Book review: Just One Wish by Rachael Johns

Saturday, October 19, 2019 Permalink

Rachael Johns’ most recent novels tackle a range of contemporary and complex issues. Her latest release is no different. My expectations around her books have probably grown over recent years and thankfully she’s giving readers consistently strong characters, interesting plots and challenging us to ponder our own attitudes and beliefs a little as well.

Just One Wish offers up three generations of women. All relatable and very very different.

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four-stars

Book review: How The Dead Speak by Val McDermid

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 Permalink

I try hard not to write reviews with spoilers. Or ones that give away too much of the plot. Of course it also means I sometimes re-read a review of a book before starting the next book of the series and – unless it’s ingrained into my mind for some reason – I rarely remember the detail.

So, given two years has passed since Val McDermid’s last Tony Hill / Carol Jordan novel Insidious Intent was published (and I can’t believe it’s that long!), I’d completely forgotten Tony had gone to jail. I can’t remember any of the specifics, but that’s kind-of a good thing as newcomers to the series won’t be lost, suddenly introduced to characters – many of whom have been around now for 11 novels (and 24 years).

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four-stars

Book review: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

Friday, August 16, 2019 Permalink

I’ve actually never played Never Have I Ever, but this book by Joshilyn Jackson leverages off an adult version of the game… unexpectedly played by a group of inebriated women – who (I felt) interestingly see themselves as wives and mothers, rather than independent beings. And yes, that’s a bit judge-y but all definitions of the ‘book club’ early on suggest it’s the club of mothers with young children. There’s a SEPARATE group for the mothers of teens. (Of course that is completely irrelevant, but just kinda weird for this middle-aged singleton.)

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three-half-stars

Book review: Clear My Name by Paula Daly

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 Permalink

I’ve read a few of Paula Daly’s books now (four according to Goodreads, including last year’s Open Your Eyes) so received emails from her UK and US publishers about her latest release, Clear My Name.

I really liked the lead character in this book and would ‘love’ for Tess to feature in a series. In some ways she’s kind-of an unlikely narrator… in her 40s and someone who didn’t quite achieve all they wanted. And though she’s settled into a job she enjoys, there’s a sense she’s biding time. (And worryingly I could kinda relate!)

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four-stars

Book review: Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Permalink

I’m posting this review earlier than planned as I accidentally read some of my TBR pile in the wrong order. As I only had this one electronically I didn’t have the usual media release and mistakenly thought it was out before some of the others on my list. So, oops.

Also, I’m a fan of Linwood Barclay and have read and reviewed many of his other books (and series) here, so happy to have read it slightly earlier than intended.

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four-stars

Book review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Sunday, July 7, 2019 Permalink

There is currently a LOT of hype around The Chain by Adrian McKinty. I keep seeing articles on social media about the film rights of a book written by an Uber driver sold for a seven figure sum.

There’s actually an interesting note in the back of this book from McKinty about life as a writer. He’s got his successful Sean Duffy series under his belt but it’s a reminder that many seemingly-successful creatives (authors and the like) don’t actually earn much from their craft. Most have other jobs and alternative sources of income. Which makes me feel a bit grumpy about some idiotic athletes who earn gazillions.

But enough of my ranting. Let’s get down to it cos this standalone by McKinty is (#spoileralert) certainly worth all of the praise it’s getting. I wasn’t sure I was going to be enamoured but I was gobsmacked at how ‘real’ it all felt from the opening lines.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Devil’s Lair by Sarah Barrie

Friday, June 14, 2019 Permalink

This is actually the first book I’ve read by Australian author Sarah Barrie though she’s penned the Hunters Ridge series and I understand this is loosely linked to her 2018 release, Blood Tree River.

I kinda guessed the ‘whodunnit’ part here which is eventually partially handed to us. The why wasn’t as predictable though and sets up the suspense in this book quite nicely.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Come Back for Me by Heidi Perks

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 Permalink

The book opens as 11yr old Stella’s father is forcing (albeit without actual physical force) her family to leave remote Evergreen Island, the only home she’s known. Ferrying people between the island and Poole Harbour is her father’s job but the weather is dire and their decision to leave sudden.

Stella is devastated, expecting her mother to refuse her father’s wishes, so surprised when she agrees to their hurried departure. It’s an ominous and quite frantic start to this story.

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three-half-stars