• Book review: Headcase by Jack Heath

    Wednesday, November 30, 2022 Permalink

    Headcase by Jack Heath is the fourth in the series featuring cannibalistic problem solver Timothy Blake. Annoyingly my review of this book’s predecessor, published in 2020, mentions it ending with a bit of a twist. Alas I shared no spoilers and as I was super keen to read this, I was too impatient to go back and skim Hideout to jog my memory.

    It didn’t actually matter however. I’m assuming perhaps that the love of Blake’s life, FBI agent Reese Thistle found out about his flesh-eating predilections and the pair broke up, as here he’s pining for her while working with new partner Zara on a covert CIA operation in the US.

    four-stars
  • Book review: In Her Blood by Nikki Crutchley

    Saturday, November 26, 2022 Permalink

    In Her Blood by Nikki Crutchley introduces two families and a missing girl; stories unfolding decades apart. Both families have been torn apart by tragedy and loss, but they’re not blameless we learn and Crutchley offers some very flawed and unlikeable characters in this dark and twisty read.

    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Clarke by Holly Throsby

    Sunday, November 13, 2022 Permalink

    Clarke by Holly Throsby was inspired by the high-profile disappearance of a woman (Lynette Dawson) in Australia in the early 1980s. Although the book is centred around the police’s sudden search for the body in the yard of the house in which the fictional Ginny Lawson used to live with her husband, it’s the impact that search has on the house’s new resident and neighbours that makes this a powerful and (ultimately) somewhat poignant read.

    four-stars
  • Book review: Desert Star by Michael Connelly

    Tuesday, November 8, 2022 Permalink

    I’ve enjoyed Michael Connelly’s pairing of stalwart Harry Bosch with Renee Ballard who we first met in The Late Show, a reference to the fact that Ballard worked nights. When this opens Bosch and Ballard haven’t spoken for some time and their relationship’s tense. I was worried I’d missed something and thought their previous outing (The Dark Hours) had ended amicably.

    We pick up here a year later however, and quickly learn that plans for the pair to go into business together did not come to fruition and Ballard (instead) returned to the LAPD… leaving Bosch hanging.

    four-stars
  • Book review: Broad River Station by Fleur McDonald

    Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Permalink

    Broad River Station by Fleur McDonald is the latest release in the interrelated series featuring Detective Dave Burrows who heads up Barker Police Station. McDonald tends to keep the focus on outback / farming related crimes and I like that about these books and her young Dave Burrows series.┬áIt very much sets them apart from other outback or rural (Oz) crime fiction. I know nothing about farms or rural life but thanks to her own knowledge and experience, McDonald manages to effortlessly engage readers in the unfolding plot – giving us enough detail that we understand the context (and receive a smidge of education at the same time) – but aren’t overwhelmed with superfluous complex information.

    four-stars
  • Book review: East of Alice by Annie Seaton

    Sunday, October 30, 2022 Permalink

    East of Alice by Annie Seaton is the first book I’ve read by the Australian author, not realising she wrote thrillers and crime fiction (thinking she wrote rural romance). And I enjoyed this a lot. Particularly the quintessentially Australian setting. Though it’s a long time since I’ve been to Alice Springs, the organisation I work for has an office there and several projects outside of the town and – having been to the West Kimberley in West Australia this year a couple of times – I could imagine some of the landscape Seaton very vividly describes here.

    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Day’s End by Garry Disher

    Friday, October 28, 2022 Permalink

    Consolation by Garry Disher was the first book I’d read by the respected and renowned Australian author. It was the third book in his Constable Paul Hirschhausen (Hirsch) series and had won the 2021 Ned Kelly award for Best Crime Fiction in 2021. Disher came highly recommended, as did Consolation. And though I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. I suspect my expectations were a tad high and though really liked Hirsch, it featured one of my pet hates – having multiple plots that don’t mesh or otherwise merge conveniently (though not logically) at the end.

    Nevertheless, I very happily dug into Day’s End, the fourth in the series and enjoyed it more than its predecessor.

    four-stars