Post Script: Vicious Circle – C J Box

Vicious Circle

Vicious Circle

Joe Pickett #17

CJ Box

Harper Collins Publishers Australia

Head of Zeus

ISBN: 9781784973148

 

Description:

The past comes back to haunt game warden Joe Pickett and his family with devastating effect.

 

One man hell-bent on avenging his family, the other dead-set on protecting his… Joe Pickett always knew there’d be a day of reckoning. And now that day has come. Two years ago, his daughter was beaten and dumped by the side of a country road. Joe’s determination to avenge her forced him into a catastrophic confrontation with the Cates clan that left three of their number dead and put the two survivors behind bars. Now the youngest son, Dallas, is out of prison and back in town. Joe knows exactly why he’s returned – an eye for an eye. All Joe can do is wait for Dallas to make the first move…

 

My View:

I’ll keep this review brief as you all know how much I love this author and in particular this series. This is another outstanding episode in the life of game warden Joe Pickett, the narrative just keeps setting darker and more intense as the series goes on.  This is a clear your diary, order dinner to be delivered, read in one night kind of book…you will not be disappointed!

 

I’ll add one additional thought – the Wanda Stacy event raised my blood pressure several notches…very, very, dark AND I loved that Nate Romanowski was called on to help Joe out. Nate is a character that forces you to ask yourself “what would you do in his situation?” Decisions are not always easy or clear cut…

 

I am ready for the next episode CJ.

 

Post Script: The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman ( aka Everything You Want Me to Be ) Mindy Mejia

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman (aka Everything You Want Me to Be)

Mindy Mejia

Hachette Australia

Quercus

ISBN: 9781784295936

 

Description:

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to her death.

 

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie’s acting talents ran far beyond the stage. Told from three points of view—Del, Hattie, and the new English teacher whose marriage is crumbling—Everything You Want Me to Be weaves the story of Hattie’s last school year and the events that drew her ever closer to her death.

 

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

 

My View:

This narrative is so much more than a whodunit, it has so much more to offer than a psychological thriller, indeed it offers the reader so much more of life you will be rendered emotionally spent at the end of this work of crime fiction/ life lit/YA/murder mash up. WOW!

Powerful, credible and engaging…this is a fabulous read that will have you staying up late to finish the last page. And then you will be bereft!

 

I was astounded by the amazing insight that teen Hattie has about her life and the meaning of her existence and how she was able to verbalise her identity crisis – we all at some stage of our life ponder who we are and what we are doing with our life, what a great basis for a crime novel, what a way to connect with an audience.  Hattie ponders her existence, her role, her identity, the big WHY’s and the honest answer she eventually provides herself is life changing or more accurately life ending.   So much irony here.

 

Credit must be given to this author for creating such a loathsome manipulative character who somehow we cannot help but empathise with, as we do with all the main characters. The three, first person perspectives work effectively to flesh out the story and to bring out the honesty, humanness and great sadness that completes this narrative.  This is the thinking person’s murder mystery.   WOW WOW WOW- this is a great read.

 

PS I prefer the Australian tittle i.e The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman – says it all really  🙂

Post Script: The Animators – Kayla Rae Whitaker

The Animators

The Animators

Kayla Rae Whitaker

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781925321920

 

Description:

She was the first person to see me as I had always wanted to be seen. It was enough to indebt me to her forever.

 

At a private East Coast college, two young women meet in art class. Sharon Kisses, quietly ambitious but self-doubting, arrives from rural Kentucky. Mel Vaught, brash, unapologetic, wildly gifted, brings her own brand of hellfire from the backwaters of Florida. Both outsiders, Sharon and Mel become fervent friends, bonding over underground comics and dysfunctional families. Working, absorbing, drinking. Drawing: Mel, to understand her own tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.

A decade later, Sharon and Mel are an award-winning animation duo, and with the release of their first full-length feature, a fearless look at Mel’s childhood, they stand at the cusp of success. But while on tour to promote the film, cracks in their relationship start to form: Sharon begins to feel like a tag-along and suspects that raucous Mel is the real artist. When unexpected tragedy strikes, long-buried resentments rise to the surface, threatening their partnership—and hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.

 

“An engrossing, exuberant ride through all the territories of love—familial, romantic, sexual, love of friends, and, perhaps above all, white-hot passion for the art you were born to make . . . I wish I’d written The Animators.”—Emma Donoghue, author of Room and The Wonder.

 

 

 

My View:

It has been few weeks since I read this wonderful novel and I still cannot verbalise or adequately describe the greatness of this read.

 

This is a book that ….. This book…  This is a fantastic read! Start reading, be prepared to be addicted to the writing, enjoy the journey this book leads you on, empathise with the protagonists, and share with them their pain and their joy.  Just read this book!

This book is…destined to be one of the best you will read this year.

This book… will stay with you for a long time.

 

Post Script: Close Enough to Touch – Colleen Oakley

Close Enough to Touch

Close Enough to Touch

Colleen Oakley

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760294007

Description:

From the author of Before I Go comes an evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart, perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.

 

Love has no boundaries…

 

Jubilee Jenkins has a rare condition: she’s allergic to human touch. After a nearly fatal accident, she became reclusive, living in the confines of her home for nine years. But after her mother dies, Jubilee is forced to face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.

 

Jubilee finds safe haven at her local library where she gets a job. It’s there she meets Eric Keegan, a divorced man who recently moved to town with his brilliant, troubled, adopted son. Eric is struggling to figure out how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Jubilee is unlike anyone he has ever met, yet he can’t understand why she keeps him at arm’s length. So Eric sets out to convince Jubilee to open herself and her heart to everything life can offer, setting into motion the most unlikely love story of the year.

 

My View:

What a reading week I have had!  A week full of un- putdown able reads, of 5 star after 5 star narratives that will stay with me for a long time and this book belongs on that list of outstanding writing that forms the “Best of 2017” list in my reading diary. This one really surprised me – it was not what I was expecting!

 

What can I say to convince you to pick up this book because I know that if you start reading it by the end of the first few pages you will be hooked?  This is a unique coming of age narrative, (yes I think it can be classified thus), a very unique journey where the flawed, complex, engaging and heart-warming protagonists share their growth and humanness in a sometimes humourous, often poignant and evocative way that will have you cheering for team Eric and Jubilee.

 

My only complaint…the book wasn’t long enough.  I wanted to know more, what had been happening in their lives (no spoilers – this will make sense when you read the book), why did it take so long? What happens next?  I predict this to be another book to film in the near future.

 

Post Script: Shallow End: Brenda Chapman

The Shallow End

Shallow End

A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery

Brenda Chapman

Dundurn

ISBN: 9781459735101

 

Description:

Still waters run deep.

 

English teacher, mother, wife, and convicted child predator Jane Thompson has made parole and she has a plan. Moving into student housing, she takes a minimum wage job and begins her life in the shadows while she bides her time. One month later, the bludgeoned body of the student she was found guilty of corrupting four years earlier is found on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Rouleau assigns Officers Stonechild and Gundersund to head up the murder investigation and Jane Thompson quickly becomes the prime suspect. But knowing guilt and proving it are two entirely different things, and as the early days of the case close, the team is coming up empty.

The near-constant autumn rain and wind are a dreary backdrop for the troubles ahead: Stonechild learns that her niece in foster care is skipping school, Gundersund can’t seem to extricate himself from a bad marriage, and Rouleau is trying to come to terms with the death of his ex-wife. All take a back seat as the investigation picks up steam, and with it, the unsettling suspicion that a killer is getting desperate.

The murder investigation is about to turn into a beast unleashed — wading through deeply buried secrets to the truth will take Stonechild and the team on a twisted journey into the heart of evil.

The question is: who will come out the other side?

 

 

My View:

This is another remarkable read in the Stonechild and Rouleau mystery series – and believe me this author just gets better and better!

Our favourite characters are back tackling a murder that some have already decided is an open and shut case – and nothing could be further from the truth.  This author spins a sticky tale – there are so many twists and turns, false starts and misdirection’s you will likely end up dizzy, caught in a web of intrigue..

 

Central to the plot are a few very contemporary scenarios of abuse and manipulations that are becoming headline stories in our newspapers, but the full depth of this tragedy will leave you gobsmacked.  What a fantastic read!   You will not see this ending coming.

 

Encore! Encore! More please Brenda Chapman.

 

Wendy James…Welcome Back… Part 2

golden-child

Do you have fun with your characters, inject some humour to counter balance the darkness? Wendy shares how she achieves this in The Golden Child (and by the way – I too really enjoyed reading the blog posts/comments injected in the narrative, they made me smile).

Welcome Wendy James…Lets Talk About Characters and The Golden Child

 

Please welcome the fabulous Wendy James to my blog – I am so excited to have her featured here today.

Wendy’s latest novel is The Golden Child – a book that is racing up the charts.  I loved this read- the manipulations, the twists, the brilliantly developed characters.  I asked her a few key questions regarding her characters and how they are created/evolve. As a reader I am fascinated with the writing process and what inspires my favourite authors.

golden-child

Are you a “people watcher”? Do you imagine the life histories/futures of strangers? Do you read a book, a news  item and imagine a scenario, a narrative? Let’s hear what Wendy has to say.

 

 

 

More to come…stay tuned.