It is a tough gig trying to follow up your own hugely successful debut novel. SJ Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep, the domestic thriller about a woman with short term memory loss was a world-wide bestseller and was turned into a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.
I was very intrigued by the idea behind Brisbane journalist Belinda Pollard's debut novel - a 'who's the unknown killer in the group' adventure thriller set in one of New Zealand's most ruggedly gorgeous national parks
This series is good, old-fashioned, crime / mystery fiction in the best sense of the style. There's a light touch to the humour, a genuine puzzle to be solved with sufficient red herrings to keep a reader's attention.
There are plenty of points in The Defence that require the reader to suspend their disbelief. And one of the central twists is fairly obvious from the outset. But the narrative is written with such verve, and Eddie is such a likeable rogue/hero, that it is easy to just go with the flow and enjoy.
The first book, THE HOLIDAY MURDERS marked a change in series, but not style, for author Robert Gott. Much of this author's crime fiction writing has concentrated on historical time periods, in particular around the second world war.
The strength of this series is not in the individual books however but the series as a whole. As crime fiction for Young Adults, these books are about a lot of things - teenage attraction, love, friendship, boundary stretching and family angst.
But it comes back to Morgan really, and there's always been a strong sense of validity about him. He's an all action hero with a human side, and that angle is what's particularly appealing about AVENGER.
Worth a look and not just for those of us who grew up in the bush, remember those bands, remember The Truth, and have a feel for what it's like to be from small town 1980's and be desperate to be anywhere else.
The opening lines of each viewpoint in ENTROPY by Philadelphia based author Robert Raker are the clearest indicator this reader has come across in a long time of whether or not a book is going to work for you.
Jigsaw Man is the fourth in Elena Forbes’ Mark Tartaglia series. For those who have been following the trials and tribulations of Tartaglia and his team this might be a welcome catch-up with familiar characters.
It's hard to pick whether Left Luggage is the start of a series featuring John Lawrence, and if so, how you'd get him back into other dangerous situations, although you can see how it would be an attraction for an author. Not quite a super-hero type, he's prepared to put himself on the line if required, he's brave, strong and capable.
It looks very much like FOLLOW THE LEADER is heading off into series territory and it shows considerable promise in that. Certainly enough to put the first book firmly on my reading list. Nothing like being prepared when book 3 surfaces.
SWEET ONE reminds that an observer's eye can be acute. When that eye is combined with sympathy, respect and love, then the stories told are strong, and in a language that's accessible, gripping, moving, emotional, provocative and forceful.
While there are overt and subtle call-backs to previous books, Gun Street Girl can easily be read as a stand alone crime novel. But this is a fascinating and evolving series and a hinted fifth instalment can only be a good thing.
Contradictions, inconsistencies and the personal and professional are part of what Hall explores with great precision in this novel. There's much in all of these characters that is required to add up to the whole.
Asylum City is a novel with a social conscience and it is always clear where Shohad’s sympathies lie. However, it is also an engaging procedural that effectively carries the reader through its social agenda.
THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND is the second novel from London based author Colette McBeth, her first being PRECIOUS THING. Both in the form of psychological thriller, part of the increasingly common "domestic noir" category, they are however standalone books.