Category

Mystery

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea – Christine Dibley

To The Sea

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I am constantly impressed with the new Aussie authors that are emerging! What a bunch of talent we have here!

This book was delightful! What captured me the instant I saw it, is the beautiful cover. It really captures the essence of the story. I quickly became engrossed in the beautiful saga of this family, and its interesting and perhaps magical history.

A teenager named Zoe has been reported missing, most likely drowned off the coast of Tasmania. Tony is the lead investigator in her disappearance and realises right from the start that there is something strange about the family that lives in the beautiful house by the sea. While investigating Zoe’s life, Tony is swept into the stories of the history of the family, from hundreds of years ago, up until now. And some of it is a bit beyond belief. Will he be able to find Zoe? Is she really dead, or is there something extraordinary happening?

The story is told from four perspectives. Tony, the investigator carries the weight of the plot in his search for the missing girl. Zoe’s aunt Sadie and her parents John and Eva have the remaining narratives, and fill in the story with important history, leading certain things to come together, and others that create even more mystery.

The writing of this novel is absolutely beautiful. It didn’t take me long at all to get engrossed in the story and just when I was getting into a nice groove, the tales within the story BLEW ME AWAY. I was utterly captivated by the stories of love, loss, betrayal and sacrifice. And the romance! There were a few romances weaved into the story and they were all sweet, one especially. However, with so many back stories I sometimes became confused with who was who and where I was in the story. I think this is my issue more than the writing though, I am a very fast reader, and I have baby brain! I’m not surprised I got a bit lost – I am surprised I can remember my name most days at the moment!

My only other criticism was the ending. It just didn’t do it for me. It was good, and I got it, I really did. But personally I didn’t find it ultimately satisfying. However, it didn’t diminish the rest of the story for me at all!

Would I recommend To The Sea?

Absolutely. If my ramblings have even remotely sparked your interest, then I have no doubt you will enjoy it. Definitely worth reading!

Many thanks to the author via Pan Macmillan for a copy of To The Sea to read in exchange for an honest review.

PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | Kindle AU | Kindle US


If you enjoy To The Sea, you may enjoy:

The First Lie

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Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

Orphan X

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Oh this book was a lot of fun! I listened to the audio version of this as I was unable to read actual words due to debilitating morning sickness, and the narrator was absolutely fantastic!

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Brought up as a child in the “Orphan Program”, Evan has some killer James Bond/Jason Bourne skills. Since the orphan program was disbanded, he uses these skills to help people in need. People in extremely desperate situations. Unfortunately someone is tracking him… Someone as dangerous as he is.

Well, this one certainly sucked me in. Perhaps it was the fact I was so sick and needed another world to escape to, but it was exactly what I needed to listen to at the time. I was completely hooked. I loved the story, I loved the narrator, the romance, the action, the violence… Loved it all.

But… The reason I give this 4.5 and not a full perfect score, is the predictability aspect. Of course I’m fairly sure that 99.9 % of people figured out who the boss was, and at least 50% could also guess the big twist right at the end. There was only one or two people it could have POSSIBLY been right!? It was so extremely predictable I was BEGGING for there to be some other spin or twist which would make it less obvious, but alas – I was disappointed. For me to deduct only 0.5 Stars however is saying something, because I usually deduct a lot more for something as major as that. But I just liked it so darn much, so it didn’t really take much away from the story for me. There were also a few minor twists that also held me.

The narrator Scott Brick was a FANTASTIC choice. And there is a sequel coming out! I may have to listen to the audio of that one too and hope that Scott is doing the sequel!

Would I recommend Orphan X?

YES YES YES Lots of fun! I can easily see it being made into some sort of blockbuster action flick which I would happily pay to see at the movies. Thoroughly enjoyed!

I listened to the audio version of Orphan X on audible.com, purchased at my own expense. Well worth the credit!

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE |


If you enjoy Orphan X, you may also enjoy:

Yeagers Law  The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson   Zero World

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The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Yes, this is a book for book-lovers! If I see that phrase in one more review of this one I think I’m going to scream! So just to be fun, I decided to LISTEN to this book on audio (because I’m a rebel like that… and I had severe morning sickness which rendered me unable to read 3 lines in a book without puking for over three months). It wasn’t the 5 screaming stars that I was almost expecting from reading some of my friends reviews, but I did like it a lot.

Our story begins when Margaret Lea, a biographer, is sent a letter from one of the most famous authors in Britain, Vida Winter. She is dying and wants Margaret to write her life story. Confused, as Margaret usually only writes biographies of long dead people, and also because Ms Winter is well known for her secrecy, Margaret decides to travel to Ms Winters estate and talk with her. Of course she agrees to write the book, and thus the tale of Vida Winter beings.

And it is quite a tale. Twists and turns and more twists and some more turns, and then a MASSIVE twist which I never saw coming. But when it did come, it was a little bit too unbelievable for me. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t stop the story from being fabulous, but it was just a little bit much.

I found the story of the girls at Angelfield so fascinating. What a life! I really enjoyed the gothic atmosphere and all the drama.

I thought Margaret’s obsession with her dead sister was extremely well written and quite unnerving. It keep the tone of the novel quite brooding and dark.

I didn’t mind the shifts back and forth in time, and enjoyed the somewhat slow unravel of the truth.

The audio version was really well done. I love when audiobooks have more than one narrator. It really helps keep the characters separate, which I believe is really important. Often when listening to audiobooks, I can get a bit lost if the narrator is a monotone and is reading all the characters in a similar voice. Different actors really enhances my listening experience! And the two women in this one were fantastic. They really differentiated the characters completely and made it extremely easy to follow.

Would I recommend The Thirteenth Tale?

Yes, it was well worth reading. A touch slow in parts but overall it was a gripping novel with lots of twists and turns and sometimes had unnerving subject matter.

I read The Thirteenth Tale with a local book club, purchased on audible at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU |Book depository | AUDIO


If you enjoy The Thirteenth Tale, you may enjoy:

The Muse

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See How They Run – Tom Bale

See How They Run – Tom Bale

See How They Run

4 Stars (4 / 5)

This fast-paced thriller was just what I was in the mood for! I have said it before and I will say it again, Bookouture are one of my FAVOURITE publishers! I have not read a book published by them that I haven’t enjoyed!

One fateful night new parents Harry and Alice are woken by armed masked intruders. They are after a man named Renshaw, who Alice and Harry have never heard of! They threaten the baby and promise that they will be back. Alice and Harry are left completely confused. Who is this “Renshaw”? How will they protect themselves and their baby daughter from these people if they don’t know who he is? This fateful night is the catalyst for the next series of events that will put all their lives in danger.

I’m just going to briefly mention that I did have a few issues with this novel. My issues mostly revolved around the start, and how on earth two intelligent people could NOT CALL THE POLICE! Their excuse why they didn’t was silly and just as unbelievable. Not just that, the fact that Harry WENT TO WORK the next day, was just so stupidly unbelievable to me. I actually had a lot of trouble moving along with the story after that.

However, thankfully the shaky start was soon forgotten, as I became immersed in the action and mystery. Bale created an extremely entertaining story, full of thrills and action.

As a mother, I can only imagine how I would feel if any of the things happened to my baby, like they did to Evie throughout the novel. I think Bale did a pretty good job of creating a mothers anguish in some of those difficult situations. The scenes with the baby were all done quite well. I enjoyed how the baby still did all the normal things, cried, fed, pooped etc, and that Alice still had to take care of all these basic tasks while she was trying to stay alive herself.

I liked how there wasn’t a parade of characters. Just three main ones with a few secondary characters thrown in. In the end the whole thing just worked.

Would I recommend See How They Run?

Absolutely! Any thriller fan should enjoy this one! Another hit by Bookouture!

Many thanks to author Tom Bale and publisher Bookouture via NetGalley for a copy of See How They Run in exchange for my honest review.

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If you enjoy See How They Run, you may enjoy:

Out of the Ice  Deadly Obsession The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson

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The Muse – Jessie Burton

The Muse – Jessie Burton

image

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I must have been living under a rock for the last few years. I had never heard of Jessie Burton or her first, immensely popular novel “The Miniaturist”, before The Muse came into my radar.  I don’t tend to read much historical fiction, so perhaps that is why it was lost on me. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book because of the former, and I got to ignore all of that and come at my review with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.

The Muse is set in two time frames; In the 1960’s, Odelle moves from Trinidad to London to pursue her dream of being a writer. She gets a job typing at an art gallery, working for an eccentric woman known as Quick. When she meets a man who possesses an unusual and haunting painting, she delves into the mystery of where the painting came from, who the painter was, and what happened to him. Back in time to 1936, Olive and her parents move to Spain where she becomes enamoured with a local young man Issac, who is a revolutionary and an artist. He agrees to paint a portrait of Olive and her mother as a surprise for her father, and this gesture leads to a whole lot of catastrophic events, and melds both time frames together.

As soon as I started reading The Muse I was captured by the writing. Usually historical fiction and I don’t get on very well, but I breezed through this book as if I had read it before. I enjoyed the jumps back and forth in time, each jump giving away bit by bit of the storyline until the final climactic chapters.

I must admit, the key twists were not lost on me, I picked them up quite quickly. However there was always still some doubt if my suspicions were correct throughout.

I loved all the twists and turns, drama and intrigue. There were a few times, especially in the 1930’s Spain setting, that it got slightly slow for me, but I think again that is my usual indifference to historical fiction coming through, rather than any fault of the writer.

Overall I really enjoyed the atmosphere, both the settings and I found the characters to be well written and engaging.

Would I recommend The Muse?

Yes, historical fiction fans – I think you will really enjoy it!  Now I’m off to add The Miniaturist to my to-read pile!

Many thanks to author Jessie Burton via publisher Pan Macmillan for a copy of The Muse in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE

PAN MACMILLAN | AMAZON US | AMAZON AU


If you enjoy The Muse, you may enjoy:

Burial Rites   The Secret Years

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The Second Path – Virginia King

The Second Path (Selkie Moon Mystery #2) – Virginia King

The Second Path
4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)

I really enjoyed the second instalment of the Selkie Moon series! I fell in love with ‘The First Lie’ and was so excited to see where Selkie’s adventures would take her next! I absolutely recommend reading The First Lie before this one. I feel you will lose the majority of the essence of the story and the characters if you do not.

After washing up naked on the beach a whole two weeks following her disappearance, and unable to remember anything from that time, Selkie feels like she is missing something. Her journey of self discovery takes her halfway across the world to France. Will she find her true home? What of her friends and her relationship with the elusive Alastair? And where on earth was she for two weeks?

There was just something so magical about The First Lie. Something about the writing and the atmosphere. It was truly something that I had never encountered before in a book. It was thoroughly captivating. The Second Path didn’t quite grab me like The First Lie did, however I think that is because I have started getting used to Selkie, and the unique writing of the series. By the time I got into this one, I was in the groove already.

However, even though it didn’t grab me exacltly like the first one did, I still loved it. Selkie is just the most amazing character. I loved how she was starting to get used to her intuition and the bizarre things that were happening to her and around her. I just adored all the other characters, especially the fleeting ones. I thought it was a fantastic plot idea to bring her and Genevieve into each others lives. There were many twists and turns and it took me to places I had no idea we were going!

Love the relationship between Selkie and Alastair! Man, the TENSION! Love it!

I am extremely interested and excited to see where the next book takes Selkie. I feel she still has a lot in store, and a lot to learn and accept.

Would I recommend The Second Path?

Absolutely! This series is so unique, I can’t even explain it! So very different to anything I have read before! Highly recommend that you give it a go!

So much thanks to author Virginia King for a copy of The Second Path in exchange for my honest review! I can’t wait to read the third one!

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PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VIRGINIA KING

When a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night and tells you to write a mystery series what’s a writer to do? That’s how Virginia King came Virginia King Portrait by Amanda Thorson 200 KBto create Selkie Moon, after a massage from a strange woman with gifted hands was followed by this nocturnal message. Virginia sat down at the keyboard until Selkie Moon turned up. All she had to do was jump, the first sentence said. Soon Virginia was hooked, exploring far-flung places full of secrets where Selkie delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology.

Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband, where she disappears each day into Selkie Moon’s latest mystery. Bliss.

 

Authors Website   Authors Twitter   Authors Goodreads   Authors Facebook

 


If you enjoy The Second Path, you may enjoy:

The First Lie

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Out of the Ice – Ann Turner

Out of the Ice – Ann Turner

Out of the Ice

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

What a great read! I saw this at Big W the other day in the top 10 section and it reminded me that I had it on my kindle ready to go! I have been so swamped with books to review lately, and this was one of the ones I was most looking forward to reading, but with other deadlines and tours I haven’t had a chance to read it before now. Good things come to those who wait!

Laura is an environmental scientist. She is sent to an old whaling station on a remote island in Antarctica to study the wildlife in the area, and decide if the station should be made open for tourists. When she arrives at the base she is treated extremely strangely by the staff, and then some odd and eerie things begin to happen. What is going on at the old whaling station? Who is trespassing and trying to scare her? And who can she trust?

This was an absolutely gripping, atmospheric piece of writing by Ann Turner. She has captured the isolation of the ice and the horror of the old whaling station perfectly.

Laura is an excellent character. I love how she was damaged but had a great inner strength and passion for the animals at the whaling station. I loved how at times you didn’t know if what she was experiencing was real or not.

I must admit I was unprepared for where this book ended up! I wasn’t expecting it and it was almost an abrupt change from where I assumed it was going. This wasn’t a bad thing at all, it was just surprising! The ending was good, and there were plenty of twists and turns.

I just LOVED the downright creepiness that dominated a lot of the book! I thought it was fantastic!

Would I recommend Out of the Ice?

Yes! Anyone who likes a little suspense, intrigue and ice will enjoy this one!

Many thanks to Simon and Schauster and author Ann Turner via NetGalley for a copy of Out of the Ice in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE:

AMAZON AU | AMAZON | Booktopia


If you enjoy Out of the Ice, you may enjoy:

Little Black Lies

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Summer’s Child – Diane Chamberlain

Summer’s Child – Diane Chamberlain

Summer's Child

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I purchased this audiobook on Audible.com as it was a special of the day and looked interesting. I had heard of Diane Chamberlain, but have never read one of her books before. After purchasing it I looked at some of my friends reviews on GoodReads, and was disappointed to see that all but one of my friends who read it gave it 2 stars or less! By that stage though, I had already started listening to it and was enjoying it, so I thought I would see how long I could hold out. Well, so glad I didn’t listen to my friends reviews! I thought it was a great book!

On her 11th birthday, Daria goes out to the beach next to her home and discovers a newborn baby near some rocks by the water. When the authorities cannot find who the mother is, Daria’s family adopt the little girl and name her Shelly. Twenty years Shelly is now an adult, and has contacted a friend from Daria’s childhood, Rory Taylor. He is a TV presenter who works solving mysteries and Shelly wants him to help find her biological mother. Thus begins Rory’s investigation into what happened all those years ago, who is Shelly’s mother? And what other secrets is he going to unveil along the way?

I was immediately swept in by this book. I found it to be captivating and interesting. Sure, it had some slow parts and dragged on at times, but I was quite happy going along for the ride.

I found the characters to be great, they all had their secrets and it was extremely entertaining listening to it all come gradually together.

The narrator wasn’t the best I had ever heard, she was slightly dull in her portrayal of the characters and overall narration, however it was still enjoyable and easy to listen to. It didn’t take much away from the story for me.

The romance was sweet, and there was heaps of romantic tension! Fabulous!

There were so many twists and turns and revelations, I love it when I can’t see where something is going, and when the final reveal occurred, I was a bit floored! I actually thought of one part of the correct twist towards the beginning, but dismissed my idea because there were so many other things happening to distract me. Well played Ms Chamberlain, well played.

Would I recommend Summer’s Child?

Yes, absolutely for any fan of sweet romances, and family secrets! I thought it was a great read and am looking forward to reading others from Diane Chamberlain. I have heard this is not one of her best so I would LOVE to see what her best is like!


If you enjoy Summer’s Child, you may enjoy:

Like I Can Love    Running Against The Tide    Romance 50's Style

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Daisy in Chains – Sharon Bolton

Daisy In Chains – Sharon Bolton

Daisy in Chains

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I am such a massive Sharon Bolton fan! Ever since I finished the last page of Now You See Me, I was hooked! Not only on the Lacey Flint series, but also all of her stand alone novels. I quickly devoured them and was left feeling sad that there weren’t any more. So I was SO EXCITED when I saw Daisy in Chains was being released!

Maggie Rose is a crime writer and lawyer, and is approached by the mother of a convicted serial killer Hamish Wolfe, to get her help to set her innocent son free. At first reluctant to take the case as she believes him guilty, Maggie soon becomes interested in the case and the charismatic killer, who has a legion of female fans. Soon she becomes swept up in the investigation. Did he really kill those women? What other secrets is he hiding?

Another 5 Stars to my favourite author of all time Sharon Bolton! I absolutely loved this book! I love the way that Bolton weaves the story together, using letters, emails, media reports and the actual events of the story. I thought it was fantastically clever and made it an extremely enjoyable and unique read.

As always, her characters are damaged, raw, and yet incredibly likeable. I loved having absolutely NO IDEA what the twist was or what the ending was going to be like! I think Bolton is the only author that keeps me guessing EVERY TIME! I have not figured out the twist in ANY of her books and that is so refreshing for me as I usually figure it out.

So yes, there are a few massive unexpected twists and turns, even when you think you have figured out what is going on, she slides in there with another one that BLOWS YOU AWAY!

I must admit Daisy in Chains didn’t quite grab me as much as Little Black Lies, which remains my favourite book of all time. But I still don’t have anything bad to say about it at all. I loved the games, the characters, the lies, the plot! Everything!

Would I recommend Daisy in Chains?

YES!! Thriller/mystery fans should read Daisy in Chains, and ALL of Sharon Bolton’s books! You won’t regret it!

HUGE thanks to author Sharon Bolton and the publisher via NetGalley for an advanced copy of Daisy in Chains in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | Book Depository


If you enjoy Daisy in Chains, you may enjoy:

Little Black Lies    Now You See Me   Dead Scared    Like This, For Ever    A Dark and Twisted Tide

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The Dry – Jane Harper

The Dry – Jane Harper

The Dry

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I really enjoyed this crime mystery by talented UK born, now Aussie author Jane Harper! I expect that this book will do very well and that The Dry wont be the last hit we see from her!

Police officer Aaron Falk comes back to Kiewarra, the town where he grew up as a teenager in Victoria for a funeral. His childhood best friend Luke has murdered his wife and son and then killed himself. As the drought suffering town mourns for the loss of the family and the devastation of the circumstances, Falk begins to think there is more to the story. Did Luke really kill his family? And was it linked to a secret from their youth?

I loved the way this story weaved together. Sometimes flashbacks in a novel will annoy me, but the ones in this story were easy to follow and slowly but cleverly put the whole story and past into perspective.

Harper did a great job of describing the atmosphere of the town, the depressing drought impacting everyone in its wake. It was almost palpable. Every character was affected.

The characters were interesting and engaging. Aaron was a great main character and it was great to see him slowly put all the pieces of the puzzle together. I prefer a little more romantic tension in a book, but romance was not the name of the game in this one, and there were brief moments to keep me satisfied.

I found it a tiny bit slow moving at times, however I loved how it would take you in one direction and you would suspect someone, and then there would be a twist and you were left at square one again. However I did figure out the twist quite early in the novel, it was still a really fun ride to get there!

Oh and the ending took me totally by surprise, I was not expecting that!

Would I recommend The Dry?

Absolutely! A great Aussie mystery, well written and engaging! Any fan of the genre will surely enjoy this one!

Many thanks to author Jane Harper via Pan Macmillan for an advanced copy of The Dry in exchange for my honest review.

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PURCHASE:

Pan Macmillan | AMAZON AU | AMAZON

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jane Harper was born in Manchester in the UK, and moved to Australia with her family at age eight.

She spent six years in Boronia, Victoria, and during that time gained Australian citizenship.jane harper

Returning to the UK with her family as a teenager, she lived in Hampshire before studying English and History at the University of Kent in Canterbury.

On graduating, she completed a journalism entry qualification and got her first reporting job as a trainee on the Darlington & Stockton Timesin County Durham.

Jane worked for several years as a senior news journalist for the Hull Daily Mail, before moving back to Australia in 2008.

She worked first on the Geelong Advertiser, and in 2011 took up a role with the Herald Sun in Melbourne.

In 2014, Jane submitted a short story which was one of 12 chosen for the Big Issue‘s annual Fiction Edition.

That inspired her to pursue creative writing more seriously, and that year she applied for the Curtis Brown Creative online 12-week novel writing course.

She was accepted with a submission for the book that would become The Dry and wrote the first full draft during the three-month course.

Jane lives in St Kilda with her husband.

(From authors website)

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If you enjoy The Dry, you may enjoy:

   Kakadu Sunset - Annie Seaton   White Hot

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