I very much enjoyed Imbi Neeme’s 2020 novel, The Spill which featured two sisters and was centred around family relationships and things left to fester. But it has to be said I loved her new release Kind of, Sort of, Maybe, But Probably Not even more. It offers readers flawed but very very likeable and engaging characters, including those floating around the periphery and it features a couple of young women going through some life changing moments, negotiated as they try to uncover an old mystery.
I assumed Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder by Kerryn Mayne was going to be cosy crime fiction. Given the title. But it isn’t. It’s actually an at-times funny but also bittersweet story about loss, grief and abandonment as well as friendship, joy and acceptance. The book’s namesake, Lenny (Helena), is an absolute delight in the same way Eleanor Oliphant, Grace Atherton and Susan Green all were.
I’ve read all three of Megan Goldin’s previous books and commented in past reviews that she gives us something different in each outing and I wonder if it’s the varied nature of Goldin’s journalistic background that has her moving between thrillers and domestic noir, dipping into the world of podcasts, cold crimes, rape trials and… escape rooms.
In her latest release, Stay Awake, she explores the world of amnesia, trauma and lost memories. It’s akin to Drew Barrymore’s condition in the popular movie, 50 First Dates… although here it’s brought on my psychological trauma rather than brain damage. Which of course means those memories could reappear at any time…
Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson was released just before I went on holidays. I usually receive info about upcoming books a few months before their release but suspect I assumed the book was in fact a ‘true crime’ / non-fiction book, rather than a fictional account of a true crime documentary. (Cos I don’t ‘do’ non-fiction.)
Anyhoo… I was revoltingly stressed before my holidays so only got to many August / September emails in October (on my return) and had one from Penguin Random House about this book. I knew the book had been released to glowing reviews so I snapped up a copy when it was offered. And what a great debut novel it is.
Anyone who follows my social media accounts (or reads the non-bookish posts on my blog) will know my journey down the tiny house-loving slippery slope began with an innocent little #vanlife instagram obsession. I poured over picture after picture of campervans, minibuses, RVs, ‘skoolies’ and so forth – renovated into something sleek and sophisticated or bohemian and trippy.
I enjoyed this book far more than I expected. Which is weird because – in reality – I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from this book. The backcover blurb didn’t really give me any insight into the ‘type’ of novel I was going to be reading. I’m not sure that should matter and (thankfully) as it happened, it didn’t.
I was a latecomer to the work of Australian author Candice Fox and she’d already won several Australian Crime Writers Association (Ned Kelly) awards when I came across her Eden Archer / Frank Bennett series in late 2014. (See my reviews of Hades, Eden and Fall.)
Since Fall’s release in late 2015, Fox has been collaborating with the prolific and high profile James Patterson, co-authoring a novel, Never Never (which has just topped the New York Times Best Seller’s list). The pair also published a novella and (are) currently finalising the second book in the Harriet Blue series.
Obviously not one to rest on her laurels, Fox’s latest solo effort, Crimson Lake, set in Queensland’s far north is also about to be released in the wild… and I think it’s her best work yet.