Monday, 20 October 2014

'In Death': A series to love 'long term'!

 A few weeks ago I let loose a Facebook teaser after discovering a series that seemed to be always on point, despite having well over thirty books to its' name.

I was nervous about sharing at that time, in case the quality was not maintained; but after conducting some scientific analysis (i.e. reading the five first books), I feel confident enough to let you in on the excellence that is the 'In Death' series by J D Robb (aka Nora Roberts)

The 'In Death' novels chronicle the investigations of Lt. Eve Dallas, a detective who, like many of her fictitious counterparts, has a talent for getting deeply and personally involved in the murderous cases she seeks to solve.

I can almost hear you thinking, 'I have read this before!' and 'Why hook up with another feisty female detective?' and 'I already have Jack Daniels, I don't need Eve Dallas...'.

I am sure I can convince you otherwise with this short list of two reasons, to launch yourself into 'In Death'.

Reason number 1: In Death is set in the (not too distant) future, where life is simultaneously familiar and wildly different. Guns are antiques and (for the most part) play no part in crime. People succumb to their shallowest urges and faces and bodies are more perfect (and yet more fake) than even the most aspirant Botox user could currently hope to achieve. Robb has created a 'future world' that is extrapolated from our own, and therefore recognisable enough for the reader to feel comfortable in. The differences however set these books apart, giving them a flavour all of their own, a unique and engaging edge over similar crime fiction series.

Reason number 2: I offer for consideration the intimacy between Eve and her (ubiquitous) multi-billionaire squeeze  'Roarke' (yes, as in Cher and Madonna). Believe it or not, these (steamy) pages are actually worth reading, a massive step up from crap like Fifty Shades and away from the common author mistake of 'over share' on the details (in honour of my last statement, I am not going to over share examples of 'over share'!). Eve and Roarke have an attraction that the reader can believe in, without having to accept it was a) instantaneous and b) based on nothing more than a smoldering first glance.
It is a rare and amazing treat to be able to read EVERY page of a book without the usual problem of boring and transactional 'romance'.

I admit, I cannot know for sure that book six through thirty nine will be as immensely readable as the first five, but at this stage I am more than willing to drop the cash to find out!

Reader heaven, a nearly inexhaustible supply of sure things!

If you would like to sample some of the 'In Death' Series, all thirty nine books are available for purchase from Amazon.com via the link below.

'In Death Series' By J D Robb

All purchases made through this link will support Little Miss Kindle :)
Many thanks!





Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Big Little Lies: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing!

Wow, this is one cunning book! Luring readers in with 'the funny' before delivering a plot line that will alternatively break hearts, raise hackles and devastate.

First with the 'Funny'......

The beginning of 'Big Little Lies' had me laughing in recognition as Moriaty introduces us to the Parents of Pirrawee Public School. Much like the children, these parents quickly separate themselves into cliques and alliances. 
Hollywood 'Mean Girls' style (though set in Australia), the Mums and Dad's find themselves firmly in one of two parental camps after an episode of bullying during the orientation day for Kindergarten.

Two Alpha females struggle for control of the hearts and minds of the school: Madeline ( a grown up 'shiny girl'; loud, sparkly, opinionated and big hearted) and Renata ( career Mum with a BIG job and LOTS of board meetings) are both convinced in the righteousness of their cause.
Madeline in defence of the accused bully Ziggy, who steadfastly denies all charges and Renata in her drive to ostracize Ziggy and his waif like mother from the school community.

Moriarty, initially writes her characters so that is clear who is 'good' and who is 'nasty'. While we understand why Renata is so driven to protect her daughter Amabella ('It's a real name, it's French..... we didn't make it up!) who is a victim of the 'bully', it is clear that she steps over the line to become a bully herself. Madeline, while brash and outspoken is clearly on side of justice.

Here is where the story becomes tricky, gradually moving from an amusing story of the innocence of childhood and the political machinations of parental cliques to something more sinister.
Rape and domestic violence rear their vile heads, with all the confusion of guilt and love that come along with these. Characters that seem originally to be supporting, Jane, mother of the infamous 'Ziggy' and the beautiful and wealthy Celeste, a vague and anxious mother of twin boys, come to the fore of the narrative.

Moriarty begins to expertly manipulate the emotions of her readers and what was a light and fun book darkens to something that offers more grit and substance.

I really adored 'Big, Little Lies', it delivered so much more than I was expecting. I love being surprised by a book and while 'twist' endings are exciting, how much more impressive when a narrative can morph from a Teddy Bear into a real Bear!

This shape shifting modern classic is available for purchase from Amazon.com via the following link:

'Big Little Lies' by Liane Moriarty

All purchases made via this link will support Little Miss Kindle's reading and reviewing addiction. Many Thanks!



Sunday, 28 September 2014

Gone Girl: Why you should get on the Band Wagon too

Talk about a late bloomer, finally I am on the 'Gone Girl' band wagon! 

For a self confessed reading addict, I really cannot explain this delay as other than a lapse in judgement. More telling perhaps, is that it took an afternoon drive time radio show to push me over the edge (over edge into reading that is....I went over the other edge years ago :).

Thank heavens for drive time! Gone Girl is well worth the hype it has generated in the years since its release (maybe that's why I hadn't read it, too much hype?).

An intense and startling novel, 'Gone Girl' is so crammed with icy cold suspense that I nearly broke my golden 'never read ahead' rule.

Problem was I had an urgent need to know..... let me explain with a quick non spoiler review.

Nick and Amy are young, married and in love when their perfect life starts to come apart. After losing their jobs and discovering Nick's mother is dying from cancer they move from New York to the vastly 'different' Missouri to care for her.
Problem is Amy is desperately unhappy with the move and Nick copes by becoming ever more distant from his struggling wife.
In the midst of marital struggles, the unthinkable happens and Amy disappears without a trace.

All to soon suspicion falls on Nick, after all, isn't it always the husband? As a reader, emerging details rocked my faith in Nick as well, is he the good guy he seems, or an abusive and cruel husband. Hence my issue, I HAD TO KNOW.

Some advice, follow my rule. DO NOT read ahead to see, you will ruin this book for yourself. Don't do it. Just don't. (Also don't google 'Gone Girl' either... not every site avoids spoilers).

One definite 'do' is: Do read 'Gone Girl'. Gillian Flynn has created a taut psychological thriller that will deliver surprises, shocks and SUSPENSE right through to the gut wrenching end.

To read Gone Girl now, download to your free Kindle app from amazon via the following link:

'Gone Girl' By Gillian Flynn

Happy Reading!