Review: The Stranger Inside – Lisa Unger

The Stranger Inside

Lisa Unger

HQ

ISBN: 9781848457072

 

Description
Even good people are drawn to do evil things … Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice—and killed him in cold blood.

 

Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?

 

Introducing one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today, Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.

 

 

My View:

This book was thrilling!

 I really love have Lisa Unger has thrown so many “what if’s” “what would you have done” into this mix of suspense and mystery. Lisa demonstrates that there are shades of grey in every decision or situation, no choice we make is simple or clean cut, and I love this shout out to the complexities of life.

 

And there are a few twists in this one you will never see coming! A fantastic read by an author I admire. Lisa Unger never disappoints.

 

**WARNING do not start reading just before you go to bed…you could find yourself having a very late night if you do.

 

Review: The Ocean At The End of The Lane – Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman

Illustrated by Elise Hurst

Headline

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9781472260239

RRP $45.00

 

Description:

From New York Times bestselling writer Neil Gaiman, comes a novel of memory, magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.

A special Christmas edition of the bestseller.

WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS 2013 BOOK OF THE YEAR

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive. There is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duck pond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac – as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.

 

 My View:

Such effortless, amazing storytelling!

 

I was delighted with every aspect of this book, from the exquisite effortless crafting of this perfect narrative to the wonderful production qualities; the hardback covers, the thick deluxe paper, to the slightly eerie, gothic like evocative drawings…this book has it all.  This is magical realism at is finest.

 

This is the perfect gift for the book lover/book collector in your life (or… yourself) J

Guest Review: The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

 

The War of Art:

Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Steven Pressfield

Robert McKee (Foreword)

ISBN: 9780446691437

Description:
Internationally bestselling author of Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire, and Tides of War, Steven Pressfield delivers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that “resistance” is the greatest enemy, and he offers many unique and helpful ways to overcome it.

 

 

The War of Art – A review by Andy Macleod

I’m not only a reader, I’m a writer. I’m an advertising copywriter and that’s how I make my living.

But I’m also a creative writer, and that’s where I get stuck. As a copywriter I write radio commercials, brochures and web page content. These are usually short, bite sized pieces, easily digested. Novels are not, and I have about 5 unfinished, well, barely started ones to prove it.

That’s where The War of Art (2002), by Steven Pressfield comes in.

I read a lot of books about writing, it’s how I procrastinate, and, frustratingly, how I stop myself from writing. Yes, I read books designed to overcome procrastination as a devious way to procrastinate. But not anymore, because Mr Pressman has just given me a huge kick up the bottom.

The War of Art is broken into 3 parts, Resistance, Combating Resistance and Beyond Resistance, and Pressfield pulls no punches, and he punches hard.

As a pragmatist, this is just what I needed. I recognised myself in almost every point he made. His withering description of me hurt to my very core. But he was right. There’s an old saying, ‘If you can’t piss, get off the pot’, and that’s exactly what he’s saying.

If you’re having trouble writing you have two options, stop, or get professional about it, but whatever you do, don’t be an amateur.

The book is easy to read, speaks to rather than down to its readers, and has lots of real-life examples, some of which are outdated, like a reference to Lance Armstrong before his drug taking revelations.

If you’re a writer like me, and have tried everything to get your writing moving, The War of Art might be right up your alley. Its words might be a bitter pill to take, but sometimes that’s exactly what we need.

 

 

 

 

Review: The Hormone Diaries – Hannah Witton

The Hormone Diaries

The Bloody Truth About Our Periods

Hannah Witton

Wren & Rook

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9781526361462

 

Description:

An honest, funny and feminist take on living with your period (and hormones!), by the award-winning sex and relationships vlogger, and author of Doing It!, Hannah Witton.

 

When Hannah Witton started documenting her journey coming off the pill and re-getting her period, she wasn’t anticipating the reaction, from people of all ages, that talking about it would bring. It exposed a glaring gap – the resources and the spaces to talk honestly about periods just aren’t there. And with more and more research showing that your period and your hormones can affect literally every area of your life, this is a problem.

 

Inspired by her YouTube series of the same name, The Hormone Diaries draws on Hannah’s own experiences and, through crowdsourcing on her social media platforms, those of her fans too. With her trademark honesty and humour, Hannah explores and demystifies topics surrounding periods, hormones and contraception, to offer readers support, information and advice.

 

The definitive period self-help book 50% of the world has been waiting for!

 

My View:

This is a fabulous read! This is an open, honest, and at times humorous and easy to read exploration of a subject that needs to be talked about and a book that needs to be shared.  I wish it had been available when I was a teenager. It has answers to probably most questions that any young person may have about their periods or lack of them. It is a resource I hope that you will find in libraries and schools and is the perfect gift for those on the cusp of puberty.

 

And I think 100% of the population would benefit from reading this informative book.

Review: Bluey – The Beach – Bluey

Bluey – The Beach

Bluey

Puffin

Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9781760894054

 

Description:

“Based on the hit ABC KIDS TV show!

 

Join Bluey for a fun day at the beach. What will you discover along the way?

 

While Mum is off for a walk along the beach, Bluey discovers a beautiful shell. She runs to show Mum and has a series of encounters that will both excite and test her in unexpected ways.

 

Bluey has been a phenomenal success since airing on ABC KIDS in October 2018, amassing legions of dedicated fans and taking the coveted position of being the most watched program ever on ABC iView, with over 100 million plays. It has also topped the Australian iTunes Kids Chart with the series peaking at #1 and consistently remaining in the Top 5.” https://www.penguin.com.au/books/bluey-the-beach-9781760894054

 

 

My View:

Delightful! WE all love Bluey – young and old. This book has a charming colloquial Australian voice and is full of humour and of course great lessons for the young people.

 

I think this book will be the hit of Christmas – the BEST present! And the good news – there are more in the series to make birthday gift buying during the year easy.

Review: From the Ashes – Rowena Holloway

From The Ashes

(Ashes to Ashes #3)

 Rowena Holloway

Fractured Press

ISBN: 9780648205210

 

Description:

 The gripping conclusion to the page-turning Ashes To Ashes psychological thriller series

 

To expose the truth, she’ll trade the only thing she has left…

 

Journalist Charlotte Ashe has sacrificed her credibility, her friendships and her career. With no job and no prospects and a soon-to-be invalid working visa, she needs a big story. Fast. Her single lead is Blaxon Hall, a private brain injury clinic owned by Tyrone Garner.

 

And Tyrone Garner has become an obsession…

 

When Charlotte uncovers mystery surrounding the recent deaths of residents at the Hall, she knows she’s found her story. Are the deaths natural or murder? Does a killer lurk at the Hall? And why is Garner determined to keep his past, and his visits to the Hall, a secret?

 

But the closer she gets to the truth the real question becomes whether she can trust what she sees. Is she exposing the truth or is it all a figment of her overwrought imagination?

 

Then Blaxon Hall is consumed by fire. And one of the missing is Charlotte Ashe.

 

Lies kept her safe. Until Charlotte Ashe discovered the truth.

And his enemies found his weakness.

 

Read From The Ashes today and get lost in a labyrinth of twists that will leave you guessing until the last page.

 

 

My View:

Once again Rowena Holloway excels in her provision of the despicable, the violent and so credible “bad guy (s)” that in a few instances I had to stop and take a break from reading – such was the tension created on the page.

 

From the Ashes is the 3rd book in the Ashes to Ashes series is in my opinion the strongest in the series; perhaps that is because we have been on this journey with Charlotte and are invested in the outcome. Perhaps it’s because we see a different side of Charlotte – a more caring and selfless person who has developed a caring relationship with the residents of Blazon Hall.

 

Stay on this journey for a very twisty ride. I really enjoy the style of the writing – the different view points, the back and forward. There are many red herrings and wrong turns before the final exciting and satisfying ending.

 

This series is a great read.

 

PS I really like the cover designs on these books too.

 

Review: Darkness For Light – Emma Viskic

Darkness For Light

A Caleb Zelic Thriller

Emma Viskic

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760685812

RRP $29.99

 

Description:

After a lifetime of bad decisions troubled PI Caleb Zelic is finally making good ones. He’s in therapy, reconnecting with the Deaf community, and reconciling with his beloved wife.

But he can’t escape his past.

A violent confrontation forces Caleb back into contact with his double-crossing partner, Frankie. When her niece is kidnapped, Frankie and Caleb must work together to save the child’s life. But their efforts will risk everything, including their own lives.

 

My View:

I think I’ve been waiting all year for this book!

 

Those who know me personally, that is, in real life, will have heard me lament what I have experienced as a very lean year for crime fiction readers.  Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that the crime fiction books I have read are lacking in readability or excitement, they have just been lacking. For some reason so many excellent literary/contemporary reads have found their way to my mail box – some truly remarkable, outstanding reads but I am at heart a crime fiction reader and reviewer…and it feels like I have been waiting for this read all year!

 

This is an outstanding read (and just quietly between you and me, I’ll let you know now that this book is going to tie for my best crime fiction read of the 2019!)  Shhhhh…my “Best of Lists” haven’t been prepared yet but the minute I started reading this latest offering from Emma Viskic I knew that had a winner here.

 

I am not going to say anymore except I won’t be giving anything away but if you have enjoyed the Caleb Zelic thrillers you will adore this latest book! It is THE BEST of the three and it brings together two of my favourite characters – Frankie and Caleb – their relationship is complex and in this edition there will be revelations that will cause you palpitations.  It’s not all gloom though, there is optimism and hope for the future in this read.

 

Enough said, look out for this book which is sure to be on many “Best of 2019” lists and I predict will earn a place in many of next year’s crime fiction wards