Book review: The Sirens Sing by Kristel Thornell

Saturday, September 17, 2022 Permalink

The Sirens Sing by Kristel Thornell unfolds in two timeframes. Unlike most dual timeline books however, the two aren’t intertwined or shared concurrently. Rather – in the first half of the book, set in 1991-1993, Thornell focuses her attention on David, finishing school and preparing to go to University. For us his story starts when he befriends Heather, a year younger but with whom he shares similar interests and a passion and aptitude for the Italian language. The second half of the book takes us back to 1960s – 1970s during which we spend time with David’s mother Janet (Jan) when she’s David’s age.

three-stars

Book review: The Brothers by SD Hinton

Friday, August 19, 2022 Permalink

I realise I probably didn’t enjoy The Brothers by SD Hinton as much as others because of my disinterest in all-things-war-related.

As a result I skimmed sections that talked about Jake’s time in the military. Thankfully – though there’s a lot of reference to Jake’s deployments (his experiences and the result of his injuries) – it doesn’t have much to do with the unfolding plot here, other than to explain why Jake and Tom haven’t seen each other for some time.

three-half-stars

Book review: No Hard Feelings by Genevieve Novak

Thursday, April 14, 2022 Permalink

No Hard Feelings by Genevieve Novak reminded me very much of another book I read recently – Love and Other Puzzles by Kimberley Allsopp. (And I note that Allsopp has provided a cover quote for this book.)

I particularly enjoyed that both weren’t about exceptionally talented women… you know, the kind authors sometimes assume women aspire to be. But nor were they about completely dysfunctional or unreliable narrators. In fact, both lead characters are somewhere in between. And perhaps that makes them more relatable. They don’t have their shit together despite having reached adulthood. Instead they’re wading through the waters of life trying to reach the solid ground society seems to expect of them.

four-stars

Book review: The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

Sunday, April 10, 2022 Permalink

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan is a standalone – a departure from the Irish-born Australia-dwelling’s Cormac Reilly series that I’ve enjoyed over the past four-ish years. I’ve read many good things about [The Murder Rule] over recent months and I can only agree as McTiernan manages to offer readers a likeable (though agenda-laden) lead, intriguing plot and several twists and turns to keep us guessing.

four-stars

Book review: Unforgiven by Sarah Barrie

Sunday, November 28, 2021 Permalink

Unforgiven is the third book I’ve read by Australian author Sarah Barrie and she always delivers intriguing thrillers with complex and often-flawed characters. Unforgiven is certainly my favourite of hers so far as I found myself invested in the fate of the lead characters and intrigued by the unfolding plot.

I’ve commented on the settings of her other books, but though she also demonstrates her incredible ability to give readers a sense of ‘place’ particularly in the beginning when one of our characters is trying to work out where to ditch a body, this book focuses less on the where and more on the fast-paced what.

four-stars

Book review: Sleep by CL Taylor

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 Permalink

I enjoyed this book by UK author CL Taylor and ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting.

There were a few pacing issues for me, which seems to be something I’m mentioning a bit lately… perhaps it’s me – the common denominator – becoming pedantic. Or forgetful. I should also mention I had an early electronic copy so it wasn’t always clear when scenes finished and started. That aside though, it’s an intriguing novel. Not scary as such, but readers are presented with a likeable lead character who we come to care about and whose life is at risk… so there’s some suspense thrown in.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 Permalink

I put a call out a week or so ago on my Facebook page, asking people about books they’ve loved this year. I explained I was starting to plan my ‘favourite novels of 2018’ post and wanted to check if I’d missed out on something I REALLY should have read. I used The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart as an example. It wasn’t a book I requested for review but I’d read nothing but AMAZING things about it.

Of course, people said the same about Gone Girl and Big Little Lies and (for me) both of those turned out to be somewhat anti-climactic so it was with some trepidation I borrowed Lost Flowers from a friend.

But… Oh. My. God. For the most part this book was amazing and I was hooked from the beginning.

four-half-stars