Post Script: Wolf – Mo Hayder

Mo Hayder

Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Bantam Press

ISBN: 9780593068182

 

 

Description:

I believe, from what I can hear, that either my daughter or my wife has just been attacked. I don’t know the outcome. The house is silent.

Fourteen years ago two teenage lovers were brutally murdered in a patch of remote woodland. The prime suspect confessed to the crimes and was imprisoned.

Now, one family is still trying to put the memory of the killings behind them. But at their isolated hilltop house . . . the nightmare is about to return.

 

My View:

My pick as Mystery/Thriller of 2014! Hayder creates a narrative with chest crushing tension and complexities and twists that you will just not see coming!!! Hayder is a brilliant storyteller, a wonderfully creative and mesmerising writer who has conjured up images of such intense feelings that I had to take a break from this book so I could breathe calmly again before picking the book back up – read this in one session – with breaks. You will not be able to stop thinking about this long after you have turned the last page over. This is an award winner – guaranteed!

 

Mo Hayder I am your newest fan – I will definitely seek out your earlier books – I am anticipating the delicious evilness already.

Post Script: Through The Cracks – Honey Brown

Through the Cracks, Honey Brown

Honey Brown

Through The Cracks

Penguin Books Australia

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9781921901546

 

Description:

Four-year-old Nathan Fisher disappears from the bank of a rocky creek. Did he drown or was he taken? The search for the missing boy grips the nation.

A decade later, young teen Adam Vander has grown tall enough, strong enough, to escape his abusive father. Emerging from behind the locked door of their rambling suburban home, Adam steps into a world he knows little of.

In the days that follow, with the charismatic and streetwise Billy as his guide, Adam begins to experience all that he’s missed out on. And he begins to understand that he has survived something extraordinary.

As the bond between the boys grows, questions begin to surface. Who is Adam really? Why was he kept so hidden? Was it just luck that Billy found him, or an unsettling kind of fate?

Unearthing the shocking truth of Adam’s identity will change the lives of many and put at risk a cast of flawed, desperate people. It’s a treacherous climb from the darkness. For one boy to make it, the other might have to fall through the cracks.

 

My View:

This was a very hard read- the subject matter is very very distressing yet somehow captivating at the same time, it is so well written. This narrative will eat away at your very core, demanding you pay attention to those you value and love, demanding you pay more attention to those who are vulnerable in your community. This novel shouts – pay attention, open your eyes, question and engage; life around you is your business and you do have a social responsibility that extends further than your garden fence.

Is it a coincidence that the subject of this novel, abuse of children, is currently making headlines, is newsworthy – though already   the media seems to be moving on to other things…This subject requires our undivided attention. It requires our compassion and the children involved our full support and love.

This extremely well written and engaging novel will not be for everyone. Bravo Honey Brown for being brave enough to tackle such a disquieting subject and presenting it such an engaging way that it will get the attention it deserves. This novel is a well-crafted, complex and powerful snap shot of the ugly side of modern society. This novel kept me awake long after I finished reading it- it was disturbing and sad and yet still managed to garner some hope for the future.

This is my first read of a Honey Brown novel – it will not be my last.

Post Script: Eeny Meeny – M J Arlidge

A pulse racing read!

Eeny Meeny

Eeny Meeny

At first, nobody believed her…

M.J. Arlidge

Penguin Books Australia

Penguin

ISBN: 9781405914888

 

 

Description:

The girl emerged from the woods.  Traumatised and emaciated; close to death, but alive.  Her story seemed too terrible to be true.  But it was.  Every dreadful word of it.

When, days later, another desperate survivor is found, a pattern becomes clear.  Pairs of victims are being taken; then forced to make an unthinkable decision.

And for DCI Helen Grace there is now an unseen killer to be hunted down.

Haunted by her own past, Grace has faced down her own demons to rise to the top of her profession.  She has coping mechanisms.  Now though, there’s a new monster to confront.  And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die.

But worse, some will survive, and have to live with the choice that they made . . .

 

My View:

I really enjoyed this fast paced, action packed, murder filled police procedural. The narrative is twisted, bizarre and compelling. The subplot is horrific and disturbing. The protagonist is a strong, feisty and a flawed woman; a mystery to all those around her. Interesting characters, a unique plot, bold and disturbing crimes, what more could you ask for?

This is a book that once you start you CANNOT put down.  I can see this on the big screen soon.

Post Script: Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart – Christopher Fowler

Bryant & May – The Bleeding Heart

Christopher Fowler

Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Doubleday

ISBN: 9780857522030

 

Description:

It’s a fresh start for the Met’s oddest investigation team, the Peculiar Crimes Unit.

 

Their first case involves two teenagers who see a dead man rising from his grave in a London park. And if that’s not alarming enough, one of them is killed in a hit and run accident. Stranger still, in the moments between when he was last seen alive and found dead on the pavement, someone has changed his shirt…

 

Much to his frustration, Arthur Bryant is not allowed to investigate. Instead, he has been tasked with finding out how someone could have stolen the ravens from the Tower of London. All seven birds have vanished from one of the most secure fortresses in the city. And, as the legend has it, when the ravens leave, the nation falls…

 

Soon it seems death is all around and Bryant and May must confront a group of latter-day bodysnatchers, explore an eerie funeral parlour and unearth the gruesome legend of Bleeding Heart Yard. More graves are desecrated, further deaths occur, and the symbol of the Bleeding Heart seems to turn up everywhere – it’s even discovered hidden in the PCU’s offices. And when Bryant is blindfolded and taken to the headquarters of a secret society, he realises that this case is more complex than even he had imagined, and that everyone is hiding something. The Grim Reaper walks abroad and seems to be stalking him, playing on his fears of premature burial.

 

Rich in strange characters and steeped in London’s true history, this is Bryant & May’s most peculiar and disturbing case of all.

 

 

My View:

Considering that this is the 11th book in the series I had no problem at all in picking up this novel and quickly becoming involved and engaged with the characters and the narrative; and this read was fun! As Fowler says on his website; http://www.christopherfowler.co.uk/blog/faq/

“I’m certainly no fan of kitchen sink drama I like stories that soar into strangeness rather than ones that faithfully replicate the ordinariness of life,” and this novel certainly dips into the ‘strangeness’ jar coating the characters in quirky,  spreading ‘unusual’

across a swathe of bizarre crimes (disinterred bodies, a death by sewage, ghostly happenings, evil mad  magical conspirators, missing birds…the list goes on.

 

I read somewhere (sorry the source has escaped me) that Fowler continues to add to this series because writing it is fun – and the reader gets a real sense of this in the narrative; the whimsy, the oddball, the eccentric…the quirky, all mixed with a good dose of social commentary and of course crimes as they progress through this novel.

This is good solid enjoyable crime read somewhat reminiscent of  the style of the Golden Age of Crime – at the least, the protagonists are of that golden age  🙂

 

Post Script: Driving Under The Influence – Jenna Martin

Driving Under the Influence

Jenna Martin

Melbourne University Publishing

Victory

ISBN: 9780522866285

 

Description:

A hilarious novel about hitting rock bottom and climbing back up again.

 

Chelsea has had a rough week. After a few great years of professional triumphs and personal stability, she suddenly finds herself—at the grand old age of 28—homeless, jobless and single. Cheating on her boyfriend with her boss probably wasn’t the brightest idea.

 

Salvation comes in the form of her father, Gary ‘Turbo’ Turbiton, a once major but now fading star of stage and screen, who offers her a job as his assistant while he travels Australia promoting his recent autobiography. Chelsea adores her Dad but she knows from years of family road trips just what this ‘job’ will entail: hours and hours of mindless bush trivia, pit stops to ridiculous local landmarks and pointed interrogations about what she’s doing with her life. All the while John Denver will warble endlessly on the CD player. Resigned to her fate—and without a better offer—she says yes.

 

The promo tour takes the two of them across Australia—from a family wedding in Darwin to a pig farm in Port Fairy, from a chance encounter in Tenterfield to an impromptu karaoke night in Yackandandah. Along the way there are unplanned detours—and people—they have to face as they both struggle with that eternal life question: what happens next?

 

With its light touch and sassy humour, Driving Under the Influence is a charming look at growing up, growing old and what fathers and daughters can learn from each other.

 

 

Jenna Martin has been a teacher in Sydney, a law student in Wollongong, an actor in London and a film producer in Los Angeles. She has written several plays, screenplays, short stories and the occasional bad love letter, and this is her first novel.

 

 

My View:

This is a delightful debut novel about one woman’s life changing journey during a road trip with her famous father, stopping to see various lunatic relatives and landmarks along the way; full of reminiscing, hope, love and laughter this book will hook you in and before you know it you will be smiling and laughing out loud. This read is so enjoyable!

 

I don’t know if it my association with  the film and tv  industry( my workplace of the last ten years) or the familiarity of certain situations or certain types of people that drew me in or if it was the larger than life father figure – Turbo to his fans and family, who had me trying to guess who he could be modeled on – I was imagining all sorts of tv presenters and the odd actor who could fit this profile, or mixes of them, (sorry Jenna I have just come across info alerting me to your famous father – and I didn’t think of him , not even for a minute) anyway I was intrigued, I was engaged in this madcap romp, I was besotted with your characters… or maybe it was  the opportunity to step back in time when you reminded of fashions, music, shows, friendships, relationship issues, adolescent dreams and tribulations, and other contemporary references about family and growing up, whatever it was I laughed and laughed and laughed.

 

This is a book written with passion and laughter…you can feel the vibes come off the pages; a great piece of Aussie light hearted fiction.

 

Book trailer can be viewed here:

http://www.jenna-martin.com/#!Driving-under-the-Influence-Trailer/cmbz/22428D4E-5E44-488A-951C-FD1860CFBB16

Post Script: Waking The Dead – Heather Graham

Waking the Dead

Heather Graham

Harlequin

Harlequin MIRA

ISBN: 9780778316121

 

Description:

They say a painting can have a life of its own…

 

In the case of Ghosts in the Mind by Henry Sebastian Hubert, that’s more than just an expression. This painting is reputed to come to life—and to bring death. The artist was a friend of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, joining them in Switzerland during 1816, “the year without a summer.” That was when they all explored themes of horror and depravity in their art….

 

Now, almost two hundred years later, the painting appears in New Orleans. Wherever it goes, death seems to follow.

 

Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn, occasional partners in solving crime, are quickly drawn into the case. They begin to make connections between that summer in Switzerland and this spring in Louisiana. Danni, the owner of an eccentric antiques shop, and Quinn, a private detective, have discovered that they have separate but complementary talents when it comes to investigating unusual situations.

 

Trying to blend their personal relationship with the professional lives they’ve stumbled into, they learn how much they need each other. Especially as they confront this work of art—and evil. The people in the portrait might be dead, but something seems to wake them and free them to commit bloody crimes. Cafferty and Quinn must discover what that is. And they have to destroy it—before it destroys them.

 

My View:

A couple of days after reading this I am still not sure where this books sits with me. I think that it would have been helpful to read the first book in this series before starting this one – there was a lot of reference to past events that were not significantly recapped for me to feel I had a full understanding of the characters and their relationships and the major crime that had bought them together.

 

I enjoyed the premise of the book but not so much the follow through. I do not mind a bit of supernatural and romance mixed in with my crime reads but I found that the narrative did not quite allow me to suspend my disbelief to fully engage with this story. The characters were a little flat and stereotyped and I found that at times the narrative was shown rather than told; it sometimes felt like the obvious was being explained, again and again or in the most basic of ways.

 

So sorry this one really wasn’t what I expected; I think this is one for the fans.