Book review: Starting from Now by Fleur McDonald

Sunday, November 3, 2019 Permalink

I’m really enjoying this (interrelated) series by Fleur McDonald. It really doesn’t matter where you enter because each of the books works easily as a standalone. Detective Dave Burrows is the link between books, but each introduces new characters whose stories are central to the plot.

There’s usually a smidge of romance and a crime or two and they’re all set in rural or regional Australia. Given her own farming background, McDonald effortlessly conveys a real sense of the lives our characters lead and she always manages to reflect on topical issues. Here she touches on both new technology being introduced to farming communities as well as the inadvertent impact protestors can have on the animals / communities / subject matter they believe they’re protecting.

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four-stars

Book review: Without a Doubt by Fleur McDonald

Friday, March 29, 2019 Permalink

My mother saw this book sitting on the bedside table a few weeks ago, “Oh a new Fleur McDonald!” she exclaimed. Her knowledge surprised me, though I don’t know why as she reads all of the books I receive and has the same level of interest. (My brother and I had to get our love of reading from somewhere!)

“It’s a young Dave Burrows one,” I told her. And she knew what I meant… we were stepping back in time… albeit to 1999, which seems like yesterday. But… apparently isn’t.

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four-stars

Book review: The Promised Land by Barry Maitland

Sunday, January 6, 2019 Permalink

I’ve talked again and again here (and in my most recent crime fiction / thriller reviews just last week) about the challenges of discovering a series part-way through. I prefer to start at the beginning. Cos I’ve heard it’s a very good place to start. You apparently begin with ABC and… oops #sorrynotsorry… couldn’t help myself.

Anyhoo, upon receiving this book (which I’d requested cos the plot sounded interesting) I discovered it was part of a series. And then I opened it to discover it was number 13!!! So I worried – how on earth would I have any idea who anyone was etc?

Thankfully it wasn’t at all a problem (it’s easily able to be read as a stand-alone) and I was intrigued enough by the series lead characters, our temporary cast and crew and the plot itself that I read it in one night.

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four-stars

Book review: Where the River Runs by Fleur McDonald

Friday, October 26, 2018 Permalink

I’ve been enjoying this series by Fleur McDonald – featuring Detective Dave Burrows (and a range of related characters). I also liked her last release, Fool’s Gold, which featured a young Dave – when he first started policing, giving us more insight into his history.

We’re back to the present now (well, mostly) and this is another great read – one which has a mystery to be solved in the background – but is more about family and relationships.

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four-stars

Book review: Murder Mile by Lynda La Plante

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 Permalink

I’ve been enjoying Lynda La Plante’s series featuring the young Jane Tennison. I loved the original English Prime Suspect TV series also but the somewhat sexist environment of the 1990s is nothing compared to the police service in the 1970s.

My main complaint regarding both earlier books in this series (Tennison & Good Friday) was that they featured two separate crimes – ultimately merging in some way and I felt they really didn’t need the complexity and we readers didn’t need the distraction.

I like to think my exacting opinions and informed literary reflections (*ahem*) made it through to La Plante because this book is centred around ONE CRIME. (And I loved it!)

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four-stars

Book review: Fool’s Gold by Fleur McDonald

Monday, March 19, 2018 Permalink

We take a step back in time – well a couple – in this latest novel by Australian author Fleur McDonald. We’ve met Detective Dave Burrows in her rural romantic suspense series (see my reviews of Suddenly One Summer and Sapphire Falls) and here we’re taken back to where it all began and he’s a newly appointed Detective and has moved with new wife, Melinda to rural WA, resplendent with dry heat, flies galore and brilliantly red soil.

The book also opens with a snippet from 1945 and a suicide that sets off a series of events for decades to come.

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four-stars

Book review: Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Permalink

Harry Bosch is back. He’s still persona-non-grata with the LAPD but still working as a volunteer on cold cases with San Fernando PD.

This latest outing from Michael Connelly started a little slowly for me as I struggled to get ‘into’ the two cases on offer, particularly one which centred around Bosch’s character and behaviour being besmirched. Yes, again!

But thankfully it wasn’t long before I was hooked and I raced through most of the book.

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four-stars

Book review: Suddenly One Summer by Fleur McDonald

Monday, October 23, 2017 Permalink

Fleur McDonald has written nine books, very much centred around life in rural Australia and – as a farmer herself – it’s a world she knows well and one she captures brilliantly in her writing.

I’ve now read three of her romantic suspense novels, two featuring Detective Dave Burrows. It’s not at all necessary to have read others in the series as no backstory / additional context is needed.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Good Friday by Lynda La Plante

Monday, August 28, 2017 Permalink

Lynda La Plante’s Tennison was one of my favourite books when released in 2015. It’s basically the backstory of Jane Tennison – the ‘take no shit’ senior detective / chief inspector whatzit from her popular Prime Suspect books and the (equally popular) TV series based on those books (starring Helen Mirren).

Set in the early 1970s, Tennison, Hidden Killers, and now Good Friday, focus around the early years of Jane… after she first joins the police force. Obviously the sexist attitudes and prejudice she experiences in the Prime Suspect series (kicking off in the early 1990s) is nothing compared to the attitudes of many two decades earlier… but the resilient and resourceful young Jane doesn’t let that stand in her way.

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four-stars