Post Script: The Suspect – Michael Robotham

The Suspect

Joseph O’Loughlin #1

Michael Robotham

Mulholland Books

Mulholland Books

ISBN: 9780316252256

 

 

Description:

THE FIRST BOOK IN THE JOSEPH O’LOUGHLIN SERIES

 

Please join us in welcoming The Suspect in paperback—at last!

 

Renowned psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin has it all—a thriving practice, a devoted, beautiful, fiercely intelligent wife, and a lovely young daughter. But when he’s diagnosed with Parkinson’s, O’Loughlin begins to dread the way his exceptional mind has been shackled to a failing body, and the cracks in his perfect existence start to show.

At first, O’Loughlin is delighted to be called in to a high-profile murder investigation, hoping his extraordinary abilities at perception will help bring a killer to justice. But when O’Loughlin recognizes the victim as one of his former patients, an emotionally disturbed young woman who nearly brought ruin upon him, O’Loughlin hesitates-a fateful decision that soon places O’Loughlin at the top of the lists of both a bullish detective, and a diabolical killer.

 

My View:

Do you know that feeling you get when you pick up a book and start reading it and instantly you know the author can write? Well this book showcases the writing skills of Michael Robotham so well! The narrative is credible, intelligent (treats the reader with respect), doesn’t ask you to go along with ludicrous situations, it has great character development, and a plot that twists and turns and surprises.

 

I am so pleased I have been properly introduced to this series (I read the 7th book in the series, Watching You, first) and it was a cracker of a read. So now I am having a proper introduction to the characters and the writer by starting at the beginning of the series. And what a great series it is (I have just finished #2, more on that soon) I love the main characters; natural, flawed but not sullen or drunk or self-loathing pessimists – characters you can grow with, want to read more about, empathise with.  I look forward to reading all the book in this series and anything else Michael Robotham writes.

 

Post Script: St Kilda Blues A Charlie Berlin Novel – Geoffrey McGeachin

 

St Kilda Blues

A Charlie Berlin Novel

Geoffrey McGeachin

Penguin Books Australia

 Viking

ISBN: 9780670075898

 

Description:

A serial killer’s work goes unnoticed until Detective Berlin is on the case in this third spine-tingling Charlie Berlin novel.

 

It’s 1967, the summer of love, and in swinging Melbourne Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin has been hauled out of exile in the Fraud Squad to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl, the daughter of a powerful and politically connected property developer. As Berlin’s inquiries uncover more missing girls he gets an uneasy feeling he may be dealing with the city’s first serial killer.

 

Berlin’s investigation leads him through inner-city discothèques, hip photographic studios, the emerging drug culture and into the seedy back streets of St Kilda. The investigation also brings up ghosts of Berlin’s past as a bomber pilot and POW in Europe and disturbing memories of the casual murder of a young woman he witnessed on a snow-covered road in Poland in the war’s dying days. As in war, some victories come at a terrible cost and Berlin will have to face an awful truth and endure an unimaginable loss before his investigation is over.

 

St Kilda Blues is Geoffrey McGeachin’s seventh book and third in the Charlie Berlin series. The first Berlin novel, The Diggers Rest Hotel, won the 2011 Australian Crime Writers Association’s Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction with the follow up book, Blackwattle Creek, also winning the Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction in 2013.

 

My View:

This is my first foray into the work of Geoffrey McGeachin and now have dipped my toes into the work of this 5 star crime writer I am ready to plunge in and read his other works!

 

This narrative has superb settings; the late 60’s early 70’s vibe and voice is authentic with meaningful references to the popular culture and social movements of the era. Scarily frightening is the almost low key, matter of fact presentation of life post war London and the life and times of child migrants heading to Australia and the unfortunate experience so many encountered at the hands of religious institutions – abuses that are just seeing the light of public reaction now. McGeachin’s low key descriptions and statements somehow conjure up images of depravation without being sensational and this gives the reader powerful insights without personal emotions tangling the view; very well presented.

 

Then there is the chilling depiction of evil that is the antagonist in this narrative – this voice scared me; a true sociopath and monster. The dual perspectives, that of Charlie Berlin, our protagonist, alternating against the view point and story of the antagonist was a brilliant move. There was some light relief to be had in reading the alternate voice of humanity – with all its foibles, in the character of Charlie Berlin; a perfect foil to our villain.

 

The back story was interesting, absorbing and presented many moral and ethical dilemmas and is left unfinished which leads me to hope that another episode of the Charlie Berlin narrative is planned.

 

This is a 5 star read.

 

Post Script: The Unknown Woman – Jacqueline Lunn

The Unknown Woman

Jacqueline Lunn

Random House Australia Pty Ltd

Vintage Australia

ISBN: 9781742752815

 

 

Description:

As the day unfolds, lies are told, choices are revisited, family, friends and strangers are lost and found and Lilith Grainger discovers it’s exhausting being an unknown woman.It is Tuesday May 15 and accidental housewife Lilith Grainger wakes to find herself in a photograph on the front page of the newspaper, in a place she shouldn’t be, in a world her privileged family knows nothing about.At the centre of the novel is 44 year old Lilith Grainger a former actuary who gave up work to look after her two children. It was meant to be for a year or so, but that year or so has turned into 10. She has a lovely, funny husband Bernie who works as a lawyer. Two children, Olivia (14) and Daniel (11) a father in a nursing home, a CEO brother who has just been accused of sexual harassment at work, a neighbour who is getting under her skin (some may say she is becoming obsessed by her) and a mother-in-law coming for dinner. Lilith’s relationship with her selfie obsessed 14-year-old daughter, her overweight son, her good husband who works long hours, her convenience friend Nikki, her mother-in-law Garland who has launched a successful career as a sculptor at 63, are all laid bare. The Unknown Woman is a portrait of a woman who doesn’t know who she is anymore and a portrait of modern life.

 

My View:

A quirky, bizarre read….the path of a full time mum is not easy – and Lunn reflects upon many contemporary feminist issues. However it took me quite a while to engage with this narrative but when I eventually did I wanted to know more about the life of Lilith Grainger- sadly I found the description of this life lacking; it felt flat and disconnected – maybe that was the intention of the author, I felt Lilith was not living her life but merely observing it passing by and observing through a blindfold with a strange obsession for her neighhours and their unorthodox child care arrangements. I had difficulty understanding the point of this narrative – yet the author wrote with a certain ease and flow that I found absorbing yet somewhat pointless. Sorry this novel was not for me.

Post Script: The Murder Bag – Tony Parsons

The Murder Bag

Tony Parsons

Random House UK, Cornerstone

ISBN: 9781448185726

 

Description:

The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this.

 

Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable.

 

Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row.

 

Soon he is following the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power.

 

As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer’s reach getting closer to everything – and everyone – he loves.

 

Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life …

 

My View:

The prologue provided an exciting and suspenseful hook that indicated to the reader the style and pace of things to come- excellent!

This is a ripping reading!

 

It was only extreme discipline that allowed me to read this novel in two sittings – I so wanted to do an “all-nighter” and finish this in one go – but that would not have been fair on my other half who was sleeping whilst I had the light on racing through the pages and the deaths. I think I deserve a medal for being so thoughtful 🙂

 

This is an extraordinary debut work of crime fiction – fast paced, character driven and scenes so well portrayed I had no trouble visualising with my mind’s eyes. And this work of crime fiction had something quite extra ordinary – I wonderful depiction of love and loss and the effect of this loss on a family…I found the new Wolfe family dynamics charming and heart-warming. I loved the simple conversations between father and daughter; what was said out loud and what was thought, and everyday situations that honoured the relationship. And I loved the puppy that connected this family and provided many moments of love and humour.

 

I look forward to the next book in this series and getting to know this family and the protagonist more.

 

 

 

 

 

My View: