• Book review: All of Us by AF Carter

    Wednesday, June 10, 2020 Permalink

    All of Us by AF Carter reminded me why I studied psychology as an undergraduate. It reminded me of my fascination with the human mind, with sanity and insanity (as opposed to mental illness!). Not to mention my early interest in multiple personality disorder (ie. dissociative identity disorder). I blame reading / watching Sybil (the book by Flora Rheta Schreiber, film featuring Sally Field) in my teens.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

    Tuesday, June 9, 2020 Permalink

    It’s no secret I’m a fan of Jane Austen. In fact, it’s almost exactly 11 years ago since I finally binge-read all of her work. I’d been away (at fat camp – long story) and took The Complete Works of Jane Austen with me. Devouring the tome easily.

    It surprised me because though I’d loved the BBC miniseries of Pride & Prejudice and the Gwyneth Paltrow/Toni Collette movie version of Emma (my interest was predominantly piqued by Colin Firth and Jeremy Northam respectively), I’d not even considered reading her books. And I hate(d) historical fiction.

    It was only then I understood the eloquent and witty genius of the woman (so) ahead of her time.

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    three-stars
  • Book review: The Spill by Imbi Neeme

    Sunday, June 7, 2020 Permalink

    The blurb of The Spill by Imbi Neeme talks about the relationship between two sisters who remember their childhoods quite differently.

    I was intrigued by that as I often have very specific memories of events from my childhood or teenage years which my mother debunks. They feel real or true to me and yet mum is like… “That didn’t happen.” It’s weird, to misremember things. I ponder how those memories were planted in my head. Were they things I wanted or thought at the time, or have they replaced the real events with the advantage of hindsight or wistfulness years later.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Broken Ones by Ren Richards

    Sunday, June 7, 2020 Permalink

    I enjoyed The Broken Ones by Ren Richards, best known for her YA and middle-grade books (writing as Lauren DeStefano). I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but Richards blends two mysteries into this novel seamlessly, giving both equal levels of intrigue.

    I really liked some of the relationships on offer as well, particularly the bond between sisters and the extent to which we go to protect and preserve ‘family’.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Hideaway by Nora Roberts

    Friday, June 5, 2020 Permalink

    I really enjoy Nora Roberts’ romantic suspense novels. She generally offers a great balance between the two genres. Her latest, Hideaway, is no different. She also gives us some delightful characters. Some less-delightful as well obviously. And the novel unfolds over a couple of decades so we get to know some of the players well by the end.

    This was a little longer than I probably would have liked, but it certainly hooks readers from the opening pages.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Museum of Forgotten Memories by Anstey Harris

    Friday, May 29, 2020 Permalink

    I really loved Anstey Harris’s The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton, released in early 2019. It is an understated book. If I wanted to sound wanky I’d say it’s about the human condition. Or perhaps it’s about all of those things that happen in our lives that make us the people we are. That make us ‘why’ we are.

    The Museum of Forgotten Memories offers something quite different. Again though there’s some quirk, past secrets and a focus on relationships.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser

    Thursday, May 28, 2020 Permalink

    This book is garnering a lot of praise and it’s deserved. It’s bloody exciting. Heart-in-mouth pacing. The action does not stop.

    I recently watched the new Chris Hemsworth movie, Extraction on Netflix. At the time I commented that it felt like one long action sequence. I’m someone who normally fast-forwards car chases and fight scenes… waiting for the dialogue to recommence. That didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the movie. I did, but it was what it was.

    I felt the same about The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser. It is almost one long action-packed scene. It wasn’t until later I discovered the author is also a scriptwriter and a film based on the book is already under development. The Hunted is certainly a very visceral experience. So perhaps he visualised the entire thing, as if an action-sequence.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Permalink

    I suspect Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin will eventually become Detective Emmett Corban #1, but as this is Firkin’s debut novel it’ll probably be updated once the next book in the series comes along. And—in case you’re wondering—I believe there will be another book as Emmett is eminently likeable and Firkin creates an engaging support ensemble to assist in the series’ longevity.

    I read Sticks and Stones before Buried by Lynda La Plante and in that review I commented on the fact that our lead detective (Jack) was kinda ungrateful for the opportunity he’d been given in the Serious Crimes Squad. I said that with Emmett in mind… as he’d been keen for a place in the Homicide or Cold Case Squad after a promotion… instead finding himself heading up the Missing Persons’ Unit which he ‘finds’ (#sorrynotsorry) less-than-exciting.

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    four-stars