Book-Review-If-I-Stay

If I Stay 

(If I Stay, #1)

Gayle Forman

If I stay was my first Gayle Forman read, however, it won’t be my last.  Initially I found the title confusing and nothing in the blurb gave away he plot either.

Mia is a cellist; and a good one at that.  And at the tender age of 17 she is finding out that life is full of choices.  Practise or hang out with friends.  Practise or go to a concert.  Practise or listen to her boyfriend’s band play.

An unusual fall of snow closes all schools.  Mia’s family decide to go for a drive as the snow has barely covered the ground.  Only a few minutes into their drive something happens which leaves Mia with only one choice to make.  To go; or to stay.  Where?

If I Stay was a good quick read which I enjoyed, however, I’m sure there is some among us who will not enjoy the story.   I did enjoy If I Stay and although I felt the story was simply being padded at times I thought it still worthy of three stars.

The ending is abrupt, although appropriate

I rated

If I Stay

as a threestar read.

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

If I Stay

an average of 3.94 stars,

from 745,981 ratings,

and 38,989 reviews.

*****

If I Stay

can be purchased on-line at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-Devil’s-Lair

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Devil’s Lair

by

Sarah Barrie

~~~~~

 

Sarah Barrie’s Devil’s Lair was my first of her books and probably will not be my last.

Even after Callie is acquitted of murdering her husband people still shun her husband’s dream and refuse to come back to their Bed and Breakfast.   So Callie decides to move to a cottage near an old mansion in Tasmania where she finds solace in the beauty of the Tasmanian landscape and friendly locals, in particular Connor and his siblings at nearby Calico Lodge.

Unknown to Callie the old mansion has a chequered past associated with witchcraft and murder.

However, it I the nocturnal events in Callie’s cottage which lead Callie to question her reasons for moving to Tasmania and eventually she begins to doubt her own sanity.

I listened to Devil’s Lair as a background novel while working on my computer which is not the best way to read any novel as some important parts of the story may be missed through lack of concentration.  However, all the concentrating under the sun would not have prepared me for the twists and turns towards the end.  As with most novels set in, or about, Australia I did enjoy Devil’s Lair.  Perhaps in book format it may have been four star material however I felt three and a half stars was enough.  As Goodreads does not cater for half stars Devil’s Lair can only be rated a solid three star read.

I rated

Devil’s Lair

 as a

three star read/audiobook

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Devil’s Lair

an average of 3.81 stars

 from 689 ratings

 and 132 reviews

Devil’s Lair

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-The-Stockman’s-Secret

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The Stockman’s Secret

by

Mandy Magro

 

Mandy Magro’s The Stockman’s Secret, was my fifth of her books and as usual it is set in Queensland.

 

Juliette is the step-daughter of Little Heart’s minister. Unknown to step-Dad, Juliette and Joel have been seeing each other for some time and have become a couple because both had been the target of school bullies.

Juliette and Joel are attacked one night by these bullies and Joel cannot understand why Juliette wants to keep the attack a secret.

However, when one of the bullies confronts Joel and tells Joel what he will do to Juliette next time, it is more than Joel can bear.

In a bar room brawl, Joel punches Bully.  Juliette breaks up with Joel.  Joel packs his bags and takes a jackaroo’s job a Rosalee station.

 When Joel eventually decides it’s time to return to Little Heart, he finds things have changed quite a lot.  Bully 1, is a respected doctor and Juliette’s husband is trying to make his mark on local politics.  The main questions which need to be answered are:  Will bully 1 get his comeuppance?   Does Juliette still have feelings for Joel or is she happily married?   Will Joel’s family accept his return?

I enjoyed The Stockman’s Secret.

I rated

The Stockman’s Secret

 as a

three star read/audiobook

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

The Stockman’s Secret

an average of 4.08 stars

 from 159 ratings

 and 32 reviews

The Stockman’s Secret

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book Review-Liar-Liar


Liar Liar

by

James Patterson

and

Candice Fox

*****

Co-authored by Candice Fox, James Patterson’s Liar, Liar, features Detective Harriet Blue who is bent on avenging the death of her brother, Sam.  In Blue’s mind the death of serial killer and nemesis Regan Banks was the only way to avenge Sam’s death.  She chases, or rather follows Banks’ instructions as he directs her movements around Sydney, prior to a rather uninspiring finale.  With all murder mysteries there are the usual expected and unexpected twists in Liar Liar

As with Fifty, Fifty, narrator, Federay Holmes, did not in my opinion, contribute to a positive audio experience with her Liar Liar narration.  All her character voices sounded tired and disinterested in their part of the investigation.  Not only disinterested but all had very similar voices and it was difficult to keep track of who was actually talking and whether they were angry or happy.

As you can guess Federay Holmes is not my favourite narrator, which is at odds with my wife who thinks she has a great voice for these books.

I have rated

Liar Liar

as aaudio book.

***

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Liar Liar

an average of 3.86 stars

from 8,182 ratings

and 703 reviews.

***

Liar Liar

can be purchased on-line at 

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 

Book-Review-Blink

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Blink

by

K. L. Slater

 

K. L. Slater’s Blink is one of his best I have read this year.  Single mother, Toni and five-year-old Evie have moved to a new area, new school and know very few people.  The only person from Evie’s school who had bothered to make themselves known to Toni was Miss Watkins.  Miss Watkins represented herself as a teacher when in fact she was a only teacher’s aide.

Like many single parents Toni is finding the going tough and just as she finds herself a job, and the promise of a financially better life, Evie is taken from school….by a stranger.

Blink is written in two parts, present day and three years earlier where most of the action takes place.

For a great majority of Blink the present day action revolves around a woman who is little more than a vegetable to onlookers, but in reality is wide awake, but locked in her inanimate body.                

As with many of Slater’s novels, I did not pick the ending in any way shape or form.  I was way off base which for me added another half star to its rating.

~~~~

I rated

Blink

as a solidstar read.

At the time of writing my review other

Goodreads readers have rated

Blink

an average of 4.00 stars

from 11,999 ratings

1,029 reviews

 

Blink

is available online

at

Booktopia,  Fishpond and Amazon

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Blink

 

Book Review-Innocent-Man

The Innocent Man

by

John Grisham

***

Jon Grisham’s, The Innocent Man would have gone unread had I read the burb.  However, I didn’t and it hasn’t.  I am not a fan of true stories.

 The Innocent Man tracks Ron Williamson’s futile attempts to move from country baseball to Oklahoma’s major league baseball.  When eventually delisted, Ron returns to Ada, his home town, where several years later a cocktail waitress is murdered.  Ron and friend Dennis Fritz are regarded by local law enforcement as prime suspects.  Five years after the event both are arrested, charged with murder, tried and found guilty and sentenced to death.  All based on the evidence of jail house snitches, alleged dream confession and shonky experts.

The scariest part of this book is the fact that innocence is no longer presumed by America’s justice system.  Ron Williamson was down to a week before his execution date when the stay of execution was handed down.  And that was only because the bloke destined to read his appeal actually read the trial transcript and brought inconsistencies to his boss.  An entirely different outcome would have resulted had it not been for this zealous clerk.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Innocent Man.  However, I must also confess to being a John Grisham junkie.  The Innocent Man being my twenty-fourth of Grisham’s books.

The Innocent Man moved along at a good pace and did not dwell on the tedium of everyday life; a detail which has seen me not wanting to read true life stories.

I rated

Innocent Man

as a solid read

*****

At the time of writing my review,

Goodreads readers have rated

Innocent Man

an average of 3.83 stars

from 66,406 ratings

and 5,096 reviews

Innocent Man

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, Booktopia and Amazon

Book Review-Nightingale


Nightingale

by

Fiona McIntosh

 

Fiona McIntosh’s Nightingale was my sixth of this author’s offerings. However it was not my favourite.   Good, but not ‘up there’.  

While stationed off the shores of Gallipoli during World War I, Nurse Claire Nightingale meets and falls madly in love with Australian Light Horseman Jamie Wren.  Jamie is patched up and sent back to the front where he is again wounded.   Upon reaching hospital Jamie is told that Claire’s Hospital Ship sailed for the Western Front theatre of War shortly after he was declared fit for service and returned to the front some weeks earlier.

Still searching for each other in peacetime Claire receives notification of Jamie’s death, from his father.   Her world is shattered.  She has one last hope; a promised meeting for afternoon tea in London.

I enjoyed Nightingale, however I felt it was a three and a half star book, but not a four star read.   Therefore, instead of bumping my three and a half stars to four, I felt relegating it to three stars was the better choice.

Overall an enjoyable love story set against the backdrop of World War 1.

I thoroughly enjoyed

Nightingale

and rate it a three star story.rating.

~~~

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have rated

Nightingale

an average of 4.00 stars

from 1,086 ratings

 and 123 reviews.

Nightingale

can be purchased on-line at

BooktopiaFishpond and Amazon.

Book-Review-Pay-The-Penance-3

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Pay The Penance

(The Mechanic Trilogy #3)

by

Rob Ashman

Pay The Penance, my third Rob Ashman read and book three of The Mechanic Trilogy, finds Lucas, Harper and Bassano still recovering from the brutal murder of Lucas’ wife in book 2.

 

Chasing and bringing Mechanic to justice is far from their collective minds that is, until Bassano is murdered.   Lucas and Harper are in no doubt that it is the work of the Mechanic and that they will be next on her list.

 

A story about the Mechanic would not be complete without a series of murders her for Harper and Lucas to follow.  As part of their investigation they stray outside the law, at times.

 

While Detective Moran endeavours to get her professional life in order, new evidence is discovered with police not grasping its significance.  However Moran does recognise its career threatening significance and she must divert her superior’s attention away from the evidence to survive.

 

Again I thoroughly enjoyed the last of

The Mechanic Trilogy

and have rated

Pay The Penance

as a solid

read.

 

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have awarded

Pay The Penance

an average of 4.51 stars

from 533 reviews

and 56 ratings.

 

Pay The Penance

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, Booktopia and Amazon

 

*****

Book Review-The-Last-Dance


The Last Dance

by

Fiona McIntosh

Stella Myles has lost both parents and is sole parent to a younger brother and sister.  She is finding it hard to make ends meets and decides to join her friend at a dance where girls are paid to dance with men.

Set in the 1930s in England, The Last Dance follows Stella’s life as she struggles to come to grips with the fact that she is in love with her employer.

At the aforementioned dance, Stella meets a suave, sophisticated Monty.  Monty gives Stella the name of an employment agency where she lands a job as a Nanny to two girls.

Upon arriving at her place of employment, ‘Harps End’, she finds Mum to epitomise the upper class English wife.  Eldest daughter 16 year-old Georgie is a spiteful brat, while little sister Grace is adorable.  It is fortunate that Stella is out walking when she meets the girls’ father, Douglas.  There appears to be more to the bespectacled Douglas (aka Monty…from the dance hall) than meets the eye.  However, Stella joins the subterfuge and soon loses her heart to Monty.   She is dragged deeper and deeper into Monty’s world and ends up transporting vital information smuggled out of Germany at great cost, to the British Home Office.

The epilogue wraps up many lose ends to create a warm ending to The Last Dance.   The Last Dance is the type of story which will be enjoyed by readers or listeners (like me).

I thoroughly enjoyed

The Last Dance

and rate it a three and a half star story.

Narrator, Madeleine Leslay, did a wonderful job

of presenting both male and female characters

with easily identifiable voices

for an overall…

four star


rating.

~~~

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have rated

The Last Dance

an average of 3.77 stars

from 855 ratings

 and 69 reviews.

The Last Dance

can be purchased on-line at

BooktopiaFishpond and Amazon.

Book-Review-Flame-Tree-Hill

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Flame Tree Hill

by

Mandy Magro

 

Flame Tree Hill was my fourth Mandy Magro book and according to Google it was Ms Magro’s eleventh which explains why I thought it her best read/listen so far. 

In the past 18 months I have read several authors’ works and while a first book generally is okay storylines improve as an author’s body of work grows.

Flame Tree Hill dealt with some country issues I can relate to as a country boy.  However, the main issue and primary focus of Flame Tree Hill, is breast cancer.

Chapter one sees Kirsty Mitchell thinking of returning home to her family property, Flame Tree Hill, located just out of Cairns in Far North Queensland.  She is out on her first cattle muster when she has to scratch an itch and before we know there is a distressing diagnosis at hand.

From there we follow the highs and lows of an on again and off again romance and insecurities associated with breast cancer and its treatment.

I enjoyed Flame Tree Hill, however, I am not a fan of the topic.  Flame Tree Hill has a nice ending particularly as a revelation threatens to break the romance. 

 

I rated

Flame Tree Hill

 as a three star read/audiobook

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Flame Tree Hill

an average of 4.13 stars

 from 248 ratings

 and 39 reviews

Flame Tree Hill

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon