March Picks

Burr, Shelley (2022) Wake. Hachette.

Nineteen years ago Mina McCreery’s nine-year-old twin sister, Evelyn, went missing from their shared bedroom on an outback New South Wales sheep station. The mystery remains unsolved and the reward unclaimed. The trauma is elevated by ongoing public interest that reverberates throughout the small community of Nannine. The vanishing has defined Mina’s life turning her into a lonely and reclusive woman. When cold case private investigator Lane Holland seeks to offer new insights Mina, after initial hesitance, is hopeful. But Lane has motivations of his own. A twisty thriller told at pace.

Rating: 3/5

Nellestein, Tanya (2022) This Side of Fate. Thorpe-Bowker.

Sophie discovers her father is not her biological parent when he and her mother are critically injured in a car accident. As she is unable to ask her comatose mother about the circumstances of her birth Sophie seeks help from Oliver an attractive private investigator. As they unearth an ugly family secret Sophie and Oliver begin to have romantic feelings for each other. This book was awarded the 2022 Romance Writers of Australia Sapphire Award. A mediocre domestic drama.

Rating: 3/5

Willingham, Stacey (2022) A Flicker in the Dark. Harper Collins.

When Chloe was twelve teenage girls started going missing in her small Louisiana swamp town of Breaux Bridge. By the end of that summer her father has been convicted as a serial killer. The notoriety destroys the lives of both Chloe and her brother Cooper. Twenty years on, Chloe, now a respected child psychologist who is about to be married, is still haunted by her father’s crimes. When another girl goes missing, suggesting a copycat murder, her paranoia resurfaces with a vengeance. Who can she trust? Intense nightmare of a mystery, with surprises.

Rating: 3/5

Kara, Lesley (2020) Who do you tell. Bantam.

Astrid is turning her life around as a recovering alcoholic. She is living with her mother in a quiet seaside town, regularly attending AA meetings, but she is being stalked. Although she has promised to give up drinking there is someone who knows about her sordid past, one she doesn’t quite remember, and wants revenge. Another psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator.

Rating: 3/5

McKenzie, Dinuka (2023) Taken. HarperCollins.

In her second outing Detective Sergeant Kate Miles has recently returned to work from maternity leave. However she is under pressure; struggling with competing personal and family demands and finding her place back with her police team. When she is given charge of an emotionally fraught missing baby case she is pushed to her limits. As plucky Kate pursues her inquiries her boss is both dismissive and obstructive. Was baby Sienna abducted or is the answer closer to home? A fresh fast-paced Aussie character-driven procedural, with a strong female lead. Dinuka McKenzie keeps you hooked.

Rating: 4/5


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