• Book review: Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French

    Sunday, July 23, 2017 Permalink

    Long term disciples, devotees, (ahem) readers of my book reviews may recall I’ve struggled with the Nicci French Dr Frieda Klein series. I actually even put one or two of the early books aside rather than continuing with them.

    However, I actually enjoyed the last one I read,  Friday On My Mind and commented in that review on the fact I felt that Frieda was – perhaps – evolving a little and become a more likeable character. I’d like to think I wasn’t alone in struggling with early Frieda and the Nicci Gerrard / Sean French pairing decided to insert a little personality into her stiff unrelatable demeanour. I suspect however, it’s probably more about the trajectory they’d always planned for the socially-challenged psychotherapist rather than public outcry. 

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Together by Julie Cohen

    Saturday, July 22, 2017 Permalink

    In 2003, just over two years after his heart transplant my father caught a bus from his regional hometown to Brisbane for some tests with a neurologist. I picked him up and took him to the hospital, waited while he was in with the specialist and then took him back to the bus.

    I’m not sure what happened while he was in being ‘tested’ but he came out devastated. Deflated. He talked about some of the memory tests he’d been given and couldn’t believe he’d struggled with them. Interestingly it was years before his official diagnosis of vascular dementia but perhaps we were fortunate it took a while to invade his mind and his memories.

    Eighty-year old Robbie Brandon, the lead character of Julie Cohen’s Together, seems to have suffered a far quicker decline. But it takes us the whole book to understand why its full impact would be even more devastating for him, his beloved Emily and their family.

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    four-half-stars
  • Book review: The Late Show by Michael Connelly

    Friday, July 14, 2017 Permalink

    I was a bit of a latecomer to Michael Connelly and his long-running Harry Bosch series (but have been watching the TV show for good measure), so it was great to see that he’s got a new protagonist in LAPD Detective Renee Ballard, who – despite 14yrs on the job – has been shunted to the midnight shift (The Late Show) because she dared accuse a senior officer of harassment.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 Permalink

    I used to be a huge fan of Kathy Reichs and her Temperance Brennan novels. I must confess my interest waned a little in the last outing or two however (number 16, according to Goodreads, so I skipped 17 & 18), so was stoked to see a new novel featuring a brand new character – a former military investigator named Sunday Night. Yes, really!

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    four-stars
  • Book review: The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

    Monday, July 10, 2017 Permalink

    I’m a huge fan of Michael Robotham, the Sydney-based Aussie author, and was surprised it’s actually been two years since his last book was released here in Australia. Close Your Eyes was the eighth in the popular Joe O’Loughlin series and the year before that Robotham won a fistful of crime fiction awards for his standalone book, Life Or Death (which I adored!).

    As it happens, I’m going to hear him speak at the Maleny Book Festival (Celebration of Books) next Sunday and think the trip there (which is over twice as long as his session) will be well worth it.

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    four-half-stars
  • Book review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

    Sunday, July 9, 2017 Permalink

    I’d had this book on my iPad for review months before its publication date and so had almost become accustomed to seeing it sitting there – awaiting my attention – when its turn finally came around and I opened it. (Well, downloaded it in reality, but still…)

    As usual I went onto the Goodreads app to add the book to my ‘currently reading’ list. And though I try to avoid seeing any other reviews before I post my own (lest I be swayed by others) I did note some rather positive comments about this book. Which I discovered – when I read it in an intense sitting – were most certainly warranted.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner

    Saturday, July 8, 2017 Permalink

    I read Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner, the first in this series featuring (then DS, now DI) Manon Bradshaw last year – although I didn’t know (more in the series would follow) at that time. Looking back on my review I certainly took to Manon, who I described as a ‘no nonsense’ sort of person. Which remains the case in her second outing.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Fatal Mistake by Karen M Davis

    Wednesday, July 5, 2017 Permalink

    I hadn’t realised this book was the third in a series until I started reading it and my enjoyment probably suffered a little as a result as I felt like I was missing a lot of the context. The characters, however are great and – if you get the chance – I’d recommend starting at the beginning. Starting part-way through (as I’ve done) will mean you get some spoilers about earlier books, case outcomes and the characters’ exploits.

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    three-half-stars