Fragments.
I’ve engaged with debut author Sarah Thornton on Twitter and hadn’t seen the first in this series featuring former corporate lawyer, Clementine Jones when it came out a couple of months ago. I’m glad to have caught up however. It takes us a while to learn why Clementine has left her previous life in Sydney (and I suspect Thornton will eke that out slowly) but when we meet her here she’s had an unlikely career change.
When ticking the ‘genre’ of this book for this post I added romantic suspense because – though not generally a fan of ‘romance’ as such – I was completely taken with the burgeoning romance that underpinned much of this novel.
The book opens as our two leads, Alice and Noah meet, and I adored their relationship and the way it grew. It felt… well, um romantic. Of course it’s hampered by a backstory of long-kept secrets, guilt and death, so it’s not all rainbows and kittens.
The book ended up delving a little into conspiracies and spies and the like, so my excitement waned a little (as it’s not a topic of interest to me) but I really liked Pine and the support cast offered in the first of that series. There were a few changes to some of the key players in the new release, A Minute to Midnight, which I enjoyed more than its predecessor. I still loved Pine… and found the plot itself more engaging.
Lisa Unger’s been one of my go-to authors for more than a decade or so. I think I only discovered her work when she attended the Brisbane Writers’ Festival in 2009, but I’ve read everything she’s written since.
I’m fairly sure I should be ashamed of the fact that I only heard of Bruny Island recently so had some vague idea where it was. I’d been contemplating attending a writing festival in Tasmania in Huon Valley and discovered that (nearby) Bruny Island is a popular tourist destination.
So… I’d thankfully I had some idea of the context of the setting of this excellent new novel by Australian author Heather Rose which takes place in the not-too-distant future.