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: 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: The Inn – James Patterson and Candice Fox

The Inn

James Patterson and Candice Fox

Penguin Random House

Century Australia

ISBN: 9780143794516

Description:

A gripping stand-alone novel from the world’s bestselling thriller writer.

Ex-Boston homicide detective Billy Robinson has retreated to a quiet life on the New England coast. Struggling to cope following the death of his beloved wife, he must now run the inn that Siobhan took care of so well.

The inn’s quirky residents help keep Billy on solid ground as he grieves, and the group soon become an unconventional family. But this small town is in the grips of a growing opioid epidemic, and when a young resident gets hooked into the crisis, Billy knows he must act to save the people in the inn that he has grown to care so much about.

With his secretive past in Boston catching up to him, can Billy survive long enough to save the town – and its beloved inn – from ruin?

 

My View:

I had a little Stepehndrugs King déjà vu moment when I started reading this, perhaps it was the setting that evoked this random memory?  The waterfront, the old run down building that is the Inn?  A horror story of sorts, this however, is where the resemblance ends.

I have mixed feelings about this read. The first time I picked this up I was not engrossed or engaged with the narrative…I put the book down and started reading again the next day…something changed! The tension, the dilemmas, the characters living in the Inn grabbed a hold of me and didn’t let me lose until I finished reading.  What a change! I wish I could articulate the reason for the change- perhaps pace? Perhaps it’s the connection with the “good guys” and their struggle?

A great collaboration. A solid read. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

Post Script: Phantom Instinct – Meg Gardiner

For lovers of the fast paced story with breakneck action where you hang your disbelief on the hook at the door before you purchase your ticket for this rollercoaster ride.

Phantom Instinct

A Novel

Meg Gardiner

Penguin Books Australia

Penguin

ISBN: 9781405918817

 

Description:

When shots ring out in a crowded L.A. club, bartender Harper Flynn watches helplessly as her boyfriend, Drew, is gunned down in the cross fire. Then somebody throws a Molotov cocktail, and the club is quickly engulfed in flames. L.A. Sheriff Deputy Aiden Garrison sees a gunman in a hoodie and gas mask taking aim at Harper, but before he can help her a wall collapses, bringing the building down and badly injuring him.

 

A year later, Harper is trying to rebuild her life. She has quit her job and gone back to college. Meanwhile, the investigation into the shoot-out has been closed. The two gunmen were killed when the building collapsed.

 

Certain that a third gunman escaped and is targeting the survivors, Harper enlists the help of Aiden Garrison, the only person willing to listen. But the traumatic brain injury he suffered has cut his career short and left him with Fregoli syndrome, a rare type of face blindness that causes the delusion that random people are actually a single person changing disguises.

 

As Harper and Aiden delve into the case, Harper realizes that her presence during the attack was no coincidence—and that her only ally is unstable, mistrustful of her, and seeing the same enemy everywhere he looks.

My View:

This is a novel that grips from the first page to the last. I don’t think I have ever come across so much action, corruption, deceit, manipulation and tension in one novel before; the pages are coated in the sticky membranes of fear and anticipation; nowhere is safe.

And so begins this narrative, the pace relentless, there is no stopping for breath.

 

I think the strength of the novel is in the empathetic lead characters, the riotous pace and the potential for elements of this thriller to actually occur – we are all concerned about electronic media and privacy issues, identity theft, manipulation of electronic records, being tracked and traced by our ordinary everyday actions that leave an electronic footprint…and the good old basic understanding and loathing of bullies and being bullied; there are elements in this novel that we can all relate to and that is what work so well in this narrative – we can all appreciate some of the elements in it and if we suspend our disbelief that one person can attract so many negative incidents and just read without analysing you are in for a treat; a story that explodes on the page with a hint of romance and redemption for past actions.