Review: The Recovery of Rose Gold – Stephanie Wrobel

The Recovery of Rose Gold
Stephanie Wrobel
Penguin Random House Australia
Michael Joseph
ISBN: 9780241416082

Description:
Rose Gold Watts believed she was sick for eighteen years.

She thought she needed the feeding tube, the surgeries, the wheelchair . . .

Turns out her mother is a really good liar.

After five years in prison, Patty Watts is finally free. All she wants is to put old grievances behind her, reconcile with the daughter who testified against her – and care for her new infant grandson.

When Rose Gold agrees to have Patty move in, it seems their relationship is truly on the mend. And she has waited such a long time for her mother to come home.
But is she still the pliable young girl she once was? And is Patty still as keen on settling an old score?

Because if mothers never forget then daughters never forgive.

A chilling tale of obsession, reconciliation and revenge from an incredible new talent.

My View:
This one completely baffled me – right up to the last few pages and then it still had a few surprises – a great read!

This is a read that will keep you guessing, will have you shaking your head confoundedly, “how could this happen?”, will continually surprise you and you will gasp at the ending.

This is a great read.

Review: Fifty Fifty – Steve Cavanagh

Fifty Fifty
Steve Cavanagh
Orion Books
Hachette Australia
ISBN: 9781409185857
RRP $32.99

 

Description:
Two sisters on trial for murder. Both accuse each other.

Who do YOU believe?

Alexandra Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body, and needs the police right away. She believes her sister killed him, and that she is still in the house with a knife.

Sofia Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body and needs the police right away. She believes her sister, Alexandra did it, and that she is still in the house, locked in the bathroom.

Both women are to go on trial at the same time. A joint trial in front of one jury.

But one of these women is lying. One of them is a murderer. Sitting in a jail cell, about to go on trial with her sister for murder, you might think that this is the last place she expected to be.

You’d be wrong.

My View:
This read left me gobsmacked! What a perfect read.

This is Steve Cavanagh at his very best – and his best is GREAT! This was an unbelievably good read: it will astound you, confuse you and mesmerise you. This read will have you on the edge of your chair, holding your breath, jaws locked as you try and decipher the dual stories of pain and tragedy that end in revenge and bloodshed- so much blood.

Sharp, clever and tension packed. This really was a thrilling read. And no, I didn’t guess/work out who the killer was. I doubt you will either.

Review: The Janes – Louisa Luna

The Janes
An Alice Vega Novel
Text Publishing
ISBN:
9781922268495
RRP $29.99

Description:
The electric follow-up to Louisa Luna’s acclaimed thriller Two Girls Down, featuring private investigators Alice Vega and Max Caplan.

On the outskirts of San Diego, the bodies of two young women are discovered. They have no names, no IDs, and no family looking for them. Fearing the possibility of a human trafficking ring, the police and FBI reach out to Alice Vega, a private investigator known for finding the missing, for help in finding out who the Janes were–and finding the others who are missing.
Alice Vega is a powerful woman whose determination is matched only by her intellect, and, along with her partner Cap, she will stop at nothing to find the Janes before it is too late.
Louisa Luna is writing new classics of crime fiction, and her partnership of Vega and Cap is rightfully joining the pantheon of the most memorable in crime fiction.

My View:
I absolutely loved Two Girls Down, the first booking the Alice Vega series and then I read The Janes! What a fabulous sequel, another to add to my “Best of 2020 Crime Fiction Reads” list. Suspend your disbelief before you board this bone rattling, earth shaking, mind blowing, action packed read, destination, SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

In the Alice Vega titles, Louisa Luna has created a memorable, heroic, female protagonist, Alice Vega – Vega is everything (and more) than the average, male, crime fiction good guy. I love this element of Luna’s work – her hero plays by the same rules as her villains – she is tough, smart, assertive with an aggressive bent. She is not held back by the rules that apply to law enforcement officers, she does as she needs to get results. Fast thinking and fast acting, she is compelled to help those who need her the most and she is not averse to breaking an arm, leg, nose or any other body part to achieve her end result.

Her counterpart is the likable and knowledgeable ex detective Max Caplan aka Cap. He is older, thoughtful, calm, and determined. Vega and Caplan are the perfect team – both compassionate and resolute in their endeavours to solve the most heinous crimes.

Luna has crafted a well written crime fiction narrative to subtly discuss contemporary social and political issues; human trafficking, forced prostitution, drug trafficking and the detention of “illegal immigrants”, corruption…to name a few. Luna tackles all the hard issues, deftly weaving them into this action-packed mystery.

If you are looking for your next exciting, page turning, stay up all night, read, look no further than this thrilling new series, the duo of Vega and Cap will keep you entertained until the very last word.

Review: Two Girls Down – Louisa Luna

Two Girls Down
Alice Vega #1
Louisa Luna
Text Publishing
ISBN: 9781925773644

Description:
Jamie Brandt was not a bad mother. Later she would tell that to anyone who would listen: police, reporters, lawyers, her parents, her boyfriend, her dealer, the new bartender with the knuckle tattoos at Schultz’s, the investigator from California and her partner, and her own reflection in the bathroom mirror, right before cracking her forehead on the sink’s edge and passing out from the cocktail of pain, grief, and fear.

When two sisters disappear from a parking lot while their mother is in Kmart, the devastated family hires bounty hunter Alice Vega to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched too thin by budget cuts and the growing meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help, and she will not be denied.

With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.

 

My View:
What an explosive, mind blowing read! I loved every minute of this read, the first few pages introduced us to characters that have become my new favourite protagonists. Within the first paragraphs the author captured so many emotions; fear, dread, anticipation and… hope, I could not put the book down.

Louisa Luna is a new to me author – I am so glad I discovered her and this series. This is a book that captured my attention, had me cheering the protagonists on whilst simultaneously dreading the turn of the page and discovering the next complex, difficult and dangerous scenario, had me holding my breath as Alice charged head on into the conflict desperate in her attempt to save the innocent victims …what a read!

This book is easily a contender for my best crime fiction read of 2020 and I cannot wait for The Janes (Alice Vega #2) to be released.

Review: Devestation Road – Joanna Baker

Devastation Road: (Beechworth Trilogy #1)
Joanna Baker
Soren Press
ISBN: 9781925786026

Description:
“An outstanding first novel” The Age

“Intelligent and sensitive.” Sisters in Crime

Winner of the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award

They should have seen who killed Debbie. The clues were in front of them the whole time. But sometimes the biggest mystery lies in the hearts of those closest to you.

Yackandandah, Victoria. A small and close-knit town where everyone knows their neighbour. Life here is dull, and safe. But eight years ago, out along Station Road, things started catching fire. Then a girl was killed, and someone got smart with the name.

Now it’s happening again. There’s a fire. Matt Tingle and Chess Febey find a friend, drowned in a pond.

Chess isn’t Matt’s friend. She’s one of those people you get stuck with – well meaning, total liability. But she knows how to answer questions, and there are plenty of those: Why are Tara and Wando afraid? What is the meaning of the amber necklace? How can a car be blue and white at the same time?

Before they can find the truth, Matt and Chess have to put themselves in danger, they have to look deep into themselves, and they have to reveal things about the past …

Other people’s secrets …
… and the truth about what happened all those years ago, on Devastation Road.

My View:
This New Year has brought forth a swag of excellent crime fiction/mystery, suspense reads and this read belongs in that swag!

What I Loved:
√  Interesting well-developed characters and settings.

  Great plotting and outcomes I didn’t expect.

   A build of tension and drama.

   Exciting introduction

Left me wanting more!!

Review: Mr Nobody – Catherine Steadman

Mr Nobody
Catherine Steadman
Simon & Schuster Australia
ISBN: 9781471192265
RRP $29.99

Description:
A psychiatrist treating a man with no memory discovers that her patient knows far more about her past than his own in a gripping psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water.

Who is Mr. Nobody?

When a man is found on a British beach, drifting in and out of consciousness, with no identification and unable to speak, interest in him is sparked immediately. From the hospital staff who find themselves inexplicably drawn to him, to international medical experts who are baffled by him, to the national press who call him Mr. Nobody, everyone wants answers. Who is this man? And what happened to him?

Some memories are best forgotten.

Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Emma Lewis is asked to assess the patient in a small town deep in the English countryside. This is her field of expertise, this is the chance she’s been waiting for, and this case could make her name known across the world. But therein lies the danger. Emma left this same town fourteen years ago and has taken great pains to cover all traces of her past since then.

Places aren’t haunted . . . people are.

But now something—or someone—is calling her back. And the more time she spends with her patient, the more alarmed she becomes that he knows the one thing about her that nobody is supposed to know.

 

My View:
A captivating read!

The tension was exquisite! I really enjoyed this read – the pace, the characters, the settings…and the twisty narrative.

Written in a style the gives voice to many of the main characters, you really get involved and try to unravel this twisty tale. There were times when I was urging the protagonist to re think her next move, to be more cautious, to look out…she didn’t listen 😊 She too had to realise – you can’t change people, people have to change themselves.

Guest Review: The Girl in the Painting – Tea Cooper

The Girl in the Painting

Tea Cooper

HarperCollins Publishers AU

ISBN: 9781489270726

Description:

Maitland 1913. Miss Elizabeth Quinn is something of an institution in Maitland Town. For longer than anyone could remember she and her brother, businessman Michael, have lived in the impressive two-storey stone house next to the church. When she is discovered cowering in the corner of the exhibition gallery at the Technical College the entire town knows something strange has come to pass.

Was it the prehistoric remains or perhaps the taxidermy exhibition that had reduced the whale-boned encased pillar of society to a quivering mess? Or is there something odd about a striking painting on loan from the National Gallery?

Mathematical savant Jane Piper is determined to find out. Deposited on the doorstep of the local orphanage as a baby, she owes her life and education to the Quinn’s philanthropic ventures and Elizabeth has no one else to turn to.

As the past and the present converge, Elizabeth’s grip on reality loosens. Can Jane, with her logical brain and penchant for puzzles, unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late?

Ranging from the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, the bucolic English countryside to the charm of Maitland Town, this compelling historical mystery in the company of an eccentric and original heroine is rich with atmosphere and detail.

 

Brenda’s Review:

It was 1863 when Michael Ó’Cuinn and his little sister Elizabeth left London bound for Australia. Their Mam and Da had gone earlier, leaving the two children with an aunt, but her death meant the journey to join their parents took place sooner than originally planned. Leaving Elizabeth with the Camerons in Sydney while Michael searched for their parents, the shock he faced meant he had to do some rapid growing up.

Fifty years later in 1913, Michael and Elizabeth lived in Maitland, NSW. They were well known and liked in the town; Michael was an astute businessman while Elizabeth controlled the accounting. They had rescued Jane from the orphanage when she was young, her mathematical genius something they wanted to cultivate. Jane called them Aunt and Uncle; she wasn’t adopted but was part of the family.

It was when Elizabeth was affected by an exhibition at the Technical College that things began to change. Elizabeth felt herself fading in and out of reality; her dizziness and fear was overwhelming. The doctor couldn’t find anything physically wrong with her – so what was happening? Jane was determined to find the answers; she owed everything to Michael and Elizabeth. She had to help. But was it a puzzle she could solve?

The Girl in the Painting by Aussie author Tea Cooper would have to be her best yet in my opinion! An exceptional plot, interesting, intriguing and poignant. I couldn’t put this one down; loved Jane’s character, especially when she first went to the Quinn household. I laughed out loud many times at her antics; she was forthright and didn’t hold back. The Girl in the Painting is a thoroughly enjoyable historical mystery novel which I highly recommend. 5 stars.

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