Book review: The Institute by Stephen King

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 Permalink

The first part of this book introduces us to one of our narrators and lead characters. Interestingly it doesn’t touch on ‘the institute’ at all. I’d read the backcover blurb and wondered what on earth disgraced-but-heroic cop Tim Jamieson had to do with gifted kids being kidnapped in Maine but Stephen King is such a masterful storyteller I didn’t really care. I was happy to read about Tim hitch-hiking to DuPray, South Carolina and the people he met along the way, as well as the way he settled into the local community on his arrival.

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four-half-stars

More on love – while gazing over Tuscan hills

Thursday, September 19, 2019 Permalink

I’d intended to post something today but was at a bit of a loss (and am also sick). I’m getting daily reminders (thanks Facebook memories!!!) that this time last year I was in Italy. Indeed on this very day last year I was perched outside eating gluten-free pasta with a delicious sauce while gazing at the Tuscan hills.

Recently I opened the notebook we received from Vanessa Carnevale at the writing retreat and found some exercises we’d done.

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Book review: The Confession by Jessie Burton

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 Permalink

I’ve not read any of Jessie Burton’s books before, but the fact her second novel was called, The Muse, doesn’t surprise me as her latest, The Confession is very much centred around creativity, control and passion.

One of the main characters in the book, although not one of our narrators, is an author, known for her beautiful poetic and poignant prose… laden with depth and meaning, and Burton effortlessly manages to reflect this.

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four-half-stars

What is love?

Monday, September 16, 2019 Permalink

I decided to join Denyse Whelan’s blogging link-up today and the theme is… What is love?

I’m tempted to say… fucked if I know. But I guess that’s not true. I may not have been ‘in’ romantic love (which is kinda depressing given I’m 51 years old!). But I know love when I see it and I’ve certainly felt it (even though I rarely, if ever, say it!).

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Book review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Sunday, September 15, 2019 Permalink

Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood was met with much adoration and acclaim. I still haven’t read it but leapt at the chance to read her second novel, The Woman in Cabin 10, and was – I must admit – a tad disappointed.

The premise of her latest, The Turn of the Key, sounded interesting however, though I was a little worried when there was talk of ghosts and haunted houses as I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre, however this didn’t really go in that direction and was sufficiently gripping that I easily read it in a sitting.

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four-stars

BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival – the verdict

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 Permalink

I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival.

I’ve been to a few writers’ festivals and one can feel quite isolated as you drift in and out of sessions. There isn’t the sense of camaraderie you get at a conference… where you’re all staying in one spot and chatting over meals etc. However… what I didn’t realise is that the NSW State Library precinct isn’t as vast as Brisbane’s for example (where there are several cafes and various outdoor spaces). In Sydney there was far more socialising than I expected because it was hard not to keep bumping into the same people between sessions in the on-site cafe or library foyer.

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BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival

Thursday, September 5, 2019 Permalink

It feels a bit like there are a million billion trillion writing events on this weekend. And I’m going to one of them.

This time last year I attended the Brisbane Writers’ Festival. I was enroute to Italy and fortuitously stopped-over for the weekend to attend a few activities, which was excellent as one of my main reasons for going to Italy was to attend a writing retreat in Tuscany. *sigh*

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Book review: How The Dead Speak by Val McDermid

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 Permalink

I try hard not to write reviews with spoilers. Or ones that give away too much of the plot. Of course it also means I sometimes re-read a review of a book before starting the next book of the series and – unless it’s ingrained into my mind for some reason – I rarely remember the detail.

So, given two years has passed since Val McDermid’s last Tony Hill / Carol Jordan novel Insidious Intent was published (and I can’t believe it’s that long!), I’d completely forgotten Tony had gone to jail. I can’t remember any of the specifics, but that’s kind-of a good thing as newcomers to the series won’t be lost, suddenly introduced to characters – many of whom have been around now for 11 novels (and 24 years).

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four-stars