Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

Before You Knew My Name is a feminist novel filled with moments every women will recognise and at times dread. But is also a novel of optimism and tenderness – exquisitely crafted and my top read of the year. ‘They come for us all over the world. ‘Sometimes, if enough time has passed between one …

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Sue Turnbull reviews ….

The Second Son by Loraine Peck and The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart. Two debut crime novels about families (the sort that screw you up) from opposite ends of the genre spectrum. While Loraine Peck gives us a fast-paced gangland thriller set in the western suburbs of Sydney, Lyn Yeowart offers a more reflective excursion …

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Still Life by Val McDermid

McDermid delivers yet another book that is both entertaining and worldly wise. Val McDermid has a record of narratives that go to pain and grim conflicts, though she is also strong on brio and humour. In her DCI Karen Pirie series, the newest novel, Still Life, includes Covid as a local reality. Most of the …

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The Paris Affair by Pip Drysdale

Like its predecessors, Pip Drysdale’s third standalone novel is pitched to a youngish female readership. Jaunty self-confidence is the top note of Englishwoman Harper Brown’s narration of The Paris Affair as her adventures across the Channel begin. Late-20s Harper has five dating apps on her phone and a commitment to casual hook-ups only. Her bravado …

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Deep Water by Sarah Epstein

Deep Waters is a slow burn. Sarah Epstein takes her time to set scene before getting into the action. One of Epstein’s strengths is her ability to maintain and ratchet up the tension and to keep you reading. As the threads all come together, you will not put down this book until the final answer …

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Rising Tide by Jennifer Palgrave

“I’m not Miss Marple, you know,” protests semi-retired book editor Lauren Fraser when a friend presses her to continue investigating a local death. Technically, Lauren’s correct in asserting she’s not a puzzle-solver in a “cosy”. Rising Tide is city-based and issues-based: the city is New Zealand’s capital; the issue is climate change, with the focus …

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The House of Correction

Author: Nicci French Publisher/Year: Simon and Schuster/2020 Publisher description ‘So,’ said Mora Piozzi, her lawyer, looking down at her laptop. ‘In brief: you are charged with the murder of Stuart Robert Rees, on December 21st, between the hours of ten-forty in the morning and half-past three o’clock in the afternoon.’ Tabitha is accused of murder. …

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The Family Doctor

Author: Debra Oswald Publisher/Year: Allen & Unwin/2021 Publisher description Paula is a dedicated suburban GP, who is devastated by the murder of a friend and her children by their estranged husband and father. Stacey and the children had been staying with her after fleeing his control, and Paula is haunted by the thought that she …

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Other People’s Houses

Author: Kelli Hawkins Publisher/Year: Harper Collins/2021 Publisher description The perfect house. The perfect family. Too good to be true. Kate Webb still grieves over the loss of her young son. Ten years on, she spends her weekends hungover, attending open houses on Sydney’s wealthy north shore and imagining the lives of the people who live …

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The Silent Listener

Author: Lyn Yeowart Publisher/Year: Viking/20219 AND The Second Son Author: Loraine Peck Publisher/Year: Text/2021 Reviewer: Sue Turnbull Two debut crime novels about families (the sort that screw you up) from opposite ends of the genre spectrum. While Loraine Peck gives us a fast-paced gangland thriller set in the western suburbs of Sydney, Lyn Yeowart offers …

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