Book review: Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern

Monday, July 1, 2019 Permalink

This book came as a bit of a surprise. I’d had an advance copy for a while but put it aside for closer to the publication date when the final version arrived and I read some publicity around it.

In some ways you’d think the whole ‘missing child’ thing had been done to death. Indeed the blurb refers to The Cry and I know I’ve read quite a lot of books about disappearing children, but this felt different. The parents were less obvious suspects, though certainly had their secrets, and there was other stuff going on behind the scenes, involving both the parents and those who last saw the missing girl.

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four-stars

Book review: The Nancys by RWR McDonald

Monday, June 3, 2019 Permalink

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I adore books written from the point of view of a child narrator. I mean, it doesn’t always work… the author has to nail their all-knowing childish innocence and their voice has to be authentic, but when that happens; it can be amazing.

Which is the case with this new release, The Nancys by RWR McDonald, set on New Zealand’s south island.

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four-stars

Book review: The Better Sister by Alafair Burke

Friday, May 24, 2019 Permalink

Every time I read one of her books I confess my love for Alafair Burke. I’m not as wedded to her series with Mary Higgins Clark as I am to her solo books, but she has offered up consistently good legal thrillers for years. Plus I like the way she interacts on social media. #seriously

I also like that her books often offer a taste of contemporary culture and politics – here through the #MeToo and #ThemToo movement as well as light (and deft) reference to the current US political and legislative environment.

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four-stars

Book review: Life Before by Carmel Reilly

Saturday, May 4, 2019 Permalink

This was one of those “I have no idea what I’m about to read” type books. I mean I’d read the backcover blurb and it sounded like something I’d enjoy but wasn’t quite sure what direction the book itself would take. Would it be creepy? Would there be some horrible family secret involving the main character’s desperately evil brother? Or, is there some other reason the pair are estranged: did the SHE perhaps do something; and is riddled with guilt as a result?

And I have to admit I don’t mind going into a book without knowing where I’ll be led.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Without a Doubt by Fleur McDonald

Friday, March 29, 2019 Permalink

My mother saw this book sitting on the bedside table a few weeks ago, “Oh a new Fleur McDonald!” she exclaimed. Her knowledge surprised me, though I don’t know why as she reads all of the books I receive and has the same level of interest. (My brother and I had to get our love of reading from somewhere!)

“It’s a young Dave Burrows one,” I told her. And she knew what I meant… we were stepping back in time… albeit to 1999, which seems like yesterday. But… apparently isn’t.

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four-stars

Book review: Hunter by Jack Heath

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 Permalink

Canberra-based author Jack Heath released¬†Hangman last year – his first adult novel. I enjoyed it and commented at the time on lead character Timothy Blake’s status as an anti-hero… as we learn there about his less-than-palatable predilections. (Which I still won’t mention here as they come as quite a shock in the first novel and there may be newcomers reading this….)

But he describes himself thus…

A bad guy who does bad things for bad reasons. I’m not religious, but the word damned seems to cover it. p 26

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four-stars

Book review: The Orchardist’s Daughter by Karen Viggers

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Permalink

This book by Australian author Karen Viggers took me out of my comfort zone a little as it’s a departure from my usual crime fiction / suspense genre. Having said that I do read quite a bit of general fiction nowadays but usually shy away from books showcasing all-things-fauna and flora, knowing that my mind skims detail and descriptions that normal people would find enticingly beautiful.

But of course I had no need to worry. It actually irks me that I am increasingly wrong about books and my reading taste. I’m not even judging them by the cover (as per the age-old adage) rather I get mislead by the blurb and / or title, so it’s a reminder that we need to nudge those boundaries some of us (ie. me) establish from time to time.¬†

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four-stars

Book review: Flight Risk by Michael McGuire

Saturday, January 19, 2019 Permalink

I wasn’t sure about this book. I mentioned the fact on Instagram. Although I’m accustomed to reading about psychopaths and serial killers and the like there are certain things I don’t want floating around in my head. Like the possibility of a plane crash for example. Or being eaten by sharks.

After 9/11 and losing a couple of former work colleagues in plane crashes (when I worked for the Oz Government) I was one of those people who’d look around as I boarded a plane and wonder which one of us the TV movie would focus on… if the plane was to go down. You know… whose backstory would they share? (And I know I’m not alone in that weirdness by the way!)

I must admit there are (eventually) some scenes-I-won’t-forget-quickly, but thankfully Flight Risk doesn’t feed the paranoid tendencies too much.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Promised Land by Barry Maitland

Sunday, January 6, 2019 Permalink

I’ve talked again and again here (and in my most recent crime fiction / thriller reviews just last week) about the challenges of discovering a series part-way through. I prefer to start at the beginning. Cos I’ve heard it’s a very good place to start. You apparently begin with ABC and… oops #sorrynotsorry… couldn’t help myself.

Anyhoo, upon receiving this book (which I’d requested cos the plot sounded interesting) I discovered it was part of a series. And then I opened it to discover it was number 13!!! So I worried – how on earth would I have any idea who anyone was etc?

Thankfully it wasn’t at all a problem (it’s easily able to be read as a stand-alone) and I was intrigued enough by the series lead characters, our temporary cast and crew and the plot itself that I read it in one night.

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four-stars