July 2020

The Hunted by Gabriel Bergmoser

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Somebody once described this debut book as a Rottweiler of a novel. How very true! Bergmoser is unputdownable. I read the book at a single sitting as I could not bear the suspense. I wanted to help the put-upon find resolution of their difficulties. Like the attack dog, he never lets

Read More »

The Order by Daniel Silva

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Daniel Silva is a veteran of the paperback empire. He boasts a long history of imagining, writing and publishing books in a variety of genres with the sole purpose of providing entertainment. His publisher lists twenty-two volumes, his latest The Order being No 23. Material written around Silva asserts and confirms

Read More »

A Dance with Fate by Juliet Marillier

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Juliet Marillier is a veteran fantasy story-teller. I’ve not come across her books before now, but she boasts an impressive line-up under the Pan Macmillan label, and while I know nothing about her other books, I can say that A Dance with Fate, second volume of the Warrior Bards series, is

Read More »

Wild by Kristin Hannah

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Wild is a remarkable novel. It is a representation of the human spirit in both its praiseworthy and ugly forms. It is, on the surface, the story of a woman, her reputation slaughtered by the ugliness of less qualified colleagues and clamorous public opinion, who undertakes a project and, in the

Read More »

Budgets Don’t Work [But This Does] by Melissa Browne

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Melissa Browne is an author, financial educator, accountant, speaker and entrepreneur and in 2016 she was named one of the Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence and therefore is suitably qualified to write a book on this topic. She believes that for most of us, a ‘homogeneous, one-size-fits-all financial approach just

Read More »

Playing Nice by JP Delaney

Reviewed by Rod McLary Stories of babies switched at birth have been part of fictional literature since at least the eighteenth century.  The plot device has been used by writers as different from each other as Gilbert and Sullivan [The Gondoliers] and Mark Twain [The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson]; and more recently in various films

Read More »
Crime/Mystery

Cry Baby by Mark Billingham

Reviewed by Rod McLary Cry Baby is the latest novel by one of the great names in the crime genre and particularly in the tradition of British crime fiction.  The author – Mark Billingham – has now written seventeen novels with his protagonist Tom Thorne at the heart of each. In an interesting twist, Cry

Read More »
Children

What Do You Call Your Grandpa? by Ashleigh Barton

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This delightful winner from writer Ashleigh Barton and illustrator Martina Heiduczek should entertain younger children (from 4 upwards) and their carers of all ages. The format gives us a snapshot of life in different cultures around the world as we learn the names for grandfather in each locale. A clever method

Read More »
Memoir/Biography

The Last Navigator by Paul Goodwin

Reviewed by Rod McLary Gordon Goodwin – the last navigator of the title and father to the author – was born in 1918 in Queensland.  His own father Ralph saw his three children ‘as mere chattels to give him the lifestyle he deserved’ [2] and treated them as ‘Indian coolies’ [2] with heavy use of

Read More »
General Fiction

The River Home by Hannah Richell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke ‘Lost in slumber, all the scents, the sounds, the colours of her past rise up, all that she has buried – the secrets, the darkness – return to her.’ What have you done? What on earth have you done? (Prologue) The main storyline of The River Home, by Hannah Richell, takes

Read More »
True Crime

The First Time He Hit Her by Heidi Lemon

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Drained by the harrowing trial of his niece’s murderer, Michael Costigan approached Heidi Lemon to write a book about Tara. With an Honours degree in Creative Writing, Heidi had no track record as an author or crime writer. Yet she proved to be an inspired choice. Many true crime books are

Read More »
General Fiction

The Silk House by Kayte Nunn

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke For many readers, it is a mystery how individual writers can continue to come up with their many and varied storylines. Some writers believe that the stories find them. Kayte Nunn was a magazine and book editor, then freelance feature writer and project editor, before she had her first book published

Read More »
Fantasy/Science Fiction

Queen of Storms by Raymond E. Feist

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This particular book is Book 2 of a trilogy that began with King of Ashes. The reason why each title was chosen remains a mystery for much of each book, the second more so than the first. In fact, it is not until readers are well into the books, almost at

Read More »
Crime/Mystery

A Knock at the Door by T. W. Ellis

Reviewed by Rod McLary Alfred Hitchcock once said ‘I enjoy playing the audience like a piano’.  He meant that in the best possible way, of course, and it succinctly anticipates what T W Ellis has achieved in his first psychological thriller.  There are enough twists and turns in this story to engage the most jaundiced

Read More »
Young Adult

The Extraordinaries by T J Klune

Reviewed by Rod McLary Move over Superman, Batman and Spider Man – there is a new superhero on the block.  The new superhero is Shadow Star and, like all superheroes, he has an archnemesis Pyro Man and an alter ego – but giving away the alter ego’s identity would be a major spoiler. In Nova

Read More »