Book review: The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh

Saturday, July 24, 2021 Permalink

I’ve only read a couple of Steve Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn novels in the past and always reflect on how I miss the golden days of the legal procedural.

Cavanagh manages to easily traverse the balance between the mystery / crime solving element and showcasing the (both) boring and enterprising foibles of the justice system. He’s also created very likeable characters in the ensemble cast supporting Eddie and – in some ways – I find myself drawn as much to them as I do to the former con-man turned-lawyer.

four-stars

Book review: The Others by Mark Brandi

Sunday, July 4, 2021 Permalink

If I understood the genesis of the term waxing lyrical (and wasn’t too lazy to google it) I would say I would be doing just that about The Others by Mark Brandi. Because I adored this book.

Brandi’s given us an amazing narrator in 11 year old Jacob and I do have a penchant for books written from a child’s point-of-view. It has to be done well though because their voice can very easily seem off. It can hard to capture innocence and naiveté of the young, when some – like Jacob – have good cause not to be.

five-stars

Book review: When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

Friday, July 2, 2021 Permalink

One of Michael Robotham’s very popular standalone books The Secrets She Keeps, examines an unlikely friendship between two women. His latest release When You Are Mine is similarly themed, featuring a toxic friendship that shifts into obsession.

It occurs to me some of Robotham’s best work seem to be less about the solving of crimes and more about people; human nature – the best of it and the worst – and it’s this insight into our behaviour, that make his books addictive reads.

five-stars

Book review: The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Saturday, June 19, 2021 Permalink

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides was released in 2019 and I very much enjoyed the British-Cypriot’s debut novel. In my review I talk about Michaelides’s background in psychology which allowed him to offer readers insight into therapeutic relationships. I also commented that I was very surprised by a twist at the end and – it has to be said – the same things are true of his new novel, The Maidens.

There’s less of a focus on psychotherapy here – though our lead character is a group counsellor – but it’s still very much a psychological thriller and I really did not pick whodunnit as Michaelides crafts a brilliantly complex web of intricate threads that could take us any number of places.

four-stars

Book review: Legacy by Nora Roberts

Friday, May 28, 2021 Permalink

I was a tad worried Legacy by Nora Roberts would be a bit saga-ish. I love her romantic suspense novels and ADORE her JD Robb series, but the blurb here sounded a bit more Barbara Taylor Bradford circa 1990ish.

Thankfully it wasn’t. We do meet our lead Adrian at various stages of her childhood then on a few occasions during her adult life but it’s less about generations of women or families and their legacies and more about Adrian herself.

It takes a little while to get to the ‘suspense’ part of this book but I liked Adrian and the fact her ambition is balanced with a sense of humanity, so was happy to be along for the ride.

three-half-stars

Dear Mum, edited by Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Permalink

Mother’s Day is approaching here in Australia, so those with mothers and mother-like influences in their lives are busily scouring catalogues for potential gifts. Books are often a no-brainer because, well… who doesn’t like reading?! Please note that’s a rhetorical question and I remain in denial there are people out there who don’t.

Dear Mum, comprising letters by well-known Aussies is a timely release from Hachette; one I’m sure isn’t coincidental. I was worried this would be a bit sentimental for me, so I asked my own mother (who’s an avid consumer of books) to read it and offer me her thoughts. She enjoyed it and tells me there’s something for everyone.

Book review: Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

Thursday, March 11, 2021 Permalink

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray is being compared to Gail Honeyman’s popular 2017 novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I’d also suggest similarities to The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris and The Cactus by Sarah Haywood.

The likeness—I suspect—is drawn because the lead character Amy is quirky. And rather prickly. She’s a hoarder and her life has become so focused on her accumulation of things that she’s retreated into herself and her home, and adept pushing people away.

four-stars

Book review: Faithless in Death by JD Robb

Saturday, February 20, 2021 Permalink

Faithless in Death is JD Robb/Nora Roberts’ 52nd book in the Eve Dallas / Roarke (In Death) series and it’s probably the best I’ve read for some time.

I appreciate that Robb manages to come up with new plots and offers readers something different in each outing and I suspect it’s that, along with the like-ability of her main cast that keeps readers like me coming back. Again and again. And again and again. Well, 52 times.

four-stars

Book review: Shiver by Allie Reynolds

Sunday, January 24, 2021 Permalink

Shiver is former professional snowboarder Allie Reynolds’ debut novel and she certainly writes what she knows with great ease and conviction. It features a group of snowboarders and switches between two timeframes. There’s a reunion (of sorts) in the present and then a winter training season ten years earlier, that resulted in the death of a young woman.

four-stars