Book review: The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain

Monday, May 10, 2021 Permalink

The most intriguing thing about this book is that it opens with the death of Erin’s husband. (And I hadn’t read the blurb so that came as a surprise to me but it IS in the blurb so this isn’t a spoiler.) And then we leap forward in time and she’s on trial for murdering her husband months AFTER he (very obviously) suicided.

The options are obvious aren’t they? He faked his death for some reason… and we’re given plenty. Or Erin moves on and married someone else quickly in the interim. Jo Spain sets The Perfect Lie up really well so I didn’t expect the direction this book took. I mean, I’d considered the baddie could be the baddie but discounted it because, well… Spain convinced me otherwise.

four-stars

Book review: Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke

Saturday, May 8, 2021 Permalink

Amy Suiter Clarke, author of Girl, 11 was born in America, studied in England but now lives in Melbourne. And everyone knows how much we Aussies like to adopt people born elsewhere as our own.

Suiter Clarke’s debut novel centres around the popular world of true crime podcasting.  And like others who have offered similar books Suiter Clarke manages to balance past crimes – revealed via podcast interviews and research – with the events of the present. Indeed here it’s done particularly well as there’s a lag in revealing the podcast episodes that have aired when we first meet our characters. They’re referenced so there’s some foreshadowing of what’s to come but it’s timed perfectly to offer readers only a little insight into the fate that’s about to befall our characters.

three-half-stars

Book review: What You Never Knew by Jessica Hamilton

Friday, April 23, 2021 Permalink

What You Never Knew by Jessica Hamilton starts with something quite devastating. Thankfully we’re prepared because the backcover blurb clearly tells us we’re going to be meeting someone who dies, nevertheless I felt sad we lost May before getting to know her.

Sometimes books featuring narrators who have died can be a little morbid or overly wistful, Hamilton however manages to insert (the ghost or spirit of) May into her sister’s life in quite an unobtrusive way.

three-half-stars

Book review: Other People’s Houses by by Kelli Hawkins

Saturday, March 6, 2021 Permalink

Other People’s Houses by by Kelli Hawkins is an intriguing and bittersweet tale of loss, grief and obsession. It could be akin to breakdown porn as readers get a front-row seat to the disintegration of someone’s mental health. However Hawkins handles lead character Kate with respect and sensitivity. This book is being compared to Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train and I suspect it’s due to the similarities between Kate and TGOTT’s Rachel. Not only are both heavy drinkers, but they indulge in risky and obsessive behaviour… even though they know better. Both authors however, treat their leads sympathetically.

four-stars

Book review: The Dare by Lesley Kara

Thursday, February 25, 2021 Permalink

I haven’t read Lesley Kara’s well-received 2018 release, The Rumour but I did enjoy Who Did You Tell, published in early 2020. Now I’ve read her latest book it’s obvious she’s drawn to themes reflecting hidden pasts and long-buried secrets.

The Dare is a twisty read that lures readers into a false sense of complacency before throwing our trust back in our faces. It has us questioning how well we (actually) know some of the lead characters.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Therapist by BA Paris

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Permalink

The Therapist is the third book I’ve read by BA Paris and both others, Bring Me Back and The Dilemma, were edge-of-your-seat reads.

Our main narrator for The Therapist is Alice who’s recently moved with her partner into a new enclave in London, called The Circle. It sounds a bit Steptoe Wife-like but it isn’t. The couples living there are all quite different albeit slightly insular in the gated community.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

Friday, January 1, 2021 Permalink

I enjoyed The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher more than expected. I think I’d assumed there would be some laborious backstory that resulted in Juno going to live with the Crouch family. That she obsessively idolised them in some single-white-female-stalker way (which she only does a little) or she’s coerced or kidnapped or similar.

But that’s not at all the case. And the circumstances involved are probably one of the best parts of the plot. Certainly NOT expected; something I didn’t see coming.

four-stars