Book review: Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern

Monday, July 1, 2019 Permalink

This book came as a bit of a surprise. I’d had an advance copy for a while but put it aside for closer to the publication date when the final version arrived and I read some publicity around it.

In some ways you’d think the whole ‘missing child’ thing had been done to death. Indeed the blurb refers to The Cry and I know I’ve read quite a lot of books about disappearing children, but this felt different. The parents were less obvious suspects, though certainly had their secrets, and there was other stuff going on behind the scenes, involving both the parents and those who last saw the missing girl.

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four-stars

Book review: The Nancys by RWR McDonald

Monday, June 3, 2019 Permalink

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I adore books written from the point of view of a child narrator. I mean, it doesn’t always work… the author has to nail their all-knowing childish innocence and their voice has to be authentic, but when that happens; it can be amazing.

Which is the case with this new release, The Nancys by RWR McDonald, set on New Zealand’s south island.

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four-stars

Book review: Life Before by Carmel Reilly

Saturday, May 4, 2019 Permalink

This was one of those “I have no idea what I’m about to read” type books. I mean I’d read the backcover blurb and it sounded like something I’d enjoy but wasn’t quite sure what direction the book itself would take. Would it be creepy? Would there be some horrible family secret involving the main character’s desperately evil brother? Or, is there some other reason the pair are estranged: did the SHE perhaps do something; and is riddled with guilt as a result?

And I have to admit I don’t mind going into a book without knowing where I’ll be led.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Hunter by Jack Heath

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 Permalink

Canberra-based author Jack Heath released Hangman last year – his first adult novel. I enjoyed it and commented at the time on lead character Timothy Blake’s status as an anti-hero… as we learn there about his less-than-palatable predilections. (Which I still won’t mention here as they come as quite a shock in the first novel and there may be newcomers reading this….)

But he describes himself thus…

A bad guy who does bad things for bad reasons. I’m not religious, but the word damned seems to cover it. p 26

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four-stars

Book review: The Orchardist’s Daughter by Karen Viggers

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Permalink

This book by Australian author Karen Viggers took me out of my comfort zone a little as it’s a departure from my usual crime fiction / suspense genre. Having said that I do read quite a bit of general fiction nowadays but usually shy away from books showcasing all-things-fauna and flora, knowing that my mind skims detail and descriptions that normal people would find enticingly beautiful.

But of course I had no need to worry. It actually irks me that I am increasingly wrong about books and my reading taste. I’m not even judging them by the cover (as per the age-old adage) rather I get mislead by the blurb and / or title, so it’s a reminder that we need to nudge those boundaries some of us (ie. me) establish from time to time. 

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four-stars

Book review: Flight Risk by Michael McGuire

Saturday, January 19, 2019 Permalink

I wasn’t sure about this book. I mentioned the fact on Instagram. Although I’m accustomed to reading about psychopaths and serial killers and the like there are certain things I don’t want floating around in my head. Like the possibility of a plane crash for example. Or being eaten by sharks.

After 9/11 and losing a couple of former work colleagues in plane crashes (when I worked for the Oz Government) I was one of those people who’d look around as I boarded a plane and wonder which one of us the TV movie would focus on… if the plane was to go down. You know… whose backstory would they share? (And I know I’m not alone in that weirdness by the way!)

I must admit there are (eventually) some scenes-I-won’t-forget-quickly, but thankfully Flight Risk doesn’t feed the paranoid tendencies too much.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Dark Sacred Night by Micheal Connelly

Sunday, October 28, 2018 Permalink

I have been a relatively recent convert to Michael Connelly and his Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch series, but was excited to read The Late Show, the first in a new series featuring Detective Renee Ballard in 2017 (getting in on the ground floor kinda thing). I really liked her… she’s quirky – works nights and lives out of her van, sleeping on the beach in a tent during the day – and was left wanting more.

And she’s back in Connelly’s latest release but just when you think things can’t get any better (ie. the return of this new and fabulously interesting character) he damned well pairs her with Bosch in this outing. Oh. My. God. 

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four-stars

Book review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Saturday, October 6, 2018 Permalink

Jodi Picoult is probably known best for some of her early work and I too was an early adopter, reading anything and everything she wrote in the early 2000s.

I drifted away for a while, but was impressed with her 2016 novel Small Great Things which centred around race and the related notions of privilege and guilt.

Her latest, A Spark of Light is set in a women’s centre, one of a few remaining clinics in Mississipi to offer a range of reproductive choices to women, including terminations.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Permalink

I read a comment on Goodreads about this book which went something like… “You know you’ve made it as an author when your name is larger than the title of the book on the cover.” They were speaking about Kate Morton of course, the English-dwelling Aussie and very popular author of a number of epic tomes.

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four-stars