‘On an icy 5-degree September morning in Orange, New South Wales, four people unknowingly set off a chain of events that would lead to three deaths and a major homicide investigation….’ is the alluring opening paragraph of The Fall Between by Darcy Tindale and it sets the tone for this debut crime fiction novel, which will hopefully become the first in a new series. It goes on to reference the domino effect and what comes next is a reminder that life can be treacherous and being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have dire repercussions.
Book review: Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder by Kerryn Mayne
I assumed Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder by Kerryn Mayne was going to be cosy crime fiction. Given the title. But it isn’t. It’s actually an at-times funny but also bittersweet story about loss, grief and abandonment as well as friendship, joy and acceptance. The book’s namesake, Lenny (Helena), is an absolute delight in the same way Eleanor Oliphant, Grace Atherton and Susan Green all were.
I was smitten from the very first line, sharing the opening chapter on social media because I was deep in like. And an oversharer.
Book review: Fire With Fire by Candice Fox
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Aussie writer Candice Fox. Her series (Eden Archer; Crimson Lake; and Harriet Blue) gave us some quirky, often-annoying, but endearing characters I’ll long remember. I enjoyed her 2022 release The Chase but struggled a bit as we were given a number of leads and I didn’t connect as much as usual and my attention (and affection) was diluted. I was pretty much alone in my thinking though as the book won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction.
Fox’s latest, Fire With Fire, delivers on multiple fronts and she’s introduced some fabulous characters I very much hope to meet again. Fox is a great storyteller but I believe the magic in her work comes through the characters she creates and manages to humanise within such a short amount of time… building on that with each outing and offering them a story arc that doesn’t necessarily involve growth and evolution but rather everything from redemption to revenge.
Book review: Stone Town by Margaret Hickey
Stone Town by Margaret Hickey is the second in the series featuring small town cop Mark Ariti. I re-read my review of Hickey’s debut novel, Cutters End, before starting the novel but it really wouldn’t matter if you hadn’t read the first in the series. In fact, this works quite well as a standalone if you were to come in fresh. References to Mark’s former wife and old colleagues are easily shared and understood.
I actually liked this more than Cutters End. I think it’s a stronger ‘mystery’ – less convoluted but still complex if that makes sense. Again Hickey cleverly employs snippets of plot elements – two cases blending into one, but in a feasible and not – ultimately – overly coincidental way.
Book review: The Chase by Candice Fox
I adore Candice Fox’s writing and am a huge fan of her many series and two standalones (The Inn and Gathering Dark – both of which may, of course, still become part of a series). Fox manages to create eccentric, weird or even slightly sociopathic characters that are eminently likeable. Protagonists AND antagonists we come to care for deeply. She has a natural yarn-spinning ability. I’ve seen her speak at events and met her so I know she’s quick-witted and kinda irreverent and this is reflected in her writing.
I’ve had her latest release, The Chase, for a while but held off on reading it as I’m participating in a blogging tour that kicks off today. With yours truly. My brother visited at Easter so I kindly let him have a shot at this book first and he read it in a day and really enjoyed it. And I’ve seen nothing but good reviews, which bodes well for Fox’s latest.
Book review: The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea
I love Charlie Donlea’s books. In fact, I gave his last, The Woman in Darkness, 4.5 stars which is a rarity for me. I make the point in that book that his titles are always standalones but that I hoped to see one of the characters introduced there (Rory), again.
And, well… he was obviously listening cos, she’s back!*
Having said that, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read The Woman in Darkness as Donlea quickly shares Rory’s quirks and the abilities her autism offers her.
Book review: Gathering Dark by Candice Fox
I’m always sad when Candice Fox ends a series, but I should know I don’t need to wallow for long as she’s always back with the next big thing. I wasn’t entirely ready for her Crimson Lake series to be over (and perhaps it isn’t?!) but I was able to take solace in the fact she was working on something new. I note this isn’t officially called number 1 (#1) but I’m crossing several limbs it is as I really liked the characters she introduces here.
Book review: The Woman in Darkness by Charlie Donlea
I’ve read and enjoyed Charlie Donlea’s first two books, The Girl Who Was Taken and Don’t Believe It and his latest is no different. In fact, I must admit if I have one gripe it would be that it was nearing its end far sooner than I wanted it to. I really did not want it to finish. (Which is rare for me nowadays as most books are longer than I’d like).
Each of Donlea’s other books has been a standalone but featuring such well-developed characters I ALWAYS find myself checking it’s not part of a series. I’m fairly sure I’d be happy to read more featuring each of the leads we’ve met, but Donlea manages to give them a story arc that – though brief – is completely fulfilling for the reader.
Book review: Gone By Midnight by Candice Fox
It has to be said up front… THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BOOK (YET) IN THIS SERIES. Which is saying something as I’ve enjoyed both others (though loved the first Crimson Lake a tad more than the second, Redemption Point).
This has absolutely everything. Fox’s writing is intelligent but easily devoured. I’ve seen/heard her speak and she’s got that ability to spin a yarn in a way that sucks you in; and before you know it you’re enchanted, not just by the story but by the way she tells it. By the words she uses and phrases she shapes into an addictive version of reality from which you have no desire to escape.