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Reviews Published

Thursday, February 25, 2021

"Win" by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is the master of the pun, so I'm sure when he created the character of Windsor Horne Lockwood III, aka Win, he had a good chuckle. Seems like he's decided to continue the joke by making it the title of his latest novel.

He was right on both accounts: Win is a winning sidekick in the Myron Bolitar series, and a winning protagonist in the latest thriller. I will stop here, but you get the drift: Win-The-Book is a top read.

Apart from the obvious: the character, the plot, the twists, what I valued was the food for thought. The book made me re-evaluate ideas such as revenge and forgiveness. I love it when a book is both worthy and immensely enjoyable. 




Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Where the Crowdads Sing

 As I was reading Where the Crowdads Sing by Delia Owens, I kept thinking:

  • not quite Crow Lake
  • not The Marsh King's Daughter
  • wait, is this To Kill a Mickingbird in disguise?
When I finished, I still wasn't sure what to make of it. Goodreads compares it to Educated, but apart from a very obvious parallel, it didn't give me that vibe.

A week later, I'm still thinking about the book, and that means it's very good. Sometimes you fly through a novel, enjoy it at the time, then three days later you can't even remember what it's about. Where the Crowdads Sing is the opposite: a slow read and an even slower burn, but it stays with you for sure.

The protagonist is super-likeable and relatable. You care from page one.

Give it a chance.

My favourite quote:

“(...) lot of times love doesn’t work out. Yet even when it fails, it connects you to others and, in the end, that is all you have, the connections.”
― Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing




Thursday, January 07, 2021

The Dry - the movie

 As a fan of Jane Harper, I waited not even a day to see the movie of her debut thriller, The Dry. I wasn't disappointed. The script is good, the cinematography breathtaking, and the acting superb.

Read the book first, of course. But definitely see the movie.



Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh is different from his usual fast-paced Eddie Flynn books, both because it doesn't feature Eddie Flynn and because the narrating voice seems different: not as suspenseful, not as engaging.

Don't get me wrong, the premise is good, and the multiple twists twisty. It's just that the writing style didn't land with me.

I'm not going to include any details, because the less you know about the plot, the more enjoyable the experience.




Friday, October 30, 2020

The Survivors by Jane Harper

I'll be forever grateful to my book club for introducing me to many, many beautiful books. I fell in love with Jane Harper's writing when I read her debut thriller, and she continues to deliver atmospheric character-driven suspense.

"The Survivors" ticks all the boxes: a sense of place so strong you can smell the chilly salt in the Tasmanian air, characters that come to life and sit next to you while you read, a few old secrets. It's a page-turner, it's escapist, it makes you think long after you've reached the end.

In case you still need the blurb:

Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.

Kieran's parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away...  



Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Silence

I want to say that "The Silence" by Susan Allott has left me silent, and I'm so worried this will sound like a turn of phrase,but I'll say it anyway. After turning the last page, I thought for a bit. Then I read the Author's Note (which I rarely do, because it usually contains a bunch of thank-you notes to people I don't know), then I thought some more.

"The Silence" is not really a thinking book. It's a who-dun-it that swiftly switches between 1967 and 1997, between Australia and England. It's a fast read, it's an engaging read. And it leaves you sitting quietly and thinking for a bit. About the harsh beauty of Australia, about its history, about the Stolen Generations.




Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

This is the best thing I've read in a long time. I couldn't make up my mind whether to race on to see how the story unfolded, or pause every few pages to prolong the pleasure of being in Crow Lake. Mary Lawson (a Canadian writer, and, according to the Wikipedia, a distant relative of LM Montgomery) has created a masterpiece of balance between the past and the present, between the mystery and the microscopic mindfulness, between beautiful writing and simplicity.

What is the book about? Family, love, destiny, happiness, living in a small community in Northern Ontario.