Post Script: The Missing Hours -Emma Kavanagh

The Missing Hours

The Missing Hours

Emma Kavanagh

Cornerstone Digital

ISBN: 9781473535596

 

Description:

 

A woman disappears

 

One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace.

 

A woman returns

 

Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been.

 

What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder?

 

‘Is it a forgetting or a deception?’

 

 

My View:

Unique. Compelling. Surprising.

 

This book has just so much going for it! A wonderfully engaging character driven narrative, multiple points of views adding depth and perspectives to the narrative and to the main characters. What great characters there were! Everyone had something to offer or something they were holding back, some little piece of themselves and the mystery they didn’t want to let go of or share that when revealed kept changing the direction of the plot or the way you thought it was all going to work out. Each reveal just added more complexity to the mystery. Who was telling the truth? So many lies, half-truths or omissions.

 

This is a thoroughly enjoyable and mesmerising read. Unique – in so many ways; brother and sister police officers working two cases in the same precinct, the company the missing woman works for again is unusual – I haven’t come across this in crime fiction before though know of its existence in the work place (but I bet there will be more of this type of scenario in future reads), no spoilers here.   And the twists – relationships that will surprise, nothing is as it seems on the surface; family pictures on the mantle shelf displaying a version of the truth, a moment in time… a display….real or not? You work it out.

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Post Script: Precious Things – Kelly Doust

Precious Things

Kelly Doust

Precious Things

Harper Collins

ISBN: 9781460750971

 

Description:

In the tradition of gloriously absorbing, lush and moving women’s fiction by authors such as Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley and Joanne Harris comes PRECIOUS THINGS.

 

Normandy, France, 1891: a young woman painstakingly sews an intricate beaded collar to her wedding dress, the night before her marriage to someone she barely knows. Yet Aimee longs for so much more …

 

Shanghai, 1926: dancing sensation and wild child Zephyr spies what looks like a beaded headpiece lying carelessly discarded on a ballroom floor. She takes it with her to Malaya where she sets her sights on a prize so out of reach that, in striving for it, she will jeopardise everything she holds dear …

 

PRECIOUS THINGS tells the story of a collar – a wonderful, glittering beaded piece – and its journey through the decades. It’s also the story of Maggie, an auctioneer living in modern-day London, who comes across the crumpled, neglected collar in a box of old junk, and sets out on an unexpected mission to discover more about its secret and elusive past.

 

Maggie has a journey of her own too. Juggling a demanding job, a clingy young child and a rebellious stepdaughter, and with her once-solid marriage foundering under the pressure of a busy life, Maggie has to find out the hard way that you can’t always get what you want… but sometimes, you’re lucky enough to get precisely what you need.

 

This is a wonderful, absorbing and moving novel about desire, marriage and family, telling the story about how we so often reach out for the sparkly, shiny things (and people) we desire, only to realise – in the nick of time – that the most precious things are the ones we’ve had with us all along.

 

My View:

This is a rather remarkable read.  It is subtle; the individual sub stories/chapters are personal and intimate and slowly draw you into to the overarching story – of Maggie’s life and her daily struggles juggling paid work, motherhood and relationships. I found Kelly Doust’s writing to be intelligent and her observations of relationships and family to be insightful and honest. The more I read of this novel the more invested I was in Maggie’s life, the more I found myself agreeing with her observations.

 

This was not the story I thought I would be reading – I admit to assuming that this would be a light and unassuming read – it was the opposite; intelligent, engaging, and brilliantly observational of women’s lives and rights at various points in history; all individual stories connected by their relationship to one piece of extraordinary cloth – very well plotted and visually stunning, intelligently written, 5 stars from me!

 

Post Script: Past The Shallows – Favell Parrett

Past The Shallows

Past the Shallows

Written by: Favel Parrett

Narrated by: David Wenham

Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 08/02/2016

Publisher: Hachette Australia Audio

 

Description:

Past the Shallows is the award-winning, best-selling debut novel from Favel Parrett about the bonds of brotherhood and the fragility of youth, narrated by David Wenham.

 

Everyone loves Harry. Everyone except his father.

Three brothers – Joe, Miles and Harry – are growing up on the remote south coast of Tasmania. The brothers’ lives are shaped by their father’s moods – like the ocean he fishes, he is wild and unpredictable. He is a bitter man warped by a devastating secret.

 

Miles tries his best to watch out for Harry, the youngest, but he can’t be there all the time. Often alone, Harry finds joy in the small treasures he discovers in shark eggs and cuttlefish bones. In a kelpie pup, a big mug of Milo and a secret friendship with a mysterious neighbour. But sometimes small treasures, or a brother’s love, are not enough.

 

Winner – The ABIA Award (Newcomer of the Year) 2012. Winner – The Dobbie Literary Award 2012. Shortlisted for The Miles Franklin Literary Award 2012. Shortlisted for The ABIA Award (Book of the Year) 2012. Shortlisted for The ABIA Award (Literary Book of the Year) 2012. Shortlisted for The ABA’s Bookseller’s Choice Award 2012. Shortlisted for The Indies Award (Debut Fiction) 2012.

©2011 Favel Parrett (P)2016 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd

 


My View:

The combination of Favell Parrett’s words and David Wenham’s narration equals a beautiful experience for the soul and the ears! I have listened to a few audio books but this one beats them all – the narrative is poignantly read, is often heartbreaking, honest, and brutal and real. The ending – is not pretty – but pays homage to the bonds of siblings forged strong and unbreakable by the explosive temperament of a bitter and twisted father.

 

A mystery is slowly revealed. As a past tragedy unravels another is created. A brilliant audio book!

I have now added Favell Parrett to my must read authors list. David Wenham is a narrator of some note!

 

Post Script: When We Were Alive – C J Fisher

When We Were Alive

When We Were Alive

CJ Fisher

Legend Press

ISBN:

 

Description:

When we first meet Bobby, he is a shy, twelve-year-old magician who falls in love with his best friend.

 

William is consumed with self-hate and drinks to escape the memories of his father’s sadness and his mother’s death.

 

Myles is writing letters to a mother he has never met.

 

Three different people from three different times each explore the dark side of relationships, search for beauty in sadness and try to bear the burden of guilt from living in a world we are powerless to fix.

 

My View:

I really struggled to continue with this book…the three individual stories seemed disconnected and not even particularly interesting until about 80% of the way through the book.  But I persevered.  I thought I understood where this was going…or rather where the stories were meeting but really I didn’t.  The ending was so sad.  I wondered why I continued with this, hopeful I suppose.

 

I enjoyed the story of the enduring love between Bobby and Rose.  The war narrative was painful and real.

William’s anger was understandable – his attempt to feel were interesting and reminded me of the lives of so many damaged children in care, self-harming in an attempt to feel something, to feel anything, to distract themselves from the realities of their lives.

 

But mostly these individual stories remained just that, I am at a loss to understand the overall picture. If you understand this book – perhaps you can share that knowledge with me.

 

Review: Poisonous – Allison Brennan

Poisonous

Poisonous

Allison Brennan

St. Martin’s Press

Minotaur Books

ISBN: 9781250066848

 

Description:

Romantic suspense bestseller Allison Brennan returns with her next riveting thriller featuring investigative reporter Max Revere.

Teen-aged Internet bully Ivy Lake fell off a cliff and few people cared … except her mentally-challenged eighteen-year-old step-brother, Tommy. He loved her in spite of her cruelty. He’s distraught and doesn’t understand why his blended family is falling apart. After a year, the police still have no answers: Ivy could have jumped, could have been pushed, or it could have been an accident. With too many suspects and not enough evidence, the investigation has grown cold.

 

Tommy thinks that if someone can figure out what happened to his step-sister, everything will go back to normal, so he writes to investigative reporter Maxine Revere. This isn’t the type of case Max normally takes on, but the heartbreak and simple honesty in Tommy’s letter pulls her in. She travels to Corte Madera, California, with her assistant David Kane and is at first pleased that the police are cooperative. But the more Max learns about Tommy and his dysfunctional family, the more she thinks she’s taken on an impossible task: this may be the one case she can’t solve.

 

If Ivy was murdered, it was exceptionally well-planned and that kind of killer could be hiding in plain sight … planning the next act of violence. Max believes the truth is always better than lies, that the truth is the only thing that matters to gain justice for victims and their families. But for the first time, she wonders if this time, the truth will kill.

 

My View:

This is the 3rd book in the Maxine Revere series, I have read the first and somehow managed to skip the second one and now have read this, the third; despite missing the middle book I had no trouble keeping up with the characters and the sub plot – involving  the characters personal struggles, etc.  Though I must say it sounds like there was a lot of action in the second book and I really want to catch up and read this at some point.

 

This episode tackles the very real and present issue of bullying, specifically online bullying.  The narrative is intriguing, engaging and I would say that the scales are weighted more on mystery than on romance in this episode. Delving into the personal lives of the victims and their circle of friends and relatives triggers some very introspective reflections by Max on her own life.  Romantic suspense or contemporary mystery with emotional awareness and intelligence ? You be the judge.