Crime/Mystery

Sooley by John Grisham

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Over many years I have followed John Grisham through the medium of his novels. Books like A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Last Juror and The Runaway Jury together with so many others have kept me entertained for hours on end. There has never been any doubt that Grisham can

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General Fiction

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

Reviewed by Ian Lipke As one would expect, this novel deals with that terrible period in European history when the Nazis overran Poland and locked many of Warsaw’s Jewish population behind a wall. The novel tells the story of brave individuals who withstood German might in ways that seemed insignificant but had an effect more

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General Fiction

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve A trip that should have taken seven hours, lasts almost a day – time to reveal relationships in turmoil, minor dramas involving wrists and ankles, an unlikely hero and a mystery lurking around one of the five passengers. The Road Trip is a romance writ large. The characters, mostly twenty-somethings, are

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Crime/Mystery

Vanished by James Delargy

Reviewed by Rod McLary The genre of crime writing is a rather crowded one.  There are of course the giants of the genre – Lee Child, David Baldacci, Ian Rankin – and then in Australia we have Jane Harper, Peter Corris and Garry Disher – just to name a very few.  But there is always

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General Fiction

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend It is rare that one embarks on a review by advising readers where and how to sit while reading the novel in question.   However, in the case of Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto, I feel obliged to impart exactly that information. Do not read while on a train, bus,

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General Fiction

Second Place by Rachel Cusk

Reviewed by Rod McLary In early 1922, the English writer DH Lawrence and his wife Frieda visited Mabel Dodge Luhan – a wealthy American patron of the arts – at her home in Taos New Mexico.  By all accounts, the visit was a ‘fraught’ one.  Both Lawrence and Luhan later and separately wrote about the

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The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award 2021

  The Winner of the 2021 The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award is Emma Batchelor, 32 from Canberra. Her novel, Now That I See You, is an authentic, complex and intimate exploration of identity, gender, sexuality, love and mental health. This auto-fiction novel spans over 18 months of a long-term relationship, after one partner discloses to the

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Crime/Mystery

Red Wolves by Adam Hamdy

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Adam Hamdy would have learned from his work with studios and production companies that, to capture the attention of readers, you must hit them hard in the opening scene or episode. It’s that piece of wisdom attributed to US President Theodore Roosevelt: ‘If you’ve got ‘em by the balls, their hearts

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ABIA 2021 Awards Winners

The 2021 Australian Book Industry (ABIAs) were announced on Wednesday 28 April at a star-studded simultaneous live and virtual event at Carriageworks, in association with the Sydney Writers’ Festival, and streamed LIVE on YouTube, hosted by musician and performer Casey Bennetto. The awards are judged by an academy of more than 250 respected publishing industry

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Language

Rebel Without a Clause by Sue Butler

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend A hearty thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for publishing Sue Butler’s Rebel Without a Clause; clearly it is not going to be on a bestseller list given that its subject matter seems to be going out of style.  Nevertheless, this lovely hardback is a most engaging book; wittily written, it digs,

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Crime/Mystery

Sincerely, Ethel Malley by Stephen Orr

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In the vanishing setting of the independent bookshop, Sincerely, Ethel Malley would catch the browser’s eye. Not just for the infamous name, Malley, but for the cover itself. Against a black background, there is a rigidly seated figure, dressed in a frumpy frock, strong, manly hands resting loosely in her lap.

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Crime/Mystery

A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Something horrible has happened to David Baldacci’s writing since his work of the early 2010s. I have volumes going back to 2019 on my shelves and I’ve given away many editions before then. In previous critiques I have praised the quality of this author’s command of language but levelled criticism at

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Memoir/Biography

The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone

Reviewed by Ian Lipke “You could be alone in the dark and be immersed in the light… you could always see the theatre and everyone in it – the flaws, the dirt, the empty food containers, the reality of it all…Call it what makes your heart sing; but call it with love, because that light

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History

More Than Words by Pat Manser

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is the interesting story of Australia’s own dictionary by former researcher Patricia Manser. She covers some fascinating territory from the original push to have a publication with a decidedly Australian flavour to the team of dedicated professionals who eventually brought it to light. Along the way are the linguistic byways

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