• Book review: The Sleepover by Samantha King

    Saturday, November 16, 2019 Permalink

    Thrillers or psychological suspense novels featuring missing kids aren’t a rarity.  I went to a session at Bad Sydney Crime Writers Festival about ‘missing children’ in books and they touched on a something I – as a non-parent – found interesting.

    Continue Reading…

    three-stars
  • Book review: Riverstone Ridge by Mandy Magro

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019 Permalink

    I’ve not read any of Mandy Magro’s books before though heard of the Far North Queensland-dwelling author who has over a dozen novels to her name.

    This appealed as it sounded as if it included some suspense and though I don’t read ‘romance’ I don’t mind romantic suspense. (Or apparently books featuring ‘romantic elements’ which I hadn’t realised was a sub-genre of some sort!)

    Continue Reading…

    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Girl Who Reads on the Metro by Christine Feret-Fleury

    Monday, November 11, 2019 Permalink

    This quaint-looking small hardcover book isn’t the sort of book that would normally appeal. But it came as a surprise. Quite a delightful one in fact.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect – after all, it’s a translation…. and they don’t always go well. You’re so dependent on an intermediary to offer up quality prose – but this translator (Ros Schwartz) did a great job. I’m almost intrigued if it was as eloquent in its original language.

    Continue Reading…

    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Wife and the Widow by Christian White

    Thursday, November 7, 2019 Permalink

    Christian’s White’s The Nowhere Child was extremely well received when released in 2018. I didn’t read it at the time and heard White speak about it at the BAD Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival in early September. I liked the premise so decided I’d buy a copy there.

    Then however White commented on the fact he’d set it in a certain place in America as it was the only place they still trained snake charmers (or something). I asked someone if snakes really did feature in the novel. They laughed when I said I was phobic, but it seriously turned me off reading it. Though I’m sure I would have enjoyed it.

    His second novel, The Wife and the Widow offers no snakes. It’s extremely twisty though and has a mid-way surprise to rival that of Clare Mackintosh’s fabulous I Let You Go.

    Continue Reading…

    four-half-stars
  • Book review: The Portrait of Molly Dean by Katherine Kovacic

    Tuesday, November 5, 2019 Permalink

    I met Melbourne author Katherine Kovacic at the BAD Crime Writers’ Festival in early September. She was speaking at some sessions and also a finalist at the Ned Kelly Awards, for her debut novel, The Portrait of Molly Dean.

    I’d heard of the book but – a bit like The Killing of Louisa by Janet Lee – thought it was non-fiction. And anyone who knows anything about me knows I do not read non-fiction. (Or historical fiction, or fantasy, romance, science fiction etc…) Except on those occasions when I ‘accidentally’ do.

    I discovered of course The Portrait of Molly Dean is a fictionalised account of the actual murder of teacher/writer/muse Molly Dean in Melbourne in 1930. And my interest was piqued after I heard Katherine speak about it and how she became intrigued by the unsolved crime and rather cynical accounts of the victim.

    Continue Reading…

    four-stars
  • Book review: Starting from Now by Fleur McDonald

    Sunday, November 3, 2019 Permalink

    I’m really enjoying this (interrelated) series by Fleur McDonald. It really doesn’t matter where you enter because each of the books works easily as a standalone. Detective Dave Burrows is the link between books, but each introduces new characters whose stories are central to the plot.

    There’s usually a smidge of romance and a crime or two and they’re all set in rural or regional Australia. Given her own farming background, McDonald effortlessly conveys a real sense of the lives our characters lead and she always manages to reflect on topical issues. Here she touches on both new technology being introduced to farming communities as well as the inadvertent impact protestors can have on the animals / communities / subject matter they believe they’re protecting.

    Continue Reading…

    four-stars
  • Book review: The Great Divide by LJM Owen

    Saturday, November 2, 2019 Permalink

    It’s hard not to use the word atmospheric when writing about this book. It’s certainly that and continues the fine tradition I’ve experienced recently with Tasmanian crime fiction and small-town noir.

    Set in Tasmania’s winter this – I assume to be the first in a new series – offers readers a sense of bleak and dismal foreboding – in a good way – well-suited to the book’s dark storyline and some long-hidden sinister secrets.

    Continue Reading…

    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Lapse by Sarah Thornton

    Tuesday, October 29, 2019 Permalink

    For some reason I don’t see new release listings for some publishers. Text Publishing is one, though one of my favourite books in the last few years was one of theirs – Toni Jordan’s The Fragments.

    I’ve engaged with debut author Sarah Thornton on Twitter and hadn’t seen the first in this series featuring former corporate lawyer, Clementine Jones when it came out a couple of months ago. I’m glad to have caught up however. It takes us a while to learn why Clementine has left her previous life in Sydney (and I suspect Thornton will eke that out slowly) but when we meet her here she’s had an unlikely career change.

    Continue Reading…

    three-half-stars
  • Book review: You Don’t Know Me by Sara Foster

    Monday, October 28, 2019 Permalink

    When ticking the ‘genre’ of this book for this post I added romantic suspense because – though not generally a fan of ‘romance’ as such – I was completely taken with the burgeoning romance that underpinned much of this novel.

    The book opens as our two leads, Alice and Noah meet, and I adored their relationship and the way it grew. It felt… well, um romantic. Of course it’s hampered by a backstory of long-kept secrets, guilt and death, so it’s not all rainbows and kittens.

    Continue Reading…

    four-stars