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review 2019-09-18 09:28
The High Window (Philip Marlowe #3)
The High Window - Raymond Chandler

Maybe I shouldn’t have started with the third book in the series. Maybe Raymond Chandler just isn’t my cuppa. Maybe I should stick to old black-and-white films for my noir fixes. Maybe I’ll just leave you with this quote from Chapter 4 that pretty accurately describes my reading experience:

My face was stiff with thoughts, or with something that made my face stiff.


(Read for Halloween Bingo Classic Noir square)


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review 2019-09-16 14:17
ARC REVIEW The Paris Orphan by Natasha Lester
The Paris OrphanA beautifully told story that sweeps you away to a time of war, a place where women struggled for equality. Photojournalist Jessica May sets out to photograph the war from a woman perspective, but what she got was a bunch of men  who thought the war was no place for a woman, unless you were a nurse. It took a year of hassle but finally women journalist were finally allowed on the front line. Jess attached herself to Dan Hallworth's battalion over the previous year they became good friends and he more than once help get her out of trouble and always treated her as an equal. Along with Dan and his men Jess also befriended Dan's adopted niece, Victorine. Victorine was orphaned and taken in by Dan's brother who died shortly after leaving Dan to take care of her the best way he could in the middle of a war. 

2004: D'Arcy Hallworth comes to France to organize and oversee the transportation of a famous anonymous photographer's collection for its first ever showing in Australia or anywhere else. D'Arcy was hand picked to do the job what D'Arcy finds are the published and unpublished works of her idol, a war time photographer who disappeared after the war and her connection to D'Arcy's mother and father; a history she never knew.

I loved Jess's story, it was beautifully told and so realistic. The historical elements, the atrocities of WWII are hard to fathom at times and it takes the photos and the stories which aren't always pleasant to hear about to remind up this actually happened. Natasha Lester captures that time frame and those events on the front line and military politics concerning women so well and throwing in real people adds to that. Jess and Dan's friendship blossoms into something beautiful and I absolutely loved their story. D'Arcy on the other hand I thought it seemed rushed. I didn't quite feel the connection between D'Arcy and Josh as much as I did Jess and Dan and the ending seemed very abrupt and I was a little disappointed with that. Overall, it's a brilliant story.      


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review 2019-09-15 10:00
The Book of Speculation
The Book of Speculation - Erika Swyler

Yay for the library catalog turning up a title I’d never heard of while I was searching for The Night Circus. The Book of Speculation utilizes a variation on what I call the Kate Morton Formula (yes, I know she didn’t pioneer it, but whatever). A present-day individual comes into possession of a piece of the past and commences unraveling a family mystery, the past story and present story alternating in the book. In this case, the mystery is why all the women in Simon Watson’s family have a tendency to drown themselves. Oh, and the women are all circus performers. Swimmers and divers who can hold their breath for unbelievable lengths of time. Mermaids. Drowning mermaids. Honestly, if the book description had just been “Drowning mermaids” I still would have been sold.


The present chapters are told in first person present tense (ugh, why?), and the past in third person past tense. I’m never going to love present tense, but it wasn’t too obnoxious. Aside from that, I enjoyed it. The characters are memorable and the supernatural elements add a lovely flavor. I’m pretty pleased overall with this random library find.


(Read for Halloween Bingo Creepy Carnivals square)


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review 2019-09-03 15:31
narrator changed for this one!
Forsaken (The Protectors, Book 4) - Sloane Kennedy
This is book 4 in the Protectors series, but you don’t need to have read/listened to the other three before this one. Also there is some crossover with the Barrettis series by the same author and I am reading that series and listening to this one, all out of the order the author recommends. Spoilers, is all. Mav stops an attack on Eli in the hospital stairwell and is immediately drawn to the much younger man. He tries to stay away, he really does, but he keeps coming back to check on Eli, but he doesn’t want to get too close, because everyone leaves Mav. Everyone. Eli has other ideas, but he doesn’t want Mav to know about his past. He did some terrible things. When those things come back to affect his younger brothers, Eli knows, he KNOWS all will come out, and Mav will walk away. I’ve been listening to this series, rather than reading it and I struggle to split the narration from the book, like I try to do when writing my reviews for audio books. Also, here? This is not the same narrator as the first three books and I wondered how that would come across, how the VOICES, more importantly, would come across. Had I listened to these back to back, I might have noticed some difference in the voices of previous characters, but I didn’t, either back to back them nor notice the difference in the voices, so I really cannot fault the voices of PREVIOUS characters. What I DID struggle with, at first anyway, was Mav’s voice. I don’t think he actually says a word in any of the other books, although he is mentioned. It’s LOW, so very low it dipped in places outside of my hearing range. Which is odd, cos usually it’s the HIGHER pitch voices I lose. But this is a problem I seem to have with Pauley. The dipping of the voices. And since this is written in the first person, there is no reading voice, as such. It’s either Eli, or Mav, with the other voices breaking it up. So struggled a bit, quite a bit at the beginning. It DOES get better, maybe I grew used to Mav, maybe I grew used to Pauley again, after a while. I don’t know, but it did get better. I cannot fault the story line though! SO much pain carried by both men, for so very different reasons, and Pauley does get that across well, the pain these men have. 5 stars for the book 4 stars for the narration (but it was very nearly 3!) 4.5 stars overall **same worded review will appear elsewhere**


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review 2019-08-31 14:51
Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan

Contemporary romance isn’t really my cuppa, but this was enjoyable. I didn’t have as much trouble keeping track of all the characters as I feared I would (I admit, I’m daunted any time there’s a family tree at the start of a book), and yet I felt like I could have done without some of the family subplots. Actually, Astrid’s subplot could have been given its own book and I would have happily read it as its own story. As part of Rachel and Nick’s story, it just added to the clutter. I am undecided on whether I want to read the rest of the series or just imagine happily ever afters for the characters I cared about. We’ll see, I guess.

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