If you’re looking for a good read, take a look at Scrublands by Australian author Chris Hammer.
Scrublands is set in Riversend, an isolated town in regional Australia, where people are barely holding on through a prolonged drought and coping with the after-effects of a tragedy.
The story follows Martin Scarsden, a journalist coping with his own problems, who has been sent from Sydney to write a feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy.
What sounded like a fairly straight forward assignment to Scarsden, soon develops into a complex, twisted adventure as the truth slowly leaks out and events overtake his story and the people of Riversend.
You’ll meet some interesting characters, get a taste of life lived in the middle of nowhere, and see through a window into a town coping with drought, tragedy, and the loss of opportunity.
I picked up a copy from the book tent at Adelaide Writers’ Week and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Why would a man break out of prison the day before he was due to be released?
This is the question driving the story of Audie Palmer in Life or Death by Michael Robotham.
It’s certainly a question that kept me turning the pages in this well-constructed riddle, and I was a long way in before I picked up the clue that exposes the reason behind Audie’s apparently mindless act.
Life or Death is an intriguing story with an interesting cast of players, including Moss Webster, Audie’s only friend when he was in prison, who gets dragged into the hunt, and FBI Special Agent Desiree Furness, who wants to get to the bottom of what’s really going on.
Of course, there is another group of characters who only want Audie dead, so there is more than enough action to keep you wondering whether Audie is going to end up dead or not before you find out the answer to that initial question.
Think you know a thing or two about the way the world is?
Ready to have some of your facts challenged?
How would you feel if I told you a chimpanzee choosing answers at random scores better than most of us when it comes to answering questions about the state of affairs in the world?
That’s a claim made by the authors of Factfulness: Ten Reasons We Are Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think.
The lead author is Hans Rosling, who spent a major part of his life studying data. Hans is supported by Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund, co-founders of Gapminder.
Take the Gapminder test and see if you do better than those chimpanzees.
After doing the test, buy yourself a copy of Factfulness to discover why we get things so wrong when we think we know the answers, and explore the tools and resources on Gapminder – where you’ll find a lot of useful information.
I think you’ll find this book is an eye-opener, and I’m happy to recommend it as a worthwhile read for anyone who wants to become aware of how good things are in the world today.
A serial killer murdering for kicks. A detective seeking revenge.
When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.
When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.
With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.
For the killer, the game has only just begun…
I enjoyed reading this one, which I picked up from Kobo when I renewed my VIP membership. It’s the first book in the Kay Hunter series. It’s one of those books you want to read right through in one sitting to find out what happens at the end.
Mark Dawson is the author of the John Milton and Beatrix Rose thriller series.
In Phoenix, written to help fund a friend’s medical expenses, Mark brings his two two heroes together for a plausible but highly improbable mission – the usual stuff of thrillers. It’s even got a touch of a POTUS 45 tweet about it, with the Brits doing the dirty work for the CIA.
Shelby Alexander is a ‘fixer’ that shady people turn to when things go off the rails.
He’s no private detective and he’s no saint. He’s not a young hot head either. He’s almost sixty, retired, and living in splendid isolation outside Serenity, Michigan. That doesn’t mean he’s out of harm’s way. In fact, just the opposite becomes apparent when a young woman drops in to die. Serenity is the story of what happens after that.
Serenity is well written, and I was deftly led astray by the storyline, which means I enjoyed a couple of unexpected surprises.
Shelby is one of those characters that grows on you, so it won’t be long before I’ll be reading the next one in this series.
I didn’t quite know what to expect of a story set in rural Michigan. It certainly wasn’t anything like Yorkshire but ShelbyAlexander is just as headstrong as young Sam Dyke.
Over the last week, I’ve enjoyed reading Altered Life and ThePrivate Lie, the first two books in the Sam Dyke Investigations series by Keith Dixon.
Sam’s a bit headstrong but he’s not one of those superhuman investigators you often encounter in thrillers. He’s got his human foibles. I like him as a character. I’m no so sure I’d like him as a partner.
Both books have intriguing plots, and the stories explore different aspects of relationships between people and between private detectives and the police.
The writing style is clear and easy to read. You also get a good sense of the place in which the stories are set.
Rich Leder claims that he writes funny books. He does.
Workman’s Complication is not your typical murder mystery. It has all the required ingredients of a murder mystery – and then some.
Most murder mysteries ask you to suspend belief and join the world of the story to see if you can solve the mystery along with the investigator. This one asks you to suspend all belief in reality so you can enjoy the outrageous adventures of Kate McCall, the crowd living in the House of Emotional Tics, and the Schmidt and Parker Players.
It’s a short story introducing the fast-paced world of ex-US assassin, ex-Hong Kong Police, ex-esoteric monk, Irish-American Mike Delaney.
When I read that string of words describing Mike Delaney I thought of that other ex-monk, ex-policeman, Ten (Guy Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay) but, as I got into the story, I realized Mike Delaney was more like Jack Reacher (Lee Childs) or John Milton (Mark Dawson). Continue reading “One False Move”
So What? How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audienceby Mark Magnacca.
According to Magnacca, if your memos, speeches or presentations are not getting the results you want, it’s probably because they don’t pass the ‘So what?’ test. In other words, your words are about you and not what your audience needs or wants to hear. Continue reading “So What?”