Penguin Books Australia
When detective Petra Westman finds an unconscious child in an undergrowth, and shortly after stumbles upon the mother’s dead body hidden inside a grit bin, the Hammarby Police team is shocked by the gruesomeness of this case. And the strangest thing is that nobody seems to be missing the victims . . .
But just as an investigation is launched, chief investigator Conny Sjøberg is faced with yet another murder. A teenage girl has been killed aboard cruise ship Cinderella and her younger sister will be next if Sjøberg can’t uncover the killer.
Confronting on so many levels!
Gerhardsen has a way of introducing social issues into a crime novel in a manner that screams for attention yet does not reek of a lecture or a lesson on how things should be; the issues are cannily woven into the plot and add a somewhat sinister depth to the narrative. Again our eyes are opened to sexual abuse, domestic violence, cyber stalking, crimes against children in the community and sexual harassment in the workplace to name just a few of the issues you will discover in this narrative – confrontational and alarming certainly but there is a hint of redemption that rescues this novel from the depressing.
As usual Gerhardsen provides a complex plot, many surprises and a continuation of a sub plot from earlier novels in particular the one relating to the assault of Petra Westman. I really want to know more about this story, I want Westman to resolve this crime and find The Other One and bring him to justice, I suppose I will just have to wait for the next book to be translated and released.
Whyall view from Hummock Hill, SA
Bob The Dog at Whyalla – Low Tide with Smile
Penguin Books Australia
When psychotherapist Frieda Klein left the sleepy Suffolk coastal town she grew up in she never intended to return. Left behind were friends, family, life and loves but, alongside them, painful memories; a past she couldn’t allow to destroy her.
So when an old classmate appears in London asking Frieda to help her teenage daughter, long buried memories resurface. But when tragedy strikes, Frieda has no choice but to return home and confront her past. And monsters no one else believes are real . . .
Another brilliant episode in the life of Frieda Klein; painful memories are evoked when a client’s current trauma have a personal connection to Frieda and incidents she had previously forced herself to bury and run away from. As usual we have a cast of familiar faces; Frieda’s ensembles of colleagues/friends that make her (and the reader) feel comfortable, included and safe. With her friends Frieda can be herself, she is supported on her life’s journey.
In this episode we learn more about Frieda’s past and family as she doggedly tracks down a serial rapist and killer. I like the pace of this novel; leisurely and effortless. The Nicci French team have written another flawless narrative; the settings and characterisations are real and solid, the mystery is intriguing, the sadness and regrets revealed are commonplace, displayed by so many around us and the strengths some individuals show in difficult situations is inspiring. And then there is the continuing subplot of the menace and evil that lurks in the shadows; the threat that shadows Frieda’s every movement. A great narrative and my appreciation of this talent grows with each book in this series I read as I embrace Frieda and her band of friends.
Bob enjoying the calm waters of Arno Bay near the estuary.
The Pink and Grey Galahs are our new alarm clock! Though it actually wan’t too early at all – about 8am 🙂
Side Effects May Vary
Penguin Books Australia
Written from the perspectives of both Harvey and Alice, in Side Effects May Vary, Julie Murphy weaves a compelling story of friendship, relationships and love, with a little bit of death thrown in for good measure; at least for a while.
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend Harvey, who’s loved her forever, to help with compiling a crazy ‘just-dying-to-do’ bucket list, that’s as much about revenge as it is about redemption. But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now she must face the consequences of all she’s said and done and discover just what happens when we say our ‘final’ words, only to find that life isn’t through with us yet.
Sharp, witty and poignant – this is a book written for all ages.
A warm and moving read about growing up, understanding what real love (not infatuation) is and facing a death sentence. This is a very readable story full of real characters and real emotions. A coming of age story with a difference – Alice thinks she has only a short while to live and therefore risks everything to boost the numbers on her score card; she becomes selfish, hard and cruel and when the death is sentence is removed she is lost and drifts like flotsam in the real world.
This narrative is every parent’s worst nightmare – I am really pleased it had a happy and redemptive ending. This story told from the two teenager’s perspectives, it flows freely and realistically. The language and conversations are engaging without being self-conscious. A delight to read.
Tumby Bay Foreshore South Australia
A Carl Morck Novel
Penguin Books Australia
1987. Nete Rosen thought she’d put her traumatic childhood behind her. Caring foster parents and then a loving husband gave her a new start in life. But one night a man from her past reappears, destroying Nete’s confidence – and her life. Drawn back into a terrible nightmare, she won’t be a victim again . . .
2010. Detective Carl Morck and his cold case team are looking into the case of Rita Nielsen, owner of an escort agency who vanished twenty-three years ago. As they begin poking around into Rita’s past they uncover evidence of other disappearances at the same time. It’s not one missing person case – but several.
Soon Carl and his team find that powerful and ruthless people are upset by their investigation. Either, they stop now, or they will find themselves stopped – for good.
It took me a little time to warm to the language of this narrative – the translation was excellent however I found the conversations peppered with an abrasive coarseness (lots of swearing and toilet humour that did not work for me ) that I did not notice with the earlier book I read in this series (Redemption) and also a general malaise or general negativity that I hadn’t noticed in the previous book either but was present in this episode. This negativity seemed to spread to Morck’s general assessment of life and those around him; the author didn’t seem to be celebrating uniqueness as he did in Redemption – Rose and Assad seemed flat, their very uniqueness and special qualities seemed to irritate Morck. I almost felt as if this book was written in two sections or by two authors for once I got past this early irritating stage of the book I seemed to be back in the style of writing that I enjoyed so much in Redemption
I really enjoyed the narrative – the telling from two perspectives and time periods that discussed Nete Rosen’s life, the horrors of the “social/ethnic cleansing/eugenic” polices of the time that disempowered women and minority groups, of Nete’s plans for revenge and the current period when Morck and his team enter the frame and work to solve a few cold case crimes. I particularly liked that Assad was given more depth and allowed some initiative – I look forward to learning more of his history in future novels in this series.
And there is plenty of scope for the next book/books. Adler Olsen leaves a particularly nasty cold case that involved Morck and Hardy still in the wind…we are also given a little hope for Hardy’s recovery or partial recovery – a good thing. Overall an engaging narrative.