Book reviews: 1979 & 1989 by Val McDermid

Saturday, October 1, 2022 Permalink

For reasons unknown I hadn’t read 1979 by Val McDermid when its sequel, 1989 arrived. I think perhaps I was a bit put-off by any mention of the IRA or money laundering and the like, as political and/or white collar crimes don’t really interest me much. (And no… I’m not sure why.)

However, a lull in new book arrivals meant I wanted to get to 1989 which naturally meant going back in time first. Because I am nothing if not anal about reading things in chronological order.

three-half-stars

Book review: My Darling Daughter by JP Delaney

Monday, September 12, 2022 Permalink

My Darling Daughter is the fifth book written by Tony Strong under the pseudonym of JP Delaney and I’ve (now) read and enjoyed all five. They lean strongly to domestic noir, featuring secrets kept between partners or husbands and wives and challenging relationships to breaking point. They’re also consistently clever and offer a number of twists and surprises so readers generally need to be prepared to strap themselves in.

four-stars

Book review: Desperation in Death by JD Robb

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 Permalink

I’d dropped off a new release email listing so missed the 54th book in JD Robb’s In Death series. It’s the only one I’ve not read so far, as the series is a no-brainer must-read for me. I plan – on retirement (or similar) – to sit down and re-read one book after the other. I’ve mentioned before (many times) that Robb (ie. Nora Roberts) sets the books over a short amount of time and almost no time passes in and between books.

So, even though I’d missed one book in the series I assumed I hadn’t missed any big events which seemed to be the case. Though I gather the theme of the previous book and this one – are both a little close to home for Lieutenant Eve Dallas given her wretched beginnings.

four-stars

Book review: The Accomplice by Steve Cavanagh

Saturday, July 23, 2022 Permalink

I’m loving this Eddie Flynn series by Irish author Steve Cavanagh. The legal procedurals offer a great balance of courtroom drama, twisty plots and a really likeable and engaging cast of characters. Here in particular, amidst the legalese and police investigation, Cavanagh’s inserted the FBI. Or more aptly, an FBI-reject who I found to be fascinating. There’s reference, for example, to the much-lauded FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) having very poor solve-rates and a flawed profiling methodology. *Googles to check*

I’m not usually a fan of detail but Cavanagh offers up loads and has the talent to drop it in seamlessly without detracting from the events unfolding.

four-half-stars

Book review: Truly Darkly Deeply by Victoria Selman

Thursday, July 14, 2022 Permalink

Truly Darkly Deeply by Victoria Selman is a challenging book to review. There was a lot I loved about it. Our lead character Sophia drew me in, though she’s not altogether likeable or easy to get to know. Selman sets up the mystery of Sophia’s past well. She’s clever in her introduction to father-figure Matty, along with Sophia and her mother Amelia-Rose. We know there’s something off – in the past and present – but aren’t sure what it is. There seems to be gaping holes in the plot. One minute Sophie is with her dog, then she’s talking to her mother. And we leap about from the past to the present and it’s not always clear (at least immediately) if we’re with young Sophie or 30-something year old Sophie.

But despite (or in spite of) these inconsistencies and some confusion, it’s rivetting and we need to know more.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Island by Adrian McKinty

Saturday, May 21, 2022 Permalink

The Island by Adrian McKinty has been getting a lot of attention from well-respected authors and publishing industry types, and it’s very much deserved. His last standalone, The Chain, was equally well-received, winning Ned Kelly and Barry Awards on its release.

The Island has probably given me a better understanding of the type of writer he is. It’s certainly action-packed. It’s exciting. It’s fast paced. There’s some depth to the characters, though more to our protagonists than our antagonists. It reminded me very much of action-packed reads by Gregg Hurwitz and the recent borderline horror reads by Gabriel Bergmoser.

four-stars