Book review: The Chamber by Will Dean

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 Permalink

Holy schmoly! What a ride this book was. I’m not usually a fan of ‘action’ oriented novels and tend to skim over fight scenes and the like, even when the author obviously knows their stuff. Having said that, in the last couple of years I’ve enjoyed TJ Newman’s heart-in-mouth novels involving plane-based drama. I know one or both are being translated onto the big or small screen and I can see why. The Chamber by Will Dean blew me away for similar reasons. It’s a literal pressure cooker of a novel – centred around a saturation diving crew – in a sardine can 100m below the ocean’s surface. Their work is dangerous enough but throw in some suspicious deaths and you’ve got an extraordinary locked-room mystery.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

Friday, June 7, 2024 Permalink

The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley is the third book I’ve read by the British author and I’ve enjoyed them all. She seemingly draws on long-kept secrets and develops intriguing and complex plots around relationships – testing family ties and friendship boundaries. Here the launch of a new luxurious wellness retreat brings together a disparate group of story tellers (in the present) and a diary-writer (in the past), the two converging in fresh tragedy as past secrets are revealed.

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four-stars

ARC review: Running Cold by Susan Walter

Sunday, June 2, 2024 Permalink

In a recent review of one of her older books (Over Her Dead Body) I commented that I follow US author Susan Walter on social media, having loved a book of hers I read in 2023, Lie by the Pool. I noted a week or two ago she mentioned that an October 2024 release was available for early readers on review site, NetGalley, so I jumped on and requested it. At the time I had nothing awaiting my reading attention that’s being published in the next few weeks so started Running Cold on a Friday night after some work travel. And I was again hooked and kept reading until I finished the book.

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four-stars

ARC review: The Lake of Lost Girls by Katherine Greene

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 Permalink

The Lake of Lost Girls by Katherine Greene isn’t out until later this year but I had an early copy and (at the time of reading) nothing else on my Kindle due to be published soon so figured I’d jump in early. And I discovered that Katherine Greene is the pen name of bestselling authors A Meredith Walters and Claire C Riley. And is it just me or is it weird they both have initials in their names? Interestingly they’re both based in the UK but this is set in a small American college town and it’s their second collaboration.

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four-stars

Book review: Last One to Leave & Fool Me Twice by Benjamin Stevenson

Friday, May 24, 2024 Permalink

I was so excited to get this book I even made an Instagram reel. And I hate reels as even the smoothest people often look awkward and or like naff try-hards. 🙄  Anyhoo, these novellas (by the very-talented Benjamin Stevenson) came out as Audible Originals a couple of years ago and have now been paired as a double-header and the quality of both stories is excellent. I can imagine them as episodes of Black Mirror or similar. They’re suspenseful, creepy and very very clever.

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four-stars

Book review: Tell Me What I Am by Una Mannion

Friday, May 17, 2024 Permalink

I actually first read Tell Me What I Am by Una Mannion in 2023. I didn’t review it immediately and recently found the draft I’d written. I recall overthinking it a little, which is something that often prevents me putting fingertips to keyboard. And then too much time had passed. I knew I’d enjoyed it – though ‘enjoy’ seems to be the wrong word to use in a book like this, but it pulled me in and buried me deep. I recently watched The Marsh King’s Daughter (on Prime) based on a book I’d read and was reminded of this… and others similarly themed.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Over Her Dead Body by Susan Walter

Sunday, May 5, 2024 Permalink

Over Her Dead Body by Susan Walter was an impulse purchase. I’ve not been getting many print books for review lately (indeed the only two I’ve received in recent weeks weren’t requested and both non-fiction… which I don’t read) so I’ve been downloading review copies from overseas publishers, many of which aren’t out for a while.

I very much enjoyed Walter’s Lie By The Pool last year and started following her online. It was timely then that she posted that two of her earlier books were on sale. They weren’t actually on special here in Australia but I decided to buy and download Over Her Dead Body as it sounded like the perfect read for a rainy Saturday night ‘in’. And – OMG – what a ride it was! So. Many. Twists. I loved it!

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four-half-stars

Book review: Under the Palms by Kaira Rouda

Thursday, April 25, 2024 Permalink

Under the Palms by Kaira Rouda is labelled The Kingsleys #2. I hadn’t realised it was the second in a series but I didn’t feel like I was missing any backstory or context. Although – given the secrets of #1 (Beneath the Surface) are revealed here – it does render going back and reading that kinda pointless (from the whodunnit and why perspective anyway).

I enjoyed the early parts of this novel though found almost all of the characters to be incredibly unlikeable. And in some ways they bordered on caricatures, they were soooo obvious. That being said, I appreciated the whodunnit and the game-playing that featured prominently.

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three-half-stars