Written about the authors parents and Albert the alligator, a wedding present from a famous dancer and actor, Buddy Ebsen, Carrying Albert Home tells the story of the amazing journey to take Albert home. This comes about when Homer has his pants taken by Albert when in the bath and is chased outside. Furious he will give his wife Elsie and ultimatum when he says "me or the alligator." When Homer agrees to take Elsie and her beloved alligator to Orlando, little does he know what lies ahead.
Far from being an uneventful trip across the country in a trusty Buick, the couple and there reptile passenger will be joined by an unnamed rooster and will have enough escapades to last a life time. These include meetings with John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway, acting in a Tarzan movie, getting caught up with radical unionists, being cast adrift in the Atlantic and encountering a monster hurricane. The trip will change both Elsie and Homer as they come to realizations about their relationship and the real reason for the trip, to give Albert his freedom.
The best thing about this book is in the title with the line "a somewhat true story". To all intents in purposes this story could be completely accurate, but in the end it did not matter if it was or not. Clearly Albert, who acted like any family pet, wanting belly rubs and giving yeah-yeah-yeah sounds when happy was Elsie's boy. I admired Homer who fought jealousy of his perceived thoughts that Elsie had for Bubby and wanting so much for her to love him. Elsie was also brilliantly portrayed as a strong intelligent women looking for happiness. Well paced and with a whole host of quirky characters this is a read that will stay long in the minds of all who read it. ...more
For anyone who follows my reviews, you may remember in one of my previous ones that I said thriller/crime novels had returned to intrigue and creativiFor anyone who follows my reviews, you may remember in one of my previous ones that I said thriller/crime novels had returned to intrigue and creativity as there forte. While this book does not make me feel like that quote was just a beautiful dream, it does somewhat dampen my enthusiasm.
The stories goes of a typical modern family called the Jordan's. Emma and Adam are both medical professional's who have two young daughters. Emma is very competitive and tries her best to better her husband at every opportunity. When Adam is offered a chance to work in Botswana, Emma resist's the calls of him to uproot the family from the familiarities of home, but after falling pregnant agrees to go after giving birth. It will be once they are settled in their new surrounding's that their lives are turned upside down when their youngest, Sam is abducted. The question of who would wish to take a baby and why is made even more unsettling by the locations of where the family is. Far away from major cities, it gives who ever is behind this terrible incident plenty of area to hide. With the countries police force and intelligence organisations all over the continent and world wide on red alert the family can only hope that they will be reunited with Sam and he will not end up in the hands of human traffickers.
As you may tell from my opening paragraph, I was not totally won over by The Drowning Lesson. On the one hand, the chapters after it is discovered Sam is missing are infinitely readable, while the ending apart from being somewhat flat does at least make more sense then the author debut effort Daughter. Unfortunately though I could not ignore numerous chapters of domestic life, that albeit did show how the family got to Africa, do not make for compelling reading. The main narrator, Emma was also overbearing with her driven personality that made passages with her a chore, while Adam was not much better. Thankfully we had there eldest daughter Alice, who brought a far more human element to the story and in the end was it's saviour. Overall this is not a bad read, but just like the authors first book, there is definite room for improvement. ...more
Safe With Me is the second book i have read by Amy Hatvany, and just like Outside the Lines, it packs an emotional punch with hard hitting family issuSafe With Me is the second book i have read by Amy Hatvany, and just like Outside the Lines, it packs an emotional punch with hard hitting family issues. The story revolves around three characters all tied together through one terrible tragedy. Hannah Scott's world will be brought to it's knees after her young daughter is killed after being hit by a car.
At the same time, Olivia Bell's daughter Maddie is finally given the liver transplant she desperately needs to save her life after years of illness. Hannah and Olivia and her daughter in the following year will slowly try to get back into resuming a normal life. For Maddie in particular this is a difficult process for her and she finds herself trying to hide the reality of going to school and escaping her abusive father James, who takes out his frustration on Olivia. When Maddie and her mum go to Hannah's salon in a bid to lift her spirit little do they know the friendship they will develop and how it will force them to look at their lives and consider changes.
This is a narrative that at it's core is a story about sorrow and the secret's we try to keep. All the characters have reason's for these, with Hannah's struggle to move on after her daughters death. Olivia wanting to leave James, but finding herself unable to do so as the fear of him being able to gain custody of their daughter dominates her thoughts. Maddie on the other hand, after years of being isolated from the world, struggles to make sense of it, while wanting away from horrors of home and having a desire to say thanks to the family that saved her life. These thoughts and fragile bonds will inevitably come to a head as the truth finds it's way to the forefront. Combining domestic family drama, the hope of friendship and good old compassion, this is a story that will appeal to anyone who not afraid of their reads sprinkled with many layers of family dynamics....more
There is an old saying that goes "all good things come to an end" and that is definitely true here as we say farewell to Miss Peregrine and her peculiThere is an old saying that goes "all good things come to an end" and that is definitely true here as we say farewell to Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children. Picking up were Hollow City left of, Jacob and his peculiar companions, Emma and Addison the talking dog are on a journey to find their friends. Helping there cause is Jacob's newly discovered power to control the monstrous Hollowgasts, something that saves them from certain death at the hands of Wights on numerous occasions.
There travel will take them from modern London to the appropriately named "Devil's Acre. This is hell on earth for peculiar's who are held captives by Wights and forced to live in squaller. It is here were Jacob's friends are kept and with the help of a mysterious boatman called Sharon and one of Miss Peregrine's brothers, he will come face to face with who is the real mastermind of who is behind what he sees and what is the "Library Of Souls"
Just like the first two books in the series, "Library Of Souls" is a thrilling story that is complemented beautifully by photo's that are both eerie and compelling. The character's are their unique selves, with Jacob who's loyalty to his peculiar friends know no bounds, in particular Emma who he tries his best to repress his feelings for. The adding of Devil's Acre, with it's wretched slums add's a new dimension to the story and with a fast pace makes for a read you don't want to end. Overall this is a fitting end to what is a wonderful fantasy read and i look forward to seeing what the author has in store for us next....more
Jenna Gray's life, all ready in despair, will be destroyed thanks to a horrible accident. A young boy called Jacob is dead after being run over and wiJenna Gray's life, all ready in despair, will be destroyed thanks to a horrible accident. A young boy called Jacob is dead after being run over and with a distraught mother now in mourning, Jenna makes the decision to move to the Welsh country side in a bid to start a new life free of fear. What it is she fears seems obvious when police track her down as the one who killed Jacob and failed to stop. But such is life, things are not always black and white as she tries her best to bury the truth of what really happened on that terrible November night.
Jenna's adult life has been dominated by being in fear of her abusive husband Ian. This is a man who is a master of seeming to the outside world to be the complete gentleman with only Jenna fully aware of what he is truly capable of. Jenna has wanted to leave many times but will do so in the most terrible way imaginable. It will be that incident along with her trial that despite her best efforts will see her have to face her past, even if it kills her in the process.
Combining two different types of crime writing is no easy feat but author Clare Mackintosh has done so with great skill. The psychological effect on Jenna after the incident and the police investigation by DI Ray Stephens and DC Kate Evans, make for intriguing reading. The best part is the overall story line itself, that slowly gives you clues as to how things will end up with out revealing everything till the very end. Oh and there is a twist near the end that i guarantee you will not see coming. Inspired by a real life hit and run incident when Clare was a police officer, I Let You Go is a thrilling read for anyone who enjoys thrillers with elements of mystery.
Jack Rich is in a no win situation. He has lost his job and his house and know he faces the unthinkable. Unless he can somehow come up with 75 grand,Jack Rich is in a no win situation. He has lost his job and his house and know he faces the unthinkable. Unless he can somehow come up with 75 grand, his wife Candice, who is terminally ill will die. He will do anything to give the love of his life more time even if it means taking the biggest risk of his life. With the help of a number of old friends he has cooked up a plan to rob a bank on the one day when the whole country is watching a horse race: Melbourne Cup day.
Little does he and his buddies know that two young boys have stumbled on there plans and after struggling to convince there dad, the family go to the authorities. Detective Steel has got to think fast. All he knows is a bank in Brisbane will be robbed during the running of the cop but he does not know where. In order to apprehend the crooks Steel has to take an all mighty gamble in letting it happen. On paper it seems the easiest bust of his career. But will things go to plan?
Combining fast paced action with a sprinkling of good old fashioned humour, this is a great read. Throw in some wonderful characters like Jack, who is one of the most sympathetic crooks you will ever likely come across in Fiction with a unique story line and you have all the ingrediants for a crime lovers dream. Entertaining and well developed, Double Take wears it's Aussie heart on it's sleeve and comes highly recommended....more
Tessa Cartwright has had to live for the last 18 years with unwanted celebrity as the only survivor of a serial killer. Dubbed a 'Black-Eyed-Susan', iTessa Cartwright has had to live for the last 18 years with unwanted celebrity as the only survivor of a serial killer. Dubbed a 'Black-Eyed-Susan', it was Tessa's testimony all those years ago that put away Terrell Goodwin. But now she is unsure if the right man is behind bars on death row when mysterious notes and flowers that are the same type put on her near gone body are found at her home. With a young daughter and her own mental well being to think of she must decide if she will cooperate with the attorney challenging Goodwin's conviction as the countdown to his execution draws near.
Told through altering time lines in Tessa life we encounter the events up to and including Goodwin's trial with visit's to a psychiatrist who hopes to get enough out of her to get a conviction. Tessa insists she can not remember the attackers face with her only positive recollection being talking to one of the victim's who was alleged to be dead at the time. While in the present day Tessa is now questioning her role in the case and the more she goes on is convinced an innocent man is only weeks away from paying the ultimate penalty. Can she find the evidence she needs to save Goodwin or was he the real killer all along?
This is the first book i have read by Julia Heaberlin and will not be my last. The book at it's core is about Tessa's fight against incessant evil. She is both brave and determined to not let the past destroy her as she sets out to right the wrongs of time gone but not forgotten. The rest of the characters are equally vivid with Tessa's very weird friend Lydia who obsesses over famous crimes and criminals and the doctors and lawyers who use DNA and other evidence in there work. Brilliantly developed and wonderfully executed, this book is one that deserves attention from thriller fans the world over....more
Ten young women wake up in what can only be described as hell. With their heads shaven, they are taken to an isolated area that is surrounded by an elTen young women wake up in what can only be described as hell. With their heads shaven, they are taken to an isolated area that is surrounded by an electrified fence. For what seems like a never ending time, they are forced to live in conditions not even fit enough for animals. Their only sin it seems that connects them all is their transgression's with powerful men. Told through the experiences of two of these women (Yolanda and Verla), we see as they are stripped of their freedom and every sense of what life was like before their incarceration. Forced into hard labour, beaten and starved by their male captures over time they learn to adapt to survive.
Told over three brutal and compelling parts - the story for me at least highlights of the cruelty of man over women who are robbed of their dignity and brutalised into submission. This does sound heavy duty and for much of book the sense of dread is consuming. The feeling of hope is there as we see the women show signs of resilience as they try to turn the tables and regain what they have lost during their horrible ordeal. At times chilling, but never over the top with the violence, Charlotte Woods fifth novel will captivate with the quality of it's delivery and comes highly recommended....more
Cate Carlton has past away, only she has no recollection as to how or when it happened. Cate is unable to feel, taste or smell, but she can still seeCate Carlton has past away, only she has no recollection as to how or when it happened. Cate is unable to feel, taste or smell, but she can still see her love ones - in all their stages mourning and what they say. Cate's life will unfold in brief and evocative accounts, full of feeling but not always giving a complete sense of conclusion. Unable to leave, it's up to Cate and the reader to determine how she died and if anyone was at fault. There are two potential reason's that are explored along with the guilt that is felt by the whole family, including her children, Rafferty, Cameron and Jessa. Time heals all wounds and with love and support, Cate's family does find the will after many tears, secrets and reflection, will to move on.
Drawing on her expertise in trauma counselling where she conducts therapy with horses for children and families, Eliza Henry Jones has crafted a gentle story of mystery and how a family handles grief. The families emotional struggles are there for all to see while Cate can only look on and wish she could do something to make the situation better. The story does require the equivalent of a fair old leap of faith, but it is well worth the effort in what is an unorthodox and wondrous read. Overall this a wonderful debut and i look very much to reading more from this young Aussie writer....more
Please Don’t Leave Me Here is described on the back cover as "a riveting psychological thriller". This is a big call for Melbourne-based writer TaniaPlease Don’t Leave Me Here is described on the back cover as "a riveting psychological thriller". This is a big call for Melbourne-based writer Tania Chandler's debut novel, but for the most part it falls well short of what that line leads us to believe. Things start of in seemingly happy times for the main protagonist named Brigitte. She is married to a cop and is the mother of twins, life seemingly could not be sweeter. That will change though when Brigitte discovers that a cold murder case that she is at the centre of is being reopened.
Brigitte claims to have no recollection on what happened on the Friday before Christmas in 1994. On that day she she was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver while at her apartment a man is found beaten to death. The officer who comes to her aid Sam, will look after her and will soon make her his wife. Now all these years later it seems the past is doing it's best to ensure she can not hide from it. Looking into Brigitte's past we see she had a stormy relationship with the man who ends up dead. Eric treats her like dirt but would that be enough for her to snap and will the truth ever be revealed?
What sounds on paper to be an intriguing plot disappointingly finds itself bogged down by scatterbrained twists that descend into awkward attempts at horror. The descriptions of Kurt Cobain also are bizarre and confusingly threaded with the question of why are they even there coming up constantly. The biggest dissatisfaction for me being that even though the book tackled big issues such as drug abuse, domestic violence, grieving and police misconduct, the story nosedive's into farce so quickly, it just can't be taken seriously....more
I must say that Thrillers/crime novels and I have had a good run this year. Other than the odd disappointment (I'm looking at you Second Life), it seeI must say that Thrillers/crime novels and I have had a good run this year. Other than the odd disappointment (I'm looking at you Second Life), it seems the genre's have shrugged off the all mighty Gone Girl shadow and have returned to intrigue and creativity as there forte. This i am glad to say is something that continues with A time to Run.
When police officer, Samantha Willis makes the fateful decision to visit a friend and go out partying after having a row with her long time boyfriend Gavin, little does she know the danger she is putting herself in. After going out to a club, Sammi, mindful of having to get home and be back for work the next day heads out early. She will accept a lift from a barman she had met earlier at the club and then will not be seen for days.
When Gavin notices Sammi has not made it home he starts to get worried, and even more so when she doesn't answer any of his calls. After reporting her disappearance to the police, things become serious when she fails to report for her midday shift. Detective Janine Postlewaite is handed the case, with the only clue being the CCTV footage of Sammi entering the Ute of one of the club's Barmen, Donald Black. It is soon discovered he has a history of violence and has been a suspect in the murder of a number of missing local women. Despite a lack of evidence, Janine will stop at nothing to not only capture her man, but also find Sammi who will call on her experience as a cop to survive while being hunted by a madman.
I will say this is quality police procedural. The authors expertise as a police officer is there for all to see in what is a taut and heart thumping story that will keep you reading, non stop. Featuring two great female protagonists in the determined, Janine who is superb as someone who's only thought is finding Sammi who despite her predicament refuses to just give in and will make the twisted Don work harder than he could ever imagine. With fascinating insights into what is involved with investigating missing people and a believable story line, J.M. Peace's debut novel comes highly recommended for anyone who is after a short and sweet crime read. ...more
This is something completely new for me with a standalone thriller from one of the queens of the thriller genre, Tess Gerritsen. Having been constantlThis is something completely new for me with a standalone thriller from one of the queens of the thriller genre, Tess Gerritsen. Having been constantly spoilt by the brilliance of the investigations by Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles I was keen and curious to see what this novel could bring to the table. I am pleased to say that for the most part, despite being a different style of story, things live up to expectations from the master storyteller.
Told through two separate time frames, we follow Julia Ansdell, a musician who in the last few days of her stay in Rome decides to buy herself a going home present. Little does she know this visit will change her life forever when she lays eyes on a piece of music, ”Incendio Fire” composed by L. Todesco. Juila has never heard of the composer and after reading the notes want's nothing more to play it.
Back in Boston, Julia will do just that only for strange and violent incidents to occur with her 3 year old daughter Lily. This is a huge shock to Julia, who as come to a shocking conclusion that her young daughter wants to harm her. The only connections seems to be the song that she plays before each incident. Is Julia losing her mind as her husband Rob thinks or is the answers to be found with the composer. With the help of a friend, Julia will travel to Venice to find answers in a desperate bid to save her daughter and her sanity.
What she will find is a heart wrenching story of a Jewish musician who's love for his family will see him give up the women he loves only for his talent to temporarily save his life from execution in Nazi occupied Italy. Looking more into the composers story though is a dangerous pursuit for Julia as powerful people want her silenced. Will she survive finding the truth?
Combining historical fiction with elements of family drama and old fashioned mystery made for a story that just demanded to be read. The fate of Lorenzo for one was harrowing as he slowly came to realize how bad the situation was in his home country and that the only way to survive was to leave. These passages were both haunting and beautiful with the love of Lorenzo and Laura. Having two timelines could of been a recipe for disaster but in the hands of Gerritsen worked brilliantly. My only slight disappointment would have to be with the conclusion, that although did explain things did seem a bit rushed. Other than that "Playing With Fire" was a great well paced read that will appeal to anyone who enjoys gritty thrillers. ...more