"The Ruin" by Dervla McTiernan
I am working through this best-selling crime series by Dervla McTiernan (Irish author living in WA.)
They are quite dense reads; police procedurals full of twists and turns.
I really enjoy the layers in the characters and plots, dealing with meaty topics. I collect all the puzzle pieces and try to figure out how they will come together in the end.
Cormac Reilly is a career detective I could relate to. He has very clear boundaries, but is continually pushed right up to them. Not everyone is what they seem.
High-quality stories that are worth your time and will keep you guessing.
What brilliant debut book. I was gripped by the lives of these school friends (and enemies) from the first moment and carried along on Alice's journey of self-enlightenment.
There is a wonderful slow-burn romance, unexpected allies and changing dynamics as alliances shift.
The way this group of teenagers survive the trials of high school (and one another) is such a realistic portrayal of the issues faced. I love how loyalties are formed and tested along the way.
It's also a lesson in not judging a book by its cover - as far as people go, you can absolutely judge the entertainment of the story by this cute cover. Teddy is a bit of a lost soul but a deep thinker and feeler who is a perfect match for Alice.
This book is another fabulous example of Poppy Nwosu's skill at exploring deep teenage issues while maintaining a humorous edge.
Lottie's family is broken, which seems to be the norm. Rather than facing up to issues, she allows her impulsive nature to constantly land her in trouble and alienate others. But she has three precious allies: a best female friend; a best male friend; and a doting dad.
Her journey to take down Evelyn, her stepmother and anyone else who gets in her way, turns into a journey of self-discovery and opens wounds to family drama that many of us live on a daily basis.
This story is eloquently told with a host of colourful characters that will take you from giggling and rolling laughter to tears. Lottie's volatility is the perfect portrayal of teenage angst and self-absorption.
Wow, I was just blown away by the intricacies and depth of the characters in this story.
Each one had a distinctive voice, world view, and layered backstory, so I was sucked into their lives from the get go. I laughed and cried with them, pitied them and rooted for their success right until the bitter end. Even the secondary characters were interesting, and there were some seriously scary bad guys/girls.
The timeline was unusual, because it went backwards and forwards, but I didn't have any difficulty following it, and it certainly helped to eek out the unravelling mystery for as long as possible.
You won't be disappointed by this thought-provoking rumble through the streets of London.
Love is in The Air by Anji Nolan
I loved the action and surprise opening!
Captain Sophie Berg is a pilot for a private airline, and when it appears that she's shot at, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Jim Cromwell comes to her aid. Their bond is instant and palpable.
Jim assumes he's being targeted by the drug runner he's chasing, but Sophie's employer charters flights for a number of suspect characters, including drug kingpins.
They pair up to solve the case, but if the criminals figure out how much she means to him, a bullseye will be painted on her back, and they may never get to explore their budding romance.
There is some great witty repertoire between them, and some wonderfully colourful characters that managed to surprise me.
Well worth reading.
This book kicked off at a fast pace and wouldn't let me put it down. It had an excellent surprise in the opening! I enjoyed the tortured, strong but caring hero and the strongly motivated heroine.
Detective Noah McNeil helped a troubled teen, and although he fancies the mother, Elizabeth, she is doing her best to keep him out of their lives. He's sure she's hiding something, and her son needs Noah's help.
Elizabeth Merlot can't afford to let anyone get too close, but when her son becomes embroiled in gang activity, her carefully controlled world starts to crumble.
A few editing missteps slowed my reading, but there were plenty of bad guys after them, and action-packed sequences to keep me on my toes to the end.
Undercover Heat by Tami Lund
FBI Agent Kyra Sanders has been chasing an elusive criminal for a long time, and her cheating ex-boyfriend was one of the reasons he slipped through her fingers.
Fellow agent, Quinn Daniels, comes with all kinds of baggage. His father was a career criminal, and he enjoys his booze frequent and women with no strings attached.
Unfortunately they are both well suited to go undercover as a married couple, trouble and catch this crook once and for all. These opposites attract, but romance is a distraction to closing the case.
These characters were suitably tortured and driven, with the unexpected volunteer work at the local church giving them common ground. While they are busy chasing the crook and facing personal demons, real feelings blossom.
A most enjoyable read.
Mr January by Jordan Dane
Zoey is a determined young woman who will do whatever it takes to find her missing best friend, even if that means putting her own life in danger, and involving a man she isn't sure won't kill her.
Not even the cops know his name, but he loves his dog, and a man like that can't be all bad. "He had an intimate way of listening. His eyes conveyed more than words ever could."
I found the characters interesting and relatable, and the author put them in situations that put a fresh twist on revelations and drew me threw the story.
Unfortunately, the heroine didn't play an active part in the ending, which was left me feeling disappointed, but it was still a satisfying ending that left me wanting to grab the next book int he series to find out more.
Rural romance with flair ...
I'll say up front that I don't often read historical romance, but I liked the unusual way the Duke of Marshington was introduced, and the misdirection of the letters Miranda never intended to send.
The opening of the story was a little stiff and distant, which made it difficult for me to engage with Miranda initially, but once I finally got into Marlow's head, I was intrigued.
These characters were engaging and quirky and totally drew me into the story. I loved that Miranda was intelligent and had plenty of spunk as she struggled to conform with socially acceptable ladylike behaviour. It made her strong enough to stand up to her hero. There was duplicity, fun, and espionage to keep me reading. I enjoyed the relationship frustrations and repertoire.
A sweeping Aussie saga ...
I read very few sagas, but this one dragged me into the lives of a plethora of characters and wouldn't let me go.
Tricia beautifully depicted the hardships of early white settlement (and some of its effects on the Aboriginal landowners) in South Australia, as well as the tough characters that inhabited it and their attitudes.
Thomas Baker is likeable, even though he's a little green in the beginning and learns some very difficult lessons. He has travelled from England and lost both his parents, but he's determined and hard working. He makes his own opportunities, which take him into the most remote areas to oversee sheep stations, battling incredible hardships mostly alone.
The story also followed Septimus, a proficient con artist. I spent a lot of time hoping he'd get his comeuppence, because was a truly horrible character, especially to the poor young woman who followed him around the country.
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a book.”