Book review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 Permalink

This is the third novel I’ve read by former journalist Megan Goldin. Her debut The Girl in Kellers Way was published in 2017 and The Escape Room in 2018. Interestingly all three books have felt kinda different. The first was very much domestic noir; the second a suspenseful thriller; and here there’s less of a sense of impending doom. The Night Swim is more about human nature – about people and the things we do. The things we don’t do. For me it also offered a sense of sad wistfulness, a sense of injustice.

Interestingly, though I liked our lead character Rachel, Goldin doesn’t give us a lot of information about her. This book, which I really enjoyed, is very plot driven. And we’re actually offered two mysteries: a rape trial which is the subject of Rachel’s podcast; and a death from 25 years earlier.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: The Bluffs by Kyle Perry

Thursday, July 9, 2020 Permalink

The Bluffs is the debut novel by Kyle Perry and a lot of reviewers I know have loved this book. So… my thoughts deviate a little from the norm.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the book. I read it in a sitting and (eventually) turned the pages quickly, keen to learn more.

But it took me a while to get to that point. In fact I almost put it aside (to read later) a few times in the first few chapters.

The structure confused me as did the obvious reference to Picnic at Hanging Rock. I adored Joan Lindsay’s novel but HATED the posthumous final chapter that leapt into the supernatural. So, talk of portals and other realms here almost had me running for the… (ahem) bluffs.

Continue Reading…

three-half-stars

Book review: Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 Permalink

It’s no secret I love this Orphan X series although I’m kinda astounded we’re up to the fifth book already. As each year rolls around and a new adventure appears in my mailbox I have to go back over past reviews to remember exactly what happened in the previous outing. And weirdly, I’m always a book or two out. This time around I’d completely forgotten the plot of book 4 and was thinking we were picking up after book 3. I suspect I’m in denial about the fact this might ultimately come to an end.

Having said that, it really doesn’t matter when you enter this series as Hurwitz does a great job of effortlessly easing new readers into the world of Orphan X. The Nowhere Man.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Saturday, March 30, 2019 Permalink

The backcover blurb is a bit vague so I had no idea going into this book what it was going to be about, so when we get to the…. ummm… secret quite early on, it’s a surprise.

We then cruise along for a while (giving us time to absorb what we’re reading) and towards the end – BAM! – another twist; making this a very strong debut novel by US author, Samantha Downing.

Continue Reading…

four-stars

Book review: Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz

Friday, January 25, 2019 Permalink

Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X series is one of my favourites. I fell a little in love with former orphan-turned-assassin-turned-helper of the helpless, Evan Smoak, in the first book of the series. And this – number four – is probably my favourite since that first outing.

I’d usually grimace at a book blurb that talks about killing the president – my spy/espionage-loving days left back in the 1990s along with my spiral perms – but this book is less about conspiracy theories and government cover-ups and more about self-preservation and ‘doing the right thing’ delivered through clever well-paced action.

Naturally I was forced to read this in a sitting and finished the last page already eager for the next instalment. 

Continue Reading…

four-half-stars

Book review: Your Closest Friend by Karen Perry

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 Permalink

The movies Single White Female and Fatal Attraction launched the phenomena of crazy chicks for my generation. Both were shocking at the time of their release and set the bar for obsessiveness. Indeed, 20-30 years on we still talk about SWFing someone or ‘bunny boilers’.

It probably means books involving characters obsessed with others are less surprising than they once were. Or perhaps less horrific (rather than predictable) because we’ve become inured in some way. Your Closest Friend by Karen Perry explores such an obsession, though it’s borne of a very unusual situation.

Continue Reading…

three-half-stars

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Sunday, May 27, 2018 Permalink

“I’m just gonna read for a bit tonight cos I’ve got an early start tomorrow,” I said as I opened The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. I’d add the hashtag…. #famouslastwords but you can guess what comes next.

Yep. Me finishing the book while drinking wine and alternating between caramello koalas and little triangles of processed cheese, while ensonced in my warm bed at my mother’s for hours after my intended bedtime. *

Continue Reading…

four-stars