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VickiT (Australia)

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Love, Revenge and Retribution Vol. 1 (Haunting Stories)
Love, Revenge and Retribution Vol. 1 (Haunting Stories)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint-hearted, 17 Nov. 2013
Three quite different short stories, though all are intense and evocative. Sensory details and subtext give each story real depth.

I was left thinking about the stories, but especially The Candle, long after I closed the book. A quick but thought-provoking read.

One of Us
One of Us
Price: £2.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story, 24 Sept. 2013
This review is from: One of Us (Kindle Edition)
"The city moved around me, people living their own lives and not caring about mine. I was like the road sign or the pavement, just there, part of the city, one tiny broken piece and no-one would notice if I was gone." - One of Us

I read this in one sitting - I just couldn't put it down. One of the best books I've read this year. Anna, the story's main character, might be one of the "invisible" people, but she possesses a resilience and inner strength that makes her stand out. The writing is evocative and emotion-charged without being melodramatic. Details bring it to life. I can see why it was shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger award.

A must-read.

The ShadowRipper - Damnation
The ShadowRipper - Damnation
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, tense and evocative, 12 Sept. 2013
"Carefully unfolding each, she realized as she read them, life was as delicate as the paper held in her hand. The letters spoke of love and cruel loss and what happens when dreams die." --The Shade | Episodes One & Two - Shadowtrapped

We all take our shadows for granted - take for granted that they're nothing more than a trick of the light. But what if hidden in that shade is the key to who we really are.

Rick Blackerd is the reluctant inheritor of a legacy that will change his life forever. He is the last surviving member of a family who can recognise evil in shadows and do something about it.

The author writes with an effortlessness that is both compelling and insightful. Humour and wit punctuate the story, giving light to what would otherwise be all dark. A tight, tense and evocative read. I look forward to the next instalment.

Highly recommended.

Price: £3.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive environmental thriller, 6 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Thirst (Kindle Edition)
"Snow algae. Look at the colours: the pink algae, the white ice, the blue sky - it's breathtaking. It's untouched. Antarctica is like the Garden of Eden before man cocked it up." - Thirst

The blurb doesn't do this impressive environmental thriller justice. Based on that alone, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book. So thank you to everyone who recommended it.

This action-packed thriller has it all: a unique setting, fast pace, engaging characters (especially Maddie and Luke), a high body count, understated sexual tension and penguins. I'd even go as far as to say it's heart-pounding - mine certainly was at times.

Thirst is both entertaining and informative. What makes it even more compelling is that the scenario is terrifyingly plausible. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" springs to mind. We can only hope the real life Maddies and Lukes continue to prevail.

A must-read.

Being Light
Being Light
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal whimsy, 16 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Being Light (Kindle Edition)
'We don't give information about extraterrestrials, we collect it.'
'Do you know where I can get information?'
'We don't give information.'
'You won't even give me information about where to get information?'
'No.' - Being Light

I'd been saving this for a rainy day, because after reading Alison Wonderland, I knew that once I started reading this, I wouldn't be able to put down. Being Light didn't disappoint.

If I can describe Being Light in one word, it'd be surreal. Reading it, I felt like I'd been sucked into one of author Helen Smith's dreams and bounced from craziness to craziness. And what a ride it was.

Highly recommended.

Mad Men, Bad Girls: A Scout Davis Investigation 1
Mad Men, Bad Girls: A Scout Davis Investigation 1
Price: £8.72

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Aussie mystery, 14 Jun. 2013
"I can't describe what it is that makes Byron special; there's an intangible quality that's difficult to define. Apart from the outstanding natural beauty, there's a soul that seeps into your bones. Byron is an eclectic mix--cultured and feral, chamomile and gin, tattoo and Gucci. With attitude." - Mad Men, Bad Girls

Scout Davis, a diabetic, tea-drinking journalist, lives in Byron Bay, her only company while her partner is away working in Afghanistan a rescued cat she calls Chairman Meow. She's investigating a rumour that an American cult has established itself somewhere in the Gold Coast hinterland. When she discovers a childhood friend of her daughter's has been caught up with the group, it becomes personal.

For me, it rambled a little at the start, which I realise was all to do with story and character set-up, but it did make me itch to get to the guts of the story. However, once into it, I didn't want to put the book down.

Mad Men, Bad Girls is a light-hearted, entertaining mystery laced with that quintessential irreverent Aussie humour. The characters, none of whom are perfect with maybe the exception of Chairman Meow, are real and relatable. A most enjoyable read.

I look forward to reading Good News, Bad News.


4.0 out of 5 stars Sensory with a rich sense of place, 21 April 2013
This review is from: Inheritance (Kindle Edition)
"Cassie kicked at the parched earth with the toe of her boot. Spurts of dust flew up. `It seems hard to believe that this is usually covered with green feed. With everything so dry I guess we're lucky to have as many calves as we've had this year.'" -Inheritance

Set in Far Northern Australia, Inheritance is an engaging romantic mystery. It is wonderfully sensory with a rich sense of place - it couldn't be set anywhere but Australia - with a cast of interesting and well-drawn characters. Cassandra Taylor, Inheritance's heroine is no meek country girl able to be pushed around. More than anything, this story is about her journey from girl to woman.

Highly recommended. I look forward to reading more from Kate Loveday.

Rough Justice 2nd Edition
Rough Justice 2nd Edition
Price: £7.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and interesting, 6 Feb. 2013
While not a prerequisite, Rough Justice 2nd Edition will be more meaningful for those familiar with Australia's high profile murder cases e.g. Jennifer Tanner, Jaidyn Leskie, Peter Falconio, to name a few.

The information presented about Bradley Murdoch (convicted for the murder of Peter Falconio) certainly had me questioning my stance on the case and the safety of his conviction.

There was some repetition from chapter to chapter, though the book's structure almost made this necessary - I read it from beginning to end, but a reader could pick and choose what to read and still have all the requisite background.

Highly recommended for true crime buffs interested in the Australian legal system and its shortcomings. Robin Bowles is one of my favourite true crime writers.
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Writer's Little Helper
Writer's Little Helper
Price: £7.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Practices what it preaches, 24 Jan. 2013
Most impressed with The Writer's Little Helper. It's easy reading and constructive with lots of useful techniques, but more than that it practices what it preaches. And it is anything but preachy.

Best of the writing craft books I've read recently. Highly recommended.

The Non-Campaign (The Perpetual Campaign; Book 4)
The Non-Campaign (The Perpetual Campaign; Book 4)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Best one yet, 20 Dec. 2012
"Is there something kind of evil about this?" Evan said. "I mean this celebration of wealth and power--" -The Non-Campaign (The Perpetual Campaign; Book 4)

Another gripping and fast-reading instalment in Truscott's ever-evolving Perpetual Campaign series. Truscott's strength here is the dialogue, which has matured over the series and is both compelling and convincing.

For me, the politics remains a backdrop, the real story the people. Especially Governor Clarissa Jennings, who is stronger than ever, yet just as vulnerable as the young idealist she once was.

I enjoyed the surprise ending. No spoiler alert, but in hindsight, it's what the story had been building towards.

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