Review: Liar Liar – James Patterson and Candice Fox

Liar Liar

Liar Liar

James Patterson and Candice Fox

Penguin Random House Australia

Century

ISBN: 9780143787471

 

Description:

Revenge is coming, and her name is Harriet Blue . . .

Detective Harriet Blue is clear about two things. Regan Banks deserves to die. And she’ll be the one to pull the trigger.

 

But Regan – the Georges River Killer and the man responsible for destroying her brother’s life – has gone to ground. And now Harriet needs to disappear too – before her colleagues stop her carrying out an act that could end her career, her freedom, even her life.

 

Suddenly, her phone rings. It’s him. Regan. And he wants to play ‘catch me if you can’.

 

Within hours Harry is following his clues along a path of devastation down the Australian south coast. Town by town, Regan is taking lives, and each one is someone she knows well.

 

With both of them wanted on every newspaper and every television screen, time is running out. Harry needs to stop this killing machine fast before her chance for vengeance slips away . . .

 

 

My View:

A year or so ago I went to a local book launch and met, in person, Candice Fox. I really admire her tenacity, her “writing story”, her enthusiasm and the opportunity she was just beginning to work on – the joint writing efforts with James Patterson.  Bravo Candice! What a fabulous opportunity for you.

 

Candice spoke a little about the process of writing a co-written book – it was intriguing. After I have now read an example of this process

(Harriet Blue #3) the writing, two as one is flawless.  A gritty, tough and very physical narrative, I am sure if you enjoyed Candice’s Archer and Bennett series you will enjoy this read.

 

PS

If you are a crime fiction writer out there in the world of the internet – I would love to try writing chapters of a book with you J

 

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Review: Pieces of Her – Karin Slaughter

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Pieces of Her

Karin Slaughter

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9781460751756

 

Description:

The electrifying new thriller from international bestseller Karin Slaughter explores the deadly secrets kept between a mother and daughter.

 

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all?

 

Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother Laura. She’s knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Gullaway Island; she knows she’s never had any more ambition than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

 

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. A side which is a million miles from the quiet, gentle woman who brought her up. And more than that, news coverage of the mall attack puts Laura’s face on every TV screen in the country – and leaves her terrified. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura she was someone completely different. For nearly 30 years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one will ever find her and re-open the wounds left by the terrible events which made it impossible for her ever to go back. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

 

Twenty-four hours later Laura is in hospital, shot by an intruder who’s spent thirty years trying to track her down and discover what she knows. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumbs of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either of them…

 

 

My View:

I don’t know why I am always surprised when I read a Karin Slaughter standalone – by now I should know that it will be a fantastic read, with mystery, intrigue, a great in depth look at the human condition, prose to make you think and a murder or two. This is another such brilliant book – totally different to anything else I have read by this author (which is a good surprise), you could call this a coming of age meets a seasoned manipulator who has never experienced the bonds and sacrifice that is a mother’s love.

 

Another great read from this fabulous author.

 

Review: Second Sight – Aoife Clifford

Second Site Aoife Clifford

Second Sight

Aoife Clifford

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781925596892

 

Description:

A fugitive in the present. A runaway in the past.

 

Eliza Carmody returns home to the country to work on the biggest law case of her career. The only problem is this time she’s on the ‘wrong side’ – defending a large corporation against a bushfire class action by her hometown of Kinsale.

 

On her first day back Eliza witnesses an old friend, Luke Tyrell, commit an act of lethal violence. As the police investigate that crime and hunt for Luke they uncover bones at The Castle, a historic homestead in the district. Eliza is convinced that they belong to someone from her past.

 

As Eliza becomes more and more entangled in the investigation, she is pulled back into her memories of youthful friendships and begins to question everyone she knows … and everything she once thought was true.

 

My View:

The book is an outstanding read! It goes straight onto my Best of 2018 reads list and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes great crime fiction/mystery.

I predict awards for this book in the near future and I can visualise this novel as a base for a script for a movie. The characters, the tension and the setting as so evocative the words leap off the page and onto that screen.  A fabulous read, if you haven’t already read this then you are really missing out.

 

Review: Scrublands – Chris Hammer

 

Scrublands by Chris Hammer

Scrublands

Chris Hammer

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760632984

 

Description:

In an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself.

 

A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don’t fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can’t ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest’s deadly rampage.

 

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is now the one in the spotlight. His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal.

 

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town’s secrets stay buried.

 

A compulsive thriller that will haunt you long after you have turned the final page.

 

 

My View:

 “The house is yelling now, screaming in its extremity: screeching steel, exploding timber, roaring fire, drowning out the sound of the receding dragon. Martin is soaking inside his overalls but his face feels paper-dry. He looks at the others, their faces red as if sunburnt. He watches as the shutter on the other side of the window begins to smoke and burn, slowly, almost apologetically. Smoke is gushing under the corridor door. Martin begins to cough uncontrollably, his throat raw.” P. 104

 

Can you feel it? Can you see it? Can you smell it? Bush fire engulfing the house… Chris Hammer delivers a crime thriller like no other. The prose is divine, sometimes irreverent which adds a little dose of humour to the read. You will find yourself transported to small rural town Australia, a town fighting to survive, a town and its inhabitants facing pressures from all sides – Mother Nature is not kind, the extreme weather conditions affecting all, the economy is slowly suffocating resilience out of the town.  The misdeeds of the past and the present collide to bring out the best and the worst in people.

 

This is a spectacular whydunnit that asks the big questions re history and the information we assimilate daily. Whose account of history are we hearing? Who benefits from this dialogue?  Whose agenda is behind this? What /where is the gain? Whose truth are we listening to, influenced by?

 

A fabulous 5 star read – a new author to add to your “Must Read” list and one to add to my “Best of 2018” list. I can’t wait to see this on the big screen and to read what is coming next from this author.

 

 

 

Review: Dead Heat- Peter Cotton

Dead Heat by Peter Cotton

Dead Heat

Peter Cotton

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781925713428

 

Description:

Detective Darren Glass is back, and the stakes are higher than ever.

 

When the battered body of a young Aboriginal woman washes up onto a beach at Jervis Bay, Australian Federal Police Detective Darren Glass is brought in from Canberra to investigate. Glass quickly ties the murder to the disappearance of a sailor from the nearby naval base, and is forced to partner up with a senior intelligence officer from the Royal Australian Navy.

 

Together they follow the trail of evidence to the red heart of Australia, where a confrontation with outlaw bikies and Aboriginal activists proves deadly. As the body count mounts and foreign links emerge, the conspiracy at the heart of the case becomes a threat to Australia’s national security, as well as regional peace.

 

My View:

The first thing that entered my head as I started reading this was ‘hard boiled’, a genre that often features the rogue investigator/cop who follows hunches, has “ street smarts” , reads people/mannerisms, has a narrative centred around “who done it”…protagonist is usually tough and cynical. https://prezi.com/2jnhpikppc5y/hard-boiled-and-classic-detectives/  Does this sound like AFP detective Darren Glass?  It did to me.

Gritty, violent, action packed; conspiracy theories abound.  Drones, high tech equipment’s, politics, outlaw bikie groups, land rights, this is a very modern take on the “hard boiled” theme. An explosive read.

Review: Retribution – Richard Anderson

Retribution

Richard Anderson

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781925713404

 

Description:

A rural-crime novel about finding out how to survive and surviving what you find.

 

In a small country town, an act of revenge causes five lives to collide. Early one Christmas morning, Graeme Sweetapple, a man down on his luck, is heading home with a truck full of stolen steers when he comes across an upended ute that has hit a tree. He is about to get involved with Luke, an environmental protestor who isn’t what he seems; a washed-up local politician, Caroline Statham, who is searching for a sense of purpose, but whose businessman husband seems to be sliding into corruption; and Carson, who is wild, bound to no one, and determined to escape her circumstances.

 

Into their midst comes Retribution, a legendary horse worth a fortune. Her disappearance triggers a cycle of violence and retaliation that threatens the whole community. As tensions build, they must answer one question: is true retribution ever possible — or even desirable?

 

 

My View:

A gripping page turner that will make you gasp at the injustice (there are a few but one really, really nasty and evil one that will have you groaning in despair, no spoilers here) and then there is triumph!  You will cheer on the protagonists and celebrate their victories when “something worthwhile and more than an act of simple vengeance” p.311 leaves a smile on your face as you pump your fist in the air. YES!!!!

 

I did enjoy this read!

 

Another author to add to your must read list.

 

 

Review – The Other Wife – Michael Robotham

The Other Wife by Michael Robotham cover art

The Other Wife (Joseph O’Loughlin #9)

Michael Robotham

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733637933

 

Description:

A secret wife. A secret life. A killer who knows.

 

Childhood sweethearts William and Mary have been married for sixty years. William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife. Both have a strong sense of right and wrong.

This is what their son, Joe O’Loughlin, has always believed. But when Joe is summoned to the hospital with news that his father has been brutally attacked, his world is turned upside down. Who is the strange woman crying at William’s bedside, covered in his blood – a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer?

Against the advice of the police, Joe launches his own investigation. As he learns more, he discovers sides to his father he never knew – and is forcibly reminded that the truth comes at a price.

 

Fresh from the highest selling book of his career, The Secrets She Keeps, multi-million-copy bestselling author Michael Robotham returns to his beloved Joe O’Loughlin series in this compelling psychological thriller that delves into the consequences of a tragedy, exposing a lifetime of shocking cover-up that is too close to home for the famous psychologist.

 

 

My View:

I love the Joe O’Loughlin series – I am invested in the main characters, their stories and the crimes they solve.  This episode centres on Joe and his family as suspects, victims and villains, what a read! And despite this book being number nine in the series it can just as easily be read as a standalone for those who are catching up with this series and author.

 

My enjoyment of this read was enhanced when I recently saw Michael Robotham at our local Readers and Writers Festival – what a great natural story teller he is.