September 2018

Boom and Bust by Royce Kurmelovs

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders “The first sign of a boom is always the same:  strangers. From nowhere they appear, first in drips, then as a flood. They are people in fluoros and suits no one has seen before. As more follow, there are more cars on the road and more car accidents, and, eventually, when

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Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Most readers today will not be familiar with the name John Cleland, the author of this often censored book which has been resurrected in its unexpurgated form and then edited by Richard Terry and Helen Williams. The sexual content of the book has always been at the root of the various

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The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke On reading Joanne Nell’s novel The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village, I was reminded of the movies about the Exotic Marigold Hotel, about a small group of elderly people looking for a place to retire. The setting for Nell’s book is a retirement village not far from the beach and

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The Ember Blade by Chris Wooding

  Reviewed by Ian Lipke Enter the fantasy world of Chris Wooding with the action adventure story The Ember Blade. Designed for a Young Adult generic there is plenty of action to satisfy most young people. Beneath the gloss is a series of action scenes cobbled together by not much else. Thirty years before the

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Courtney’s War by Wilbur Smith

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This novel is presented as a story by Wilbur Smith with one reference to David Churchill. It is never clear whether Smith created and wrote the story or gave David Churchill the right to write the story on behalf of the Wilbur Smith Foundation. A little research unearths some information about

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Injury Time and The River in the Sky by Clive James

Reviewed by Ian Lipke For purposes of this review I have focused on Injury Time and The River in the Sky. Clive James published a book in 2015 called Sentenced to Life in which he took the view that his time left on Earth was to be severely limited. To his astonishment his sojourn was

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2028 by Ken Saunders

Reviewed by Rod McLary 2028 is set in the not-too-distant future in Australia.  The Prime Minister of the time calls a snap election and the book chronicles the progress of the election campaign – a campaign which is full of surprises and comedy. 2028 – the year not the book – is almost within touching

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Patient 71 by Julie Randall

Reviewed by Clare Brook I am happy and healthy, All my organs have healed, My body and its organs have healed, I have faith in life. Imagine you are a really happy successful 51-year-old, then without warning you suffer a seizure.  The next day you are diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour – Stage Four

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Empress: Queen Victoria and India by Miles Taylor

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Miles Taylor’s mammoth study of the relationship between Queen Victoria and India is a pleasing, authoritative, engaging, scholarly piece of writing that should be read by all those with an interest in ways that a queen, as distinct from the government she heads, builds and maintains the governance and respect of

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The Coves by David Whish-Wilson

Reviewed by Rod McLary The Coves – referring to Sydney Coves or Sydney Ducks – is set in San Francisco in 1849 during the gold rush.  ‘Sydney Coves’ is slang for the Australian emancipated and escaped convicts who flocked to California during its gold rush to make their fortunes.  They brought with them their criminality

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Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The latest J.D. Robb thriller retains the hard edge that Robb maintains in all her crime novels based on the New York-based Lieutenant Eve Dallas. There have been many of them. Her latest, Leverage in Death has all the tangled twists we have come to associate with this writer. It’s difficult

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