Book review: White Throat by Sarah Thornton

Monday, November 23, 2020 Permalink

This is the second in the series by Sarah Thornton featuring former lawyer Clementine Jones. We learned in the first outing Lapse, that Jones had been convicted of drink driving and a woman died as a result – although I did think there was perhaps more to that story. She spent a lot of time in the first novel keeping that secret, but it’s not the case here and her history seems to be more accessible.

Lapse was set in Katinga in rural Australia, but this opens with (the elegant) mention of tidal flats and the ocean. Here Jones is housesitting and Thornton certainly offers eloquent imagery of Australia’s coastline. The setting was of interest to me as it’s actually in my back yard… near the Great Sandy Straits, set in the tiny fictional town of Piama. (I assume it’s fictional as I’ve never heard of it.)

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three-half-stars

Book review: Flying the Nest by Rachael Johns

Saturday, October 31, 2020 Permalink

I think I’ve read all of West Australian author Rachael John’s standalone novels. She always offers readers interesting characters. They’re very real and complex. We often meet them at a time their world has been upended and they’re hitting rock bottom, but she ensures they are resilient. In short they’re generally women I think I’d like.

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four-stars

Book review: Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Saturday, October 3, 2020 Permalink

I’ve read a couple of books by Wendy Walker now (All is Not Forgotten and Emma in the Night giving them 4 and 4.5 stars respectively!) and after several weeks of minimal reading and a lot of university assignment angst her latest, Don’t Look for Me was exactly what I was in the mood to read.

I settled into the bathtub and read it in an easy and entertaining sitting. There were a couple of moments that made me worry it was going to be too predictable but Walker throws in a few curves to avoid some of the usual cliches.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Burning Island by Jock Serong

Friday, October 2, 2020 Permalink

I’ve always regretted I didn’t read The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong*. It won’t surprise those who know how literarily illiterate I am that – because it came out late in the year – I actually assumed it was one of the Christmas-time sports books aimed at an easy gift for dads. 🙄

I’ve only heard amazing things about it so leapt at the chance to read Serong’s latest release. What I hadn’t realised about The Burning Island however, was that it is historical fiction (which isn’t a favourite of mine) and that it is actually the sequel to his earlier work Preservation.

It meant I probably didn’t appreciate the story on offer as much as I might otherwise have but I could certainly appreciate his beautiful prose and vivid descriptions of the islands of the Bass Strait and harsh coastline and living conditions of the time.

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four-stars

Book review: Cry Baby by Mark Billingham

Thursday, August 13, 2020 Permalink

I’m a fan of Mark Billingham and Detective Tom Thorne. I read the sixteenth in the series (Their Little Secret) last year and assumed this would pick up where it left off. In fact, I didn’t read the backcover blurb at all before I started the book and found it a little strange that the series was set in the past and I didn’t remember that being the case.

I knew I disliked his partner or girlfriend and was relieved she seemed to be moving on; and here Tom’s separated from his wife. So it made sense but it didn’t. And, as it happens, there’s nothing in the book until the very end that references that this is a flashback of sorts*. It meant that I read the book amidst some puzzlement worrying that my memory was even worse than it is and that I’d just not remembered the books were set in the 1990s.

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four-stars

Book review: Deadman’s Track by Sarah Barrie

Friday, July 17, 2020 Permalink

I read and reviewed Australian author Sarah Barrie’s last book The Devil’s Lair, in which we meet some of the characters here and I enjoy series (such as those by Fleur McDonald and Karen Rose) that centre around a group of characters, focusing on different ones each book while introducing new players… so they’re loosely related. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not read the predecessors but you’re offered a bit of context if you have.

Here we’re focussed on Tess, a hiking guide and Jared, a police detective. When we meet her Tess has suffered a tragic accident and grappling with a controlling wannabe boyfriend. She’s a little fragile so we can see she’s gonna make some bad decisions – namely taking hikers on a trek that she doesn’t think is a good idea.

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three-half-stars

Book review: All of Us by AF Carter

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 Permalink

All of Us by AF Carter reminded me why I studied psychology as an undergraduate. It reminded me of my fascination with the human mind, with sanity and insanity (as opposed to mental illness!). Not to mention my early interest in multiple personality disorder (ie. dissociative identity disorder). I blame reading / watching Sybil (the book by Flora Rheta Schreiber, film featuring Sally Field) in my teens.

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three-half-stars