Sometimes you start reading a series book about a favourite character, and really start to wonder if the author is annoyed with them, subconsciously punishing them for being too popular, or just enjoying applying the thumb screws for a change.
Could you walk the along the East Coast of Australia from Gippsland to Sydney? In 1797 seventeen shipwreck survivors set out on this journey, only three survived. One of the men has a diary which tells their tale, Preservation tells a much darker tale.
There's a good sense of the place, the climate, the local residents and the terrain in INTO THE FOG. It's a real strength of this novel - this is a place that Wallace obviously knows well and the idea that kids could simply vanish up there makes sense, and is well supported by the god awful weather that's being experienced.
Having now listened to the first couple of books in the series, I think I'll stick with them in audio format as the dialogue, the place names, even the thought patterns of the characters are quintessentially Scottish and part of the enjoyment was hearing it in just the right accent.
Hard going, with an authentic voice that makes it emotionally challenging and confronting, COLOMBIANO is well worth pursuing - even if the size is off-putting. This reads, feels and is telegraphed in the prologue as something this author was passionately driven to produce.
The second novel in the Monsarrat series, THE UNMOURNED is set in Sydney, based around the Parramatta Female Factory - the epitome of appalling institutions in a line up that you'd think would be hard to lead.
Well paced out, populated by flawed but approachable characters, set in a location that doesn't feel manipulative or convenient, GREENLIGHT is about crime, greed, money, influence, bad decisions and human frailty and nastiness.
It's a scenario that plenty of families deal with every day. Teenager's off to spend their gap year travelling in far flung locations - in this case British backpacker Cassy heading to New Zealand with her boyfriend for a short break before returning to her best friend's wedding, study and a normal life.