Book review: Tipping Point by Dinuka McKenzie

Thursday, February 1, 2024 Permalink

Detective Kate Miles is back in Tipping Point by Dinuka McKenzie, the third book in the series featuring the likeable detective balancing her job and life with her husband, two kids and various relatives who seem to come to the attention of police far more than she’d like.

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four-stars

Book review: After That Night by Karin Slaughter

Friday, July 14, 2023 Permalink

I very much enjoyed After That Night by Karin Slaughter which is the 11th in the Will Trent series. I must have missed one or two I think as I think I knew Will and Sara Linton were together but had forgotten how much I like their relationship and the way they complement each other.

The underlying plot here is shocking though I’ve read similar books. It’s a reminder that sociopaths somehow manage to find one another and also raises the nature vs nurture debate.

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four-stars

Book review: The Drowning Girls by Veronica Lando

Saturday, July 1, 2023 Permalink

The Drowning Girls by Veronica Lando is reminiscent of her first novel, The Whispering as it offers up vivid imagery and again Lando manages to place readers in the north of my state of Queensland. And I was very much reminded of a trip I had earlier this year to Weipa (further north than the setting of this book), where we were welcomed to the ‘west coast of Queensland’. It was surreal to most as we tend to forget that my states’s entire west isn’t landlocked and there’s a whole coastline in the tropics – offering a dichotomous view of red dirt reminiscent of outback Australia against palm trees and blue sea.

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four-stars

Book review: My Father the Whale by Gina Perry

Friday, June 9, 2023 Permalink

I was initially reticent to start My Father the Whale by Gina Perry because I’d just read another book (Tell Me What I Am by Una Mannion) about a young girl being raised by her father amidst secrets about her mother’s fate and I was concerned the two books would become intertwined in my little head. As it happens however, they are (ultimately) quite different though similarly themed around family and relationships. Perry’s book is also set in two distinct timeframes: 1984 and then 2000.

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four-stars

Book review: The Hike by Lucy Clarke

Monday, April 24, 2023 Permalink

The Hike by Lucy Clarke opens with a stunning prologue. The first couple of paragraphs were amazing. So much so I took a photograph and posted them on Twitter. (So others could share my delight!)

There have been quite a few books about groups of friends or colleagues going camping or hiking and one doesn’t return. I thought this might be similar and focus on the aftermath or fallout of a missing hiker…. with the remaining group having to keep silent in a ‘what happens on hike stays on hike‘ kinda thing.

But it’s not like that at all. And though I’m sooooo not interested in hiking or camping or the wilderness, Clarke managed to grab my attention and keep it until I turned the last page of this book.

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four-stars

Book review: Dying to Know by Rae Cairns

Sunday, April 9, 2023 Permalink

Dying to Know by Rae Cairns is the second book by the Australian author and I very much enjoyed her first, The Good Mother, despite it being about one of my less-favourite topics… of parenting-related angst and judgement.

In her latest novel she very deftly introduces an historical crime without belabouring it, which is something I very much appreciated. The backcover blurb made me wonder if there’d be a lot of back and forward in time (which I don’t dislike, but imagined might be drawn-out) when in reality Cairns cleanly and succinctly introduces the events of twelve years earlier and moves on to the present.

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four-stars

Book review: Apartment 303 by Kelli Hawkins

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 Permalink

I received an advance copy of Apartment 303 by Kelli Hawkins as well as a final copy so I gave my mother the former to read before I got to it… and she read it very very quickly (within a day, while I was with her) and loved it.

I also very much enjoyed this novel and Hawkins does a great job at muddying the already-murky waters of Rory’s life with a misdirection or three. On one hand I kinda guessed who was up to some of the nefarious exploits (given they seemed to have an agenda of sorts), but I certainly didn’t guess why, or how they played out against other elements of the plot. Hawkins is able to keep threads completely hidden, revealing them just when we think we’ve got it worked out.

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four-stars

Book review: A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno

Saturday, February 18, 2023 Permalink

A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno is a hard book to review. It’s amazingly written. The concept is very clever and Dalgarno’s prose switch from a fairly chatty and mundane narrative to something more confronting… jolting readers out of our comfort zone and reminding us that the narrator is (in fact) dead.

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four-stars

Book review: The Artist’s Secret by Alexandra Joel

Monday, January 9, 2023 Permalink

I must confess I’d put aside The Artist’s Secret by Alexandra Joel because it’s classified as historical fiction – which isn’t a fave of mine. It was only when re-reading the blurb I realised the ‘historical’ elements here took place in the mid-late 60s, with a few visits into the 70s before moving to the 80s. So not the war stuff I usually avoid, rather… the span of my life. Which – ahem – has barely started. 🙄

And I enjoyed this more than I expected, dipping into the art world, particularly that of the Renaissance period and the world of auction houses and wealthy collectors. Our lead character Wren is complex and likeable who (here) unfortunately comes across some very caustic colleagues (is it an art-world thing I wondered?) but who’s determinedly dug her way out of a challenging childhood to pursue her dreams.

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four-stars