#FridayFreebie House of Correction – Nicci French

 

House of Correction 

Nicci French 

Simon & Schuster

Description:

‘So,’ said Mora Piozzi, her lawyer, looking down at her laptop. ‘In brief: you are charged with the murder of Stuart Robert Rees, on December 21st, between the hours of ten-forty in the morning and half-past three o’clock in the afternoon.’

Tabitha is accused of murder. She is in prison awaiting trial.
There is a strong case against her, and she can’t remember what happened on December 21st.
She is alone, frightened and confused.
But somehow, from the confines of her cell, she needs to prove everyone wrong.

House of Correction is beautifully written, clever, shocking, twisty, so believable and utterly compelling. This is another stunningly brilliant novel to relish from Nicci French.

 

 

**Thanks to the generous people at Simon & Schuster  Australia I have one copy of this magnificent read for you to win. ( I finished reading this a couple of days ago – it’s brilliant! ) Australian residents only – answer me this in the comments- who is Nicci French? I will randomly select the winner on the 2nd of September – publication day. **

Review: Torched -Kimberley Starr

Torched

Kimberley Starr

Panterra Press

ISBN: 9780648571537

 

Description:

An explosive, haunting and utterly compelling crime novel about mothers and sons and the ties that bind them.

 

A small Yarra Valley town has been devastated by a bushfire, and Reefton Primary School Principal Phoebe Warton can’t sleep. She’s the single mother of Caleb who is accused of starting the fire – on purpose. Twelve people are dead, students from her school among them; only a monster would cause such carnage. But where was her son that day? No one knows but Caleb, and he’s not talking.

 

Against mounting community rage, Phoebe sets out to clear her son. But every avenue leads back to Caleb. Why did he vanish from his Country Fire Authority shift? Who else was at the abandoned goldmine that day? Why is Caleb refusing to speak?

 

Phoebe will be forced to confront the nature of guilt and redemption, and decide what boundaries she is willing to cross to save the son she loves.

 

 

My View:

The publishing date for this read was changed a few times due to COVID- 19 issues of restrictions and the coincidental major bush fires in Australia- how difficult it must have been to be planning to release a book whose central character is a fatal bush fires and then an actual fire ravishes huge parts of Eastern Australia, devastating for the author and for the areas affected by the fires.

 

And so, I read this book, was fascinated, loved the tension packed pages, loved the family story and if you have ever wondered how it felt to actually be in the mist of a bush fires – well this read is so believable, so visual…I was “there”, smelling the fire, heat burning my nostrils… And then everything halted. The release was postponed and the book languished on my desk, pretty soon covered in various notes, other books to review…

 

This book is fabulous! It is on my list of “best reads of 2020” and I hope it will soon be on yours.

 

Review: The Long Shadow – Anne Buist

The Long Shadow

Anne Buist

Text Publishing

ISBN: 9781922268709

 

Description:

Write down something about yourself, as a mother, that worries you.

 

Psychologist Isabel Harris has come to the outback town of Riley because her husband Dean is assessing the hospital—the hub of the community—with a view to closing it down. Isabel, mostly occupied with her toddler, will run a mother–baby therapy group. But on the first day she gets an anonymous note from one of the mothers:

 

The baby killer is going to strike again. Soon.

 

Then a series of small harassments begins.

 

Is it an attempt to warn Dean off? Or could the threat be serious? A child was murdered in Riley once before.

 

As Isabel discovers more about the mothers in her group, she begins to believe the twenty-five-year-old mystery of a baby’s death may be the key to preventing another tragedy.

 

My View:

What did I love about this read? So much to enjoy if you stop and take the time to absorb the many themes presented in this read; motherhood, what is home, domestic violence, family violence, racism, small town attitudes, family dramas, sins of the past…for me this was a slow burn with so many fascinating aspects. I particularly liked hearing the voice of the protagonist – her many views on life in the town – as a psychologist  dealing with her clients, her insights into their issues are fascinating, as  an individual suffering her own stresses – again interesting, as a “new comer” to town she has a unique perspective.

 

Now I’ve sampled the thoughtful writing in this standalone I am very keen to read the Natalie King series of thrillers that Anne Buist is well known for.

 

 

#FridayFreebie – Wasp Season – Jennifer Scoullar

Wasp Season

Jennifer Scoullar

Pilyara Press

ISBN: 9780648308942

 

Description:

You’ll never see a wasp in the same way again …

When Beth’s marriage ends, she’s determined to build a new life in the country for herself and her children. A quiet life lived closer to nature. She thinks she’s achieved the impossible – a civilised separation, a happy home and a cordial relationship with her estranged husband, Mark. There’s even the promise of new love on the horizon. But when Mark tries to change the rules, Beth’s peaceful world is turned upside down.

Disturbingly, she also discovers that European wasps have invaded her garden. Beth’s obsession with them and their queen holds up a distorted mirror to the human drama. As the chaos in Beth’s life gathers momentum, connections between the two worlds come sharply into focus. The lives of Beth and the others are neither separate to, nor safe from, the natural world.

AUTHOR’S NOTE
In this series of Wild Australia Stories I tell tales of the people, wildlife and land that I love. But there is more to wild Australia than brumbies, dingoes, dolphins and the magnificent outback.

As a passionate conservationist and amateur naturalist, I’m interested in all aspects of nature. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s not always about the big things. Little creatures have a surprising impact on our lives. If you’re squeamish about insects, look away now. If you’re fascinated by the Australian bush and the way all creatures great and small are connected, then Beth’s story is for you.

– Praise for Wasp Season –

-There is an ironic twist to this tale, a violent and sudden twist that will leave the reader gasping. Wasp Season is a fascinating study of nature and humans.– Wendy O’Hanlon, Acres Australia

– ‘A thrilling story that describes both human and insect life in detail as they become intertwined … an unforgettable, unputdownable trip into a garden that, on the surface, seems like a quiet refuge.’ – John Morrow, World of Books and Music

– ‘Scoullar, it turns out, is a writer of documentary calibre.’ Australian Literary Review

 

** I have one copy of Wasp Season, courtesy of the author,  available to an Australian resident to win – it’s simple – in the comments name one other book Jennifer has written.  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4428836.Jennifer_Scoullar
Competition closes  8th August 2020. Good luck **

#FridayFreebie Face Value – Ian Andrew

Face Value

Wright & Tran #1

Ian Andrew

ISBN: 978-0992464127 Trade Paperback: 314 pages Trim: 13.3 x 2.0 x 20.3 cm

Publisher: The Book Reality Experience

Published: 11 May 2015

Winner of the Publishers Weekly Booklife Prize for Fiction, FACE VALUE by Ian Andrew, is the opening salvo in the detective thriller series that follows Kara Wright and Tien Tran, veterans of UK Military Intelligence, now trying to scrape by as Private Investigators.

 

With taut writing, bone-crushing action, and a pace that never relents, this was a difficult read to put down and a worthy winner.
Mark Dawson, USA Today bestselling author.

Featuring gripping action and tight plotting, this supercharged novel keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

Publishers Weekly

 

Description:

When ex-intelligence operative Tien Tran finds civilian life lacking, she teams up with her hot-headed fellow vet Kara to become private investigators. Even with her hard-as-nails partner by her side, Tran struggles to afford the London rent on their office. The computer genius agrees to take on a well-paying case of two clients’ missing parents to keep the lights on. But when the rookie PIs learn the siblings’ father is ex-intelligence too, they suspect the questions of his disappearance may lead to sinister answers.

 

Kara Wright has no problem taking her combat skills to the streets, but her lack of empathy tends to get her in deep trouble. When she takes one counterattack too far, Wright’s aggression puts her and her partner at risk in the middle of their investigation. As they follow the case of violence and abuse to the heart of the criminal underworld, the Metropolitan Police may put a stop to their search before it starts.

Can Tran keep Wright in check long enough to close the case, or will the pair of PIs fall victim to a dark and deadly game?

 

Face Value is the gripping first book in the Wright & Tran crime thriller series. If you like electrifying action, breathless pacing, and three-dimensional characters, then you’ll love Ian Andrew’s award-winning special ops detective novel.

 

 

**This week I have 5 Ebooks of  Face Value the first book in the Wright and Tran series – a book I highly recommend. In the comments tell me which city this book is set in.  5 Winners will be randomly selected on 25 July 2020. Good luck. **

#FridayFreebie: The Bluffs – Kyle Perry

The Bluffs

Kyle Perry

Michael Joseph

Penguin Random House 

ISBN: 9781760895679

RRP $32.99

 

Description:

At the bottom of the world, there is an island. It is a land of rugged wilderness, of ice and snow and blistering heat … They say extinct tigers still roam there. They say other things roam, too.

When a school group of teenage girls go missing in the remote wilderness of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers, the people of Limestone Creek are immediately on alert. Not long ago, six young girls went missing in the area of those dangerous bluffs, and the legends of ‘the Hungry Man’ still haunt locals to this day.

Now, authorities can determine that the teacher, Eliza Ellis, was knocked unconscious, so someone on the mountain was up to foul play. Jordan Murphy, father of missing student Jasmine and the town’s local dealer, instantly becomes prime suspect, but Detective Con Badenhorst knows that in a town this size – with corrupt cops, small-town politics, and a teenage YouTube sensation – anyone could be hiding something, and bluffing comes second nature.

When a body is found, mauled, at the bottom of a cliff, suspicion turns to a wild animal – but that can’t explain why she, like all victims past and present, was discovered barefoot, with her shoes found nearby, laces neatly tied.

What happened up there on the bluffs? Somebody knows… unless the local legends are true…

 

 

**Today I have one copy The Bluffs to giveaway  thanks to Penguin Random House Australia  (Australian residents only) To enter in the comments let me know where this book is set. I will randomly select a winner on the 18th of July 2020**

 

##Check your emails – winner notified##

Review: The Patient – Jasper DeWitt

The Patient

Jasper DeWitt

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9781460759462

 

Description:

“A clever cocktail of psychological thriller and supernatural horror.” Kirkus

 

The Silent Patient by way of Stephen King: Parker, a young, overconfident psychiatrist new to his job at a mental asylum, miscalculates catastrophically when he undertakes curing a mysterious and profoundly dangerous patient.

 

In a series of online posts, Parker H., an ambitious young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England and his attempt to cure the facility’s most difficult, profoundly dangerous case.

 

Originally admitted to the hospital as a child, the man has no known diagnosis. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide.

 

Parker, brilliant and overconfident, takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. But things quickly spiral out of control …

 

Fans of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes and Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World will be riveted by Jasper DeWitt’s astonishing debut.

 

PRAISE FOR THE PATIENT:

 

“A stunning debut! DeWitt’s The Patient is a thrilling, compulsive page-turner that will appeal to fans of F. Paul Wilson, Sarah Pinborough, and Alex Michaelides.” Brian Keene, bestselling author and World Horror Grandmaster Award winner

 

“‘Insidious evil’ is such an overused term, but there is no other way to describe what prowls the hallways of this riveting novella. A compulsive read I devoured in one day. And the ending … it still haunts me.” F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling creator of the Repairman Jack series

 

“The Patient is a fascinating and frightening read that comes at you like the monster under your bed.” Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author.

 

 

My View:

Scene 1:  Pan in…Dark lighting…long, eerie, cold bare “industrial” styled corridor…closed door at end of corridor.

Enter Left: Dr in white coat, holding file/clipboard, hesitantly moving toward the door….Looking around, looking behind him, nervous movements.

Music – heavy foreboding…slowly building to crescendo as door opens….

 

I have taken artistic licence and “adapted” my intro script for The Patient to reflect the evocative, moody, “black and white” horror show that I visualised as I read this book. It’s a quick read, an easy read but there is something of those old school black and white horror films that stays with you long after you have finished reading.

 

If you like a little touch of horror then this book is for you.

 

 

Review: The Swap – Robyn Harding

The Swap

Robyn Harding

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781760854232

 

Description:

Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her dreary, isolated island hometown. Whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in – and neither does newcomer Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer.

 

After signing up for Freya’s pottery class, Low quickly falls under her spell. Buoyed by Low’s adoration, Freya is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, Low feels a sense of belonging … until Jamie walks through the studio door. Freya, Jamie and their husbands become fast friends, leaving Low alone once again.

 

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, but instead, it upends their lives.

 

And provides Low with the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.

 

My View:

Where to start? This is a read that is nuanced with so many interesting moral dilemmas, current issues (the impact of fertility/low fertility will break your heart and the big one; bullying, domestic abuse that is surprising yet somehow not…fits this character perfectly) and a cold-blooded murder that is chilling in its ease of enactment.

I guarantee this book will intrigue and give you many thoughts to consider.

 

 

 

Guest Review: Colombiano – Rusty Young

Colombiano

Rusty Young

Havelock & Baker Publishing

ISBN: 9780143781530

 

Description:

In Colombia you have to pick a side. Or one will be picked for you . . .

All Pedro Gutiérrez cares about is fishing, playing pool and his girlfriend Camila’s promise to sleep with him on his sixteenth birthday. But his life is ripped apart when Guerrilla soldiers callously execute his father in front of him, and he and his mother are banished from their farm.

Swearing vengeance against the five men responsible, Pedro, with his best friend Palillo, joins an illegal Paramilitary group, where he is trained to fight, kill and crush any sign of weakness.

But as he descends into a world of unspeakable violence, Pedro must decide how far he is willing to go. Can he stop himself before he becomes just as ruthless as those he is hunting? Or will his dark obsession cost him all he loves?

Colombiano is an epic tale of rural villages held to ransom, of jungle drug labs, cocaine supermarkets, witch doctors and buried millions, of innocent teenage love, barbaric torture and meticulously planned revenge.

Superbly told and by turns gripping, poignant and darkly comic, Colombiano is the remarkable story of a boy whose moral descent becomes a metaphor for the corruption of an entire nation. Both blockbuster thriller and electrifying coming-of-age story, Rusty Young’s powerful novel is also a meditation on the redeeming power of love.

Brenda’s Review:

As fifteen-year-old Pedro Gutierrez was forced to watch his father being murdered, he vowed he would do everything in his power to get vengeance against the men responsible. Grieving, angry and determined, Pedro and his best friend Palillo joined the Autodefensas – opposition to the powerful and brutal Guerrilla, the group that the men he would kill belonged to. Pedro had been a naïve teenager whose love for his girlfriend Camila, his mother and father, as well as fishing with his Papa had kept him innocent. His life would change dramatically in the two and a half years he was with the Autodefensas.

Pedro’s obsession with finding his father’s killers overrode any common sense he might have and Palillo did all he could to keep Pedro from doing crazy things. But would the world of violence he had descended into turn him into a killer as well? Would he turn into one of the monsters he was pursuing?

What an incredible tale, told by Aussie author Rusty Young after his seven years in Colombia where he interviewed special forces soldiers, snipers, undercover intelligence agents and members of the brutal gangs which were at war in the country. The child soldiers were the ones who tore his heart apart, and so, in telling their story, Colombiano was born. Blending fact with fiction, this story – at 820 pages – is a long one, but one well worth reading. Pedro was an excellent character as was Palillo and I was captivated by the story; by the heartache and poignancy which saw a coming of age story along with a thriller like none I’ve ever read before. A superbly told story, Colombiano is one I highly recommend. 5 stars

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

Review: The Museum Of Desire

The Museum of Desire

(Alex Delaware #35)

Century

Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9781780899046)

 

Description:

ONE NIGHT OF HEDONISM. FOUR MURDER VICTIMS.

 

A run-down mansion nestled between Beverley Hills and the San Fernando Valley is leased out for one night to house a party big enough to herald the end of days.

 

When a limo is discovered in the grounds of the house the morning after with four dead bodies inside, a mind-bending case begins.

 

With no link between the four people in the car, and each of the victims murdered in a different way, psychologist Alex Delaware and LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis are about to begin their grisliest and most baffling case yet.

 

And as they struggle to make sense of the vicious mass slaying, they will be forced to confront a level of lust and evil for which their combined wisdom can provide no preparation.

 

 

My View:

This was an engaging, weird, quirky, dark murder mystery but the strangest things about this read are; it is the 35th book in the series and I have never read anything by the author before (my bad) he is a talented writer who writes with sharpness, intention and skill. This is the 35th book in the Alex Delaware series yet I easily read it as a standalone – more kudos to the writer. The protagonists – quirky, likable, authentic.  The crimes – gruesome, diabolical and twisted.

A great read.