Book Review: The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

The Black EchoThe Black Echo by Michael Connelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It took a while to work through my to-read list and make it to my signed copy of The Black Echo. I met Michael at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, had the customary quick chat and walked away with a couple of his books signed – made it worthwhile bringing that book from home. This gives you an idea that I have roughly a 8-9 month to-be-read list that isn’t really becoming any shorter.

For those crime genre fans who haven’t heard of Michael Connelly or his Harry Bosch series, I’d suggest that the rock you are living under is a little cramped and this book should encourage you out into the fresh air. When Michael writes a crime novel it is an intensely good read from a master in the genre. Don’t believe me? They asked him to come on the TV show Castle because of his writing cred. If I have one criticism of the Bosch series it is that not every book is as compelling as this one. I was not a fan of City of Bones, despite it being an adequate crime novel.

Of course, I can’t post a Michael Connelly review without my favourite moment from his appearance on TV. Enjoy.

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Book Review: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint

A Most Peculiar Malaysian MurderA Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really do enjoy a good mystery novel. They can make do without the sex and violence of normal crime or thriller stories and yet still keep you intrigued. Shamini did have a good reason for eschewing sex and violence, her mother edits it all out. Fortunately she left the humour and intrigue in.

This is my first Shamini Flint novel, and features the fat Indian Inspector from Singapore, Inspector Singh. Singh is the atypical hero, someone you would prefer not to know. Yet you find yourself wanting the inspector to triumph in his battle to find the truth. You also wish that he went somewhere a little less humid, so as to avoid sweating.

Shamini takes an interesting approach to writing a murder mystery. She picks a topic or issue she wants to explore and then writes a murder to bring the fat inspector onto the scene. In this way, her novel is as much social commentary as it is murder mystery. I was quite interested in the look into law in Asia, especially the conflicts and overlaps between the different court systems there.

If you like mysteries, then you’ll enjoy Inspector Singh Investigates.

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Book Review: The Genesis Flaw – LA Larkin

The Genesis FlawThe Genesis Flaw by L.A. Larkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got a lot of mileage out of the Sydney Writers’ Festival this year. Saw a lot of great authors and presentations, picked up some fantastic books and had a good time. I’d like to see my local Perth Writers’ Festival get the same sponsorship so they could put on a big event too. I’m looking at you Dymocks!

Anyway, I saw LA Larkin talk about her writing and the book The Genesis Flaw and managed to miss out on picking up a copy. I blame the scheduling and Sydney baristas for not knowing how to make a real cup of tea. Fortunately The Sydney Writers’ Centre were kind enough to send me a copy. Yes I’m getting to the review.

I’ve read three or four GM crop themed thriller novels this year, this was the most realistic of them by far. At the Writers’ Festival LA mentioned some of her research methods, put lightly she goes to great lengths, even Antarctica (she even mentioned a hackers conference she attended and how to spot the undercover cops). A still hate the anti-GM themes in books, being a plant scientist and all.

Despite this, LA has put together a very believable and engaging thriller. I was caught up in the story and liked the more realistic ending to the novel. This was an engaging tale of David vs Goliath, people who have had their phone hacked vs Rupert Murdoch, 99% against the 1% (that’ll get the site traffic up). This book is well worth a read if you like the idea of an eco-thriller to make you think.

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Book Review: Wyatt by Garry Disher

Wyatt (Wyatt, #7)Wyatt by Garry Disher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I’ve been an Australian reader for this long and not read a Garry Disher novel. Sure, I’d heard of him, he’s a perennial favourite of the Australian Crime Thriller awards and community. But it was only his appearance at the Sydney Writers’ Festival – with Shamini Flint and Michael Connelly – that convinced me to buy Wyatt.

Of course I got Garry to sign my copy and dutifully put it on my shelf of “To Be Read” books. I really should have picked it up earlier to read. I should have read more Wyatt novels. I should have read Garry’s other series. Wyatt is crime noir, gritty and fast paced. If that is what strikes your mood then this book should entertain you nicely.

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