Redmond, Lissa Marie (2020) A Full Cold Moon. Severn House. Buffalo NY cold case, now homicide, detective Lauren Riley is called to the brutal murder of a young Icelandic man under a full cold moon. Gunnar had traveled to the US to meet his biological father but as Lauren begins her investigation the Icelandic authorities, and the FBI, step in. Lauren finds herself tracking suspects in Reykjavík with her FBI partner. Throughout the book, the fourth in a series, Lauren is touted as this bad-arse detective but it’s all rather tame. Good for armchair travellers I suspect, but disappointing as a police procedural. Rating: 7.5/10.
Reid, Kiley (2019) Such a Fun Age. Bloomsbury. When a store’s security guard accuses Emira, late one evening, of kidnapping the white toddler she is babysitting she is angry and humiliated. As her employer and new boyfriend seek to make it right she is caught up in the enmity of old love as they compete for her affection. This is an emotional commentary on race, privilege and transactional relationships played out amongst well-intentioned people. Annoying – not such a fun age after all. Rating: 7.5/10.
Sell, Bronwyn (2020) Love Struck. HQ Fiction. This light-hearted escapist romantic comedy is about a family who can’t catch a break when it comes to love. A family wedding at their Nan’s Whitsunday’s resort allows the meddlesome family to play matchmaker for cousins Amy and Harry. Will the no happily-ever-afters curse be banished forever? Happy lockdown or holiday read. Rating: 7.5/10.
Dalrymple, William (2019) The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company. Bloomsbury. India’s transition to colonialism from the middle of the eighteenth century was the work of a for-profit corporation, the East India Company. Their militarised conquest of India epitomises the worst in corporate violence, corruption and greed. This ruthless corporation looted India, destroyed dynasties, bent state power to its own ends, eventually ruling a 100 million people and upending the trading world of Asia and Europe, giving Europe its competitive edge. 420 years after its founding this study in imperialism and capitalism has many synergies with the global power of today’s multinationals. Excellent history of a neglected period of British and south Asian history. Rating: 9/10.
Kubica, Mary (2019) The other Mrs. HQ Fiction. Sadie and Will Foust had just moved to a decrepit old house, that Will has inherited from his sister, in a small island town in Maine, when their neighbour Morgan is found dead. Suspicion for the death turns towards the new family in town and Sadie finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation. For Sadie is harbouring many secrets, a victim of cruel manipulation. In a story told from multiple perspectives you need to suspend belief to wrestle your way through this creepy psychological thriller. Rating: 7.5/10.