Post Script: Dark Horse – Honey Brown

Such a surprising conclusion – I didn’t see this coming

Dark Horse

Honey Brown

Penguin Books Australia

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9781921901539

 Description:

It’s Christmas morning on the edge of the rugged Mortimer Ranges. Sarah Barnard saddles Tansy, her black mare. She is heading for the bush, escaping the reality of her broken marriage and her bankrupted trail-riding business.

 

Sarah seeks solace in the ranges. When a flash flood traps her on Devil Mountain, she heads to higher ground, taking shelter in Hangman’s Hut.

 

She settles in to wait out Christmas.

 

A man, a lone bushwalker, arrives. Heath is charming, capable, handsome. But his story doesn’t ring true. Why is he deep in the wilderness without any gear? Where is his vehicle? What’s driving his resistance towards rescue? The closer they become the more her suspicions grow.

 

But to get off Devil Mountain alive, Sarah must engage in this secretive stranger’s dangerous game of intimacy.

  

My View:

Honey Brown has again written a deeply moving and confronting narrative – again she chooses to put the difficult subjects in the forefront of our minds and challenges us to reassess the story and the issues she has presented us.

The setting is incredible – the Australian bush setting is so authentic, believable and beautiful yet dangerous; you can feel the author’s passion for the setting.

 

This book took me totally by surprise – I was expecting something along the lines of Through The Cracks, Honey Brown’s most recently released novel, something more … honest and open but what I got was a good case of “the unreliable narrator” who fooled me with her innocence and sorrow, her story of love lost, infidelity and divorce…and then the “truth” is revealed and I am so confused, I look again, I think back, I rethink…was I fooled or was I reading one person’s truth, one person’s perspective, a selective memory but a memory all the same or am I reading one person’s delusion? What a conundrum. What a fascinating read. I guarantee you will not see this ending coming!

 

Post Script: A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

This is a great book club read – guaranteed to arouse much discussion and emotion.

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN: 9781406336511

 

Description:

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments.

 

The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

 

From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

 

My View:

This is a delight to read – fresh, interesting, heart breaking and engaging and so well written the pages fly by. I really enjoyed this modern day fairy tale and the messages it delivered. This novel speaks to all – young and old, healthy and not so…It speaks of the truths we find so hard to say out loud but should be saying regardless of the discomfit we may feel at the time. It speaks of the strengths we all have, even if sometimes those strengths are hidden deep within us and it speaks of the courage needed to speak the truth – to ourselves and out loud to those who need to listen and finally it speaks of the courage it takes to survive.

 

This is a beautifully written book told from the view point of a young boy – his voice innocent, beguiling and sometimes terrifying…and so so sad. This is a fast paced read, a narrative written with passion and compassion.

 

This book is best read with a box of tissues close by.

 

Post Script: Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes

Disturbingly brilliant! 

Broken Monsters

Lauren Beukes

Mulholland Books  

Mulholland Books

ISBN: 9780316216821

 

Description:

A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses in Lauren Beukes’s new genre-bending novel of suspense.

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit’s standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?

If you’re Detective Versado’s geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you’re desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you’re Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you’ll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe–and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.

If Lauren Beukes’s internationally bestselling The Shining Girls was a time-jumping thrill ride through the past, her Broken Monsters is a genre-redefining thriller about broken cities, broken dreams, and broken people trying to put themselves back together again.

 

 

My View:

I picked up this novel with some apprehension – I had made the mistake of reading a few reader reviews and the nightmare factor they alluded to (i.e. the book giving you nightmares) did put me off a little. A started reading…I stopped. The horror is immediate and penetrates your core. I let the book sit for a few months…I started reading again and did not stop until I put the book down at 2am this morning. Disturbingly brilliant!

 

This book zings with excitement and action; the words swoop and fly off the page, darting here and there, multiple points of views explode around you like a glittering strobe light- zing, sparkle, zap! Your senses are bombarded with action, words, fear, emotions and death, yet the descriptions of the horror are minimal – it is your own imagination that steers you way from sleep, and my imagination was ignited by this prose.

 

This is a novel that defies sitting quietly in a specific genre – the style of this narrative is contemporary, the language colloquial punctured with social media extracts and is also a police procedural, is a murder/mystery, it has a paranormal element, is also about relationships and about how in this world of extensive social media hype and engagement the past is never able to be completely discarded, the repercussions of what we say and do now and record on social media echo in our future.

 

This is a fantastic read but comes with a warning – this novel will take you out of your comfort zone. I dare you to read it.

 

 

Post Script: Bones Never Lie, A Novel – Kathy Reichs

 This book epitomises everything we have come to expect of Kathy Reichs and her protagonist Dr Temperance Brennan. This is the best book in the series by far.

Bones Never Lie

A Novel

Kathy Reichs

Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell

Bantam

ISBN: 9780345544018

 

 

Description:

The evidence is irrefutable: In sixteen New York Times bestsellers over the course of as many years, Kathy Reichs has proven herself “a genius at building suspense” (New York Daily News). In forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, Reichs has created a detective fiction heroine who’s brilliant to the bone. “Every minute in the morgue with Tempe is golden,” says The New York Times Book Review. In the acclaimed author’s thrilling new novel, Brennan is at the top of her game in a battle of wits against the most monstrous adversary she has ever encountered.

 

Unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common—the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. It was a devastating defeat for her pursuers, Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan. Now, as if summoned from their nightmares, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, linked to victims in Vermont and North Carolina. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue—unless Brennan can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath.

 

But Brennan will have to draw her bitter ex-partner out of exile, keep the local police and feds from one another’s throats, and face more than just her own demons as she stalks the deadliest of predators into the darkest depths of madness.

 

In Bones Never Lie, Kathy Reichs never fails to satisfy readers looking for psychological suspense that’s more than skin-deep.

 

My View:

This book, the 17th in the series is an outstanding read! The reader has a lot invested in the skills and the narratives written by Kathy Reichs, after all we have journeyed with her and Dr Brennan over many years and many books (and some will add, and with the successful TV series Bones, which Temperance Brennan makes a delightful reference to in the book, Kathy Reichs has a sense of humour.)

 

This narrative is rich in all the elements I really enjoy in a book; great characters, some new, some familiar, a complex storyline, a few plots twists and turns, a resolution of some untied ends, and a fast paced read that urges you to read until the last page is turned. There are also glimpses of humour, sarcasm and great realistic dialogue. I love the language in this book, all my senses were engaged:

 

“An autopsy assaults not just the nose but all senses. The sight of the fast – slash – Y incision. The sound of pruning shears crunching through ribs. The schlop of organs hitting the scale. The acrid scorch of the saw buzzing through bone. The pop of the skullcap snapping free. The frrpp of the scalp and face stripping off…Pathologists aren’t surgeons…They search for clues. They need to be objective and observant. They don’t need to be gentle.”

 

Kathy Reichs I am ready and waiting for the next engaging episode in this series.

Bestselling Australian novelist Tony Cavanaugh reveals the differences between writing for the screen and writing a novel, exclusively for The Booktopia Blog

readingwritingandriesling:

Tony Cavanaugh is a brilliant writer of crime fiction, he has the scariest villains I have come across. Tony Cavanaugh will be hosting a workshop at CrimesceneWA, read his helpful post and think about attending the event.

Originally posted on Booktopia - A Book Bloggers' Paradise - The No. 1 Book Blog for Australia:

We’re excited to present a wonderful piece by bestselling author Tony Cavanaugh about the the differences between writing for the screen and  writing a novel.

Before he wrote the bestselling Promise and his highly anticipated follow-up Dead Girl Sing, Tony was a writer and producer in film and television, writing numerous dramas since the 1980s. He has over thirty years experience in the industry, in all fields, from the genesis of an idea to production. He has written and edited award winning shows, The Sullivans, Once Were Warriors, Fire, Medivac, The Day of Roses and Through My Eyes.

He was also invited to judge the Logie Awards, Australian Film Institute Awards and the International Emmy Awards, held in New York.

Funny, colourful, and cheeky, Tony’s initial experience with a Television Executive from the Nickolodeon channel and his ribald request is beautifully captured by a…

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