Book review: The Match by Harlan Coben

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 Permalink

The Match by Harlan Coben is billed as Wilde #2. I was a smidge confused by this as I could not recall a ‘Wilde’ #1. I then realised I’d missed The Boy From the Woods so came into this without any backstory. And it didn’t matter at all.

Initially I thought it was going to be reminiscent of Linwood Barclay’s Find You First, which featured someone picking off family members with related DNA (discovered through an ancestry match type place). Happily however the DNA matches aren’t really the tipping point here, rather what brings Wilde into the mix.

four-stars

Book review: All She Wants by Kelli Hawkins

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 Permalink

All She Wants by Kelli Hawkins is about a woman who wants a family… a woman who is desperate for a family. I mean ostensibly she wants a baby, but she really wants the whole kit and caboodle. A family. As someone who went through fertility treatment in my early 40s (as a single woman) I could relate to some of Lindsay’s obsessiveness and the daydreams of a long-expected child.

I could similarly relate to how much it smarted to see others with children, taking it for granted and seemingly rubbing it in my face – though of course they weren’t. The pill nonetheless was bitter.

four-stars

Book review: The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Saturday, March 12, 2022 Permalink

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is the fourth book I’ve read by the editor/writer duo and all four books have a place on my bookshelf which is a clear indicator I’ve enjoyed them enough to decide to keep them – which I don’t often do nowadays.

Their latest is another twisty and intriguing tale that I very much enjoyed. It wasn’t quite what I expected which is a good thing. At its centre is a disgraced therapist and I was expecting someone dodgy with nefarious motivations which is not at all the case.

four-stars

Book review: Those Who Perish by Emma Viskic

Friday, March 11, 2022 Permalink

Those Who Perish by Emma Viskic is the fourth book in the popular series featuring private detective Caleb Zelic. I’d missed the first, Resurrection Bay, so it took me a couple of books to warm to Caleb but I’ve certainly done so.

Viskic’s writing is again the stand-out for me. I mean, I really like Caleb but it’s her taut prose that I find riveting.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Cane by Maryrose Cuskelly

Saturday, February 19, 2022 Permalink

The Cane by Maryrose Cuskelly was an unexpected delight. Not because I didn’t think it would offer up a great mystery… which it did. Indeed it’s wonderfully atmospheric. Rural noir at its most noir-ish.

What enchanted me the most was the nostalgia this book brought with it. The blurb mentions the 1970s but I assumed it was going to be set in the present with some reflections on the past, when in fact… all of it is set in the 1970s and – as someone born at the end of the 1960s so in my formative years over the next decade or so – this brought back soooo many memories and Cuskelly effortlessly took me back to my childhood again and again.

four-stars

Book review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Monday, February 14, 2022 Permalink

Lucy Foley’s 2021 novel The Guest List was popular with readers and critics alike so it bodes well that I actually enjoyed her latest novel The Paris Apartment even more. It’s choc-o-block full of twists and surprises – bumping this up to a rare 4.5 star rating from me.

However… I have to confess the unlikeability of basically ALL of the characters meant I was tempted to be less generous. Though, of course I realise (in some ways) Foley’s issuing a challenge to we readers to dislike yet engage with [our lead protagonist in particular] at the same time.

four-half-stars

Book review: The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy

Wednesday, February 2, 2022 Permalink

I very much enjoyed The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy so it meant my reading year started with a bang. In fact I thought this was very nearly a 4.5 or 5 star read. (Which are rarities in my little harsh-rating-system world.) I suspect I’ve marked it down a little because I was waiting for something that didn’t come… something that would have given me a little more insight. A little more understanding. Which of course, may say more about my need to know than it does about the book itself. Not to mention my expectations of characters’ depravity or otherwise. While others may well have complained if it went further.

four-stars

Book review: Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay

Friday, January 28, 2022 Permalink

Sometimes books work best if you haven’t read the blurb before diving in. I mean, I always read the blurb before deciding whether I’ll request/borrow/buy/read a book (unless it’s one of my go-to authors and Linwood Barclay probably makes that list anyway!) but here for example Barclay opens with a prologue that – had I just read the blurb – I’d realise what was going to happen. Or at least maybe happen. Instead I’d kinda bonded with the likeable (potential) victim, not realising they may soon be gone. So… my breath was [indeed] a little taken away initially.

four-stars