• Book review: Shiver by Allie Reynolds

    Sunday, January 24, 2021 Permalink

    Shiver is former professional snowboarder Allie Reynolds’ debut novel and she certainly writes what she knows with great ease and conviction. It features a group of snowboarders and switches between two timeframes. There’s a reunion (of sorts) in the present and then a winter training season ten years earlier, that resulted in the death of a young woman.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: Girl A by Abigail Dean

    Friday, January 15, 2021 Permalink

    There’s been a bit of buzz around Girl A by Abigail Dean. That can be both a good and bad thing. I read it earlier than planned as I was excited about it, but at the same time I probably had heightened expectations as a result.

    For much of this book I wasn’t sure if I was reading about a cult, or about kidnapped children. Dean keeps it pretty vague for a while and readers are on edge, recognising that we don’t have the full story. Waiting for more.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Schoolgirl Strangler by Katherine Kovacic

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021 Permalink

    I never read non-fiction, predominantly because I read to escape so I don’t actually want reality. I usually however also struggle with the structure of non-fiction books, even when events are running chronologically there’s overlap and most just don’t work (for me!).

    I was keen to read The Schoolgirl Strangler by Katherine Kovacic however, because I like her writing and met her at an event in 2019. At the time she commented on coming across these cases when researching her first book, the Ned Kelly Award-nominated The Portrait of Molly Dean. So I figured I’d push myself out of my comfort zone to kick off 2021.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: The Therapist by BA Paris

    Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Permalink

    The Therapist is the third book I’ve read by BA Paris and both others, Bring Me Back¬†and The Dilemma, were edge-of-your-seat reads.

    Our main narrator for The Therapist is Alice who’s recently moved with her partner into a new enclave in London, called The Circle. It sounds a bit Steptoe Wife-like but it isn’t. The couples living there are all quite different albeit slightly insular in the gated community.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 Permalink

    I’d completely misunderstood the blurb for The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean. I assumed it to be one of those kidnap victim sagas about someone abducted and held for many years (like Room and many books since). And it kinda is. But’s also about the far weightier and fraught topic of human trafficking, or at least its aftermath and its repercussions.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: My Best Friend’s Murder by Polly Phillips

    Sunday, January 3, 2021 Permalink

    I was part-way through My Best Friend’s Murder by Polly Phillips when it occurred to me it might be set in Australia. What I very much liked about that thought was not that it might be set in my home country, but rather it translated into any number of locations. An excellent idea for a debut author which would make the book relevant and relatable across a number of english-speaking markets. Of course there might (also) have been references to places or landmarks I missed or didn’t recognise!

    And I very much enjoyed this book, reading it in a sitting on Christmas night when I was supposed to be bingeing on a new Netflix release.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

    Friday, January 1, 2021 Permalink

    I enjoyed The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher more than expected. I think I’d assumed there would be some laborious backstory that resulted in Juno going to live with the Crouch family. That she obsessively idolised them in some single-white-female-stalker way (which she only does a little) or she’s coerced or kidnapped or similar.

    But that’s not at all the case. And the circumstances involved are probably one of the best parts of the plot. Certainly NOT expected; something I didn’t see coming.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: Painting in the Shadows by Katherine Kovacic

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 Permalink

    Painting in the Shadows by Katherine Kovacic is the second in her Alex Clayton Art series. I met Katherine at the BAD Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival in September 2019 and she’d been nominated for a prestigious Ned Kelly Award for the first in that series, The Portrait of Molly Dean.

    I bought that book soon after and very much enjoyed it. The Shifting Landscape was released in early 2020 and I assumed it was the sequel, forgetting about the time lag involved in award nominations. It wasn’t until I started that book I realised it was the third in the series and I’d missed one in between. That’s now been rectified and I’m glad I’ve read Painting in the Shadows as it’s probably my favourite in the series to date.

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    four-half-stars