Book review: The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor

Thursday, February 18, 2021 Permalink

They were a few weeks apart but it bodes well for 2021 that I read two books that I’m rating an easy 4.5 stars – a very rare honour in my world. The first was Linwood Barclay’s new release Find You First and the second, The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor.

This is the third book I’ve read by Tudor but I don’t think it’d appeared in any new release catalogues that I recall so I sent a query after seeing her talk about the book on Twitter. I’d missed her 2020 release, The Other People, but heard great things about it. And thank god I chased for a copy because I freakin’ loved this book. There’s a fabulous twist early and they really don’t stop coming.

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four-half-stars

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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four-half-stars