• Book review: The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

    Sunday, May 22, 2022 Permalink

    I’ve not read Sulari Gentill’s popular Rowland Sinclair series given I tend to stay away from historical fiction but I absolutely adored the Ned Kelly award-winning After She Wrote Him, which I read in 2020, also known as Crossing the Lines.

    It was a complete mindf*ck in many ways, but rather than find it frustrating I thought it incredibly clever and kinda jealous that I’d never be able to think of anything quite so complex and twisted.

    Thankfully Gentill does it again in her latest release, The Woman in the Library. Again it’s about a writer. Or rather two writers and one – or maybe both – are using the other’s life as inspiration. And just to make things twistier, one of the writers is actually writing about a writer and events taking place in her life and those she meets.

    four-half-stars
  • Book review: The Island by Adrian McKinty

    Saturday, May 21, 2022 Permalink

    The Island by Adrian McKinty has been getting a lot of attention from well-respected authors and publishing industry types, and it’s very much deserved. His last standalone, The Chain, was equally well-received, winning Ned Kelly and Barry Awards on its release.

    The Island has probably given me a better understanding of the type of writer he is. It’s certainly action-packed. It’s exciting. It’s fast paced. There’s some depth to the characters, though more to our protagonists than our antagonists. It reminded me very much of action-packed reads by Gregg Hurwitz and the recent borderline horror reads by Gabriel Bergmoser.

    four-stars
  • Book review: The Curfew by TM Logan

    Thursday, May 19, 2022 Permalink

    As a non-parent I got tired of books about parenting – warring parents and those judging others so have been trying to steer clear of them. The Curfew by TM Logan includes an element of that… relationships between parents and their kids and with other parents, but it’s more about parents trying to get to the bottom of a mystery involving their son… and forced to ponder the extent of that involvement.

    So this appealed to mystery-loving me. Someone goes missing. It’s not who we initially think. Or even who we next think. And even then there’s a weird silence around the missing person. Teenaged friends with them at the time are strangely silent when it’s obvious they should be doing everything they can to help them be found. Unless of course they have some other ulterior motive. But how on earth do you get a group of teenagers to keep a secret without one of them caving…. ?

    four-stars
  • Book review: Verity by Colleen Hoover

    Wednesday, May 11, 2022 Permalink

    I’ve only read one book by Colleen Hoover – It Ends With Us – and I very much enjoyed it. Hoover has had a bit of a cult-following for years but seemingly found a new audience thanks to TikTok (BookTok) over the past year or so. Her 2018 novel Verity is a departure from her usual work but very much in my suspense and thriller-loving wheelhouse.

    I’d heard good things about this book since its re-release earlier this year but hadn’t been able to find my copy until this past weekend when I finally removed an array of debris from the back seat of my car!

    So I finally dove in. I would have easily read this in a sitting as it’s not long but I’d embarked on something new in the slow cooker, so put it aside at about 3/4 of the way through, though it had gotten very exciting….

    four-stars
  • Book review: Here Goes Nothing by Steve Tolz

    Sunday, May 8, 2022 Permalink

    I don’t read much satire. I like humorous books, but usually tend to gravitate to those written in first person by someone who’s self-deprecating or where the narrative voice is snarky or sarcastic. Here Goes Nothing by Steve Tolz was a different kind of read for me. If pressed I’d describe the humour as ‘arch’ rather than funny, though note others have found it hilarious.

    In fact… I’m not sure I enjoyed it. (As such.) But I must concede it’s good nonetheless. (And yes, I do think it’s possible to know/think a book is good without liking it.) It’s exceedingly clever and confronting. In terms of social commentary it reminded me of some of my recent reads by Inga Simpson, Sarah Foster and Mitch Albom.

    four-stars
  • Book review: The Torrent by Dinuka McKenzie

    Wednesday, April 20, 2022 Permalink

    I’d heard a lot of good things about The Torrent by Dinuka McKenzie and now that I’ve read it, am happy it’s tagged on Goodreads as Detective Kate Miles #1 meaning there are more to come. Of course my finely honed deductive skills also noted the inclusion of a preview of book number two at the end of The Torrent, so….

    McKenzie’s introduced us to an engaging lead in Kate and I liked the support cast we’d expect to see again – her husband, her work partner, her boss and her father. There’s a bit of backstory and baggage in relation to her father’s past but it doesn’t overwhelm the story unfolding here in any way which also includes a nice balance of the crime/s-at-hand and the usual personal stuff impacting on work lives – particularly that of cops’.

    four-stars
  • Book review: When We Fall by Aoife Clifford

    Monday, April 18, 2022 Permalink

    I loved Aoife Clifford’s first two books, All These Perfect Strangers and Second Sight so am not entirely sure why it took me so long to get to her latest release, When We Fall. I didn’t receive it for review but reading her books are no-brainers for me so I finally dragged myself to the store to get a copy… and I wasn’t disappointed.

    Like Second Sight, it’s an atmospheric read and Clifford captures small seaside living well. And… the book opens with a bang, grabbing our attention with a macabre discovery. If I knew more about fishing I’d make some clever analogy about hooking we readers and reeling us in, given the fishing-village-like setting, but sadly I got nuthin…

    four-stars
  • Book review: The Way from Here by Jane Cockram

    Saturday, April 16, 2022 Permalink

    The Way from Here by Jane Cockram divided some of my friends. I have one who loved it and one who didn’t really enjoy it at all. Sadly I’m probably closer to the latter. It dragged a little for me. I suspect the fact that the early stages of the plot were a bit all over the place, were supposed to reflect the state of mind of 19 year old Susie… pursuing one guy, then another when that didn’t work.

    But it felt a bit scattergun. I wondered if Cockram was a ‘panster’ (writing by the seat of her pants) and letting the book take her where it wanted – unsure what story she wanted to tell or what sort of book it was to be. Things become clearer and the pace picks up, but not really without becoming overly-complex at the same time.

    two-half-stars