Book review: The Favour by Nicci French

Saturday, January 7, 2023 Permalink

Nicci Gerrard and Sean French (writing together as Nicci French) are back with another standalone thriller, The Favour. And I enjoyed this even though the protagonist – Jude, a young geriatrician – annoyed the crap out of me, making one bad decision after another. I still liked her but groaned each time she entrenched herself more deeply into the world her former high school boyfriend and his very unorthodox group of friends lived.

three-half-stars

Book review: In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan

Tuesday, December 27, 2022 Permalink

We’re not yet in 2023 and I already wonder if In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan will be one of my favourite books released in that year. It’s a debut novel that feels as if it’s written by a seasoned author. One who’s confident with their craft and characters they’ve created. In fact, I did check a couple of times to see if our lead, Detective Chief Superintendent Kat Frank had featured in previous outings.

She hasn’t but I loved that Callaghan gives us a senior, experienced and confident protagonist and one who’s a significant way through her career and life. Kat’s likeable but has baggage. She’s talented but also fallible.

four-half-stars

Book review: The Next Girl by Pip Drysdale

Saturday, December 17, 2022 Permalink

The Next Girl by Pip Drysdale is a fascinating read, featuring a narrator who – initially anyway – has her secrets, sharing them with us slowly but surely. At times it’s written in second person, as if Billie is talking directly to us. Filling us on on her past and confiding in us now.

Ultimately, she’s honest – with us anyway – so it’s hard not to like her as we learn what motivates her and feeds her obsession/s.

four-stars

Book review: Halifax Transgression by Roger Simpson

Sunday, September 18, 2022 Permalink

We’re very much accustomed to books being adapted for television but the opposite – books appearing as a result of popular television shows or movies – is less common. Though we did have the pleasure last year of a Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mystery (in print) following the success of that TV series. And more recently the book Heat 2 has been released, complementing the popular 1995 film (Heat). Here, well-known television producer and screenwriter Roger Simpson has adapted his iconic series Halifax fp, from the small screen onto the page.

three-half-stars

Book review: The It Girl by Ruth Ware

Monday, August 1, 2022 Permalink

The It Girl by Ruth Ware is an absorbing read. It unfolds in the past and present, both via our narrator Hannah. In the past she’s starting out at Oxford University, climbing out of her public school past and and navigating the quagmire that is university life – grappling with study and new friends (which I remember as if it wasn’t 35 years ago 🙄 ). And in the present, she’s married, living in Edinburgh and working in a bookshop – never having graduated from university.

Ware doesn’t keep us guessing why as the book opens with Hannah finding the body of her best friend and room-mate April but we’re then taken back to their meeting and the weeks and months leading up to April’s murder.

four-stars

Book review: Cold Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 Permalink

Cold Cold Bones is the 21st in the series by Kathy Reichs featuring Temperance (Tempe) Brennan. I was once a devotee of this series but have seemingly missed a few recently. Her latest for example, features Tempe’s daughter Katy who’s recently left the army and I’m trying to remember if I even knew she was in the army. I kinda remember her being at university but then again I have a memory like a sieve, so….

three-half-stars

Book review: The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 Permalink

I ADORED Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley giving it a rare 4.5 stars. It was astoundingly clever and such a delight. Rowley wrote with humour and sensitivity and – though not a dog / animal lover – I was completely enchanted by Ted the human and Lily the dachshund. (And, sadly… the octopus that ‘consumed’ her.)

I leapt at the chance to read The Guncle. The blurb had me wondering if it’d be like RWR McDonald’s wonderful ‘The Nancys’ series… featuring Uncle Pike and his partner Devon… albeit without the whodunnit.

four-stars

Book review: Reputation by Sarah Vaughan

Monday, March 7, 2022 Permalink

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan is the third book I’ve read by the former English political correspondent. I enjoyed her the popular Anatomy of a Scandal which has been adapted for television and coming to Netflix in April 2022. I wasn’t as enamoured with Little Disasters which had a stronger parenting focus as – regular readers of my reviews will know – my eyes glaze over at the mention of judgmental parents and parenting wars and the like.

She’s returned to what she knows best here however and the focus is very much on the world of politics. (And the private lives of those who run for office and the media reporting on them.)

three-half-stars

Book review: The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy

Wednesday, February 2, 2022 Permalink

I very much enjoyed The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy so it meant my reading year started with a bang. In fact I thought this was very nearly a 4.5 or 5 star read. (Which are rarities in my little harsh-rating-system world.) I suspect I’ve marked it down a little because I was waiting for something that didn’t come… something that would have given me a little more insight. A little more understanding. Which of course, may say more about my need to know than it does about the book itself. Not to mention my expectations of characters’ depravity or otherwise. While others may well have complained if it went further.

four-stars