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

 

Review: Every Time He Dies – Tara East

 

Every Time He Dies

Tara East

Tara East – self published

ISBN: 9780648581512

 

Description:

Daphne Lawrence is haunted. Two years ago, her fiancé died in a terrible accident, her mother passed away from cancer and she stopped speaking to her father. As an embalmer, Daff is used to the company of dead people, but she isn’t used to them talking back. In fact, Daff isn’t used to anything that could be considered woo-woo including, but not limited to: psychics, crystal, meditation, tarot cards, vision quests and coincidences. Too bad that’s everything she’s experiencing.

 

Daff is forced to confront her own long ignored grief when she discovers a haunted watch buried in the sand at Golden Beach. The problem is, her ghost has no memory of his former life or how he died.

 

As Daff seeks to discover the spectre’s identity, dangerous truths and hidden secrets are revealed. Soon, she finds herself in the middle of an on-going homicide investigation led by Detective Sergeant Jon Lawrence, her father. A story about grief, time and identity, Every Time He Dies will leave you wondering whether our dearly beloveds ever really depart.

 

My View:

A brilliant debut!

 

This is a multilayered, deeply moving narrative of redemption, forgiveness, identity, moving on, grieving, bikies, lies, mysteries and ghosts. What a fabulous read and oh so satisfying.

 

Tara East is a very visual storyteller; I watched this story play out in technicolour 3D in my head, the locations, very Australian, (is it coincidence that the most readable speculative fiction I have come across are based in/around Brisbane, Queensland?), the characters so vibrant (I love you Daff and Liam, well mostly Liam but Daff you are a very engaging protagonist) and the mysteries, intriguing.

 

I do hope that this is the start of a series, I can’t wait to read more about Daff’s adventures as she assist the newly dead on their quests.

 

5 Star Books to Keep a Look Out For

I just wanted to share some recent 5 star book discoveries that I will be reviewing soon; some have recently been published, some will be published in the next month or so. Some are  by debut authors, some are  by favourites that never disappoint.  I highly recommend these – as I read each one I thought “this is the best book I have read this year,” and then I read THE NEXT AND THOUGHT THE SAME THING. Such talent.

 

The Lying Room

Nicci French

Simon and Schuster

 

Wearing Paper Dresses

Ann Brinsden

Mcmillan Australia

 

 

 

The Other Half of Augusta Hope

Joanna Glen

Harper Collins

 

Every Time He Dies

Tara East

Self Published

ISBN: 9780648581512

Review: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone – Felicity McLean

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

Felicity McLean

Harper Collins Publishers Australia

Fourth Estate

ISBN: 9781460755068

 

Description:

We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.’

 

So begins Tikka Molloy’s recounting of the summer of 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters, Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – disappear.

 

Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set in an eerie Australian river valley suburb with an unexplained stench. The Van Apfel girls vanish from the valley during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river. While the search for the sisters unites the small community on Sydney’s urban fringe, the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved forever.

 

Brilliantly observed, sharp, lively, funny and entirely endearing, this novel is part mystery, part coming-of-age story – and quintessentially Australian. Think The Virgin Suicides meets Jasper Jones meets Picnic at Hanging Rock.

 

 

My View:

Outstanding!

 

If evocative, tension packed mysteries are your thing than don’t miss reading this book.

 

Felicity McLean captures the age of the characters, the idiom and the culture of the 90’s effortlessly – or makes it seem effortlessly.

I was glued to the pages, holding my breath, hoping for a positive outcome. There is so much tension packed into every observation, every comment, and every moment.

 

This is compelling, haunting and thought provoking. I loved every minute of this read.  Is this the best read of the year? I think so. It is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

 

Review: Good Girl, Bad Girl – Michael Robotham

Good Girl, Bad Girl

Michael Robotham

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733638053

RRP$32.99

 

Description:

From the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps, the writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master…with heart and soul,” a fiendishly clever suspense novel about a dangerous young woman with a special ability to know when someone is lying—and the criminal psychologist who must outwit her to survive.

 

A girl is found hiding in a secret room in a house being renovated after a terrible crime. For weeks she has survived by sneaking out at night, stealing food for herself and two dogs that are kept in the garden. The nurses at the hospital where she is taken call her “Angel Face” because she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen, or somewhere in between. She doesn’t appear on any missing person’s file, or match the DNA of any murder victim.

 

Six years later, still unidentified, the same girl is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac, when she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult. Psychologist Cyrus Haven is sent to interview Evie and decide if she’s ready to go free, but Evie Cormac is unlike he’s anyone he’s ever met. She’s damaged, destructive, and self-hating, yet possessed of a gift, or a curse, that makes her both fascinating and dangerous to be with—the ability to tell when someone is lying. Soon he is embroiled in her unique and dangerous world, his life in utmost peril.

 

Cleverly constructed, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read from the internationally bestselling author David Baldacci called “the real deal.”

 

 

My View:

This is very much a character based narrative and Michael Robotham has provided us with two more wonderful protagonists to follow, Cyrus Haven and Evie.

 

Steadily paced with interesting back stories (and more to be revealed) about both leads this is a book that will leave you wanting more. More back stories, more about the mystery, more about the relationships, more about Cyrus and Evie’s future…just more please 🙂

 

 

 

 

Review: Asylum – Jack Adams

Asylum

Delaney & Murphy #1

Jack Adams

Atlas Productions

ISBN: 9780994182203

 

Description:

Something happened here. Behind these walls, in these rooms, on the grounds, at the river. The inmate sketched it all – fine lines. See there, in the negative space, the truth in the pencil strokes. Then he was gone.

Joe was their friend; the man they spoke to through the wire fence of the Lunatic Asylum, and 10-year-old best friends, Nathan Walker and Adam Murphy, knew he wasn’t insane. Then, one day, Joe was gone. Now hitting their thirties—jobs and divorces in their wake—ex-cop, current P.I. Nate and psychiatrist Adam decide to share office space and a receptionist. That’s when the letter arrives advising them that they have received ‘Expectations’. A quaint, old-fashioned bequest delivered by a solicitor which amounts to an inheritance for two boys – left by Joseph O’Connell, a missing-believed-deceased former patient at the River Park Lunatic Asylum.

 

My View:

This is a fantastic debut by Australian author Jack Adams, characters are well developed and empathetic, issued are presented in shades of grey, the locations are rich in detail and very visual. I particularly like how this narrative gives voice to the experience of the disenfranchised, those with illness/mental illness in the community and highlights the huge impact that non-judgemental friendship can have on an individual.  And then there is the mystery.

 

A mystery recounted by reflections of two time periods, the not so long ago past and the current times, this is an enlightening read.

 

I cannot wait to see what Jack Adams writes next – it’s hard to believe this book is his debut, it is written with such skill.