Book-Reviews-The-Other-Sister

The Other Sister

by

Elle Croft

Elle Croft’s The Other Sister was my second of this author’s books and one of the best books read this year.  Written in a now and then fashion it tells the story of siblings Ryan, Gina, Cassie (decease), their parents and Gina’s beau, Julian.

Having been estranged from her family for many years Gina makes contact with Ryan after their parents retire to Florida and soon moves into the family home with him.

Gina is not  happy in her work at Channel 8 and soon finds a way to gain some notoriety by live streaming her report of a body she discovered of a woman’s body in an alleyway.  Although not popular with her boss and colleagues Gina’s report sees the Station ratings soar.  As news of the murder begins to fade along with the ratings, Gina discovers another body.

And it is here that the plot tends to thicken.  Many believe Gina is the murderer?  Or perhaps it is Ryan?  Or could it be Julian? Or someone else entirely!

To add anything else will spoil the plot entirely.  A book well worth reading, and perhaps the best mystery I have read this year.

I rated

The Other Sister

The Other Sister

as a solid gold
5 star read.

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

The Other Sister

an average of 3.84 stars,

from 562 ratings

and 80 reviews.

 

The Other Sister

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Reviews-A-Spark-of-Light

A Spark of Light

by

Jodi Picoult

I borrowed A Spark of Light (the audio version) with hope that this would be another good work from Jodi Picoult.  Unfortunately I was disappointed and was ready to quit it at the halfway mark of the 105 minute long first chapter.  I did persevere through chapter two, 77 minutes, however, before the halfway mark of the 85 minute long chapter three I made a decision.   A Spark of Light was not for me.

A gunman in an abortion clinic holding those inside hostage and one of the hostages was the daughter of one of the policemen surrounding the clinic.  As I approach the 5 hour mark of this reading, the hostage situation is still at a standoff and I have had enough.  I’m certain the abortion issue could have been addressed a different way.  I also found the narrator uninspiring and while accents may have been appropriate but they also fell into the irritating category.

I rated

A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light

 as a lone

1 star book…not finished, abandoned.

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

A Spark of Light

 an average of 3.70 stars,

from 92,989 ratings

and 10,745 reviews.

A Spark of Light

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-Return-to-Rosalee-Station

Return To Rosalee Station

(Rosalee Station #2)

by

Mandy Magro

Return to Rosalee Station was my third book written by Mandy Magro and possibly the pick of the three.

Return to Rosalee Station is set about eight years after Matt and Sarah elope in Rosalee Station, and in the first twelve months after an accident claimed the life of their young daughter Eve.  Matt has taken to substance abuse leaving Sarah to battle her own demons, alone and lonely.  Both are considering the future of their marriage.  Will it survive the strain of an untimely death?

Eventually Matt decides to return to Rosalee Station (his parents property) on his own believing the isolation will help him in his ‘cold turkey’ bid to overcome his addiction.    While he is away Sarah returns to her parents or a few weeks.

Part of my review of Rosalee Station contained negative comments regarding Louise Crawford’s character voices.  Based on the fact that throughout my life jackaroos (station hands) have usually been in their twenties, I stated that many of the ‘boys’ sounded like old men.  Some of these characters are reprised in Return to Rosalee Station with two of them being aged at nearly seventy and in his sixties, if my memory is correct.   My apologies to Ms Crawford for my earlier comments; her character voices sounded more appropriate this time round.

Fortunately rhyming slang was minimal in Return To Rosalee Station and if I was listening properly there only seemed to be one outstanding passage where coarse language was over used. 

Overall, I found Return to Rosalee Station more believable than its predecessor Rosalee Station.  How, family members manage their grief after a death in the family is totally different for everyone, so much so that it can tear a family apart as Matt and Sarah feared.

 

I rated

Return To Rosalee Station

as a three star audiobook

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Return To Rosalee Station

an average of 4.02 stars

from 123 ratings and 25 reviews

~~~~~

Return To Rosalee Station

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Book-Review-Winter-Sisters

Winter Sisters

(Mary Sutter, #2)
by

Robin Oliveira

 

 

Winter Sisters was my first Robin Oliveria bookWinter Sisters commences with huge snow storm which descends upon Albany in 1879.  The parents of two sisters are killed in the storm and many believe the sisters could not have survived either and after many days of searching they are presumed dead and a family funeral is held.

Shortly thereafter the girls, who have been held captive by their rescuer, and now predator, escape and are found by friends and relatives.  One of their captors is identified and sent for trial and defended by a young, inexperienced, lawyer from their town.  What follows is one of the best trial/courtroom scenes I have ever heard, seen or read.  To say more will only spoil the book.

I have, on the odd occasion, been known to comment negatively about narrators.  Therefore, I feel it only fitting to pass comment here about Tavia Gilbert and her narration of Winter Sisters.  Tavia’s reading of Winter Sisters was one of the best narratives, male or female, that I have heard.  Character voices were all different enough to identify and more importantly they seemed age appropriate.

The audio version of Winter Sisters is rated, by the library, as a 14 hour 36 minute book.  Two of those hours are devoted to the courtroom alone.  It seemed like an 8 hour book so quickly did time pass.

I rated

Winter Sisters

Winter Sisters (Mary Sutter, #2)

as a

four star audiobook

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Winter Sisters

an average of 4.06 stars

from 3,267 ratings

and 506 reviews

 

 

Book-Reviews-Closer

 

Closer

by

K. L. Slater

Closer is promoted as a psychological thriller and I must confess to being thrilled when it ended.  Is it the publisher or author who adds the ‘thriller’ tag to a book’s description?  An interesting read but not as thrilling as other reads.

Seventy-five percent of the Closer is devoted to introducing and providing background information of each character.   During this seventy-five percent there were several occasions when I felt that the story was going to change gears, however, as I was pondering the who, what where when and why I would turn the page, commence a new paragraph and find the story focussing on one of the bit players.

There is also, occasionally, a paragraph or two written in italics which features (I believe) unnamed characters.   The action in italics takes place several decades earlier than present day.  In the context of the story this is important material, however, I believe only Perry Mason could figure out the connection.

Closer is about a family breakup, Shaun, Emma and ten year old daughter Maisie and in that aspect very topical.  And as often depicted in movies and television show children of blended families do not see eye to eye.  In Closer the future step mother has a witch of a ten year old daughter from her now deceased husband.

I must confess to not picking the villain.  In fact Closer could almost make a fair TV movie…all questions answered and unheard of villains introduced and disposed of in the last 10-20 pages of my mini-iPad and its enlarged text.  Based on the ending, and solely on the ending, I would have to read a sequel to Closer, especially if it was a direct follow up sequel.

I rated

Closer

Closer

as a


read.

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Closer

an average of 3.95 stars

from 2,869 ratings

and 314 reviews.

Closer

can be purchased on-line at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-The-Beekeeper-of-Aleppo

~~~~~

 

 

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

by

Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo tells the story of Nuri and his family as they are forced to flee their home in Syria’s war torn city of Aleppo.  The Beekeeper of Aleppo is narrated by Art Malik whose voices suit the story, however but not my ear.

Soon after commencing The Beekeeper of Aleppo I was tempted to not complete listening to audio version.  Even now I am wondering…why?  True. Nuri was a beekeeper.  However, he could have been a butcher, baker or candlestick maker for all the influence his trade had on the story.  At least that is my opinion.  The story was of the struggles and hardship endured as a family escaped from Syria and the city of Aleppo.

As stated on more than one occasion, I read for enjoyment.  I do not like biographical stories.  In this instance it maybe because I have had contact with refugees from his part of the world and heard their stories and more recently know of a family who made it to Australia after watching other, close and not so close, family members executed prior to fleeing the home country.

I have rated

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

as a audiobook.

~~~~~

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have awarded

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

an average of 4.23 stars,

from 23,999 ratings

and 3,124 reviews.

~~~~~

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

is available online

at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

~~~~~

Book-Review-Jacaranda

~~~~~

Jacaranda

by

Mandy Magro

 

Jacaranda was my second Mandy Magro book and turned out to be very similar to Rosalee Station only this time round the story focused on Molly Jones and her daughter Rose.  Rose is the product of a one night stand when Molly was a drunken nineteen year old.  Six years later she is still trying to find Rose’s father while ignoring her long-time friend and mate, Heath.

Eventually Rose’s father, Mark, does return with a rodeo.  Molly and Mark meet up, get together and you will have to read the book to find out what happens.

Jacaranda is not (thankfully) littered with Australian slang to the overpowering extent of Rosalee Station.  The lack of Australian slang made Jacaranda much easier to listen to and earned it an extra star.  However, Jacaranda still is definitely of the ‘chick lit’ genre and does provide a breather from the crime genre which is my choice of reading material.

I would like to hear Ms Magro’s books co-narrated by Louise Crawford and a male narrator.  This would, hopefully, provide better male character voices.  One brief appearance by a male who I thought should have been at least ten years older than the boys actually sounds much younger.

Overall, a light read with some insight into Australia’s Outback.

I rated Jacaranda as a three star audiobook.

I rated

Jacaranda

Jacaranda

as a star audiobook.

*****

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Jacaranda

an average of 4.14 stars

from 354 ratings

and 26 reviews.

Jacaranda

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book Review-The-Backup-Asset

The Backup Asset

(Alex Hoffmann #3)

by

Leslie Wolfe

While not publicised as a sequel to Devil’s Move (#2 in the Hoffman series)  The Backup Asset follows hot on the heels of Devil’s Move.

Alex is still obsessed with the Mr Big of her previous case to the point that her work colleagues begin to worry about her ability to continue. And when she is asked to work on this next case she does not realise how close it will/bring her to her Mr Big.

In what appears to be another Cold War, Alex finds herself undercover in a company making parts for a revolutionary weapon which the United States is about to install on its warships.

Meanwhile, in Russia, key military leaders have been ordering apparently random incursions on land, sea and air in order to destabilise the security of its enemies.  One of these incursions included infiltrating the company building this new weapon and stealing the plans for said weapon.  The manner in which Russian spies have infiltrated nearly every aspect of American life is quite fascinating.

I first read The Backup Asset in autumn 2019 and enjoyed it as much in 2020.  The Backup Asset is a fast paced read

I rated

The Backup Asset

The Backup Asset (Alex Hoffmann #3)

as a solid star read.

At the time of writing my review other

Goodreads readers have rated

The Backup Asset

an average of 4.17 stars

from 1,044 ratings

and 50 reviews

The Backup Asset

is available online

at 

Booktopia,  Fishpond and Amazon

Booktopia and Fishpond have only a small range

of Leslie Wolfe’s books which does not include

The Backup Asset

Book Review-Private-#1-Suspect


Private #1 Suspect

by

James Patterson

and

Maxine Paetro

Private #1 Suspect was my first James Patterson book this year.  Although I have in the past questioned the amount of input Patterson has in his collaboratively authored books, I still enjoy them.  Private #1 Suspect was no exception to this.  Short sharp chapters made for easy reading, particularly if, like me, you like to ‘finished a chapter’ before turning out the light.

Jack who owns Private Investigations arrives home, showers goes to his room only to find an old flame (Colleen) murdered in his bed.  In the eye of the police, along with some of Colleen’s friends, Jack is guilty of her murder.  And Jack has his own suspect.

 

While trying to clear his name there are murders at a hotel chain to solve.  A member of the mob asks for Jack’s help.  The fact that there is more than one story and complication woven into Private #1 Suspect enhances the story.  James Patterson fans will fall in love with Private #1 Suspect.

Other Goodreads readers have awarded Private #1 Suspect an average of 3.96 stars from 20,046 reviews and 1,084 ratings.

I have rated

Private #1 Suspect

as a solid read.

Private #1 Suspect

can be purchased on-line at 

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 

Book Review-Mile-High-Death

Mile High Death

by

Leslie Wolfe

(Tess Winnett  #7)

Mile High Death begins at a cracking pace and in true thriller style we know who the villain is.   It is now just a matter of our master sleuth, Tess Winnett catching said villain.

Mile High Death is book 7 of the Tess Winnett series, although the last three have only been novellas.  Still we can live in hope that 2021 will bring us a full length Tess Winnett novel.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed Mile High Death it is a novella and I am not a great fan of novellas/short stories.  However, a Tess novella is far better than no Tess.

Imagine being offered a ride home in a private jet.  Naturally you need to be female of a particular build to receive that offer.   The down side of such an invitation is that after being viciously assaulted there is a 10,000 feet high step to negotiate after being pushed out over the ocean.  It is with some dumb luck that one body is recovered out in the middle of the ocean.  By the time Tess catches our villain there will be many more.

At the time of writing my review other

Goodreads readers have rated

Mile High Death

54056377. sy475

an average of 

4.40 stars

from 15 ratings

and 6 reviews 

 I have rated 

Mile High Death

a  solid
read.

Mile High Death

can be purchased

online at 

Amazon

I purchased my edition from Amazon. 

It appears

Mile High Death

 is not available

at Booktopia, and Fishpond