Bob the Dog – Reflections of Holidays

Bob says: Holidays are great! I love all the new smells, the dead kangaroo on the beach, the smell of rotting seaweed, the fresh salt air…beautiful, really gets my nose twitching and my tail wagging. 🙂

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I love swimming at the beach, especially the beautiful calm waters of Little Bay.  I love long walks along the beach, just me, my family and the wind in my fur.

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But most of all I love spending quality time with my family and making new friends.

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When are we going away again?

Post Script: Cold Cold Heart – Karin Slaughter

Cold Cold Heart

Karin Slaughter

Random House UK, Cornerstone

ISBN: 9781448149179

Description:

A chilling Valentine digital short story from the No.1 bestselling author of the Will Trent series.

Pam is a fifty-two-year-old teacher who has let herself go for the first time in her life. It’s two years since her husband – ex husband – John died and she’s heading from Georgia to California for the third and – she hopes – final time. But just what lies in store for her there…?

Previously in a collection edited by No. 1 bestseller Lee Child, First Thrills, and now available on its own.

My View:

This was a very short short story  – a story that highlights the feminist ideals that permeate Karin Slaughter’s writing. This is a relatively light story from this accomplished author of dark crime. I love the playfulness of the title – the full ironic  meaning revealed as the story progresses.   Revenge is best served- cold!

Post Script: Unseen – Karin Slaughter

Unseen

A Novel

Karin Slaughter

Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell

Delacorte Press

ISBN: 9780345539472

Description:

Karin Slaughter’s New York Times bestselling novels are utterly riveting and masterfully drawn. Her latest thriller, Unseen, pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.

Bill Black is a scary guy: a tall ex-con who rides to work on a Harley and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. In Macon, Georgia, Bill has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer and his cunning girlfriend. They think Bill might be a useful ally. They don’t know that Bill is actually a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent named Will Trent. Or that he is fighting his own demons, undercover and cut off from the support of Sara Linton—the woman he loves, who cannot be told of the risk Will is taking.

Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s death is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.

In a novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists, two investigations collide with a conspiracy straddling both sides of the law. Karin Slaughter’s latest is both an electrifying thriller and a piercing study of human nature: what happens when good people face the unseen evils in their lives.

My View:

Another stunning performance by Karin Slaughter, I was enthralled, I was mesmerised, and I was riveted to every word. It is no secret that I am a Karin Slaughter fan – I have read every book she has written since Blindsighted and what great reads they have all been.  I love this series and have particularly liked the Will Trent and Sara Linton union and story line.

This novel is not for the faint hearted- the opening chapter had me holding my hands over my eyes as I read the attack at Lena’s house; it was brutal, ferocious and gruesome but I couldn’t stop reading. Karin Slaughter’s characters depict honest emotions and responses – sometimes they may not be quite how we would respond or how we think we might respond but the responses are real. Karen shows us that relationships are complicated and that the past does affect the future – but she gives us hope that we can move on, each at our own pace.

Conspiracies, shocking twists and turns, violence, crime and passion abound.  Every range of emotion is portrayed in this novel; fear, courage, hope… loyalties and trust are tested and love that is all consuming, healing and cleansing is victorious; this novel has it all.

This novel was a stirring and emotional read – I really felt for the victims of the crimes, especially the children. I am glad that Slaughter has courage to draw attention to the plight of the disempowered, especially children and has shown how power can corrupt – no one is exempt from suspicion and the sepsis of corruption.

Karin Slaughter you are a brilliant writer and I look forward your next offering and wish you luck with the Edgar nomination for short story: The Unremarkable Heart!

Post Script: The Stranger – Camilla Läckberg

A Novel

Camilla Läckberg

Open Road Integrated Media

Pegasus Books 

ISBN: 9780007253999

Description:

A string of suspicious deaths points to a potential serial killer who has turned his eye toward Fjällbacka and her dark forests, where two children vanished decades before

A local woman is killed in a tragic car crash, but it isn’t a clear-cut drunk driving case. The victim’s blood contains high alcohol levels, yet she rarely drank a drop. Meanwhile, a new television series begins shooting in Fjällbacka, and as cameras shadow the stars’ every move, tempers start to flare. When a drunken party ends with an unpopular contestant’s murder, all eyes turn to the cast and crew. Could there be a murderer among them? The ratings spike as the country tunes in to a real life murder mystery.

Detective Patrik Hedstrom finds himself increasingly unable to focus on the strange circumstances of the first case, but what if that holds the key to a series of other unsolved cases across Sweden? Under the unforgiving media spotlight, Patrik tackles his most challenging investigation yet.

My View:

An interesting tale of murder, a police procedural that also comments on so called contemporary observational documentary shows that fill our screens with a stereotypical cast, mix this with insights into the private lives of the people in the small town of Tanum including the participants and the producers of the reality show and you have plot of The Stranger.

This was an interesting peak into the private lives of many of the inhabitants of rural Swedish region of Tanum; the members of the police force, the members of the town council, the lonely single men, the childless couples. It also comments on social issues such as self harm, drug use, child abuse, drunk driving, revenge…this novel tries to  explore all the themes of contemporary life and whilst I did find the  back stories somewhat interesting and was happy with the in depth character development, for me this story lacked tension and drama, maybe because most of the action centred on discovering secrets of the past.

The style was very visual and often cinematic (it could translate well to the small screen, the script is here in front of us) and I think sets up the authors next book in the series very well, this reads mostly as an in depth introduction to characters and the landscape that I am sure we will be seeing more of soon.

 

Post Script: Waiting for Wednesday – Nicci French

Waiting for Wednesday

Nicci French

Penguin Books Australia

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780718156978

Pub Date   Jun 26 2013

Description:

Ruth Lennox, beloved mother of three, is found by her daughter in a pool of
her own blood. Who would want to murder an ordinary housewife? And why?

Psychotherapist Frieda Klein finds she has an unusually personal connection
with DCI Karlsson’s latest case. She is no longer working with him in an
official capacity, but when her niece befriends Ruth Lennox’s son, Ted, she
finds herself in the awkward position of confidante to both Karlsson and
Ted.

When it emerges that Ruth was leading a secret life, her family closes ranks
and Karlsson finds he needs Frieda’s help more than ever before.

But Frieda is distracted. Having survived an attack on her life, she is
struggling to stay in control and when a patient’s chance remark rings an alarm
bell, she finds herself chasing down a path that seems to lead to a serial
killer who has long escaped detection. Or is it merely a symptom of her own
increasingly fragile mind?

Because, as Frieda knows, every step closer to a killer is one more step into
a darkness from which there may be no return . . .

My View:

 

Some truths are best not learned.

 

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this story – and as such this book can be satisfactorily read as a standalone but I think the reading experience would be enriched with the background the previous novels provide. Having said that, I very much enjoyed this read – full of plot twists and turns, mysteries and crimes that are satisfactorily resolved in the end but more interestingly I enjoyed the character of  psychotherapist and protagonist, Frieda Klein- such a sympathetic character, somewhat tired and world weary, enigmatic, empathetic, a touch eccentric, and thoroughly likeable.  She provides emotional sustenance to others but her stocks are running low and she too is in need of kindness and chicken soup as the murders continue to amass.

I was surprised to learn that Nicci French is actually the pseudonym of writers and the married couple Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. I am amazed that two people can write one novel and write it so convincingly and so well!

Back to the story – a story where all is not what it appears…of families, of lies and the disaster that happens when the truth is leaked, discovered and revealed. Some truths are best not learned. The writing team Nicci French successfully combine two unrelated crimes in one narrative and they do this well. The first murder of housewife and social worker Ruth Lennox introduces as to the investigating team, to Frieda, to Karlsson and to the families on the periphery of the action – who are all affected to some degree by the murder of one seemingly ordinary woman. It is very interesting to see how the complexities and minutiae of modern life weave the threads of the two stories together. The web of deceit and the motivations of greed, ego and self intersect often… it is ego that drives Frieda’s replacement on the investigative team to try and humiliate and discredit her, and ultimately motivates her to seek for truth and for the resolution/investigation of the other murders. The search for meaning in life is also obvious as it relates to the investigative journalist and in a broader sense to all the characters in the book…I love the way human frailties and motivations are explored in this book.

Add to the two separate investigations is the hint of something even more sinister lurking in the background – Frieda’s stalker…the writers’ have primed us for their next offering where hopefully this thread will also be unwound and the culprit revealed. Nicci French I had added you to my MUST READ list.

Michelle de Kretser Winner of the 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award

When I read  and reviewed Michelle de Krester’s A Question of Travel – I knew this was going to be award winning!

The Trust Company announces Michelle de Kretser as winner of the 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award

The Trust Company, as Trustee, and the 2013 judges this afternoon announced Michelle de Kretser as the winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel, Questions of Travel at an event held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra. (see more in the link provided)

Home Sweet Home

Saturday we packed up our caravan and headed south towards home. We had two glorious weeks of sun, fishing, walks along the beach and reading.  Bliss!

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The closer we got to home the darker the skies grew. Apparently we had 100mm of rain on Friday night/Saturday morning…glad we missed that.

So here we are, back home, chilly and rainy – we want to turn around and go back north!

Now we start planning the next trip  – so the big decision, do we go away again for a few weeks somewhere soon or do we try and save a bit more money for fuel and do a bigger trip – maybe east early next year???  I think we might have to try and do both 🙂