Book review: The Others by Mark Brandi

Sunday, July 4, 2021 Permalink

If I understood the genesis of the term waxing lyrical (and wasn’t too lazy to google it) I would say I would be doing just that about The Others by Mark Brandi. Because I adored this book.

Brandi’s given us an amazing narrator in 11 year old Jacob and I do have a penchant for books written from a child’s point-of-view. It has to be done well though because their voice can very easily seem off. It can hard to capture innocence and naiveté of the young, when some – like Jacob – have good cause not to be.

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five-stars

Book review: When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

Friday, July 2, 2021 Permalink

One of Michael Robotham’s very popular standalone books The Secrets She Keeps, examines an unlikely friendship between two women. His latest release When You Are Mine is similarly themed, featuring a toxic friendship that shifts into obsession.

It occurs to me some of Robotham’s best work seem to be less about the solving of crimes and more about people; human nature – the best of it and the worst – and it’s this insight into our behaviour, that make his books addictive reads.

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five-stars

Dear Mum, edited by Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Permalink

Mother’s Day is approaching here in Australia, so those with mothers and mother-like influences in their lives are busily scouring catalogues for potential gifts. Books are often a no-brainer because, well… who doesn’t like reading?! Please note that’s a rhetorical question and I remain in denial there are people out there who don’t.

Dear Mum, comprising letters by well-known Aussies is a timely release from Hachette; one I’m sure isn’t coincidental. I was worried this would be a bit sentimental for me, so I asked my own mother (who’s an avid consumer of books) to read it and offer me her thoughts. She enjoyed it and tells me there’s something for everyone.

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Book review: Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

Thursday, March 11, 2021 Permalink

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray is being compared to Gail Honeyman’s popular 2017 novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I’d also suggest similarities to The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris and The Cactus by Sarah Haywood.

The likeness—I suspect—is drawn because the lead character Amy is quirky. And rather prickly. She’s a hoarder and her life has become so focused on her accumulation of things that she’s retreated into herself and her home, and adept pushing people away.

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four-stars

Book review: Faithless in Death by JD Robb

Saturday, February 20, 2021 Permalink

Faithless in Death is JD Robb/Nora Roberts’ 52nd book in the Eve Dallas / Roarke (In Death) series and it’s probably the best I’ve read for some time.

I appreciate that Robb manages to come up with new plots and offers readers something different in each outing and I suspect it’s that, along with the like-ability of her main cast that keeps readers like me coming back. Again and again. And again and again. Well, 52 times.

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four-stars

Book review: Shiver by Allie Reynolds

Sunday, January 24, 2021 Permalink

Shiver is former professional snowboarder Allie Reynolds’ debut novel and she certainly writes what she knows with great ease and conviction. It features a group of snowboarders and switches between two timeframes. There’s a reunion (of sorts) in the present and then a winter training season ten years earlier, that resulted in the death of a young woman.

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four-stars

Book review: Tell Me Lies by JP Pomare

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 Permalink

Tell Me Lies is JP Pomare’s third novel and there’s always a level of uncertainty and suspicion about the unfolding plot. In the first of his books, Call Me Evie, readers were presented with characters offering different perspectives and unsure who to believe and trust. In the second, In The Clearing Pomare does someone quite clever with the timing and here… well, we know someone dies at the hands of someone else but Pomare cleverly includes snippets from media clippings and court testimony that could come from anyone at any time at all.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Mitford Trial by Jessica Fellowes

Saturday, November 14, 2020 Permalink

The Mitford Trial is the fourth in the series by Jessica Fellowes. Each of the books focuses loosely on one of the (in)famous Mitford sisters (of which there were five, as well as a brother). I hadn’t realised when I embarked on the first book in the series, The Mitford Murders that the Mitford family actually existed and that the girls in particular quite well known.

These books are fiction, but based on true events and Fellowes includes historical notes at the end of each book. The Mitford Trial is set over a few years in the early 1930s and we’re edging closer to the second world war. The mystery at the heart of this book very much reflects the involvement of Mitford family members drawn to fascism and communism and their allegiances with Hitler and Nazi Germany.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Shadows In Death by JD Robb

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 Permalink

Shadows In Death is the 51st in the futuristic cop series by JD Robb. So, author Nora Roberts (writing as Robb) is obviously doing something right. The series kicked off in 1995 but—as I’ve mentioned before—our characters traverse time slowly so, Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire hubby really only exist when we’re there to see them. Just like Santa Claus. Except the opposite.

Here, Robb offers us something a little different. The ‘crime’ in question happens early, which isn’t uncommon. But usually we would spend the rest of the novel trying to work out whodunnit. Here Eve and her offsider, the delightful Detective Delia Peabody solve this pretty quickly. It’s murder for hire but things get complicated when Roarke’s (kinda sordid and unlawful) past comes back to haunt him (and those he cares about).

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three-half-stars