Monday, April 20, 2015

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little is... well, it's definitely different. Partly murder mystery, partly a celebrity magazine, partly a juvenile version of Bridget Jones's diary (not that Bridget Jone sis not already juvenile), this is nevertheless a gripping read.

What I enjoyed:

  • the unusual premise (daughter unsure whether she did or did not murder her mother)
  • the writing voice
  • the short chapters
  • the fast pace
  • the unpredictability
  • the unobtrusive sprinkling of Native Americans
  • the unusual setting
What I wasn't crazy about:
  • the excessive swearing
  • the unsympathetic heroine
  • the ending
I think it's a book everybody should read.

Friday, April 03, 2015

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

I really like Harlan Coben writes. He makes you care about the characters, both the major and the minor ones. He keeps the pace pitch-perfect. And his observations about society and families are spot-on. No wonder this book was difficult to put down.

In the minus column, I do think this novel is ever so slightly guilty of self-plagiarism, the way it smacks of Just One Look with a pinch of Hold Tight. Still, if you have to repeat story lines, those two novels are so good, they're definitely worthy of the honour.

Friday, March 27, 2015

How far would you go to protect your family?

Would you agree to endanger people you don't know? Would you burn files that could expose evil? Would you confess to a crime you did not commit?

Buy the Kindle version of Operation Genocide and save 84%.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Terry Pratchett on Writing

·         There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write. ~ Terry Pratchett

·         For an author, the nice characters aren't much fun. What you want are the screwed up characters. You know, the characters that are constantly wondering if what they are doing is the right thing, characters that are not only screwed up but are self-tapping screws. They're doing it for themselves. ~ Terry Pratchett

·         Too many people want to have written~ Terry Pratchett

Ode to Multiple Universes

I do have worlds enough and time
to spare an hour to find a rhyme
to take a week to pen an article
a day to find a rhyme for 'particle'.
In many worlds my time is free
to spend ten minutes over tea
And steal the time from some far moon
so words can take all afternoon,
Away beyond the speed of light
I'll write a novel in one night.
Aeons beckon, if I want 'em...
...but I can't have em', 'cos of Quantum.

-- Terry Pratchett

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Maybury Place = Wisteria Lane?

Maybury Place (by New Zealand novelist, Keitha Smith) is what you get when you take Desperate Housewives and make the series into a book set in New Zealand. Mystery, memorable characters you will love or hate (but mostly love), everyday life in the face of extraordinary events. Have you ever felt like peeking into your neighbour’s lives? You can, within the pages of Maybury Place. You’ll find you’re probably living right next door to Lisa, or Joan, or Karen. Enjoy!

From the blurb:
Maybury Place. Tranquil, safe, neighbourly. Until new residents move in to Number Seven and shatter the peace.

Within hours of their arrival four-year old Matthew Fleming has vanished. When the residents rally to search for the young boy they find their new neighbours hostile and uncaring about Matthew’s fate. Events escalate when strange characters start visiting Number Seven, the police are seen calling and one of their homes is robbed. Suspicions grow, causing the original neighbours to unite, determined to defend Maybury Place from unsavoury elements.

But is everything quite as it seems? Are the new inhabitants as bad as everyone fears? And has the prior tranquillity of Maybury Place merely masked hidden secrets? Little does the group know that banding together will provide the catalyst for change, lead to revelations and even bring a chance of love.