Book review: Dark Corners by Megan Goldin

Sunday, August 20, 2023 Permalink

Dark Corners by Megan Goldin features a podcaster. I’ve noticed it’s increasingly common for books to feature podcasters, or true crime web/streaming series and the like, and being able to switch up the narrative with scripts or other text is a useful device for keeping readers’ attention. (Interestingly I wonder how they’ll age. If in 20 years it’ll be the equivalent of us reading about telegrams sent a century ago or radio plays.) Anyhoo, it took me a while to realise this also felt familiar as it is the second in the series featuring Rachel Krall. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not read The Night Swim, as I’d certainly not put the pieces together for much of the novel.

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Book review: The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen

Thursday, August 17, 2023 Permalink

Part-way through The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen I thought, ‘She’s done such a great job with these characters this will have to become a series.’ And sure enough, after I’d finished reading I went to add it to Goodreads and noticed it’s called The Martini Club #1.

It’s very reminiscent of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series – though given our lead cast are all ex-CIA agents – they’re like the residents of the Coopers Chase Luxury Retirement Village, but on speed.

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Book review: Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead by Jenny Hollander

Tuesday, August 8, 2023 Permalink

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead by Jenny Hollander was another freebie in my goody bag at Harrogate’s Theakston Crime Writing Festival in July. Given the state (ie. heaviness) of my luggage, I made a concerted effort to read some of the ARCs while overseas and leave them behind for others to find and enjoy.

Weirdly I’d just read another book about a ‘survivor’ and their guilt (or lies) so this book seemed most apt… although it’s actually quite different and is less about someone lying than about a survivor who’s pushed away memories of a tragic event from a decade earlier.

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Book review: Day One by Abigail Dean

Wednesday, August 2, 2023 Permalink

It took me some time to realise Day One by Abigail Dean was named after a particular school day, rather than a countdown of days (like Ruth Ware’s recent release), or referring to the first day AFTER an event.

I didn’t enjoy Dean’s popular debut novel Girl A as much as others, and I wondered if it’d been over-hyped, though I mention in my review that as Dean kept readers guessing for some time, I’d not engaged in the plot as much as I would have liked cos I was kinda confused about what I was reading. Day One similarly keeps secrets from readers, though we most certainly know there are some as Dean foreshadows the events of the present / past and future so – though we know we’re not learning about the events in linear fashion – we kinda know where we end up.

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Book review: The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva

Sunday, July 30, 2023 Permalink

Very weirdly I read The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva while staying at an AirBnB in England and had to leave it there as I’d accumulated some extra books at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. I realised the owners and other visitors might be slightly perturbed because of its content (involving a host snooping through her guest’s belongings), but also hoped someone else happily whiles away their time with it while travelling.

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Book review: Kill for Me, Kill for You by Steve Cavanagh

Friday, July 28, 2023 Permalink

Kill for Me, Kill for You by Steve Cavanagh arrived when I was away for work recently and I allowed it to leap over others on my TBR list because I was about to head to Harrogate (in England) to the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and he was to be there.

I wasn’t planning on taking the book for him to sign as I’m not really into autographs, though do like chatting to authors… but I certainly wanted to have read it beforehand. However… there was an unfortunate bath-related incident in which the book threw itself into my bath (where I was reading) days before my departure.* Not one to be deterred, I dried it out in the winter air and gave it a day to two lest the pages tear as I turn them, before diving back in because though I was only about one-third of the way through, I was engrossed.

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Debbish does England – 41 hours to Harrogate

Friday, July 21, 2023 Permalink

** I found this post wallowing in my drafts folder, written on arrival in Harrogate for the Theakston Crime Writing Festival, so I’m belatedly posting it. **

I’m not exactly sure why I kept calculating the hours. Perhaps I thought I was on track for some sort of Guinness Book of Records award for number-of-hours-awake or something. Of course it’s most likely I was just feeling sorry for myself and wanted to make sure I could accurately document the travails of travel here on my site. And yes, please take a moment to acknowledge my hardship. (#firstworldproblems and all of that)

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Book review: None of This is True by Lisa Jewell

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 Permalink

The title of Lisa Jewell’s latest book, None of This is True could be seen as offering readers a huge spoiler. And it does and it doesn’t. It – along with the blurb however – warns us that trusting Josie Fair comes with some risks. But Jewell manages to unravel Josie’s story in a way that keeps readers guessing. The book itself unfolds in the present (at the time of [ahem] certain events), and later… when all of the stories have been told and secrets apparently revealed.

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Book review: After That Night by Karin Slaughter

Friday, July 14, 2023 Permalink

I very much enjoyed After That Night by Karin Slaughter which is the 11th in the Will Trent series. I must have missed one or two I think as I think I knew Will and Sara Linton were together but had forgotten how much I like their relationship and the way they complement each other.

The underlying plot here is shocking though I’ve read similar books. It’s a reminder that sociopaths somehow manage to find one another and also raises the nature vs nurture debate.

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