Book Review: Speak of the Devil

Rose Wilding

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 13th June 2023
spoilers? not really


All of us knew him. One of us killed him…

Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man’s severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women – the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him – has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she did not. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who is responsible, all while staying one step ahead of the police.

Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer.

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Book Review: Paradise

Patricia Wolf

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 17th May 2023
spoilers? yes, but vague


As DS Lucas Walker recovers from his injuries, he heads from Caloodie, Queensland, to the Gold Coast. Surfer’s Paradise: a seaside city where gleaming high rises fringe sparkling surf beaches, sunny days lead to wild nights, and criminals and bikie gangs mingle with tourists and dignitaries at five star hotels, clubs and casinos.

Before long, Walker is part of a team trying to solve a horrific home invasion and murder that has claimed the life of a young mother and left her nine-year-old daughter fighting to survive. Can he help them find the perpetrators, and keep the young girl safe? Meanwhile, Vandals head honcho Stefan Markovich is in town – and Walker once again finds himself on a dangerous collision course with the drug gang.

Weak from his injuries, and grieving, can Walker solve a case that is more shocking than anyone expected, and survive the dark underbelly of Australia’s Surfer’s Paradise?

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Book Review: Ritual of Fire

D. V. Bishop

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 1st June 2023
spoilers? no


A night patrol finds a rich merchant hanged and set ablaze in the city’s main piazza. More than mere murder, this killing is intended to put the fear of God into Florence. Forty years earlier on this date, puritanical monk Girolamo Savonarola was executed the same way in the same place. Does this new killing mean Savonarola’s vengeful spirit has risen again?

Or are his fanatical disciples plotting to revive the monk’s regime of holy terror? Cesare Aldo has his suspicions but is hunting thieves and fugitives in the Tuscan countryside, leaving Constable Carlo Strocchi to investigate the ritual killing. When another important merchant is slain even more publicly than the first, those rich enough to escape the summer heat are fleeing to their country estates. But the Tuscan hills can also be dangerous places.

Soon growing religious fervor combines with a scorching heatwave to drive the city ever closer to madness, while someone is stalking powerful men that forged lifelong alliances during the dark days of Savonarola and his brutal followers. Unless Aldo and Strocchi can work together to stop the killer, Florence could become a bonfire of the vanities once more . . .

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Book Review: The Hike

Lucy Clarke

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 27th April 2023
spoilers? no


Wish you were here?
Think again . . .

Maggie, Liz, Helena & Joni. Old friends bound by history, adventures, old secrets.

And now, bound by murder.

They lace up their hiking boots for the adventure of a lifetime in the Norwegian wilderness: a place of towering mountains, glass-like lakes, log cabins and forests stolen from a fairytale.

It’s the perfect place to lose yourself – until a broken body is found at the bottom of a ravine.

Somewhere out there, someone knows exactly why a woman has died. And in this deep, dark wilderness, there’s a killer on the trail . . .

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Book Review: Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Jesse Sutanto

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 30th March 2023
spoilers? no


Put the kettle on, there’s a mystery brewing…
Tea-shop owner. Matchmaker. Detective?

Sixty-year-old self-proclaimed tea expert Vera Wong enjoys nothing more than sipping a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy ‘detective’ work on the internet (AKA checking up on her son to see if he’s dating anybody yet).

But when Vera wakes up one morning to find a dead man in the middle of her tea shop, it’s going to take more than a strong Longjing to fix things. Knowing she’ll do a better job than the police possibly could – because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands – Vera decides it’s down to her to catch the killer.

Nobody spills the tea like this amateur sleuth.

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Book Review: Killing Jericho

William Hussey

Rating: 1 out of 5.

published: 27th April 2023
spoilers? yeah pretty big ones


Murder this twisted demands a new kind of detective.

Fresh out of prison, former Detective Constable Scott Jericho is a desperate man.

Disgraced and penniless after his assault on a violent suspect, he is forced to seek refuge with the fairground family he once rejected. Now, troubled by his failure, Jericho’s brilliant mind stagnates.

That is until a series of bizarre murders reawaken his interest. Men and women with no obvious link to each other are being ritualistically slaughtered.

Slaughtered in ways that recall an old legend of the Jericho Travelling Fair.

Now, in a race against time, he must unpick the threads of a baffling mystery. But as his investigation unfolds and the corpses pile up, a shocking truth awaits him. A revelation that will test not only Jericho’s intellect but challenge the very core of his morality…

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Book Review: Scorched Grace

Margot Douaihy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 21st February 2023
spoilers? no


Sister Holiday, a chain-smoking, heavily tattooed, queer nun, puts her amateur sleuthing skills to the test in this debut crime novel.

When Saint Sebastian’s School becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, the Sisters of the Sublime Blood and their surrounding community are thrust into chaos. Unsatisfied with the officials’ response, sardonic and headstrong Sister Holiday becomes determined to unveil the mysterious attacker herself and return her home and sanctuary to its former peace. Her investigation leads down a twisty path of suspicion and secrets in the sticky, oppressive New Orleans heat, turning her against colleagues, students, and even fellow Sisters along the way.

Sister Holiday is more faithful than most, but she’s no saint. To piece together the clues of this high-stakes mystery, she must first reckon with the sins of her checkered past-and neither task will be easy.

An exciting start to Margot Douaihy’s bold series for Gillian Flynn Books that breathes new life into the hard-boiled genre, Scorched Grace is a fast-paced and punchy whodunnit that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

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Book Review: Nothing Can Hurt You Now

Simone Campos

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

published: 2nd February 2023
spoilers? no


Lucinda has lived her whole life in the shadow of her glamorous and outgoing high-end model sister Viviana. But when Viviana suddenly goes missing on a trip to São Paulo, Lucinda drops everything to track her down. Met with indifference from the police, Lucinda starts her own investigation with the help of Viviana’s girlfriend Graziane. The deeper into Viviana’s life Lucinda goes, the more she realises that she doesn’t really know anything about her sister. When Lucinda discovers that Viviana has a thriving career as a sex worker, the list of possible outcomes widens. A cryptic text from her sister suggests she is still alive, but is being held hostage by a mysterious person. Lucinda has seen enough crime dramas to know that time is of the essence in kidnapping cases, and with the minutes ticking by, she and Graziane must track down men from Viviana’s past to figure out who might want to do her harm. An acerbic and propulsive thriller that crackles with fury at a society that treats women as property.

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Book Review: The Loch

Fran Dorricott

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 16th March 2023
spoilers? no


Everyone in this town has a secret. But who holds the key to the loch…?

Twenty years ago, three young women disappeared, never to be found. The rumour to this day is that their bodies are still hidden deep within the murky Loch Aven.

When Eleanor, Clio and Michaela find themselves rained out of a camping trip in the Scottish countryside, they have no option but to book the mysterious house nestled on the banks of the lake. But little do they know that history has a way of repeating itself.

As secrets in the tightknit community begin to surface, and Michaela suddenly disappears, it becomes clear that something sinister is at play. And now it’s a race against time to unravel the mystery before the dark waters claim their next victim…

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Book Review: Home

Cailean Steed

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 19th January 2023
spoilers? nope


Someone has broken into Zoe’s flat. A man she thought she’d never have to see again.

They call him the Hand of God.

He knows about her job in the cafe, her life in Dublin, her ex-girlfriend, even the knife she’s hidden under the mattress.

She thought she’d left him far behind, along with the cult of the Children and their isolated compound Home – but now he’s found her, and she knows she must go back to rescue the sister who helped her escape all those years before.

But returning to Home means going back to the enforced worship and strict gender roles Zoe has long since moved beyond; back to the abuse and indoctrination she’s fought desperately to overcome.

Going back will make her question everything she believed about her past – but could also risk her hard-won freedom. Can she break free a second time?

One – My name is Zoe
Two – I am here to rescue my sister Amy
Three – Nothing anyone says here is true
Four –
Four –
What is my fourth true thing?

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