• Book review: Seven Sisters by Katherine Kovacic

    Saturday, December 24, 2022 Permalink

    When I first started Seven Sisters by Katherine Kovacic I was worried it was going in an obvious direction but then realised it wasn’t just me drawing parallels between the women we meet here and the book / movie Strangers on a Train. Rather Kovacic – via her characters – makes the point that they’re drawing their inspiration from exactly that… crossed with Greek mythology’s seven sisters, The Pleiades.

    It changed the perspective for me and meant the book was more about the women, the crimes committed against their sisters and the hurt brought upon their families than the unfolding plot itself.

    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Next Girl by Pip Drysdale

    Saturday, December 17, 2022 Permalink

    The Next Girl by Pip Drysdale is a fascinating read, featuring a narrator who – initially anyway – has her secrets, sharing them with us slowly but surely. At times it’s written in second person, as if Billie is talking directly to us. Filling us on on her past and confiding in us now.

    Ultimately, she’s honest – with us anyway – so it’s hard not to like her as we learn what motivates her and feeds her obsession/s.

    four-stars
  • 2022 in books

    Thursday, December 15, 2022 Permalink

    I used to do end-of-year ‘favourite books’ posts before reading that many authors hated them. I guess missing out can be a disappointment. I’ve often commented that I’m pretty harsh in my ratings systems so my ‘fave books’ posts are usually short and sweet. Occasionally I’ve only listed 3 or 5. Never a top 10 or 20 or anything. Because then surely I’d skip something that I later regretted. And after all it is very very subjective.

  • Book review: Terms of Inheritance by Michelle Upton

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022 Permalink

    Terms of Inheritance by Michelle Upton is the kind of feel-good read that is perfect for this time of year. While it covers some deeper themes around familial relationships and the challenges that come with them, it offers engaging and mostly likeable characters and quixotic but (at the same time) relatable ‘scenarios’.

    It features four sisters – all very different, but bound in the way siblings are… or at least can be. Apologies in advance to my brother, but this made me wish I had sisters. Other versions of ‘you’. The best friends you can’t rid yourself of, who drive you crazy, know your faults and idiosyncrasies but love you anyway and always, always have your back.

    four-stars
  • Book review: The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle

    Saturday, December 10, 2022 Permalink

    The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle crosses the new wave of ‘influencers’ with the not-so-new world of mommy bloggers with a blast from the past… the Single White Female-trope.

    I was a smidge worried when we opened with the mummy blogger theme, thinking we’d been there and done that over a decade ago. What else was there to say? But Belle manages to blend that world with today’s influencers (albeit via Instagram rather than TikTok) and this decades toxic propensity for doxxing, serious trolling and bullying and and the dreaded curse of being cancelled. I mean… I was blogging over a decade ago when the mummy/parenting bloggers were a big thing and the side-chat was snide and bitchy but rarely encouraged violence or involved threats.

    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Retribution by Sarah Barrie

    Sunday, December 4, 2022 Permalink

    Retribution by Sarah Barrie is the second in the series featuring (former sex worker and computer hacker) Lexi as well as DI Rachael Langley and her nephew Finn Carson (also a cop), and I for one was excited by their return as I really liked Lexi when she was introduced in Unforgiven.

    Here she’s joined the police and when the book opens is on nightshift with a likeable new partner and mentor while secretly continuing to chase after Damon Vaughn, the man who’d tried to kill her when we last met.

    four-half-stars
  • 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