Book review: Anna O by Matthew Blake

Sunday, February 4, 2024 Permalink

Anna O by Matthew Blake borrows its title from the pseudonym of a patient who inspired (or at least influenced) Freud’s origins of psychoanalysis. Of course the character in this book is referenced thus as she either has resignation syndrome (a withdrawal from life – which IS a real thing), or is faking it to avoid murder charges. Also… her name is Anna (Ogilvy).

This book has been pretty hyped so my expectations were heightened. I received an early copy while at the Theakston Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate last July. I’d expected big things as a result so held off reading it until just before the Australian publication date in early February 2024. And it has to be said my thoughts on it changed many times over the course of its 440-ish pages.

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four-stars

Book review: The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen

Thursday, August 17, 2023 Permalink

Part-way through The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen I thought, ‘She’s done such a great job with these characters this will have to become a series.’ And sure enough, after I’d finished reading I went to add it to Goodreads and noticed it’s called The Martini Club #1.

It’s very reminiscent of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series – though given our lead cast are all ex-CIA agents – they’re like the residents of the Coopers Chase Luxury Retirement Village, but on speed.

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four-stars

Book review: Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead by Jenny Hollander

Tuesday, August 8, 2023 Permalink

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead by Jenny Hollander was another freebie in my goody bag at Harrogate’s Theakston Crime Writing Festival in July. Given the state (ie. heaviness) of my luggage, I made a concerted effort to read some of the ARCs while overseas and leave them behind for others to find and enjoy.

Weirdly I’d just read another book about a ‘survivor’ and their guilt (or lies) so this book seemed most apt… although it’s actually quite different and is less about someone lying than about a survivor who’s pushed away memories of a tragic event from a decade earlier.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Day One by Abigail Dean

Wednesday, August 2, 2023 Permalink

It took me some time to realise Day One by Abigail Dean was named after a particular school day, rather than a countdown of days (like Ruth Ware’s recent release), or referring to the first day AFTER an event.

I didn’t enjoy Dean’s popular debut novel Girl A as much as others, and I wondered if it’d been over-hyped, though I mention in my review that as Dean kept readers guessing for some time, I’d not engaged in the plot as much as I would have liked cos I was kinda confused about what I was reading. Day One similarly keeps secrets from readers, though we most certainly know there are some as Dean foreshadows the events of the present / past and future so – though we know we’re not learning about the events in linear fashion – we kinda know where we end up.

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four-stars

Book review: The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva

Sunday, July 30, 2023 Permalink

Very weirdly I read The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva while staying at an AirBnB in England and had to leave it there as I’d accumulated some extra books at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. I realised the owners and other visitors might be slightly perturbed because of its content (involving a host snooping through her guest’s belongings), but also hoped someone else happily whiles away their time with it while travelling.

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three-stars