Book review: Last One to Leave & Fool Me Twice by Benjamin Stevenson

Friday, May 24, 2024 Permalink

I was so excited to get this book I even made an Instagram reel. And I hate reels as even the smoothest people often look awkward and or like naff try-hards. 🙄  Anyhoo, these novellas (by the very-talented Benjamin Stevenson) came out as Audible Originals a couple of years ago and have now been paired as a double-header and the quality of both stories is excellent. I can imagine them as episodes of Black Mirror or similar. They’re suspenseful, creepy and very very clever.

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four-stars

Book review: Earth by John Boyne

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 Permalink

Earth by John Boyne is the second in the loosely linked series. I read Water in late 2023 and it was a tumultuous read. I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed it but cried when closing the book on discovering that another in the series was coming.

Earth didn’t have quite the same impact but Boyne again manages to unfurl a complex and tragic backstory as shocking events unfold in the present. Here, the focus is Evan – who we briefly meet in Water – which ends as he’s escaping the small Irish island that was his home.

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four-stars

Book review: Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera

Sunday, March 17, 2024 Permalink

I love it when a book takes me by surprise. One minute I’m opening it, expecting something that will entertain me for a few hours, and the next I find I don’t want to put it down and am seriously invested in the plot as if the whole thing is unfolding in front of me in real life. Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera was that kind of book. We’re not necessarily meant to like the prickly Lucy Chase – who most assumed killed her best friend five years earlier. Yet, she’s incredibly disarming and I was most certainly on her side… particularly when those who should give her the benefit of the doubt, aren’t.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Joy Moody is Out of Time by Kerryn Mayne

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 Permalink

Joy Moody is Out of Time by Kerryn Mayne is the second book by the talented Aussie author. Her debut, Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder was published last year and one of my favourite books of 2023. Mayne replicates that storytelling élan here with a quirky plot and unexpected characters. The book is centred in the present, resplendent with unanswered questions and revelations but there’s a mystery in the past… hovering just beyond our reach. There are some hints dropped throughout the book of what that might be but Mayne times the final reveal(s) brilliantly.

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four-stars

Book review: The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Permalink

The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox is a sequel to the 2019 collaboration, The Inn. I really enjoyed that book and loved the characters in particular. It was slated as a standalone but I said I hoped there were more and…. ask and you shall receive. Though not always obvs.

And I loved this sequel just as much. I literally lapped it up, having returned home from a several-day work trip, I ran a bath and dove right in. To the book, not the bath (into which I stepped carefully).

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four-stars

Book review: Kind of, Sort of, Maybe, But Probably Not by Imbi Neeme

Friday, February 16, 2024 Permalink

I very much enjoyed Imbi Neeme’s 2020 novel, The Spill which featured two sisters and was centred around family relationships and things left to fester. But it has to be said I loved her new release Kind of, Sort of, Maybe, But Probably Not even more. It offers readers flawed but very very likeable and engaging characters, including those floating around the periphery and it features a couple of young women going through some life changing moments, negotiated as they try to uncover an old mystery.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Fury by Alex Michaelides

Sunday, January 21, 2024 Permalink

The Fury by Alex Michaelides reminded me very much of Benjamin Stevenson’s Ernest Cunningham books, particularly Everyone on This Train is a Suspect, as our narrator is one of the main characters in the story… playing quite a central role and speaking to us (as if in second person) in a very conversational way. Although it has to be said that our host here, playwright Elliot, is more arrogant than Stevenson’s novelist Ernest.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Foul Play by Fiona McIntosh

Sunday, January 14, 2024 Permalink

It has to be said that soccer (aka football) fans are gonna love Foul Play by Fiona McIntosh. I’m very much enjoying this series headed up by the charismatic Jack Hawksworth, appreciating that, even though it’s set in England, McIntosh imbues Aussie flavour into each book in the series. Here via an Aussie-raised soccer player doing great things in his fictional UK club, supported by the club’s Australian (mining magnate) owner.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 Permalink

Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson is a sequel to the equally lengthily-named Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone (EIMFHKS) – a book I absolutely loved. In fact I’ve really enjoyed all of Stevenson’s books but the narration in EIMFHKS was outstanding. Written conversationally and very VERY cleverly in first person – sometimes second – the narrative is delivered via the droll, witty, exceedingly forthright writer-turned accidental detective (turned novelist) Ernest Cunningham.

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four-half-stars