Tag Archives: crime
Choices – it’s all about choices! Megan chooses to live a life of a suburban housewife with two kids and a lawyer husband, and to leave behind the life of an exotic dancer. Ray chooses to be a low-life paparazzi photographer instead of an award winning photo-journalist, Lorraine chooses to work in a bar, instead of being a happily married housewife, and when cancer comes calling, she has no one to hold her close. While all these people are living with their choices, a serial killer is efficiently disposing of a body every year to celebrate Mardi Gras… Read on it’s Harlan Coben at his best, Stay Close.
Reviewed by Lyn (Helensvale Branch Library)
Review by Bindi, Broadbeach Library Tokyo Vice is the memoir of an American journalist who worked for the Yomiuri Shinbun during the heady nineties. The author covered vice and organised crime for the Tokyo newspaper for more than twelve years. … Continue reading
As an avid reader of John Grisham I have read and enjoyed all of his books except for The Appeal and The Associate. The Appeal was tedious to read but I kept persisting as I thought I needed to know … Continue reading
At the end of a long day, Inspector Stephen Villani stands over the body of a young woman in the bath of a luxury apartment, a panic button within reach.
Stephen Villani’s life is his work. It is his identity, his mission, his touchstone. But now, over a few hot summer days, as fires burn across the state and his superiors and colleagues scheme and jostle, he finds all that he stands for is crumbling down around him.
Truth is a novel about a man and a family and a city. It is about violence, murder, love, corruption, honour and deceit. And it is about the truth! This is a riveting book with broad appeal—even among readers who don’t usually go for crime. Continue reading
In Sizzling Sixteen Vinnie, owner of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds for whom Stephanie is a bounty hunter, has run up a large gambling debt with a mobster and is being held captive until the $786,000 has been paid. Stephanie, along with her office associates Connie and Lula, in their usual unorthodox ways manage to save the day. Not before causing all sort of commotion! Then there is the men in Stephanie’s life, in particular Ranger…If you are a regular reader of this series you will know what I mean. Continue reading
In his latest novel Bleed for me, Michael Robotham takes contemporary issues and weaves them into a tale of intrigue and suspense which leaves the reader to ponder some interesting questions about the repercussive effects of choices people make and how this can alter the course of a life.
This is ‘intelligent’ crime-writing at it’s best, where all is most definitely not as it seems and the reader is forced to examine their own values and judgements about what really constitutes a crime?
Sounds heavy? Well it’s not – not by a long shot. The main character of Joe O’Loughlin is someone I’d really like to meet, the kind of person you’d like to sit next to at a dinner party, who you know would keep you interested all evening.
Unlike so many of the lead characters in crime novels, Joe isn’t a burnt-out cop or a lone ranger type of guy. He is a family man, who because of circumstances beyond his control, finds himself in the middle of investigations where his more intuitive methods of uncovering evidence often leads him into trouble with the police who obviously need to follow procedure in order to get their results.
It’s interesting to wonder how much the people that he met during his career as an investigative journalist and as a celebrity ghost writer influenced the development of his characters as they ring so true to life, but they are often so morally ambiguous it’s kind of an uncomfortable thought that maybe they are based on real people.
If you love nothing more than curling up with a good book and sharing your reading passion, then ABC Coast FM’s newly launched Morning Show Book Club sounds just right for you!
On the first Friday of each month ABC Gold Coast will introduce a book, uncovered by Morning presenter, Nicole Dyer, who, with the help of Gold Coast librarians, is scouring the literary world for great authors and books, from biographies to psychological thrillers and everything in-between.
On the last Friday of the month, guest reviewers will be invited to ask the authors of the selected title their own series of questions, in a chat on 91.7FM and for a review online.
If you’ve always harboured a secret (or perhaps not so secret) desire to share your book reviewing expertise with a wider audience and could imagine yourself grilling an author about their narrative voice, plot inspirations and character’s motivations then go straight to the Coast FM website and register for your chance to review this month’s selection, Bleed for me by Michael Robotham. If you are the guest reviewer selected not only do you get a chance to chat on air with the author, but you also get to keep your copy of the book!
But you have to hurry as registrations for April are closing soon.
In The suspicions of Mr Whicher, by Kate Summerscale, the public obsessively linger over each lurid detail of the murder, the crime scene and the hidden lives of the middle class Kent family. From a social historian’s point of view the amount of information revealed is amazing, even if, as the author points out, everything is seen through the filter of crime – that is, we only know about the number of nightdresses that the Kent daughters own because one of them is missing, and suspected of being bloodstained; we know when and by whom the household’s knives are sharpened, because one of them may have been the murder weapon.
This reminded me of the excellent Old Bailey website that has transcripts of criminal cases heard in London between 1674 and 1913. Many of the victims, witnesses and perpetrators of the crimes tried in the Central Criminal Courts were poor and working class people, and the everyday detail of their lives would never have been recorded were it not for the court’s transcripts. They are a fantastic resource for people researching their ancestors, especially if you are lucky enough to have a convict or two tucked away in your antecedents.
It’s one thing to read someone like Dickens’ fictionalised accounts of poverty and deprivation, and another to read what a person before the court said about what he did when he left the tavern; or what she saw at the intersection of two streets. Being able to imagine the life behind the bare bones of names and dates is what I enjoy about family research, and in this regard, The suspicions of Mr Whicher was of particular interest to me. I recently discovered through English Census records (you can access Ancestry.com at your local branch library if you’re on the Gold Coast and, hopefully, elsewhere too) that one of my maternal great-great-grandfathers was a police constable in Wandsworth, London, from at least 1851 to 1861. I therefore found the details in the book about Mr Whicher’s career as a police constable and, later, detective (including what he would have worn, and eaten, and how the constable’s walked the beat) helped me imagine a little better what my ancestor’s life may have been like.
Are there any other family historians out there with a tale to tell?
Or has anyone else been lucky enough to find information they could use in their leisure reading?
Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout is a classic mystery novel. First published in 1934, it debuts the detecting duo of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Although they go on to a further, astonishing, 72 adventures, this novel provides a delightful introduction to their character, habits and idiosyncrasies. With his passion for orchids, his gourmet tastes, a persistent refusal to leave his New York house and profound, beer-swilling, obese indolence, Wolfe is certainly eccentric, and Archie provides the perfect smart-mouthed, cynical but decent, gumshoe foil. It’s hard not to like the two, particularly as they verbally spar, with quotes such as:
Compose yourself, Archie. Why taunt me? Why upbraid me? I am merely a genius, not a god.
But enough about the characters, what about the story?
A man disappears and no-one seems to care, except his sister, who is willing to pay Mr Wolfe to investigate. That means Wolfe stays at home, tends his orchids and thinks; making sense of the information that Archie retrieves for him. Archie discovers that the missing man was interested in the sudden death, seemingly from a stroke, of a golf-playing college president. Wolfe puts it all together and it equals murder, but he has a hard time convincing the authorities that a crime has even been committed.
And the title? A little outre, but catchier than the relevant snake’s proper title of Bothrops atrox. Continue reading