My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber – Review.


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About The Book

ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park.

She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day?

ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads.Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth.

But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. My Name is Anna is a book that I have been looking forward to reading for weeks. I wasn’t disappointed. It was one of those novels that I knew from the first few pages that I would like.

It is a dual narrative novel. Rosie is a teenager who lives in London. If you disregard that her older sister was abducted when she was a baby she would have a fairly normal life. Never knowing the answers to what happened to Emily has impacted on all of their lives.

And then there is Anna. A few years older, she lives in Florida and her life is ruled by religion and cleanliness. She loves Mamma but also fears her. Understandably, Mamma is one of those characters who you sit in awe at. Just wondering what punishment or rule she would inflict on Anna next.

You are aware of a mystery surrounding Anna fairly early on in the novel. But there is more to this novel than I expected. It is only in the latter stages where you get to know who Mamma is and what happened to her. And it was the moment that I started to feel differently about her. It was also when I started to enjoy Anna’s tale a lot more. Until this point I preferred to read about Rosie.

I found this a great novel that I believe would make a brilliant movie. Lizzy Barber is an author I would happily read again.

Hades by Candice Fox – Review.

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About the Book

THE KILLER IS IN SIGHT, BUT WHO IS BEHIND YOU?

Homicide detective Frank Bennett feels like the luckiest man on the force when he meets his new partner, the dark and beautiful Eden Archer. But there’s something strange about Eden and her brother, Eric. Something he can’t quite put his finger on.

At first, as they race to catch a very different kind of serial killer, his partner’s sharp instincts come in handy. But soon Frank’s wondering if she’s as dangerous as the man they hunt.

My Review

I’ve read a few Australian novels this year and every one I have read is a demonstration of how different they are to everything else that I read. The only word I can think of to describe the difference is refreshing.
When Frank meets his new partner Eden he is fascinated by her. Beautiful,enigmatic and at times unfriendly with Frank. She has a brother Eric who can only be described as a brute. He is also obsessed with Eden and watches everything Frank does. Which is even more unsettling due to Eric being in the same police team.
Franks’s first job in his new team is investigating a series of murders where all the victims are missing vital organs. Some of these victims are very young and they need answers quickly.
The investigation is broken up across the entire book by flashbacks to Eden’s childhood which explains how her and Eric became police officers and what they are capable of.
Out of all the characters in the novel the only one I really warmed to was Hades. Which was strange because he was a criminal. A dangerous man who also had a heart and tried to do the right thing for the children. But I think these are characters that the reader is meant to dislike. Frank was a wife abuser, and  he had problems with alcohol and drugs. Eden is cold and unapproachable, I feel that more will be revealed about her in later novels. Eric was a monster, I can’t think of anything nice to say about him.
At times I wasn’t sure what to believe. I don’t know if a police force would permit siblings to work together or if Frank would have been allowed to keep his job but it didn’t really matter. One of the parts of the novel that I have thought about often since finishing it, is a comment from Frank about how members of the police cope. And how coping mechanism starts to fail when they are no longer in the force.  I  enjoyed reading the novel and seeing the characters develop.
Candice Fox is an author that I am determined to keep up with and I am pleased that there are a few books available for me to read.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

12.46: 13-year-old Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop

12.47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her

12.52: The girl is missing . . .Six minutes – that’s all it took to ruin Detective Ted Conkaffey’s life.

Accused but not convicted of Claire’s abduction, he escapes north, to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

Amanda Pharrell knows what it’s like to be public enemy no.1. Maybe it’s her murderous past that makes her so good as a private investigator, tracking lost souls in the wilderness. Her latest target, missing author Jake Scully, has a life more shrouded in secrets than her own – so she enlists help from the one person in town more hated than she is: Ted Conkaffey.

But the residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair’s every move. And for Ted, a man already at breaking point, this town is offering no place to hide . . .

My Review

I had a feeling that Crimson Lake was going to be a bit different when Ted, the lead character helped an injured goose and named it Woman. It amused me that every time he approached her she got aggressive. As the story progressed his care of her and her babies was respite from some of the pretty grim moments that Ted had to endure.
After the trial that ended his marriage and career fell apart from lack of evidence he moves north to a remote area in Cairns. When his lawyer puts him in touch with Amanda Pharrell he is given something to focus on.
If it hadn’t been clear from the beginning that Ted was innocent I probably wouldn’t have given this book a second glance. But I’m glad that I did read it, the book is very good and its original. The Australian humour had me giggling a few times. Mainly at his attempts to understand Amanda and his attempts to tame Woman.
Amanda is damaged, you don’t find out what happened to her until the end and it explained a lot about why she had built her defensive mechanism. Her character was amazing, she was easier to warm to then Ted at first.
The scenes with Ted at the mercy of the baying mob, headed up by the two bullying police officers was at times uncomfortable to read. It was a stark example of how media feed a frenzied crowd. The whole novel is more raw than the usual British and American fiction that I usually read, but that was part of its appeal. I hope that it will be a new series, it has great potential.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via NetGalley.

You can buy the book here

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