Review: All Her Fault by Andrea Mara

Title: All Her Fault

Author: Andrea Mara

Published: 22nd July 2021, Bantam Press UK

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Penguin/Netgalley

++++++

My Thoughts:

In All Her Fault by Irish author Andrea Mara, Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove to collect her four year old son, Milo, from a play date, only to discover the occupant is a stranger who knows nothing about her son.

It’s a scenario that becomes ever more nightmarish when it’s clear there has been no simple mistake. Jenny, with whom Marissa organised the playdate over text, claims to know nothing about the plan, and when no ransom demand is forthcoming, the police have few leads to follow.

The longer Milo remains missing, the higher the tension rises. Mara develops plenty of plausible red herrings as suspicion falls on strangers and those closest to the Irvine’s alike. Cleverly, though the identity of the abductor is eventually revealed, their motivation remains obscured, until a final shocking reveal that I really didn’t see coming. A couple of the twists are a bit of a stretch but in general I thought All Her Fault was well plotted, pacey and suspenseful.

Mara’s portrayal of Marissa’s journey from confusion through to panic and despair is well portrayed. I empathised with her devastation, and her determination to find her son. Gossip and speculation run rampant as the news of Milo’s kidnapping spreads, there are some particularly passive-aggressive characters – school gate mums (and a Dad)- who are eager to suggest Marissa is somehow to blame for the tragedy. Jenny is the only one who reaches out to Marissa and offers her genuine support, despite her unwitting role in the abduction.

With a compelling premise, well drawn characters and a rather spectacularly satisfying ending, I thought All Her Fault was a gripping read.

++++++

Available from Penguin UK


Or from your preferred retailer via HiveUK I Book Depository I Booko I Amazon

Review: The Children’s Secret by Nina Monroe

 

Title: The Children’s Secret

Author: Nina Monroe

Published: 13th July 2021, Sphere

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Hachette

 

+++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

In The Children’s Secret by Nina Monroe, a back-to-school party in the small New Hampshire town of Middlebrook, is marred by tragedy when an eleven year old guest is shot in the chest, and the children, whom were out of sight of the adults in a barn, refuse to explain how it happened.

Unfolding from multiple perspectives, the narrative explores the impact of the shooting and its aftermath.

The characters are diverse, which I appreciate, but it does feel a little contrived, in that the cast tick just about every minority box.

As the parents look to lay, or deflect blame, they find themselves wrestling with various concerns, not just those that relate directly to the tragedy, but also personal problems, ranging from a crisis of faith to a troublesome pregnancy, as well as social issues such as racism, prejudice, media distortion, and political expediency. I felt the personal issues were largely unnecessary distractions though, given the complex and divisive subjects related to the main subject at hand.

I think Monroe manages to be fairly even-handed in her examination of the gun control debate. Studies show that in the US around 3000 children are killed or injured per year in incidents where a gun is accidentally/unintentionally fired by a child under the age of 17*. I believe in gun control. In an ideal world I do not believe any ordinary citizen should own a gun except in very specific instances, and no semi or automatic weapons without exception. I believe in gun registration, background checks, age restrictions, licences/permits, storage requirements, and limits on ownership.

Though as The Children’s Secret shows, none of that necessarily precludes a tragedy (though it was still avoidable, and could have been worse). As the nine children, aged from four to thirteen, steadfastly repeat the same story about the shooting that explains almost nothing, the mystery of the novel rests in discovering how the children gained access to the gun, exactly what happened in the barn, who fired the shot that struck the victim, and why. I found my need for answers to be sufficient motivation to keep reading.

The novel’s tight timeline (it unfolds over the period of about a week) and short chapters helps the story to progress at a good pace. I did feel there were some some flaws in the writing, but nothing egregious.

Provocative and thoughtful, The Children’s Secret has the potential to elicit strong reactions among its readers.

++++++

Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia  I Amazon

https://www.childrensdefense.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Protect-Children-Not-Guns-2019.pdf

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

====================

*

Life…

*

Uneventful, but somehow busy.

Have you ever got stuck when writing a review? It seems to be happening to me more often lately. I draft and edit in an endless loop sometimes trying to put together something coherent, and I’m never even sure I manage it. I seem to get stuck in my own head, and the more I try to force it the worse it gets. And because I don’t like to get too far ahead without having a review done, my reading suffers. I’m not sure if I’m asking for advice or simply indulging myself with a pity party.

*

——————————————-

*

What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

*

Lives Like Mine by Eve Verde

The Children’s Secret by Nina Monroe

About Us by Sinead Moriarty

*

———————————————

*

New Posts…

*

Review: The Newcomer by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Review: The Wattle Seed Inn by Leonie Kelsall

Review: Lives Like Mine by Eva Verde

Review: About Us by Sinead Moriarty

*

———————————————

*

What I’m Reading This Week…

 


ONE MISSING BOY.

Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove, expecting to pick up her young son Milo from his first playdate with a boy at his new school. But the woman who answers the door isn’t a mother she recognises. She isn’t the nanny. She doesn’t have Milo. And so begins every parent’s worst nightmare.

FOUR GUILTY WOMEN.

As news of the disappearance filters through the quiet Dublin suburb and an unexpected suspect is named, whispers start to spread about the women most closely connected to the shocking event. Because only one of them may have taken Milo – but they could all be blamed . . .

IN A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS, WHO IS REALLY AT FAULT?

xxxxxxx

 

My life as a tactical cop. The impact. The aftermath.

From the bestselling author of Drugs, Guns & Lies, comes Keith’s story of what it was really like to be a tactical police officer in the violent and corrupt eighties

‘Fear and exhilaration are blood brothers; that’s what drives risk. I should have been careful what I wished for.’

Keith Banks was a member of the Queensland Police Force when not everyone with a badge could be trusted.

After serving as an undercover cop and declining an opportunity to participate in a lucrative and totally corrupt enterprise, Keith found himself sidelined from the Drug Squad. In 1984 he was transferred to the Taringa Criminal Investigation Branch as a Detective Senior Constable. That had its moments, but he wanted more. He missed the adrenaline charge of his days as an undercover cop. He discovered that rush again when, ultimately, he became one of the first full-time members of the Tactical Response Group.

This was challenging and dangerous work. Not only did Keith find himself facing off against some of Australia’s most brutal criminals, but he also had to confront the demons of constantly living on the edge, of finding that fine line between good and bad where violence was normal.

Raw and confronting, Gun to the Head exposes a world of policing that few have lived.

xxxxxxx

 

A DEADLY PROSECUTOR

They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.

A TWISTED RITUALISTIC KILLING

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.

A SMALL TOWN BOILING WITH RAGE

Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.

A FORMER CON-ARTIST

Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair.

But the murders are just beginning.

Is Eddie Flynn next?

xxxxxx

 

Newlyweds Lina and Cain don’t make it out to their vacation home on gorgeous Lake Tarawera as often as they’d like, so when Cain suggests they rent the property out on weekends, Lina reluctantly agrees. While the home has been special to her family for generations, their neighbors are all signing up to host renters, and frankly, she and Cain could use the extra money. What could go wrong? And at first, Lina is amazed at how quickly guests line up to spend a weekend–and at how much they’re willing to pay. 

But both Lina and Cain have been keeping secrets, secrets that won’t be kept out by a new alarm system or a locked cupboard. When strange things begin happening on their property, and a visit takes a deadly turn, Lina becomes convinced that someone out there knows something they shouldn’t–and that when they come for her, there will be nowhere left to hide.

xxxxxx

 

February, 1967. Walls of flame reduce much of Tasmania to ash.

Young schoolteacher Catherine Turner rushes to the Huon Valley to find her family’s apple orchard destroyed, her childhood home in ruins and her brother dead. Despite her father’s declaration that a woman will never run the orchard, Catherine resolves to rebuild the family business.

After five sons, Catherine’s friend and neighbour, Annie Pearson, is overjoyed by the birth of a much longed for daughter. As Annie and her husband Dave work to repair the damage to their orchard, Dave’s friend Mark pitches in, despite the fact that Annie wants him gone. Mark has moved his family to the valley to escape his life in Melbourne, but his wife has disappeared leaving chaos in her wake and their young son Charlie in Mark’s care.

Catherine becomes fond of Charlie, whose strange upbringing has left him shy and withdrawn. However, the growing friendship between Mark and Catherine not only scandalises the small community but threatens a secret Annie is desperate to keep hidden.

Through natural disasters, personal calamities and the devastating collapse of the apple industry, Catherine, Annie and those they love battle to save their livelihoods, their families and their secrets.

———————————————

Thanks for stopping by!

Review: About Us by Sinead Moriarty

 

Title: About Us

Author: Sinead Moriarty

Published: 15th July 2021, Sandycove

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Penguin UK

 

+++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

About Us is the fifteenth contemporary novel from Irish author, Sinead Moriarty, an engaging novel about three couples facing intimacy issues in their relationships.

Exhausted by the daily demands of caring for their four rambunctious young children, feeling inadequate and frumpy, Alice has an excuse ready every time her husband reaches for her. Niall, an ambitious lawyer, loves his wife but is hurt by her repeated rejection and desperate for something to change.

With her sixty fifth birthday approaching, her children living their own lives and her husband on the cusp of retirement, Ann is bored and restless but her husband is not the least bit interested in adventure or, it seems, her. Ken doesn’t understand why, after 39 years of marriage, Ann is no longer happy with the status quo, he just wants things to stay just as they are.

Orla has escaped her father’s boundless grief but not her mother’s legacy. She’s convinced that she’s a freak who will never have the only thing she wants – love, marriage and children, but Paul, the divorced father of one her students, wants the chance to convince her otherwise.

Desperate to improve their situations Niall, Ann and Orla make an appointment with American sex and relationship psychotherapist, Maggie Purcell, who helps them voice their deepest fears, disappointments, wants and desires.

Moriarty writes with honesty and sensitivity about issues related to identity, marriage, family, and intimacy at different stages of life in About Us.

I thought the couples relationships were relatable, aspects of the issues in the marriages of Alice and Niall, and Ann and Ken are likely to resonate with many readers. Moriarty’s insights were thoughtful and genuine and she was pretty fair to each partner, though I had more empathy for the women, particularly at first.

Orla isn’t in a relationship, but she wants be. The issue that prompts her to seek out Maggie is a little known condition and one I’m glad that Moriarty addresses. I had a lot of sympathy for Orla, who has a tragic background, and though I didn’t really relate to her, I wished the best for her.

I liked About Us, Moriarty offers a story with emotional depth, written with warmth, humour, and honesty.

+++++++

Available from Penguin UK

Or from your preferred retailer via HiveUK I Book Depository I Booko I Amazon

Review: Lives Like Mine by Eva Verde

 

Title: Lives Like Mine

Author: Eva Verde

Published: 7th July 2021, Simon & Schuster

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Simon & Schuster

++++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

“Packed tight and resentful beneath my careful layers of protection, there’s a gnawing in my heart as I fray between the versions of myself.”

 

Lives Like Mine explores where identity, marriage, motherhood, and racism intersects for Eva Verde’s main character.

Having been subsumed by her role as housewife and mother, with all three children now in school, Monica Crane finally has the opportunity to take a breath. Though she loves her husband, Dan, and adores her kids, twin twelve year olds Joel and Toby and five year old Fran, approaching forty, she’s realising she doesn’t know who she is, or what she wants.

It’s a crossroads many women reach, and deal with in different ways. Monica’s solution is less conventional than most, she begins an affair with Joe, the married father of one of Fran’s school friends, in part to reconnect with the woman she was before she was a wife and mother, to rediscover passion. Its not a decision I would make, or even approve of, but Verde crafts a honest narrative that lets me understand Monica’s decision, and recognise the ways in which it benefits her.

It helps that I found Monica’s husband to be infuriating. Monica’s identity crisis is exacerbated by the treatment she receives from him and her in-law’s. Monica is half black (Trinidadian mother/British father), while Dan and his extended family are white. Her in-laws, with one or two exceptions, have made it clear from the first that she is tolerated as Dan’s wife, and her children’s mother, as long as she doesn’t draw attention to her difference, or call them out on their racist remarks. Their barely concealed antipathy is wearing on her psyche, especially as her husband does nothing to protest, offering excuses for his family, or accusing her of being oversensitive. Set in post-Brexit England, Verde also highlights the escalation of both micro-aggressions and outright violence aimed at people of colour in public. Verde does an excellent job of representing the toll all these behaviours take on a persons sense of self, and their ability to interact with the world around them.

To reconcile with both her identity and her past, Monica also needs to reconnect with her parents, from whom she has been estranged since was sixteen. That separation, and the reasons for it, has impacted on many facets of her life. Coming to terms with those relationships is an important element is she wants to move forward.

Lives Like Mine is bold, Insightful and honest, with a complex protagonist that demands to be heard. An excellent debut.

++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

Review: The Wattle Seed Inn by Leonie Kelsall

 

Title: The Wattle Seed Inn

Author: Leonie Kelsall

Published: 5th July 2021, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Allen & Unwin

++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

To prove a point to her ex-fiancé, whom is also her business partner, Gabrielle Moreau decides that transforming the pub they bought as an investment in the tiny community of Wurruldi into an upmarket B&B would be an ideal project. She plans to be hands on but the building is in worse shape than she expected, and Gabby has no real idea where to start.

Hayden Paech dismisses Gabby as a stuck-up city girl from the moment she walks into the pub at Settlers Bridge, not that it matters given he believes he is no longer has anything to offer to any woman. But the more time he spends in Gabby’s company, particularly as he begins work on the Wurruldi Hotel, the more he wonders if the future he thought he had lost is possible after all.

The Wattle Seed Inn is the second heartwarming contemporary rural fiction novel from Leonie Kelsall set in the Murray River region of South Australia.

Kelsall explores familiar themes such as love, friendship, forgiveness and loss in The Wattle Seed Inn, and also issues such as self acceptance, trust and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Romance is still the key element of the story though, and I enjoyed the way in which the author developed the relationship between Gabby and Hayden.

Gabby and Hayden are drawn together in part because they have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one for which they have held themselves responsible, and recognise that wound in each other, even without knowing the details. The pain is much fresher for Hayden, who also carries physical scars as a daily reminder, and experiences panic attacks. I thought Kelsall’s portrayal of his PTSD was sympathetic and believable, and the inclusion of Hayden’s service dog, Trigger, and his role in supporting him was illuminating. Gabby seems to have it all -wealth, privilege and beauty- but she too carries emotional scars, and harbours hidden insecurities that make her wary of relationships.

The addition of a third perspective in the novel was somewhat of a surprise. Ilse can’t clearly recall how the Wurruldi Hotel, that has been owned by her family for generations, came to be so run down, but she is happy that her home is finally getting the attention it needs, and is eager to offer Gabby advice on how to restore it to its former glory. She drifts around the hotel recalling happier times when her husband was alive, but is also haunted by a sense of something being badly wrong.

I enjoyed the connections Kelsall makes to her debut novel, The Farm at Peppertree Crossing, with the main characters playing a small role in this story. Matt and Roni are two of Hayden’s group of friends which also includes Sharni, who is the first to welcome Gabby to the area, secretly hoping that Gabby could be her ticket off the dairy farm.

Written with warmth, humour and sincerity, offering appealing characters and an engaging story, The Wattle Seed Inn is a lovely read, sure to satisfy fans of the genre.

++++++

Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD$29.99

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

Review: The Newcomer by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

 

Title: The Newcomer

Author: Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Published: 2nd July 2021, Scribe Publications

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Scribe Publications

 

++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

Loosely inspired by the 2002 murder of a woman on Norfolk Island, The Newcomer is a provocative literary crime novel by Laura Elizabeth Woollett.

Paulina Novak, even at 28, is a wild child. Reckless, self absorbed and brazen, with an eating disorder and a drinking problem, she ditched her life in Sydney for a fresh start on the tiny island of Fairfolk, off the eastern coast of Australia. Fairfolk doesn’t take kindly to ‘mainie’s’, especially to someone like Paulina who is wilfully disruptive and openly contemptuous of the insular community, so when two years later, on the day before Paulina’s thirtieth birthday, her body is found under a sheet of black plastic in a field, few are surprised.

Her mother, Judy, waiting in a hotel room to share lunch with her daughter, however is heartbroken, and determined that Paulina’s killer be bought to justice. Given the size of the island community, despite the plethora of possible suspects, Judy expects that the case will be solved quickly, but she it’s two long years before she gets answers.

Moving between Paulina’s past and Judy’s present, the narrative is as much a character study as it is a novel about a crime. Woollett explores interesting questions about mental health, trauma, misogyny, belonging, and victimhood.

Woollett doesn’t present a flattering portrayal of the victim. Paulina is a character that really doesn’t invite sympathy, and I found myself in the uncomfortable position of thinking to myself that her murder seemed almost inevitable given her behaviours. I think that in large part this is the point of The Newcomer, to have the reader confront their unconscious bias with regards to victimhood, because of course it’s not Paulina’s behaviour that is responsible for her death, it is the behaviour of her killer.

Judy too is a complex character, with her own history of trauma, though she is far more sympathetic. A caring mother who has done her best to support her mercurial adult daughter, she’s devastated by Paulina’s death. Woollett portrays her grief in what I felt was a realistic, if sometimes uncomfortable, manner.

Challenging, bold, and poignant, The Newcomer is not an easy read, but it is definitely thought-provoking.

+++++++

Available from Scribe Publications

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

====================

*

Life…

*

So there is a silver lining to the Greater Sydney stay at home orders for me, my daughter will be staying with us an extra week or two as all face to face classes have been cancelled so there is no point to her returning to campus. Restrictions remain unchanged in our area as Delta has not yet spread north which means masks, social distancing and check-ins are mandatory but we aren’t under lockdown. Last weekend I was unexpectedly able to get my first dose of the vaccine, and my husband will get his this weekend. My next dose is August.

Said daughter has also made us terribly proud by earning High Distinctions in every class of her first semester! Given not only that it’s been her first time living away from home, but she’s also endured the upset caused by the pandemic, and being surrounded by flooding, her achievement is monumental!

With the boys back at school this week I’ve also had time to try and catch up on my reading & reviewing commitments. I say try, because I was almost back on track when five books which are all due for release at the end of July showed up in the post  on Thursday. I actually could quite comfortably read 15 books in the 13 days that remain of the month, I just can’t review that many because I’m just so slow at writing them!

*

——————————————-

*

What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

*

Catch Us The Foxes by Nicola West

The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock

When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

The Newcomer by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

The Wattle Seed Inn by Leonie Kelsall

Lives Like Mine by Eva Verde

*

———————————————

*

New Posts…

*

Review: The Husbands by Chandler Baker

Review: You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry

Review: Catch Us The Foxes by Nicola West

Review: The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock

Review: When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

Bookish Bounty

 

*

———————————————

*

What I’m Reading This Week…

 


THE WHOLE COUNTRY IS ASKING.

BUT THEY’RE NOT TELLING . . .

At a children’s party . . .

Nothing ever happens in a sleepy American town like Middlebrook. Until the shocking events of one hot Saturday afternoon when, at a back-to-school party, nine children sneak off to a barn. And one child is shot by another.

In the media storm that sweeps the nation . . .

The press are asking questions. About the type of parents who let their children play unsupervised in a house with guns. About how damaged a child must be to commit this kind of atrocity.

In the ensuing police investigation . . .

Two questions are the most urgent, and the most baffling. Of the nine children who were present in that barn, which one actually pulled the trigger?

And why are the others staying silent?

Incredibly gripping and gorgeously written, this is a spellbinding novel that asks how far we’ll go to protect our children, and how we can come together when so much divides us.

xxxxxx

 

Three couples. One therapist’s couch …

Alice and Niall used to be lovers, best friends and parents, in that order. Now they’re no longer on the same page or even reading from the same book.

Ann thought when she and Ken retired, it would be their second spring. Instead, it feels more like an icy winter.

Orla is falling in love with boyfriend Paul, but her complicated past makes her unsure if she can ever be intimate with anyone.

Three couples find themselves telling a stranger about the most private part of their lives – their hopes, their disappointments, their awkward realisations.

Can they learn to be honest with each other? And what life-changing decisions will be made when they do?

xxxxxxx

ONE MISSING BOY.

Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove, expecting to pick up her young son Milo from his first playdate with a boy at his new school. But the woman who answers the door isn’t a mother she recognises. She isn’t the nanny. She doesn’t have Milo. And so begins every parent’s worst nightmare.

FOUR GUILTY WOMEN.

As news of the disappearance filters through the quiet Dublin suburb and an unexpected suspect is named, whispers start to spread about the women most closely connected to the shocking event. Because only one of them may have taken Milo – but they could all be blamed . . .

IN A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS, WHO IS REALLY AT FAULT?

xxxxxxx

My life as a tactical cop. The impact. The aftermath.

From the bestselling author of Drugs, Guns & Lies, comes Keith’s story of what it was really like to be a tactical police officer in the violent and corrupt eighties

‘Fear and exhilaration are blood brothers; that’s what drives risk. I should have been careful what I wished for.’

Keith Banks was a member of the Queensland Police Force when not everyone with a badge could be trusted.

After serving as an undercover cop and declining an opportunity to participate in a lucrative and totally corrupt enterprise, Keith found himself sidelined from the Drug Squad. In 1984 he was transferred to the Taringa Criminal Investigation Branch as a Detective Senior Constable. That had its moments, but he wanted more. He missed the adrenaline charge of his days as an undercover cop. He discovered that rush again when, ultimately, he became one of the first full-time members of the Tactical Response Group.

This was challenging and dangerous work. Not only did Keith find himself facing off against some of Australia’s most brutal criminals, but he also had to confront the demons of constantly living on the edge, of finding that fine line between good and bad where violence was normal.

Raw and confronting, Gun to the Head exposes a world of policing that few have lived.

xxxxxx

 

A DEADLY PROSECUTOR

They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.

A TWISTED RITUALISTIC KILLING

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.

A SMALL TOWN BOILING WITH RAGE

Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.

A FORMER CON-ARTIST

Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair.

But the murders are just beginning.

Is Eddie Flynn next?

———————————————

Thanks for stopping by!

Bookshelf Bounty

 

Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

This month I’m linking up with Mailbox Monday

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review 

(My thanks to the respective publishers)





Review: When You Are Mine By Michael Robotham

 

Title: When You Are Mine

Author: Michael Robotham

Published: 1st July 2021, Hachette Australia

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Hachette Australia

++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

Michael Robotham draws from recent news headlines to create a timely, gripping crime fiction novel dealing with domestic violence, toxic relationships, obsession, and police corruption in When You Are Mine.

Called to a complaint of domestic violence, London police constable Philomena (Phil) McCarthy is unimpressed when the abuser, who claims he is detective, threatens her career will be finished, and then takes a swing at her. Though his mistress, who Phil is surprised to recognise, refuses to press charges, she follows protocol and arrests him, only to be reprimanded by her superiors for her poor judgement in arresting a decorated officer, and then suspended. Phil is both disappointed and angered by the cover-up, and despite being ordered to leave it alone, she digs a little deeper into the Detective Goodall’s history, and learns that Tempe is not his only victim.

I’m always impressed that Robotham demonstrates such astute insight into his female characters. Determined and principled, with a touch of youthful righteous idealism and naivety, Phil sincerely wants to do good as a police officer, and has worked hard for the right to do so. Unfortunately her motives will always be considered suspect because her father, from whom she is estranged, is linked to organised crime. This means she is especially vulnerable when she refuses to accept the official line.

In refusing to back down, Phil risks not only her career, but her safety, especially when she offers support to both Tempe and Goodall’s family. As recently as last month, a Former Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner stated that domestic abuse perpetrated by police officers was at epidemic levels, and victims report a culture of minimisation and coverups. I thought Robotham very effectively showed how intensely vulnerable women, and children, in that position can be. Goodall is not about to simply let go, but then neither is Phil.

There’s a twist in the tale as Tempe, grateful to Phil for her help, tries to repay her. She offers to help with Phil’s impending wedding to her firefighter husband, Henry, then she begins to take care of the everyday tasks Phil, intent on helping Alison Goodall, doesn’t have time for. I really liked how Robotham subtly developed this thread which presents some of the biggest surprises.

Robotham is an accomplished author who knows how to hook his readers and keep them interested not only with a fast pace and the twists expected of the genre, but also characters that are dynamic and interesting. When You Are Mine is a exciting and satisfying read.

++++++

Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

Previous Older Entries