Book review: Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera

Sunday, March 17, 2024 Permalink

I love it when a book takes me by surprise. One minute I’m opening it, expecting something that will entertain me for a few hours, and the next I find I don’t want to put it down and am seriously invested in the plot as if the whole thing is unfolding in front of me in real life. Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera was that kind of book. We’re not necessarily meant to like the prickly Lucy Chase – who most assumed killed her best friend five years earlier. Yet, she’s incredibly disarming and I was most certainly on her side… particularly when those who should give her the benefit of the doubt, aren’t.

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four-half-stars

Book review: A Stranger in the Family by Jane Casey

Thursday, March 14, 2024 Permalink

A Stranger in the Family (by Jane Casey) is the eleventh book in the Maeve Kerrigan / Josh Derwent series. I requested it as there’s not been much about lately and am extremely relieved I did as I loved it. It was a huge surprise. According to Goodreads I’ve read the first four books in the series and missed out on reading any since.

Kerrigan and Derwent have come a long way since then and I was surprised to see there’d been a flirtation and perhaps some feelings on one or both sides. And though the will they / won’t they was part of the novel and an element I certainly enjoyed, it doesn’t overshadow the investigation at hand.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill

Sunday, March 10, 2024 Permalink

The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill is a new standalone by the talented writer. I’ve not read her Rowland Sinclair series but love her ‘writerly’ standalones (After She Wrote Him and The Woman in the Library). I’m sure being immersed in the world of writing and publishing helps inspire Gentill as she certainly writes what she knows.

Because I adored her two other standalones my expectations were higher than they should have been and I was a bit disappointed with this book. I liked the first half or even the first two-thirds, but the way this book pans out really didn’t seem feasible and frustrated me a lot.

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three-half-stars

Book review: All The Words We Know by Bruce Nash

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 Permalink

All The Words We Know by Bruce Nash was my first experience with the Australian author’s work and I was completely smitten. And for me the magic here lies in the prose. Or very specifically in the narration by 80 something year old Rose – a former teacher, now struggling with her memory. And words.

I very much adored a book I read in 2014 called Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey featuring an elderly woman with dementia. That book was also written from her point of view so we experienced her world.

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five-stars

Book review: Joy Moody is Out of Time by Kerryn Mayne

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 Permalink

Joy Moody is Out of Time by Kerryn Mayne is the second book by the talented Aussie author. Her debut, Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder was published last year and one of my favourite books of 2023. Mayne replicates that storytelling √©lan here with a quirky plot and unexpected characters. The book is centred in the present, resplendent with unanswered questions and revelations but there’s a mystery in the past… hovering just beyond our reach. There are some hints dropped throughout the book of what that might be but Mayne times the final reveal(s) brilliantly.

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four-stars

Book review: The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Permalink

The Murder Inn by James Patterson and Candice Fox is a sequel to the 2019 collaboration, The Inn. I really enjoyed that book and loved the characters in particular. It was slated as a standalone but I said I hoped there were more and…. ask and you shall receive. Though not always obvs.

And I loved this sequel just as much. I literally lapped it up, having returned home from a several-day work trip, I ran a bath and dove right in. To the book, not the bath (into which I stepped carefully).

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four-stars

Book review: Body of Lies by Sarah Bailey

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 Permalink

Just when we thought Gemma Woodstock’s story was over, she’s back in Body of Lies. Well that’s to say Sarah Bailey gave Gemma a well-earned rest while she wrote The Housemate, which was published in 2021. But she’s back. In Smithson with Mac her babydaddy, her new baby Scarlett and son Ben. She’s on maternity leave though and grappling with a decision about when and whether to return to her job – in Smithson or elsewhere. She knows she’s uprooted Mac and feels guilty about that. And now he’s distracted and Gemma fears the worst.

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four-stars

Books featuring quirky characters

Sunday, February 18, 2024 Permalink

I love me some quirk. I mean… in general (*shrugs*) but also when reading. In fact it feels like it’s become more of a thing to offer up lead characters who are eccentric, have interesting foibles or idiosyncrasies or (even more specifically) fall on the autism spectrum.

Whether it’s a physical or mental disorder or illness, something that’s the result of trauma, or ‘just’ a personality quirk, I love that increasingly authors are giving us lead characters who aren’t slick or perfect high-achievers whom we are supposed to aspire to emulate.

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Book review: Kind of, Sort of, Maybe, But Probably Not by Imbi Neeme

Friday, February 16, 2024 Permalink

I very much enjoyed Imbi Neeme’s 2020 novel, The Spill which featured two sisters and was centred around family relationships and things left to fester. But it has to be said I loved her new release Kind of, Sort of, Maybe, But Probably Not even more. It offers readers flawed but very very likeable and engaging characters, including those floating around the periphery and it features a couple of young women going through some life changing moments, negotiated as they try to uncover an old mystery.

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four-half-stars