Book review: Girl A by Abigail Dean

Friday, January 15, 2021 Permalink

There’s been a bit of buzz around Girl A by Abigail Dean. That can be both a good and bad thing. I read it earlier than planned as I was excited about it, but at the same time I probably had heightened expectations as a result.

For much of this book I wasn’t sure if I was reading about a cult, or about kidnapped children. Dean keeps it pretty vague for a while and readers are on edge, recognising that we don’t have the full story. Waiting for more.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Therapist by BA Paris

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Permalink

The Therapist is the third book I’ve read by BA Paris and both others, Bring Me Back and The Dilemma, were edge-of-your-seat reads.

Our main narrator for The Therapist is Alice who’s recently moved with her partner into a new enclave in London, called The Circle. It sounds a bit Steptoe Wife-like but it isn’t. The couples living there are all quite different albeit slightly insular in the gated community.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 Permalink

I’d completely misunderstood the blurb for The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean. I assumed it to be one of those kidnap victim sagas about someone abducted and held for many years (like Room and many books since). And it kinda is. But’s also about the far weightier and fraught topic of human trafficking, or at least its aftermath and its repercussions.

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four-stars

Book review: My Best Friend’s Murder by Polly Phillips

Sunday, January 3, 2021 Permalink

I was part-way through My Best Friend’s Murder by Polly Phillips when it occurred to me it might be set in Australia. What I very much liked about that thought was not that it might be set in my home country, but rather it translated into any number of locations. An excellent idea for a debut author which would make the book relevant and relatable across a number of english-speaking markets. Of course there might (also) have been references to places or landmarks I missed or didn’t recognise!

And I very much enjoyed this book, reading it in a sitting on Christmas night when I was supposed to be bingeing on a new Netflix release.

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four-stars

Book review: The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

Friday, January 1, 2021 Permalink

I enjoyed The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher more than expected. I think I’d assumed there would be some laborious backstory that resulted in Juno going to live with the Crouch family. That she obsessively idolised them in some single-white-female-stalker way (which she only does a little) or she’s coerced or kidnapped or similar.

But that’s not at all the case. And the circumstances involved are probably one of the best parts of the plot. Certainly NOT expected; something I didn’t see coming.

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four-stars

Book review: Tell Me Lies by JP Pomare

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 Permalink

Tell Me Lies is JP Pomare’s third novel and there’s always a level of uncertainty and suspicion about the unfolding plot. In the first of his books, Call Me Evie, readers were presented with characters offering different perspectives and unsure who to believe and trust. In the second, In The Clearing Pomare does someone quite clever with the timing and here… well, we know someone dies at the hands of someone else but Pomare cleverly includes snippets from media clippings and court testimony that could come from anyone at any time at all.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Kill A Stranger by Simon Kernick

Sunday, December 20, 2020 Permalink

When I read the blurb for Kill A Stranger by Simon Kernick I was slightly worried it would be similar to The Chain by Adrian McKinty, which required a series of people to kidnap a child, so they can get their own child returned – a pay-it-forward concept if you like. However… that wasn’t the case which was a relief.

It reminded me a little of Louise Candlish’s popular The Other Passenger because parts of the novel are told in second person – which we discover – are actually our characters sharing their experiences with the police. So the events of the book are predominantly unfolding via police interviews.

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four-stars

Book review: The Stepdaughter by Debbie Howells

Friday, December 4, 2020 Permalink

The Stepdaughter is the fourth book I’ve read by Debbie Howells and it sat on my iPad for months and months as I’d believed its publication was deferred until next year. (And I only just discovered it wasn’t / isn’t.)

I very much enjoyed Howells’ first psychological thriller, The Bones of You, in particular.

Her latest is another complex story of relationships and of secrets and lies. I should also mention that it features domestic violence and references to child pornography (though no details etc).

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three-half-stars

Book review: Hideout by Jack Heath

Sunday, November 29, 2020 Permalink

I blame our lack of daylight saving but I’ve been waking early which was my excuse for starting Jack Heath’s latest release Hideout at 5am in the bath accompanied by diet coke (my caffeine of choice) and brownies (the… ahem, breakfast of champions).

As is my habit, before starting a new book in a series I re-read my review of its predecessor. And in my review of the second in the Timothy Blake series, Hunter, I commented that we were left with a cliff-hanger. Annoyingly I don’t include spoilers in my posts which meant I had to get out of the bath and get my copy of Hunter off the shelf to re-read the ending. (Surely risking my neck on wet slippery tiles.)

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four-half-stars