The Dry by Jane Harper

Image result for the dryLuke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well…

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret… A secret Falk thought long-buried… A secret which Luke’s death starts to bring to the surface…

(via Goodreads)

Set in a small country town, The Dry is the story of Aaron Falk, Australian Federal Police Officer who is drawn to investigating the mystery of his childhood friend’s death. What seems a cut and dried murder suicide, becomes a mystery Falk cannot walk away from.

This is a powerful debut from Jane Harper. The story telling is tight and the imagery of this dry and hot town is palpable. Characters are compelling and well thought out. I found the mystery to be engaging and not an easy guess. Coupled with our main story is a mystery from Falk’s childhood, a death that has tainted his life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It keeps the reader’s interest and the page turning. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a mystery novel.

4.5/5

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NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2 is a spine15729539-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

(via Goodreads)

Hill’s NOS4A2 (or NOS4R2 if you live in the UK or AUS) is a 690+ story of Vic McQueen, a flawed and broken woman, suffering PTSD and struggling to be a good mum to her son, Wayne.

As a child, Vic found a link (or portal) to other places – and another world. During one of her trips she crosses paths with Charles Manx, a vampiric child killer, and her world is forever changed.

This narrative, despite its size, is a fast read. I found Vic a likeable heroine, real in her pain and passion. Charles Manx is a creepy villain and (unfortunately for the world) believable. Hill does very well in showing us Manx’s pure belief that he is doing good in the world. Manx’s sidekick Bing Partridge is visceral, he has a smell and air about him that is revolting. I am so glad there is no such thing as scratch and sniff novels!

The only disappointing thing about this book was part of the ending. I won’t spoil it, but I wish that part had ended differently. However, the story reminded me of classic Stephen King, which I later found it Hill is his son 🙂

4/5

The Rook (The Checquy Files #1) by Daniel O’Malley

10836728“The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, The Rook is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.

(via Goodreads)

This was an interesting story, a Supernatural Agency run by a diverse team of humans and supernatural beings, operating within the world’s powers. I liked the history of the Agency and hearing how they came into being. The hierarchy, modeled after chess pieces, was also cool. I would have loved finding out more about the Agency and going through some more cases with them.

Our titular character, Myfanwy, is The Rook of the UK Supernatural Agency, The Checquy.  Her name is pronounced ‘Miff-un-ee’ and the constant reminder of this at the start of the book was annoying. I’m sorry, but did we need to know that? It had no bearing on the story at large, so why did we need such an emphasis on it? Rowling never explained how to say Hermione. We worked it out. Have faith in the reader to figure it out, our let us have the fun of finding out how to say it!! After a while, I said it how I always say it and pretended the start didn’t happen. For anyone interested, I saw ‘miff-ahn-wee’. Why? Because I watched Little Britain.

Our story focusses on Myfanwy and her amnesia. Our opening scenes has her coming to surrounded by a bunch of dead men wearing gloves and she is covered in blood. In her pocket was a letter from the previous tenant of the body, the actual Myfanwy Thomas. And so begins the story of discovery. It was such a strong start. Name emphasis aside and it was a strong ride along. You wanted to know how this memory transference occurred. You wanted to know who was trying to kill her and why. It was captivating.

And then she went clubbing with her (okay the other Myfanwy’s) long lost sister.

Why? I don’t know.

After that time (and some would argue before) the story kind of spiralled from scene to scene, not making a great deal of sense. Things happened to Myfanwy, and when she did break from her static (which was rarely) something stopped her. At times, the letter writing Myfanwy (I need like an Earth-1/Earth-2 naming convention here) or pre-Myfanwy, was far more interesting than the character we were left with.

Our villains, the Grafters, were interesting but seemed two dimensional. I must admit I lost a little interest towards the end.

However, it was a good debut novel from O’Malley and I do recommend it to anyone who loves YA/Paranormal fiction. As I always say, it’s just my opinion and you might think differently 🙂

3/5

The Girl in 6E by A R Torre (Deanna Madden #1)

20640318I haven’t touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it’s not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.

I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.

They get satisfaction, I get a distraction. Their secret desires are nothing compared to why I hide… my lust for blood, my love of death.

Taking their money is easy. Keeping all these secrets… one is bound to escape.

What if you hid yourself away because all you could think of was killing? And what if one girl’s life depending on you venturing into society?

Enter a world of lies, thrills, fears, and all desires, in this original thriller from A. R. Torre.

(via Goodreads)

This book is an onslaught to read. It starts with the shock factor and continues throughout the remainder of the book. Tough subject matter, TGI6E is the story of cam-worker Deanna who realises one of her customers may in fact be a child predator. When a report of a missing girl has eerie similarities to her online exchanges with the unnamed man, she feels compelled to investigate. Throw in that she harbours fantasies of violent murder and she’s been an agoraphobic for the last three years, and you have a thriller of a story.

I wanted to love this book. It sounded so different to what I normally like, I was really excited. And it was well written. The story was touted as Dexter meets Fifty Shades of Grey. And it had the FSOG. But there was little of Dexter.

ure, she had the thoughts, but they were lame. The fantasies and the attempted acting out was lame. It was lacklustre and disappointing. She wasn’t nasty, a dirty killer etc. She had the same thoughts most people did. And the more you delve into this part of her psyche, the more you feel like she’s just a poser. She wants to be a bad a—killer, but she’s not. She’s not even a tiny bit evil.

And it let the book down immensely. TGI6E is the first in a series, and I won’t be reading the rest. Really disappointing (yeah, I know I’ve said it already).

2.5/5