Book review: Shock Waves by Fleur McDonald

Thursday, April 4, 2024 Permalink

Shock Waves by Fleur McDonald is the latest book in the ‘young’ Detective Dave Burrows series. He also features as a second character in a present day series and I suspect this one must be getting close to catching up to that as I note he first appeared in 2009.

Here his mentor and boss Bob has been undergoing cancer treatment and is off work. Despite that (and because Bob is bored) Dave involves him on a work trip checking stock but enroute they get waylaid after hearing about an explosion at council offices.

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three-half-stars

Book review: All The Words We Know by Bruce Nash

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 Permalink

All The Words We Know by Bruce Nash was my first experience with the Australian author’s work and I was completely smitten. And for me the magic here lies in the prose. Or very specifically in the narration by 80 something year old Rose – a former teacher, now struggling with her memory. And words.

I very much adored a book I read in 2014 called Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey featuring an elderly woman with dementia. That book was also written from her point of view so we experienced her world.

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five-stars

Book review: Body of Lies by Sarah Bailey

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 Permalink

Just when we thought Gemma Woodstock’s story was over, she’s back in Body of Lies. Well that’s to say Sarah Bailey gave Gemma a well-earned rest while she wrote The Housemate, which was published in 2021. But she’s back. In Smithson with Mac her babydaddy, her new baby Scarlett and son Ben. She’s on maternity leave though and grappling with a decision about when and whether to return to her job – in Smithson or elsewhere. She knows she’s uprooted Mac and feels guilty about that. And now he’s distracted and Gemma fears the worst.

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four-stars

Book review: Glenrock by Lee Christine

Friday, February 2, 2024 Permalink

I was initially disappointed that Glenrock by Lee Christine wasn’t going to feature some of the characters from her earlier work but very much enjoyed those she introduced here and now hope to see / meet them again. She introduces a few plot lines  – something that sometimes frustrates me if they ultimately connect in a very nebulous way, but that’s not the case here. She offers two or three distinct storylines that are all connected and merge in a way that isn’t contrived or coincidental. Rather there’s an obvious causal relationship that effortlessly (and tragically) plays out.

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four-stars

Book review: Whenever You’re Ready by Trish Bolton

Sunday, January 28, 2024 Permalink

Whenever You’re Ready by Trish Bolton is a bittersweet tale of family and friendships and of love and loss. I read this as my mother’s 80th birthday neared and was a little sad that there’s even any question about older women’s worth or how much living septuagenarians might have left.

And of course that’s the thing about age; 30, 50 or 70 seems old… until you’re there. And 10, 15, 20 seems young… unless you’re there. I recall finishing high school and looking at the year 8 students thinking we NEVER looked that young. And now I look at staff in stores and they look like they’re 12.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Alibi by Lynda LaPlante

Sunday, January 7, 2024 Permalink

Alibi by Lynda LaPlante was originally published in 1998 as Trial & Retribution II and I initially wondered if it’d been revised as there’s mention of someone using a mobile phone. I dug into the recesses of my mind to recall if mobile phones were around back then and think they were…. but only just. And given there’s hefty use of home answering machines I decided it is safe to say it hasn’t been updated but remains firmly set in the late 1990s.

It’s listed as the second in the Trial and Retribution series which was inspired by the TV show of the same name and a reminder what a force LaPlante was in TV-land back then and how ground-breaking her work was!

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four-stars

Book review: The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 Permalink

The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson is a cleverly delivered story of events taking place 30 years ‘earlier’ and their repercussions. It opens in the present with a woman – alone on Christmas day – pottering around her house going through old boxes, when she comes across an old diary. She flicks through to a section she knows well wondering (though) if she’s prepared to go back and revisit that ‘murderous year’.

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four-stars

Book review: Kill Your Husbands by Jack Heath

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 Permalink

Kill Your Husbands by Jack Heath is very cleverly written because in the present the police are interviewing the survivors politely, using their title and surname, but in the past (well, very recent past… last weekend) they all use first names. So for a long time we don’t know who’s dead and who’s not.

Weirdly it didn’t occur to me until I started the book that it was a follow-up to Kill Your Brother, which I enjoyed when it was released in 2021. It’s not exactly a sequel as such, rather it features two of the same characters, cop (here recently promoted to detective) Kiara Lui and her girlfriend Elise (held capture in the first book). Their relationship is on rocky ground here, well so thinks Kiara as Elise is acting strangely and keeping secrets from her.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly

Saturday, November 18, 2023 Permalink

Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly sees the return of the Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller and retired cop* Harry Bosch. We also briefly catch up with Renee Ballard (who’s possibly my new fave of Connelly’s cast), but this is all about Mickey’s prowess in court and Bosch’s nose for shoddy or dodgy police work and commitment to justice. I loved this book and it astounds me that Connelly keeps raising the bar. (And I don’t mean the lawyerly one!)

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four-half-stars