Book review: The Vacation by John Marrs

Sunday, January 9, 2022 Permalink

The Vacation by John Marrs is a difficult book to write about. It’s certainly an addictive read as I was desperate to see how it ended – or more accurately – how our characters all fared.

In some ways it’s a bit like a Woody Allen-esque movie featuring a series of vignettes with an array of characters, all with their own stories that come together in some unbelievably coincidental way at the end.

three-half-stars

Book review: Mercy by David Baldacci

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 Permalink

One of the first things you’ll be told as a budding writer is to ‘show’ not ‘tell’. Because apparently audiences (ie. readers) find it boring (or at least less engaging) and feel patronised. At least that’s why I’ve always assumed you don’t provide laborious detail in your prose.

David Baldacci very much breaks that rule in the beginning of his latest novel, Mercy, providing backstory on FBI Agent Atlee Pine and her sister, kidnapped three decades earlier. And I for one appreciated it because, even though I’ve read the entire series AND re-read my review of Mercy’s predecessor, Daylight, I was a bit murky on the details. So Baldacci’s summary – succinct yet informative – hit the spot.

four-stars

Book review: A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

Friday, April 2, 2021 Permalink

I wasn’t a fan of David Baldacci’s Camel Club series* but have loved almost everything he’s published since. Indeed, his books take up quite a bit of real estate on my bookshelves. I particularly love his Amos Decker and Atlee Pine series but somehow I missed the first in his new historical crime fiction series featuring ex-con Aloysius Archer.

And I enjoyed this so much I’m going to be hunting down its predecessor, One Good Deed.

four-stars

Book review: Daylight by David Baldacci

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 Permalink

I’ve really been enjoying David Baldacci’s series featuring FBI agent Atlee Pine. Daylight is the third in the series and pairs her up with another of Baldacci’s regulars, Army CID officer John Puller.

Although the first two books in this series have also featured stand-alone investigations, they’ve been set against a backdrop of a mystery spanning thirty years and one driving Pine. She made some significant progress in the last book in this series A Minute to Midnight and she’s got time off to follow through here. Those who haven’t read any other books in the series need not worry however, as Baldacci recaps Pine’s backstory easily and most of this book is devoted to a new investigation.

four-stars

Book review: Walk the Wire by David Baldacci

Saturday, March 28, 2020 Permalink

I love Amos Decker. Aka the Memory Man. Walk the Wire is his 6th outing and he and his work partner, Alex Jamison contemplate here how far he’s come socially since they met.

Decades earlier—after almost dying—Decker developed hyperthymesia. Not only is he unable to forget anything but it kinda destroyed his social skills. The remainder of his will to live / ability to feel joy disappeared after the murder of his family.

four-stars

Book review: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Saturday, January 11, 2020 Permalink

Diane Chamberlain is a hugely popular though I’ve only read one book by the American author, Pretending to Dance, published in 2015.

Her latest, Big Lies in a Small Town unfolds in two timeframes and is centred around two women whose livelihoods – and in some ways their futures – depend on an opportunity they’ve been presented in small-town Edenton, almost 80 years apart.

three-half-stars

Book review: A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci

Friday, October 25, 2019 Permalink

I adore David Baldacci’s Amos Decker (Memory Man) series. I was also excited when he introduced a new protagonist, FBI agent Atlee Pine, last year in Long Road to Mercy.

The book ended up delving a little into conspiracies and spies and the like, so my excitement waned a little (as it’s not a topic of interest to me) but I really liked Pine and the support cast offered in the first of that series. There were a few changes to some of the key players in the new release, A Minute to Midnight, which I enjoyed more than its predecessor. I still loved Pine… and found the plot itself more engaging.

four-stars