• Book review: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018 Permalink

    I put a call out a week or so ago on my Facebook page, asking people about books they’ve loved this year. I explained I was starting to plan my ‘favourite novels of 2018’ post and wanted to check if I’d missed out on something I REALLY should have read. I used The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart as an example. It wasn’t a book I requested for review but I’d read nothing but AMAZING things about it.

    Of course, people said the same about Gone Girl and Big Little Lies and (for me) both of those turned out to be somewhat anti-climactic so it was with some trepidation I borrowed Lost Flowers from a friend.

    But… Oh. My. God. For the most part this book was amazing and I was hooked from the beginning.

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    four-half-stars
  • Book review: The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

    Sunday, November 18, 2018 Permalink

    Everything recommending this novel talked about its ‘gothic’ nature. And it’s a theme or genre I usually shy away from. I think the fact it’s set in the present (ie. not historical) is something that appealed when I requested it and, though I worried we’d venture into ghosts or otherworldly territory, we never did and I read this in a sitting though hadn’t planned to.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Perfect Ten by Jacqueline Ward

    Saturday, November 17, 2018 Permalink

    This book was a surprise. I’d had it for a while but it’d come while I was overseas and so only got around to reading it over a month after it was actually published. There was something familiar about the blurb and I felt like I’d read something on a similar theme last year though only The Wife Between Us comes to mind. I must admit, from the blurb, I expected this to be a tad predictable – but it certainly wasn’t. In fact, for the most part it was highly addictive.

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    four-stars
  • Book review: Look Alive 25 by Janet Evanovich

    Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Permalink

    It’s kind of depressing knowing we’re not going to get a final book in the Kinsey Millhone (alphabet) series by Sue Grafton – following the author’s death last year. It was one of my staples – along with Robert B Parker* Spenser & Jesse Stone series’, JD Robb’s In Death series, and Jane Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books.

    Thankfully Evanovich and her ‘bail enforcement agent’ are still in partnership and continue to offer we readers enjoyable respite from the tedium of our lives.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott

    Monday, November 12, 2018 Permalink

    This twisty book opens with the discovery of two bodies before flipping back three months when – with a few memory scenes added in – we progress in real time. And so we know how… And So It Begins, ends. #seewhatIdidthere

    I usually HATE knowing the conclusion / whodunnit in advance. I like to guess, but happily (here), though we kinda know what happens, we don’t know how it happens. Or why.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Wrecked by Joe Ide

    Monday, November 5, 2018 Permalink

    I adored the character of Isaiah Quintabe introduced by Joe Ide in 2016. The first book, IQ (named after Isaiah’s moniker) gave us a scary-smart street-wise crime solver / PI. (And I should mention I wasn’t alone in my love for IQ… and Ide’s subsequent books include quotes by the likes of Michael Connelly, Gregg Hurwitz etc commenting on the arrival of a great new fictional character.)

    Indeed, in my review of IQ I comment on the fact Isaiah reminded me of the sassy smart-mouthed gumshoes (PIs) I once so loved.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci

    Tuesday, October 30, 2018 Permalink

    In almost every David Baldacci book review I write I comment on how much I love his Amos Decker (Memory Man) series, as well as the Will Robie and John Puller series. And I always mention I’m not a fan of his earlier Camel Club series. I’d say that I won’t do that this time around but I already have, plus it’s a little relevant.

    Baldacci’s latest book is prefaced by a letter to readers, introducing his first female lead – FBI Agent Atlee Pine. Obviously he’s written other female characters but Atlee is the standalone lead and he comments that she’s one of the most unique characters he’s created. (This from the man who gave us Amos Decker and his hyperthymesia!) Obviously my expectations were high. I’ve read some AMAZING female leads – Candice Fox delivers many, and just recently I revisited Michael Connelly’s Renee Ballard. And on the character front Baldacci certainly offers up a wonderful new protagonist in Atlee (or Pine, as Baldacci calls her).

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: Holy Ghost by John Sandford

    Monday, October 29, 2018 Permalink

    I was a tad harsh on John Sandford and Virgil Flowers when we last caught up in Deep Freeze. In reality I missed the wild, irresponsible and irreverent Virgil who seemed much changed. Though in fairness to him he was facing fatherhood and monogamy for the first time ever.

    Obviously it didn’t deter me as I was keen to rejoin Virgil (or ‘that fuckin Flowers’ as he’s known to most) on his latest exploits. And (other than the weird inclusion of bloody larceny involving children’s toys again – this time lego* instead of barbie dolls!) THIS was more the Sandford I know and love.

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    three-half-stars