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

 

 

 

Review: You Don’t Know Me – Sara Foster

You Don’t Know Me

Sara Foster

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781925685367

 

Description:

He’s guarding a dark secret, but so is she.

 

Lizzie Burdett was eighteen when she vanished, and Noah Carruso has never forgotten her. She was his first crush, his unrequited love. She was also his brother’s girlfriend.

 

Tom Carruso hasn’t been home in over a decade. He left soon after Lizzie disappeared, under a darkening cloud of suspicion, and now he’s back for the inquest into Lizzie’s death – intent on telling his side of the story.

 

As the inquest looms, Noah meets Alice Pryce on holiday. They fall for each other fast and hard, but Noah can’t bear to tell Alice his deepest fears. And Alice is equally stricken – she carries a terrible secret of her own.

 

Is the truth worth telling if it will destroy everything?

 

 

My View:

Sara Foster is an excellent storyteller and a nice person to boot 🙂

What Sara always does well:

Dialogue – always realistic, fitting of the age groups involved/the relationships, the times.

Relationships – so well developed and again, realistic.

Surprises – the twists are good and in this one I couldn’t see the revelation coming.

The writing – always engaging.

 

What more could you want in a book?  A great read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Starting From Now – Fleur MacDonald

Starting From Now

Fleur McDonald

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760529284

 

Description:

A suspenseful novel of rural life and real country issues from our genuine Voice of the Outback, author of the bestselling Where the River Runs

 

When twenty-five-year-old journalist, Zara Ellison receives her mother’s ominous text message, Call me when you can, Zara knows it’s not good news.

 

Two weeks later, Zara has left her much-loved city life to relocate to Barker, the sleepy country town in which she grew up. For Zara, family comes first.

 

But she needs to work too, and the town’s police force is a rural journalist’s best source of information. Meeting Detective Dave Burrows and Dave’s second-in-charge, Senior Constable Jack Higgins, is a priority.

 

Amid her family’s troubles, and reporting on farming accidents and violently clashing activists, Zara is shocked to witness Jack Higgins in a role she’d never have believed. How could he possibly justify this? And what was she going to do about it?

 

Wrapped in the love of family, friendship, crime and mystery, Starting From Now is another compelling novel from the authentic voice of Fleur McDonald.

 

 

My View:

Fleur McDonald has an authentic country voice that she uses to share her experiences and knowledge of life in small country towns, farming and life in general. This narrative had a couple of standout plot threads – activism and social media – looking deeper, reflecting on “snapshots” on social media and media manipulation and the family in crisis.

 

I was particularly touched by the family scenes that dealt with family crisis (no spoilers here); the scenes were realistic, emotive and evocated memoires that transported me to a difficult period in our lives. This was unexpected but very well written. I felt part of this family, dealing with their issues.

 

 

This book packs a mighty punch, cleverly weaving many plot threads together to bring about an informative, insightful and satisfying read.

 

 

 

Guest Review: The Life She Deserves – Maggie Christensen

The Life She Deserves

Maggie Christensen

Cala Publishing

ISBN: 9780648522423

Description:

Two old friends. A new relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

Growing up in the small Australian country town of Granite Springs, Jo and Col have been lifelong friends.

Following Jo’s divorce and the death of Col’s wife, the pair find comfort in their common grief. But as they tentatively explore their new relationship, they have little idea of the challenges that lie ahead.

What they haven’t bargained for is Jo’s interfering ex, along with their three children, all of whom have their own agendas.

Can Jo ride out the storm? Will she be granted the life she deserves?

 

Brenda’s Review:

When Alice died, her husband Col and best friend Jo were devastated. She had suffered a long time – she was now at peace. The three of them had been friends for a lifetime, now Col and Jo comforted each other with dinner out twice a week, always at ease in each other’s company. Gradually the respect and friendship they shared grew to more, and with it being a year since Alice had died and five years since Jo’s divorce, they were happy to explore their new relationship.

But Eve, Jo’s daughter and Danny, her son, were determined Jo should live her life the way they saw fit. It was only Rob, her youngest son, who was on Jo’s side, completely understanding her need for companionship and love. And it was Gordon, Jo’s ex, who was the biggest thorn in her side. What was she going to do? Would she go along with her children’s plans for her, letting them ride roughshod over her own needs and wants? Or would she rebel and have the life she deserved?

The Life She Deserves is the 1st in the Granite Springs series for Aussie author Maggie Christensen and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author depicts older characters extremely well and with both Jo and Col turning 60 in this story, Jo with adult children and grandchildren, the complexities of family and relationships shines through. A wonderful story, The Life She Deserves is one I highly recommend and I’m looking forward to book two already. 5 stars.

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

Guest Review: Trouble on Teral (The Portal Adventures #1) – Andrew J. Harvey

Trouble on Teral

Andrew J. Harvey

Peasantry Press

ISBN: 9781988276328

 

Description:

Perhaps running away from home had not been one of Mark’s brightest ideas. But after his mom canceled his visit to her archaeological dig on Teral Four, he felt he had no choice. Now he wasn’t so sure – when his dad, a Colonel in the UN Peacekeepers, found out he was going to go ballistic. If he could just speak to his mom perhaps he could still smooth things over. Unfortunately for Mark, the Llarst, violent aliens who have already fought one war with Earth, have taken his mom and the other archaeologists hostage. And if the Llarst find what they’re looking for, all of Earth will be in danger. Now, with just the assistance of Windracer, a young saurian on her first vision quest, and her elephant- sized groundhog, he must rescue his mother and her friends, stop the Llarst, and face his dad. Piece of cake …

Brenda’s Review:

Mark’s rebellion kicked in when the anticipation of his visit to Teral Four where his mum was working on the archeology dig was dashed. He immediately decided to go anyway and surprise his mum. But as usual, he hadn’t thought things through – namely what his dad would do when he found out.

His arrival was fraught with trouble – the Llarst, who were terrifying aliens, had invaded and kidnapped Mark’s mother and the rest of the archaeologist team, locking them up a long way underground. Mark met up with a young saurian, Windracer and her gigantic groundhog, Matak, and they decided to attempt a rescue of Mark’s mum and everyone else. But as Mark was about to find out, there was a lot more involved; and a lot of danger as well. Could they do it? What would happen if the Llarst did what they threatened?

Trouble on Teral is the 1st in The Portal Adventures series by Aussie author Andrew Harvey and it was an exciting, adventure filled race against time for the two unlikely friends. I loved Windracer’s character, and Mark was a typical youngster, not thinking before acting. I’m really looking forward to the second in the series – “Crisis at Calista Station” – and recommend Trouble on Teral for young and old alike 😊 5 stars

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

Khaki Town: Judy Nunn – Competition

To celebrate the release of Khaki Town by Judy Nunn, we’re giving you the chance to win a trip to Townsville, including flights, accommodation and a scenic tour to experience its history and understand the inspiration behind the novel.

One winner and their nominated companion will win the trip worth up to $2500, including the following:

  • Return flights to Townsville from a capital city in Australia
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in Townsville
  • A guided tour of  Townsville Military History plus Scenic Tour Package
  • Prize to be redeemed between the 1st May 2020 to 30th September 2020

To enter, simply purchase a copy of Khaki Town by Judy Nunn and then complete the form below. The chosen winner must provide proof of purchase to redeem prize. Entry form here:  

**This promotion commences on 1 October 2019 at 9:00am AEST and concludes on 31 January 2020 at 11:59pm AEST. In order to redeem this prize the winner will have to show proof of purchase. Entrants must be an Australian resident. Entrants aged under 18 years must obtain the consent and agreement of their parent or legal guardian to enter this promotion and be bound by these Conditions of Entry.**