Book review: The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish

Thursday, February 9, 2023 Permalink

I enjoyed Louise Candlish’s The Other Passenger, published in 2020. It proved popular, as did Our House, published in 2018 and since made into a four-part miniseries. I missed her 2021/22 book The Heights but happily dove into her latest release, The Only Suspect. Like The Other Passenger, here Candlish offers up a twisty tale with a narrator (well, two in fact) we’re not sure we can trust.


The Domino Effect

Friday, January 27, 2023 Permalink

In returning to a more challenging role in government late last year it felt like I was finally find my feet again. Regaining some momentum.

I actually thought everything else – that frustrated me about the life I’d been living – would fall into place… akin to the domino effect. I’d be based in an office (with others) most of the time so would spend less time grazing on snacks all day. I’d be forced to move a little – walking from my car to the office at a minimum and even during a quick break at lunch. I thought eating healthier and moving more might then motivate me to start exercising again.

Book review: The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson

Friday, January 27, 2023 Permalink

I’ve read a number of books by Peter Swanson however missed The Kind Worth Killing, which became the first in this series. It didn’t really matter but I’d probably recommend reading it first as I was missing a bit of context here and though this offers some spoilers, I’m keen to go back and read it because I very much liked Lily, who belatedly joins in the adventures here.


Book review: I’ll Leave You With This by Kylie Ladd

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 Permalink

I’ll Leave You With This by Kylie Ladd is the second book I’ve read by the Melbourne-based author and I very much enjoyed 2017’s The Way Back. Ladd brings her experience and expertise as a psychologist in the health system to the table when writing. Here she’s talking about organ donation and legacies of the very tangible kind as well as those less-so.

I sometimes struggle reading books about organ donation as it’s something my family has first-hand experience with, as my father was the recipient of a heart transplant… aged 61 in 2000. I certainly know how someone else’s* generosity benefitted my family – giving my father 11 more years. But am also aware of some of the burden it brings. The guilt, gratitude and fear that can accompany it. And of course I can only imagine the bittersweet impact it has on donors’ families. Seeing ‘part’ of their loved ones’ live on in others.


Book review: The Knighton Women’s Compendium by Denise Picton

Saturday, January 21, 2023 Permalink

The Knighton Women’s Compendium wasn’t really on my radar until I realised it was by Denise Picton, whose debut novel The Family String was my favourite book of 2022. As a result I put in a belated request for a review copy and was then even more excited to discover the book featured my favourite kind of narrator – a child! I regretted the time I’d wasted having initially eschewed this (thinking – from the cover perhaps – it was another book about women in a retirement village!), though at the same time happy I could savour this delectable treat.


Book review: The One and Only Dolly Jamieson by Lisa Ireland

Tuesday, January 10, 2023 Permalink

What a delightful read The One and Only Dolly Jamieson by Lisa Ireland is! I would have read it in a sitting (in the bathtub) had I not had my mother visiting (at the time) and needed to be social and prepare dinner. I was reminded from previous books I’ve read by Ireland, she’s got the ability to create really warm and familiar characters that you feel as if you get to know – and perhaps – befriend, in the few hours you spend with them.


Book review: The Artist’s Secret by Alexandra Joel

Monday, January 9, 2023 Permalink

I must confess I’d put aside The Artist’s Secret by Alexandra Joel because it’s classified as historical fiction – which isn’t a fave of mine. It was only when re-reading the blurb I realised the ‘historical’ elements here took place in the mid-late 60s, with a few visits into the 70s before moving to the 80s. So not the war stuff I usually avoid, rather… the span of my life. Which – ahem – has barely started. 🙄

And I enjoyed this more than I expected, dipping into the art world, particularly that of the Renaissance period and the world of auction houses and wealthy collectors. Our lead character Wren is complex and likeable who (here) unfortunately comes across some very caustic colleagues (is it an art-world thing I wondered?) but who’s determinedly dug her way out of a challenging childhood to pursue her dreams.


Book review: The Favour by Nicci French

Saturday, January 7, 2023 Permalink

Nicci Gerrard and Sean French (writing together as Nicci French) are back with another standalone thriller, The Favour. And I enjoyed this even though the protagonist – Jude, a young geriatrician – annoyed the crap out of me, making one bad decision after another. I still liked her but groaned each time she entrenched herself more deeply into the world her former high school boyfriend and his very unorthodox group of friends lived.