• Book review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

    Tuesday, August 4, 2020 Permalink

    This is the third novel I’ve read by former journalist Megan Goldin. Her debut The Girl in Kellers Way was published in 2017 and The Escape Room in 2018. Interestingly all three books have felt kinda different. The first was very much domestic noir; the second a suspenseful thriller; and here there’s less of a sense of impending doom. The Night Swim is more about human nature – about people and the things we do. The things we don’t do. For me it also offered a sense of sad wistfulness, a sense of injustice.

    Interestingly, though I liked our lead character Rachel, Goldin doesn’t give us a lot of information about her. This book, which I really enjoyed, is very plot driven. And we’re actually offered two mysteries: a rape trial which is the subject of Rachel’s podcast; and a death from 25 years earlier.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

    Sunday, August 2, 2020 Permalink

    I love Charlie Donlea’s books. In fact, I gave his last, The Woman in Darkness, 4.5 stars which is a rarity for me. I make the point in that book that his titles are always standalones but that I hoped to see one of the characters introduced there (Rory), again.

    And, well… he was obviously listening cos, she’s back!*

    Having said that, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read The Woman in Darkness as Donlea quickly shares Rory’s quirks and the abilities her autism offers her.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: Kokomo by Victoria Hannan

    Saturday, August 1, 2020 Permalink

    I’d had Kokomo by Victoria Hannan for quite a while before I picked it up to read. It’d been garnering a lot of praise from from bookstagrammers, bloggers and reviewers so—although the cover looked like something out of Fifty Shades of Grey—I decided to give it a try.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: When She Was Good by Michael Robotham

    Monday, July 27, 2020 Permalink

    I adored teenager Evie, introduced last year along with forensic psychologist Cyrus in Michael Robotham’s Good Girl Bad Girl. (The girl they named) Evie was found almost seven years earlier, abandoned and in hiding, and has an extraordinary ability to tell when people are lying. Cyrus was cynical about this talent at first but is now convinced.

    It’s interesting that both Evie and Cyrus were ‘found / rescued’ when young by police officers. Cyrus has stayed in touch with his rescuer Lenny though and she often drags him into cases.

    The past and present collide here as the case Lenny’s investigating has ties to Evie’s past.

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    four-half-stars
  • Book review: A Knock at the Door by TW Ellis

    Friday, July 24, 2020 Permalink

    I had to re-read the last third of A Knock at the Door by TW Ellis before writing this review. Ellis (aka author Tom Wood writing his first psychological thriller) throws in a twist at the end that is fabulous and exceedingly clever, but made me question a lot that came before. So… I figured I must have missed something.

    I can’t say too much about the twist and its impact on everything of course, but I’m not sure Ellis has shaped the narrative sufficiently (a la Louise Candlish’s The Other Passenger, written in an interview style) to pull it off.

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    three-half-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: Spirited by Julie Cohen

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020 Permalink

    Julie Cohen’s two most recent books, Together and (The Two Lives of) Louis and Louise have both made my very short ‘favourite books of the year’ listing when released.

    I knew her latest, Spirited was a little different and, as it combines a couple of elements I usually avoid—historical fiction and the supernatural—I was a tad nervous. And though it’s set in the 1850s its themes resonate today. Cohen’s books are often hard to describe but I saw this from a fellow author on Twitter and it seemed apt.

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    four-stars