Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

Title: The Scholar
Author: Dervla McTiernan
Publisher: 18th February 2019 by HarperCollins
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: mystery, fiction, crime
My Rating: 5 crowns

From the author of the critically acclaimed bestseller The Ruin comes a compulsive new crime thriller featuring DS Cormac Reilly. Being brilliant has never been this dangerous ...
When Dr Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit and run outside Galway University late one evening, she calls her partner, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.
A security card in the dead woman's pocket identifies her as Carline Darcy, a gifted student and heir apparent to Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics. The multi-billion-dollar company, founded by her grandfather, has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy - it has funded Emma's own ground-breaking research. The enquiry into Carline's death promises to be high profile and high pressure.
As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn't be involved, but as his running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question his own objectivity. Could his loyalty to Emma have led him to overlook evidence? Has it made him a liability?
My Thoughts

As a follow up to her most successful ‘The Ruin’, author Dervla McTiernan delivers a sensational second story in the Cormac Reilly series. Not having read the first book, I did not feel that I missed out by not doing so. ‘The Scholar’ is a complex and captivating thriller that confirms Dervla to be a wonderful crime writer.

I raced through this book completely captivated by the murder mystery playing out before me. Dervla does provide some of the backstory to Cormac from the first book which helped in understanding some main characters. There is also a range of supporting characters that are so well presented, particularly Peter Fisher and Carrie O'Halloran who I loved and would love to learn more of in future stories.

This is a fabulous crime novel full of intrigue and corruption with a well developed plot. You will follow along with the investigation and learn of cover ups, deception and much police ‘politics’ on when to follow procedure and when to follow your instinct. The story was so well woven that not until the very end did I have an inkling of the perpetrator. The twists and turns will certainly keep you guessing and you will become most invested in well rounded and developed characters.

All up this is an addictive and fascinating journey and if you are not on the Dervla McTiernan crime train, I suggest you hop aboard for some well written thrillers.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Home Fires by Fiona Lowe

Title:  Home Fires
Author: Fiona Lowe
Publisher: 18th February 2019 by Harlequin Australia, HQ & MIRA
Pages: 400 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fiction, contemporary
My Rating: 4.5 crowns

When a lethal bushfire tore through Myrtle, nestled in Victoria's breathtaking Otway Ranges, the town's buildings - and the lives of its residents - were left as smouldering ash. For three women in particular, the fire fractured their lives and their relationships.
Eighteen months later, with the flurry of national attention long past, Myrtle stands restored, shiny and new. But is the outside polish just a veneer? Community stalwart Julie thinks tourism could bring back some financial stability to their little corner of the world and soon prods Claire, Bec and Sophie into joining her group. But the scar tissue of trauma runs deep, and as each woman exposes her secrets and faces the damage that day wrought, a shocking truth will emerge that will shake the town to its newly rebuilt foundations... 
My Thoughts

‘...it wasn’t the sight of the buckled and twisted remains of their home that undid her. It was seeing two tiny rompers, Liam’s shorts and T-shirts and Josh’s workwear—clothes she’d pegged on the line the morning of the fire before leaving to visit her mother. She’d doubled over at the everyday sight and sobbed at nature’s taunting. How dare she have taken normality for granted.’

If you live anywhere in the world where bushfires are hazard, you will be enthralled by this book. Each summer, here in Australia, we are faced with this deadly disaster annually. What Fiona does is bring it right into the spotlight in a most confronting way. From both an individual and community perspective the devastating effects are presented and admirably not just for a moment but for many months afterwards as well.

Following the lives of three women deeply affected, the story jumps back and forth from prior to, during and many months later. At times this can be a challenge to track, however, Fiona does it well enough, climaxing with the fire itself on the day. This is not just a story about bushfires, it’s an investigation into the many issues of life in a small town community and the everyday challenges they face. What the fire does, is bring these conflicts to a head with how people cope when faced with adversity.

‘Now everything was measured in BF and AF, from the big picture things right down to the little things like reaching for your favourite cooking knife or spanner, only to realise it had been destroyed.’

Beginning with their frustrations at the slow rebuild after the fire and having to live in temporary housing, to the social and emotional impact on families and individuals. Fiona does a wonderful job at presenting how such a traumatic situation impacts on people differently. It really makes you stop and pause as to how you would respond to such a confronting situation. There are many personal stories here that cover a cross section of issues - marriage, jobs, domestic violence. I have to be honest and say that I did struggle with the three male partners - I didn’t like any of them and found their actions - scripted or not - rather hard to accept.

Overall, this was a fabulous read, so real and emotional - the frustration and heartbreak very relatable. There are many facets and components to this story of a small town in the face of devastating fires. I highly recommend you taking the time to become part of the lives of these people and feel the fear with what they faced.

‘Claire thought about the men and women of Myrtle and how many were barely coping. All their energy was sucked out of them just trying not to sink under the weight of trauma, red tape and rebuilding. It didn’t leave much in reserve...’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release