Jock Serong Profile and Books

Jock Serong is an Australian writer. He fell into being a lawyer. It sounded like a good profession and he had the marks to get into the University course. But he found it was not where he really wanted to be.

After years of practicing law, Serong started writing for magazines and started work on his first novel in addition to his legal work. But with a young family, he felt overwhelmed with everything he was doing. When QUOTA became a success, Serong decided to give up his job as a lawyer. He has less financial certainty but enjoys what he is doing. Continue reading

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Death Message by Mark Billingham

DEATH MESSAGE is the 7th novel in the Tom Thorne series by Mark Billingham and one of the best in the series that I’ve read.

Thorne is used to investigating murderers, but in this case the murderer is getting personal. Thorne is being sent pictures of the victims to his phone and he has no idea why the murderer has chosen him to receive the messages. The fact that the first two victims were part of the same gang helps Thorne and his team start to narrow down the list of possible murderers.

But the 3rd victim is not part of the gang and things are starting to get a bit closer to home. Thorne is also starting to build a relationship with the killer through phone messages, so much so that Thorne once again steps outside of proper procedure. Continue reading

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Snap by Belinda Bauer

SNAP is the latest novel by Belinda Bauer. This is a standalone novel, however, the character DCI Marvel also appeared in Bauer’s earlier novels DARKSIDE and THE SHUT EYE.

One summer day, Eileen is travelling with her 3 children in the car when the car breaks down. She leaves 11 year old Jack in charge of his sisters – Joy 6 and Merry a baby, while she walks to a phone to get help. She never returns and days later her body is discovered.

The family is devastated and after a while Jack’s father, unable to cope with his grief, leaves the house to go shopping and never returns. Now Jack really is in charge. The children don’t want to lose each other so pretend that there is a parent present and Jack supports the family by breaking into houses. They don’t attend school and no-one notices because no-one really cares. Continue reading

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Here and Gone by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville)

HERE AND GONE is a suspense thriller by Stuart Neville writing under the name Haylen Beck. Neville is best known for his Irish detective novels while this novel is a suspense thriller set in Arizona.

Audra Kinney has finally broken free of her alcohol and drug additions and found the courage to escape from her abusive husband and his controlling mother. Initially she moved to a nearby flat in New York with her children, but now she is travelling to California to start a new life. But she only gets as far as Arizona.

Audra is stopped near a small town by Sheriff Whiteside for a traffic violation. The sheriff then searches her car and finds drugs. Audra is taken to the local police station by the sheriff while her two children are taken by a female deputy. When Audra asks after her children, the sheriff claims that they weren’t in the car when he stopped her. And if the children weren’t with her, then what has she done with them. Continue reading

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The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse

THE BURNING CHAMBERS is set in Carcassonne at the time of the French religious wars. The Catholic church, long dominant in France, is intent on driving the Protestant Huguenots out of the country. This has echoes of the attacks against the Cathars that were featured in Kate Mosse’s earlier novels – LABYRINTH, SEPULCHRE and CITADEL.

Minou Joubert is 19 years old and lives in Carcassonne with her father and younger brother and sister. She is happy and confident but she has overheard her father talking with his good friend Cecile Noubel about secrets concerning her. They want to send her to Toulouse with her brother to keep her safe. She is opposed to leaving until she meets Piet Reydon. Continue reading

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Buried by Mark Billingham

BURIED is the 6th novel in Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne series.

When Luke Mullen, the 16 year old son of a former DCI is kidnapped, Tom Thorne is lent to the kidnapping unit. Here he works with DI Louise Porter and they begin an interesting relationship.

One of their first tasks is to obtain a list of criminals who may hold a grudge against Luke’s father Tony. But as they begin to investigate the names on the list, they find a notable absence. Thorne is sure that the answer to the case lies with the man whose name has been left off the list. And Thorne’s questioning certainly doesn’t endear him to Tony Mullen. Continue reading

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Dark Tides by Chris Ewan

DARK TIDES is a thriller by Chris Ewan set on the Isle of Man.

The Manx version of Halloween is known as Hop-tu-naa. On 31 October 1995, when Claire Cooper was 8 years old, her mother went missing and was never found. Claire never took part in Hop-tu-naa festivities until her teenage years when she became friends with 5 other teenagers who took turns in setting a dare for the group each year.

The practice continued for years until one of the dares went terribly wrong and someone got seriously hurt. After this Claire and her friends went their separate ways. Continue reading

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Quota by Jock Serong

QUOTA is the debut novel of Australian author Jock Serong. The novel is set in Melbourne and a sea side town on the South Coat of Victoria.

Charles Jardim is a lawyer whose life is in crisis. He has just had a tirade against a judge that resulted in 2 days in the lockup and could mean the end to his career. He has also just broken up with his fiancé (a much more serious lawyer than he is). Then an older barrister friend throws him a lifeline.

Harlan Weir has just sent Jardim to the small town of Dauphin where Matthew Lanegan has been murdered. Local men Skip and Mick are suspected of carrying out the murder, but the statement made by Matthew’s brother Patrick is full of holes. Jardim’s job is to find out the truth from Patrick. To complicate matters, the 4 men were involved in the illegal abalone business as well as drug distribution. Continue reading

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Rick Riordan Profile and Books

Rick Riordan was born in 1964 in San Antonio, Texas. He studied English and History at the University of Texas and taught English and History at various schools for 15 years. He was always a writer and attempted to have his work published in his teenage years but it wasn’t till his 30s that his first work (an adult mystery) was published.

It was while telling stories to his children that Riordan invented the character of Percy Jackson. One of Riordan’s son’s has ADHD and dyslexia, so the character of Percy Jackson also has these conditions, a sure sign that he is a demi-god. The original Percy Jackson book became the first in a 5 book series. This was followed by the Heroes pf Olympus series and the Kane Chronicles as well as many supplementary materials. Riordan is now well known as an author for children and young adults (and the young at heart). Continue reading

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Ode to a Banker by Lindsey Davis

ODE TO A BANKER is the 12th Falco novel by Lindsey Davis featuring informer (detective) Marcus Didius Falco and set in the 1st century AD in Rome.

Falco has finally been presented with an opportunity to read his poetry to a group but things don’t go Falco’s way. Firstly the other poet is rich and has booked a large auditorium, secondly the other poet writes appalling poetry and thirdly, the whole event is taken over by Chrysippus, a publisher and patron of several writers.

The next day, Falco is offered the chance to publish his work by an agent of Chrysippus, but he finds the terms unfavourable. But he does happen to be at the publishing house of Chrysippus on the fateful day that he is murdered. Continue reading

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