Review: The Great Divide – L J M Owen

The Great Divide

L M J Owen

Echo Publishing $29.99

ISBN: 9781760685829

 

Description:

In the rural Tasmanian town of Dunton, the body of a former headmistress of a children’s home is discovered, revealing a tortured life and death.

 

Detective Jake Hunter, newly-arrived, searches for her killer among past residents of the home. He unearths pain, secrets and broken adults. Pushing aside memories of his own treacherous past, Jake focuses all his energy on the investigation.

 

Why are some of the children untraceable? What caused such damage among the survivors?

 

The identity of the murderer seems hidden from Jake by Dunton’s fog of prejudice and lies, until he is forced to confront not only the town’s history but his own nature…

 

 

My View:

The start of an interesting series perhaps?

 

The beginning was a little slow for me, it took me a while to enter into this quiet secret filled landscape but then BOOM! L JM Owen does not hold back – there are deaths and mayhem and a twist that may surprise you.  The item in the office (no spoilers here) must be the most sinister, gruesome trophy I have come across in all my reading of crime fiction.

 

Detective Jake Hunter is an interesting character and I feel there is more to him than has so far been revealed.

 

When you have finished reading this pay attention to the final pages. For me the most powerful part of this narrative is in the acknowledgements (p295); “This work is, in many ways, an acknowledgment of the experiences of children deemed by their adults as unworthy – of respect, of nurturing, of protection.

To you, I say: I see you.  Hear you. You matter. And I am sorry; you deserved better.”

 

Thank you L J M Owen.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Night Fire – Michael Connelly

The Night Fire

A Ballard and Bosch Thriller

Renee Ballard #3

Michael Connelly

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760876012

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

Harry Bosch and LAPD Detective Renee Ballard come together again on the murder case that obsessed Bosch’s mentor, the man who trained him—new from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly

 

Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective, he had an inspiring mentor who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now that mentor, J.J. Thompson, is dead, but after his funeral his widow hands Bosch a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before — the unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals.

 

Bosch brings the murder book to Renée Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson’s fire all those years ago. That will be their starting point.

 

The bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens as they become a formidable investigation team. And they soon arrive at a worrying question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?

 

 

My View:

Could this possibly be the best Bosch book yet? I think I am calling it.

 

This is a fantastic read, with several plot lines that intersect allowing the characters of Ballard and Bosch to shine as they go about solving crimes with their personal credo “everybody counts or nobody counts”.  You can’t beat a Michael Connelly novel for character driven plots, complex cases and mysteries that will always keep you guessing.

 

Can’t wait to read what next years book may reveal!

 

 

 

 

#FridayFeebie : Dead Man Switch – Tara Moss

Description:

Bestselling author Tara Moss returns to crime fiction with a stunning new series, and a stunning new heroine. Meet PI Billie Walker – smart and sexy, with a dash of Mae West humour, she’s a hard-boiled detective with a twist.

She’s a woman in a man’s world …

Sydney, 1946. Billie Walker is living life on her own terms. World War II has left her bereaved, her photojournalist husband missing and presumed dead. Determined not to rely on any man for her future, she re-opens her late father’s detective agency.

Billie’s bread and butter is tailing cheating spouses – it’s easy, pays the bills and she has a knack for it. But her latest case, the disappearance of a young man, is not proving straightforward …

Soon Billie is up to her stylish collar in bad men, and not just the unfaithful kind – these are the murdering kind. Smugglers. Players. Gangsters. Billie and her loyal assistant must pit their wits against Sydney’s ruthless underworld and find the young man before it’s too late.

Tara Moss head shot_thanks to Berndt Sellheim

Giveaway:

If you like your protagonists to be smart, assertive and female then Tara’ Moss’ s new series with the PI Billie Walker written in a modern ‘hard boiled’ style is for you.

For your chance to win pop over to Harper Collins website and tell me  in the comments in this blog post, who said this about the author  “‘A brilliant writer‘ ”

 

**Entries limited to Australian residents only and winners will be selected by a random draw on  the 31st of October 2019.**

Review: Pieces of a Lie – Rowena Holloway

Pieces of a Lie

Rowena Holloway

Rowena Holloway–Fractured Press

ISBN: 9780994168818

Description:

One dark secret. Two troubled souls. The lie that brings them together could tear them apart.

 

Mina Everton’s search for the criminal father who deserted her years ago draws her into the sinister underbelly of the Australian suburbs and a lie twelve years in the making. Detective Lincoln Drummond is investigating a series of robberies. Simple. Until he meets Mina, who gets to him in ways he’s never faced before, and it soon becomes clear the truth behind the robberies is far from simple. Despite Mina’s growing feelings for Drummond, she can’t bring herself to trust him. And the closer she gets to her father, the more she looks, and acts, like a suspect. To expose the truth she must choose – destroy herself … or the only man who believes in her.

Sometimes love isn’t enough…

 

Intoxicating suspense that will grip you from the start.

 

My View:

This is a gritty, tension filled mystery that had me flying through the pages.

Rowena Holloway has created the prefect villain in this stunning debut, you too will abhor him as you cheer on the fierce, intelligent female protagonist.

This is an engaging narrative that has a cast of relatable, well developed characters that played out their story in glorious colour as I raced towards the twisty ending. This would make the perfect start to a series – book or tv.

Thanks for breaking my drought of 5 star crime fiction/mystery reads. I look forward to reading more by this author. Add her to your “Authors I Must Read” list.

 

 

Guest Review: Cradle to Grave – Rachel Amphlett

Cradle to Grave

Detective Kay Hunter #8

Rachel Amphlett

Saxon Publishing

ISBN: 9781916098817

 

Description:

When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer’s morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man’s identity – and where he came from.

The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child’s belongings.

Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time – but they have no leads, and no motive for the events that have taken place.

Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it’s too late?

Brenda’s Review:

The discovery of a body floating in the river was only the beginning of the case. When the team located an abandoned, blood stained boat which had children’s toys in the cabin, the immediate concern that a child had been kidnapped was foremost in the minds of the investigators. Detective Kay Hunter along with her senior officer, Detective Ian Barnes kept the team moving with their different tasks, but their frustration was mounting. Working around the clock, Kay wondered if they would get a break in the case soon; and whether Alice was still alive…

Cradle to Grave is the 8th in the Kay Hunter series by Aussie author Rachel Amphlett and it was brilliant once again! This series is going from strength to strength, and it’s always great to catch up with Kay and her team. The author makes me feel fully involved in the story; the different emotions come across well and the descriptions are such that I can visualize it all. Cradle to Grave is one I highly recommend, but I strongly suggest reading the series from the beginning. 5 stars.

With thanks to the author for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Lying Room – Nicci French

The Lying Room

Nicci French

Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781471179242

RRP $29.99

 

Description:

Neve Connolly looks down at a murdered man.

She doesn’t call the police.

 

‘You know, it’s funny,’ Detective Inspector Hitching said. ‘Whoever I see, they keep saying, talk to Neve Connolly, she’ll know. She’s the one people talk to, she’s the one people confide in.’

 

A trusted colleague and friend. A mother. A wife. Neve Connolly is all these things.

 

She has also made mistakes; some small, some unconsciously done, some large, some deliberate. She is only human, after all. But now one mistake is spiralling out of control and Neve is bringing those around her into immense danger. She can’t tell the truth. So how far is she prepared to go to protect those she loves? And who does she really know? And who can she trust?

 

A liar. A cheat. A threat. Neve Connolly is all these things.

Could she be a murderer?

 

 

My View:

Extraordinarily twisty!

 

There was a point in this read (no spoilers here) when I was chilled to the bone, the unthinkable was looking like the answer… I had to stop and wait a day or two to pick the book back up … more twists but my fear was unfounded … a deliciously wicked red herring… this is such a twisty read.

 

Nicci French you have once again delivered a masterfully written read. How does this duo do it? It is flawless in its delivery and outstanding in its relevance to family, relationships and everyday life.

 

The relationship between parent and child is a standout for me. The murder – not so every day. J

Read, be thrilled and enjoy.

 

Review: Silver – Chris Hammer

Silver

(Martin Scarsden #2)

Chris Hammer

Allen & Unwin Australia

ISBN: 9781760632991

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

For half a lifetime, journalist Martin Scarsden has run from his past. But now there is no escaping. He’d vowed never to return to his hometown, Port Silver, and its traumatic memories. But now his new partner, Mandy Blonde, has inherited an old house in the seaside town and Martin knows their chance of a new life together won’t come again. Martin arrives to find his best friend from school days brutally murdered, and Mandy the chief suspect. With the police curiously reluctant to pursue other suspects, Martin goes searching for the killer. And finds the past waiting for him.

 

He’s making little progress when a terrible new crime starts to reveal the truth. The media descend on Port Silver, attracted by a story that has it all: sex, drugs, celebrity and religion. Once again, Martin finds himself in the front line of reporting. Yet the demands of deadlines and his desire to clear Mandy are not enough: the past is ever present.

 

An enthralling and propulsive thriller from the acclaimed and bestselling author of Scrublands.

 

My View:

This is a read that takes us deeper into the life of our protagonist and subsequently of the town, Silver, where he grew up. The town has a very dominant position in this read – sparking discussion re developments, the survival of small towns in difficult economic times, about the environment, about progress, about corruption, pollution, sustainability …it’s almost as if  Chris Hammer is talking about the Margaret River region, (Western Australia’s equivalent to Bryon Bay I believe) 🙂

 

And then there is the mystery, a murder or two or three… (No spoilers here) and the relationship issues. And a delightful infant that symbolises hope and growth in both the personal and community.

 

I can’t wait to see what the third book in this trilogy reveals.

 

Catch up with Chris Hammer here: WOW he is busy! 

ERINA
Meet Chris Hammer: Author Talk, Q&A and Book Signing
Wednesday 9th of October
6 pm for 6.30 pm start – 8 pm
Erina Library
Shop KM 006, Terrigal Drive NSW 2250
Presented in conjunction with Book Face Erina
RSVP here

ADELAIDE
In Conversation with Chris Hammer
Friday 11th of October
6.30 pm – 7.30 pm
Burnside Library
401 Greenhill Rd, Adelaide SA 5065
Presented in conjunction with Shakespeare’s Book & Coffee Shop
RSVP here

MELBOURNE
Meet & Greet Chris Hammer
Monday 14th of October
Infuse Camberwell
6.30 pm – 8 pm
2 Burke Avenue, Camberwell VIC 3123
Presented in conjunction with Dymocks Camberwell
RSVP here

MELBOURNE
Chris Hammer in conversation with Tim Byrne
Tuesday 15th of October
6.45 pm – 7 pm
Avenue Bookstore
127 Dundas Place, Albert Park VIC 3206
RSVP here

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Books at Bars with Chris Hammer
Wednesday 16th of October
6 pm for 6.20 pm
The Lookout
148 The Esplanade, Scarborough WA 6019
Presented in conjunction with Dymocks Joondalup
RSVP here

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Author Talk, Q&A and Book Signing with Chris Hammer
Thursday 17th of October
6 pm for 6.30 pm
Barefoot Books Busselton
Shop 21-23 Fig Tree Lane, Busselton WA 6280
RSVP by calling (08) 9751 3905

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Chris Hammer In Conversation
Friday 18th of October
6.15 pm for 6.30 pm
Beaufort St Books
567 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley WA 6050
RSVP here

QUEENSLAND
Author Talk, Q&A and Book Signing with Chris Hammer
Sunday 20th of October
9.30 am – 11.30 am
Avid Reader
193 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
RSVP by calling (07) 3846 3422

QUEENSLAND
Mini Event Stock Signing
Sunday 20th of October
1 pm
Dymocks Brisbane
177 Albert St, Brisbane City QLD 4000
RSVP by calling (07) 3007 2800

QUEENSLAND
Chris Hammer in conversation with Ben Hobson
Monday 21st of October
6.30 pm
Riverbend Books
193 Oxford St, Bulimba QLD 4171
RSVP here

SYDNEY
Author Talk, Q&A and Book Signing
Monday 28th of October
6.30 pm – 7.30 pm
Manly Library
1 Market Place, Manly NSW 2095
Presented in conjunction with Harry Hartog Bondi Junction
RSVP here

SYDNEY
Author Event at Penrith City Library
Tuesday 29th of October
6.30 pm – 7.30 pm
Penrith City Library
601 High St, Penrith NSW 2750
Presented in conjunction with Dymocks Penrith
RSVP here

SYDNEY
Chris Hammer in conversation with Scott Whitmont
Wednesday 30th of October
12.30 pm
Chatswood Library
Lower Ground, The Concourse
409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW 2067
RSVP here

SYDNEY
An Evening with Chris Hammer
Thursday 31st of October
6.30 pm – 7.30 pm
Castle Hill Library
Pennant St & Castle St, Castle Hill NSW 2154
Presented in conjunction with Dymocks Rouse Hill
RSVP here

TATHRA
Chris Hammer in conversation with Gabbie Stroud
Saturday 2nd of November
4.30 pm
Tathra Hotel
8-12 Bega St, Tathra NSW 2550
Presented in conjunction with Candelo Books
RSVP by calling (02) 6494 1101

CANBERRA
Chris Hammer in conversation with Michael Connelly
Monday 4th of November
6 pm – 8 pm
National Library of Australia
Theatre, Lower Ground 1, Parkes Place Canberra ACT 2600
RSVP here

COFFS HARBOUR
In conversation with Chris Hammer
Wednesday 6th of November
5.30 pm for 6 pm
Harry Bailey Memorial Library
Cnr Coff and Duke St, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
Presented in conjunction with The Book Warehouse
RSVP by calling (02) 6648 4900

BYRON BAY
Chris Hammer in conversation with Matthew Condon
Thursday 7th of November
6 pm
The Book Room at Byron
27 Fletcher St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
RSVP by calling (02) 6685 8183

ELTHAM
Chris Hammer in conversation with Kate Mildenhall
Monday 11th of November
6.30 pm – 8 pm
Earthbound Bolton
5/266 Bolton St, Eltham VIC 3095
Eltham Bookshop
Ticket price includes a copy of the book or a $30 gift voucher,
a glass of wine and refreshments
RSVP by calling (03) 9439 8700

ALBURY
Author Event with Chris Hammer
(wine and finger food provided)
Wednesday 13th of November
5.30 pm – 7 pm
Public House Albury
491 Dean St, Albury NSW 2640
RSVP by calling (02) 6041 1805

ORANGE
Library After Hours: In Conversation with Chris Hammer
Wednesday 20th of November 2019
7 pm – 9 pm
Orange City Library
Central West Libraries
147 Byng St, Orange NSW 2800
RSVP here

YOUNG
In Conversation with Chris Hammer
Thursday 21st of November
6.15 pm for 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Young Library, Hilltops
31 Lynch St, Young NSW 2594
RSVP here

BOOROWA
In Conversation with Chris Hammer
Friday 22nd of November
10.30 am – 12 pm noon
Boorowa Library, Hilltops
Corner of Market and Pudman Street, Boorowa NSW 2586
RSVP here

KIAMA
Dinner with Kiama Library
Saturday 23rd of November
6.30 pm
The Sebel Kiama Harbourside
31 Shoalhaven St, Kiama NSW 2533
RSVP by calling (02) 4230 7500