Tag: Jane Harper

Books, Books, Books for 2021

I need to quit Twitter, now, seriously … okay, maybe I don’t but damn it, every time I go on there I end up adding yet another one or two books to my Wish List. And today? *groans* I added at least ten. Yes, TEN new books coming out next year that, well, I just have to read. And this doesn’t even take into consideration a whole slew of books I put in my little blue book. Yes, I have a little Moleskine that I jot down titles and authors in, for all the books I need to check out and or research further before I add them to that all important wish list!

Due diligence is key to making sure I buy only books I feel I’m going to enjoy, and, in doing so this last year, I’ve had a lot less duds on my TBR pile—and only one DNF this summer. A brilliant and necessary strategy that’s paying off. But strategy or no strategy, it means I’m also adding a lot more books to my wish list for this coming year than ever before.

Thanks book twitter. And now, the books …

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my 2021 TBR Pile

Today’s challenge from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl are books on our TBR piles. And while I still have a couple of physical books sat on my coffee table, awaiting me, my online wish list has been growing, exponentially, with every recommendation you all keep giving me, never mind what keeps popping up over on twitter.

As most of you already know about the books I currently have, I thought to focus on my wish list, online, and tell you about upcoming 2021 releases I cannot wait for!

THE SURVIVORS by Jane Harper (Feb 2)

Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.

Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

THE SANATORIUM by Sarah Pearse (Feb 23)

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge—there’s something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in.

THE WINDSOR KNOT by S.J. Bennett (Mar 9)

It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals—until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.

Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff’s morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.

DARKNESS FOR LIGHT by Emma Viskic (Mar 16)

After a lifetime of bad decisions PI Caleb Zelic is finally making good ones. He’s in therapy, his business is recovering and his relationship with his estranged wife Kat is on the mend.

But soon Caleb is drawn into the tangled life of his troubled ex partner Frankie, which leads to a confrontation with the cops. And when Frankie’s niece is kidnapped, she and Caleb must work together to save the child’s life. But can Caleb trust her after her past betrayals?

THE CORAL BRIDE by Roxanne Bouchard (May 1)

When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat’s missing captain, Angel Roberts—a rare female in a male-dominated world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn—by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.

When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep.

MIDNIGHT AT MALABAR HOUSE by Vaseem Khan (Jun 22)

As India celebrates the arrival of a momentous new decade, Inspector Persis Wadia stands vigil in the basement of Malabar House, home to the city’s most unwanted unit of police officers. Six months after joining the force she remains India’s first female police detective, mistrusted, sidelined and now consigned to the midnight shift. And so, when the phone rings to report the murder of prominent English diplomat Sir James Herriot, the country’s most sensational case falls into her lap.

As 1950 dawns and India prepares to become the world’s largest republic, Persis, accompanied by Scotland Yard criminalist Archie Blackfinch, finds herself investigating a case that is becoming more political by the second. Navigating a country and society in turmoil, Persis, smart, stubborn and untested in the crucible of male hostility that surrounds her, must find a way to solve the murder—whatever the cost.

So there you have it, not ten, but six solid choices that each have me excited. And you, what have you got on your own wish list of releases for 2021, anything special I should know about?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Reread

Today’s challenge from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, is books we might want to reread. Which is funny, because this January it’s #VintageSciFi month and I was planning on delving into my somewhat extensive library and digging out a few sci-fi books to reread. But when it comes to murder-mysteries or thrillers? Hmm, I don’t know about you, but my wish list is as long as now until eternity so there’s not much chance of me actually rereading anything any time soon.

That said, I can tell you about 10 books I would love to have time to reread, and those include in no particular order:

  • BURY YOUR DEAD by Louise Penny — yes, I know, another Louise Penny, but hey, she’s one of my favourite authors. And I love this one not because it’s a riveting story, but because it is set here, in the beautiful city where I live: Québec City. And, it was the first Louise Penny book I ever read.
  • COLD STORAGE by David Koepp — this one will be one of those books I would enjoy rereading because of the characters, the situation with an outstandingly creepy opening, and one of the best throw away lines I’ve ever read in a book, “the deer just took the lift!” Very funny.
  • DEJA DEAD by Kathy Reichs — this was the first book by Kathy Reichs that I ever read, way back when, and started me reading her series. Back then the books were thicker, had more story depth, and had a whole other Temperance Brennan than emerges in later books. Back at the beginning she was still fighting her alcohol addiction, and was much more of an interesting character.
  • DEEP DOWN DEAD by Steph Broadribb — another great series by another talented author, writing about a female bounty hunter with plenty of grit, this is the book that started it all rolling. Like burnt rubber on the asphalt, this one leave the adrenaline pumping.
  • THE DEFENCE by Steve Cavanagh — still my favourite and the first Eddie Flynn and, I believe, the first book by Steve Cavanagh. This one, like most of Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn series, is packed with clever twists, action, and devious villains. This one is fun, fast and will always have a small space on my nightstand.
  • THE DIME by Kathleen Kent — another first novel in a series that caught my attention because of a kick ass female detective, and a twisty, clever plot that grabbed me from the get go. Another well-written book that’s a fast, pounding read.
  • THE DRY by Jane Harper — not really a full-on series yet, nonetheless, THE DRY kicked off Harper’s rise to fame and if you read this one you will see why. Her writing, setting, sense of place and characters make for an outstanding read. So hot it made my skin blister!
  • RESURRECTION BAY by Emma Viskic — like all of the above this is one I can read and read again because the author has crafted such a great character and put him in such a unique setting, that I read this one in just a couple of sittings. Another thorough well written series that needs shouting out about.
  • THE MISSING INFORMANT by Anders de la Motte — written by a Swedish ex-jurno, set in Sweden, featuring another super flawed but absorbing character delving into a very clever mystery that starts with a dead man, and then? Spirals into a huge cover-up and conspiracy with such a clever and twisted ending you will never see it coming.
  • A GRAVE TALENT by Laurie R. King — the first in the Kate Martinelli series from another skilled author with a talent for clever plots, artful mis-direction, and a character you are drawn too.

So there you have it, ten excellent reads that stayed with me long afterwards so much so I’m happy to say I would reread them in a heartbeat. And you? What books would we find on your list? Leave a comment and a link so we can find you.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Book Summary

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.

Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

What I Thought

Jane Harper has done it again. Written another compelling, thought-provoking, absorbing slice of life in the Aussie outback beneath a blistering sun. THE LOST MAN is as complex and twisted as they come and taking the same formula that worked for The Dry, puts the reader deep in the heart of Queensland, riding roughshod over a family that like The Dry, has one too many secrets buried deep in the scorched red earth.

Everyone, including the Pommy backpackers, has a story to tell. And every character, including the children, have secrets they’re not supposed to share. And as the story and the details surround the grisly death of middle son, Cameron, unfolds, layer after layer, is peeled away revealing forgotten and hidden truths left to long festering in the dark. Family secrets that begin to bleed through as Nathan, the eldest son of Liz and Carl Bright, narrates the story.

Oh, what a wonderfully twisted mind Harper must have, because she skilfully weave a thoroughly absorbing multi-layered story about people struggling on every front: with loneliness, the weather—brutal and unforgiving—to familiar family dynamics. Each character is a richly detailed person with their own set of problems, but the heart of the story is centred around Nathan, as he starts to piece together what happened both present, and past.

These fascinating characters are at the heart of this family drama, but the countryside, and the brutal unforgiving world these people live in, is also a big part of Harper’s storytelling; bringing the landscape to life as breathing, living thing. Her detailed descriptions have you sweating in the heat, they’re so visceral. I felt like I could see the shimmer of the heat across the dry, baked ground, hear that hum of wind and sand, and feel my skin blistering beneath the noon-day sun.

“At night, when the sky felt even bigger, he could almost imagine it was a million years ago and he was walking on the bottom of the sea. A million years ago when a million natural events still needed to occur, one after the other, to form this land as it lay in front of him now. A place where rivers flooded without rain and seashells fossilised a thousand miles from water and men who left their cars found themselves walking to their deaths.”

The one thing you can be certain of, Jane Harper really knows how to tell a great story, giving ample room for each character to draw you in, delving into everyone’s worst fears and dark secrets. And using Nathan, as an amateur detective, slowly and deceptively, unravels and reveals the truth behind Cameron’s death in an utterly believable way. There are a number of themes, including abuse and rape, that are explored with a deft, careful hand. But it’s the family dynamics that Harper excels at, that keep you page turning right through to an end I didn’t see coming till the last minute, when I was as thoroughly surprised as Nathan!

Harper has the ability to captivate the reader and transport them into a wholly believable world, where everyone, including the land, is in a struggle for survival.

If you enjoy emotionally charged, character driven, layered stories, then Jane Harper’s THE LOST MAN is a must.