Post Script: The Cleanskin – Laura Bloom

The Cleanskin

The Cleanskin

Laura Bloom

The Author People

ISBN: 9781925399141

Description:

I needed someone I could trust. Someone others would trust. Someone with no criminal record. With no previous involvement. A cleanskin. Someone to come over, do the job, and go home …

Some days, even Halley can’t find the person she once was. She’s changed her name and no one – least of all her husband and son – knows of her past. No one except Aidan, who turns up one day in her small Australian town and shatters the façade she’s built so carefully.

Aidan is on a mission. But why is he still taking orders from his brother in an English jail – at the cost of his own happiness?

When Aidan forces Halley to face what she’s done, what they discover not only changes their understanding of what happened back then, it changes everything now.

Laura Bloom deftly goes to the dark heart of The Troubles to explore the lingering damage wrought by sectarian conflict on communities, families and individuals. Based on real events, The Cleanskin is a story of intense human relationships with a cast of flawed and entirely believable characters.

 

My View:

A wonderfully reflective and poignant narrative with a cast of well developed, flawed and passionate characters set in the locations of Ireland, Australia and India.  Politics, domestic and international hold centre stage, manipulation is crowned king of this drama.

 

But there is much more to this story than politics and manipulation, there are so many layers to discover; relationships, love, marriage, forgiveness, growth, innocence and trust betrayed pepper this narrative with interesting scenarios and moral dilemmas. After you finish reading what has been an intense and mysterious story (from the very first chapters you are aware that something needs to be shared, to be revealed…eventually it is …and much much more). And there is a massive twist at the end that will leave you deep in thought – you will not see this coming.

 

Mysterious, poignant, reflective, honest…well written, engaging, intelligent and thought provoking. Make sure you read this book!

Post Script: Risk – Fleur Ferris

Sensational! This is a book that all families should share with their teenage children.

Cover - Risk

Risk

Fleur Ferris

Narrated By – Marny Kennedy

Duration – 6hrs 42 mins

Unabridged Audio Book

Audible Australia (available here)

 

Description:

Best friends Taylor and Sierra meet a hot guy in a chat room online. Both fall for Jacob’s charms, but as usual, the more outgoing and vivacious Sierra overshadows Taylor and wins his attention.

Taylor’s devastated – Sierra already kissed Callum, Taylor’s secret crush, over the summer holidays. Life’s not fair, especially when Sierra’s around.

Moving quickly, Sierra sets up a date with Jacob on Friday after school. She asks Taylor and their friends to cover for her. Even though she’s upset, Taylor is still Sierra’s best friend and agrees to help.

But Sierra abuses the favour and calls to say she’s going to spend the night with her date. She doesn’t come home all weekend, doesn’t answer her phone and nobody’s heard from her. Taylor is torn. She doesn’t want to betray Sierra by telling her parents but at the same time she’s concerned for her welfare.

Finally, Callum convinces her to tell. The police are called and their worst fears are confirmed when Sierra’s body is found miles from Melbourne a week later. Devastated, Taylor becomes obsessed with finding Sierra’s killer. As clues emerge, Taylor races against time to try to save the predator’s next victim.

 

My View:

Sensational! This is a book that all families should share with their teenage children.

 

This book is so good if…if I had the money I would buy the films right to this book and make a feature film! Listening to this book I had a film playing on the big screen in my head. J

The settings – wonderfully urban Australian (but this book translates so well to any city or town) , the accents, the dialogue – perfect, accessible and real. The characterisations – so credible you would think the author is writing about her own experience or that of her own family. The narrative – tense and adrenaline raising.

I honestly believe this book has the potential to positively influence the decisions young people may make whilst simultaneously educating the adults around them. Cyber predators are a real threat – listen closely to this story, the message is clear without being condescending. The narrative is powerful, the moral dilemmas are real and contemporary, and the complicated dynamics of relationships are exposed. A great read!

Post Script: The Euthanist – Alex Dolan

“Do Two wrongs make it right?” “Does the end justify the means?”

Cover: The Euthanist

The Euthanist

Alex Dolan

Diversion Books

ISBN: 9781626815490

 

My View:

In this auspicious debut, Alex Dolan announces himself as a virtuoso of psychological suspense and a rightful heir to masters of the genre like Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott. A young woman helps to end the lives of people with terminal diseases, her reasons her own. When she helps the wrong person, she will be roped into a plot to gain vengeance on behalf of dozens. Her journey will make her question everything she ever thought she knew about herself. And the last life she ends may be her own.

They know her as Kali. She is there to see them off into the afterlife with kindness, with efficiency, and with two needles. She’s been a part of the right-to-die movement for years, an integral member, complicit in the deaths of twenty-seven men and women, all suffering from terminal illnesses.

And she just helped the wrong patient.

Leland Moon has been with the Bureau for his entire career, but even as a respected agent, he was unable to keep his own son from being kidnapped on his way to school. When his boy finally came home, he told terrifying stories of his captors, and his nightmares haven’t stopped since.

Moon draws Kali into his mission, a mesmerizing cat-and-mouse game with two ruthless predators—one behind bars, one free—who hold the secrets that could bring comfort to the families of their victims. This powerful journey towards grace and towards peace will force both Leland and Kali to question everything they believe to be true and just.

 

 

My View:

I thought the opening to this book was stunning – I am sympathetic to the voluntary euthanasia movement and felt great empathy for the Euthanist and her client and thought this story line would be the feature of the novel.  Just as I was feeling comfortable with the direction of the narrative, being introduced to Kali’s work, attending the job with her,  my perspective was turned on its head when Kali decides to “assist” the wrong client – that change in circumstances (no spoiler here) was stunningly affective – tense and dramatic.

However after that I had a little difficulty suspending my disbelief at some of the major story arcs- maybe my expectations of the behaviours/standards of two FBI agents was unrealistic, but I had trouble accepting their manipulations and actions. The narrative then seemed to get a little complicated – from a scenario of “entrapment” we are then plunged into a story revenge and “justice”, maybe there were too many tangents happening for me.

Despite my reservations this is a great debut novel – the writing is fast paced and there are many surprises. The big questions this novel asks is “What would you do in this situation?” “Do two wrongs make it right?” “Does the end justify the means?”  A thought – maybe this is really about the morality of certain government’s actions? Hmmmmm …Interesting…. Clever….

 

Post Script: Alone – Lisa Gardner

Masterfully plotted and executed.

Alone

Alone

Lisa Gardner

Headline

Hachette UK

ISBN: 9780755396337

 

Description:

As he watches a potentially fatal hostage situation unfold through the scope of his sniper rifle, Massachusetts State Trooper Bobby Dodge knows that he may be all that stands between life and death. But from the moment Bobby pulls the trigger – killing an armed man holding his own wife and child hostage – it may be his own life that is lost.

 

Detective D.D Warren’s investigation into the shooting leads her to the impossibly beautiful young widow, Catherine Rose Gagnon, and the darkness of her past. Even as the truth behind the façade of this wealthy Boston family’s life is revealed, the body count rises. And with a sadistic, vengeful killer newly released from prison, everyone must be on their guard. For he strikes the solitary wanderer -and no one can stay protected forever.

 

My View:

Absolutely brilliant! Loved every page of this fast paced action packed mystery/thriller.

I first discovered Lisa Gardner’s works when I read Fear Nothing (Detective D.D. Warren, #7) last year and after I finished this amazing thriller I decided if I ever got the chance I would like to read all the books written by this author. So here I am at number 1 in this series and what a remarkable read this is. First published in 2005 this narrative has lost none of its appeal; it is exquisitely plotted with many twists and turns, in fact it had me totally confused trying to work out who was telling the truth, who was manipulating who. It is fast paced, action packed, dark and brings to our attention many uncomfortable social taboos. It kept me reading long into the night until emotionally exhausted I turned the last page.

 

 

Complex plotting, many twist and turns and the protagonists, especially Trooper Bobby Dodge are engaging and multifaceted. We are introduced to Detective D.D Warren but it is Trooper Dodge that steals the show. I look forward to reading the rest of this series and catching up with D.D and hopefully Bobby Dodge in the near future. Masterfully written, beautifully executed, suspenseful, thrilling – this author is exciting and a must read for all fans of crime fiction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Reality – Ray Glickman

Bold, slick and acerbic.

Reality

Reality

Ray Glickman

Fremantle Press

ISBN: 9781922089373

 

Description:

Six people have been chosen at random. Without their knowledge, Kathy, Mario, Garry, Hannah, Robert and Julia are about to participate in the ultimate game of manipulation.

 

A stranger brings them together, but can this ruthless puppeteer really be held responsible for the choices each makes? In the end, who is to blame for their actions: for their deceit, infidelity and crime?

 

At the heart of this thought-provoking novel lie questions of fate and self-determination.

 

 

My View:

 

I love that Ray Glickman has successfully (I hope) rid himself of all the angst and frustration his working life has heaped onto his shoulders by writing this witty, honest and scathing attack on the mindless, selfish, irresponsible actions of the individual (and the Corporate) and how easily we can all be manipulated to serve the purpose of …well anyone if you know how to play the game.

 

I really enjoyed reading about local haunts that I too was aware of – Milk’d café, The Department of … best leave that one there it sounded very much like more than one government department I have worked in – full of self-serving egotists…always worried about the bottom line and their own job “The Department was paralysed by inertia and stultified by ancient rules and regulations” (p. 31) …Glickman makes fun of everything and everyone – no one is safe, “The Britney Generation” (p.18), “Wait A-while WA” (p.14), lawyers, executives…no one is spared. And it is all so familiar to the cynic in us all.

 

I admire Glickman’s sarcasm, his wit and his sense of humour. He plays with his characters, plays with the culture that is Perth and produces a read that is for the most parts engaging and enlightening. Where would we be without ego? How much ego is too much of a good thing? How easily do we display our secrets under the guise of social media “sharing” and “likes”, and who or what can be trusted or manipulated here? Everyone it seems.

 

This is a thought provoking read which only loses momentum for a short while in the middle section before bursting back to life. Thank you Ray Glickman for saying all those things we secretly say to ourselves and don’t have the courage to say out loud…and for extolling the virtues of so many exceptional Western Australian wines amongst your storytelling.