In The Mail This Week Ending 31st January 2016

Some exiting books came in the mail recently – I thought I had cleverly read all my January published books – but then the post box delivered 7 in one day (and I have 12 ebooks to read as well but as on ereader we wont count them) – thankfully some of these are not released until March (I can put them to the bottom of the pile for a while) and a few (cook books ) I have already started reading and trying out.  And Saturday night I read A Murder Without Motive – a very engaging quick read. But now I have started a Must Write Review Up Soon pile…about 8 on that list including the magnificent  Coffin Road by Pewter May which I finished early this morning.

 

Books 31-01-016

Did you notice the book disguised as  brick here? Six Four is 635 pages but thankfully is not released until March.

Do any of these appeal to you ?

 

 

Tomato Ricotta Tart – Good Life Great Food – Judy Phillips

Cover Good Life Great Food

When I reviewed this book a few months ago I said when it is tomato season I will make the  Tomato and Ricotta Tart. Yesterday I made the tart and tartlets.

Simple, easy, colourful and fresh.  I think I prefer the tartlets – they are easier to hold and enjoy. I think you could also cut the pastry into rounds and cook base in muffin or jam tart type tray and have the perfect starter/cocktail food/ finger food.

Tomato and Ricotta Tarts

I used store bought puff pastry sheets,ricotta, sundried tomatoes, eggs, cream and a dash of cream fraiche to thicken the base, three types tomatoes and basil from our garden. Once pastry base is just warm (cold works too) plate up with tomatoes mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.  Fresh, colourful, delicious.   ** Hint – cut tomatoes into bite size pieces and let sit for 10 minutes or so to allow some of the juices to drain off.

Tartlet

Post Script: Try Not To Breathe – Holly Seddon

Try Not To Breathe

Try Not To Breathe

Holly Seddon

Allen & Unwin

Corvus

ISBN: 9781782396680

 

Description:

A woman’s search for the truth about a brutal attack on a teenage girl puts her in danger in this tense, emotionally-charged psychological thriller: perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train or The Book of You.

 

Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.

 

Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park not far from her house. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.

 

Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma…

 

 

My view:

This is a narrative that sparkles on so many fronts! This is a remarkable debut novel – though to be fair, Holly Seddon has been writing since she stepped out of college and into the freelance world at least fifteen years ago, this however is her first novel. You cannot tell – the writing her is succinct, polished and oh so addictive. I loved this read.

 

Try Not to Breathe is a book that is written mostly from the view point of Alex – a woman who is addicted to alcohol, a compulsion that dictates and ruins her life (mostly). This is a very confronting look at addiction – it is not however at all despondent or a self-indulgent look at this world – it is a matter of fact, almost clinical in description and Alex has almost accepted that this is her life until she stumbles across Amy and her story. Amy has been hospitalised and in an unresponsive state since she suffered a horrendous physical attack. She cannot communicate with the outside world. Another impressive revelation of life as we could not possibly imagine it – but there is hope. This “personal” story is mind blowing!

 

Two very personal revealing narrative threads, three if you consider Jacob’s story which is also very much integral to the overall story arc.

And then we have a mystery – who attacked Amy? A cold case reopened. Redemption and hope and justice eventuate. Brilliantly written, engaging, eye opening, tragic but with a sense of optimism…just loved it! I can’t wait to read what Holly Seddon comes up with next.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Desert Flame – Janine Grey

But….

Desert Flame

Desert Flame

Janine Grey

Penguin Books Australia

ISBN: 9780143797074

 

Description:

When her beloved father dies, Eliza Mayberry’s privileged world comes crashing down around her ears. On the verge of losing the business that has been in her family for generations, she has no option but to take over the last remaining case: tracking down the elusive Fingal McLeod in outback New South Wales and bringing him back to Sydney.

 

Fin, however, has other ideas. Determined to find the legendary Dark Flame, a rare opal that has eluded opal-hunters for decades, he has no intention of leaving his mine, Rebel’s Ruin, to reunite with the family of the man who abandoned him – even for the beguiling Miss Mayberry.

 

Drawn to the people and starkly beautiful landscape of the desert, Eliza discovers the new start that she’s been seeking in this unlikely place and with a man who is as infuriating as he is intriguing. But as passion blooms under the scorching outback sun, secrets from the past and present are bubbling below the surface – secrets that could destroy both the fragile trust between Eliza and Fin, and the bright promise of the future.

 

 

My View:

This Australian rural narrative/romantic mystery, is full of spectacular scenery, vibrant characters and with an interesting plot that has the requisite dramas (standover men, vengeful sister of ex-boyfriend , corrupt mining companies etc) and the necessary happy ending…do you feel a BUT coming?

 

But it is also peppered with what I consider unnecessary vivid sex scenes. I make no excuses, I just don’t enjoy knowing every single close encounter of the sexual kind, I prefer sex scenes to leave a little something to the imagination – and believe me there were a few places in this novel where nothing was left to the imagination (eg outdoor shower scene). To me this sparkling narrative just didn’t need this level of salacious detail.

 

Aside from this one issue, and this is a personal issue, the writing was admirable. This book maybe for you, sadly it wasnt for me.