Reviews

General Fiction

Sisters of Freedom by Mary-Anne O’Connor

Reviewed by Ian Lipke No doubt exists in my mind that Australia needs to wake to the fact that living within its shores is a major talent, a young woman whose Sisters of Freedom captures truly the spirit of the dawn of a federated nation. Society of the time led the way by drafting laws

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Memoir/Biography

Heartsick by Jessie Stephens

Reviewed by Rod McLary The impetus for this book was – quite appropriately – a relationship breakup experienced by the author only days before she and her partner were due to travel overseas.  Bereft in an airport bookshop and failing to find a book – any book – which would ‘put words around how I’m

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Crime/Mystery

Later by Stephen King

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Hard Case books have been designed to be short, and promote tales that do not hold back. No pretty metaphors appear to lighten the mood. If the story is about horror, then blood and nastiness is what one expects. If it is a crime story, a murder or two and large

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General Fiction

The Last Reunion by Kayte Nunn

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Early 2021 has seen several books published which highlight women who went to war. The few novels that have come my way are Kirsty Manning’s The French Gift, Jackie French’s Legends of the Lost Lilies, and Kayte Nunn’s The Last Reunion. These authors, at this time, have considered it important to

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Health

Fake Medicine by Dr Brad McKay

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The substance of Brad McKay’s book is all there in the title. This is a book about fake medicine, about misunderstood ideas about wellness, and the criminals who play on our concerns about our health in the interest of lightening our wallets. McKay’s views are clear, almost black and white, for

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True Crime

Barrenjoey Road by Neil Mercer and Ruby Jones

Reviewed by Rod McLary Please note that the name of the sexual assault victim mentioned below is a pseudonym provided by the authors. In late evening on 24 June 1978, eighteen-year-old Trudie Adams left the Newport Surf Club after a dance to go home.  She walked about one hundred metres to Barrenjoey Road and hitched

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General Fiction

Love Objects by Emily Maguire

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The eye-catching colourful cover of Love Objects depicts a mass of brilliant blooms. Woven amongst them is a young dark haired woman’s shape, seamlessly melded. The symbolism is puzzling but above all, thought provoking. The book itself describes how the three main characters’ lives are linked and shaped by the things

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Children

The Treehouse Joke Book 2 by Andy Griffiths

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve This is, like most of its genre, a two-person book.  The reader tantalises and entertains the listener/s. Both are essential!  The reader has the better role, as the chuckles will be accompanied by the enjoyment of the illustrations by the gifted Terry Denton. Like the Treehouse books loved by millions around

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Memoir/Biography

Kamala’s Way by Dan Morain

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Before Trump, two avenues led to the presidency of the United States: one was through demonstrated intellectual capacity i.e. having ‘the smarts’ to read the constantly changing currents that swirl around high office and divert them to your own advantage, and the second is the capacity to handle an enormously heavy,

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Crime/Mystery

The Lady with the Gun Asks the Questions by Kerry Greenwood

Reviewed by Rod McLary There are now more than twenty Phryne Fisher novels all of which centre on Miss Fisher – ‘a most elegant and irrepressible sleuth’. However, this most recent publication is a collection of short stories featuring Miss Fisher who solves without too much difficulty a range of mysteries including lost children, lost

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Memoir/Biography

Car Crash by Lech Blaine

Reviewed by Rod McLary In May 2009, seven teenagers in Toowoomba were involved in a car crash which killed three of them and left two in comas.  Lech Blaine – the author of this memoir – survived without injury.  Although it was rumoured that drugs and/or alcohol and speed were causes of the crash, subsequent

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Historical Fiction

The French Gift by Kirsty Manning

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Kirsty Manning’s latest offering was written during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in the hope of giving readers some respite from the numerous pandemic reports. Once again, this author has produced an informative and riveting story which, though fiction, draws its inspiration from little known pockets of history. At the conclusion of

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Crime/Mystery

The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer by Joel Dicker

Reviewed by Ian Lipke A simple tale deliberately made complex. The plot is presented in two parts: the first part is said to have occurred in 1994 with the horrific murders of four people in the seaside town of Orphea. Two young policemen Jesse Rosenberg and Derek Scott were able to solve the case and

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Crime/Mystery

The Devils You Know by Ben Sanders

Reviewed by Ian Lipke If your taste is for action stories, this book is for you. It has a hero with all the martial arts skills that fifteen years of service among his country’s elite service people can teach him. Following a helicopter crash that killed his mates, our hero Vincent seeks the quiet life.

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Business/Finance

Argyle by Stuart Kells

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke I was looking forward to reading this book by Stuart Kells as I had visited the remote Kimberley area when it was just opening to tourism and the mine was in full production. It was to become “a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that transformed a global industry – and a local community” (255).

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