Category Archives: Book Review

The Manger, the Mikdash and the Mosque by David McGill – 2020

1975, Dan Delaney, now ‘damn near 60’, travels with his devout wife, Jas, and two daughters to ‘… this busy city on a hill in the middle of nowhere, the centre of everywhere’ – Jerusalem.  There he encounters kidnappings, bomb … Continue reading

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In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare – 2020

You never escape a cult. This chilling thriller is told from two points of view: Amy, a teenage member of a messianic cult, who is instrumental in the abduction of a young girl, and under the thrall of Adrienne, the … Continue reading

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The Snow Thief by C.J. Carver – 2020

The snow thief is a murder mystery set in Tibet.  It is a book about reincarnation – of people across and throughout their lives, and of communities as they spread, come into conflict and change. Shan Lia Bao, Police Supervisor … Continue reading

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The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman – 2020

People are caught up in a hostage situation in a London café.  At the heart of the crisis are five people, they hear each other’s stories, they form a little community in the centre of the chaos – and the … Continue reading

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Wife after Wife by Olivia Hayfield – 2020

Harry Rose is a super-rich, super-privileged British businessman.  Having inherited his fast-track rise to his position as head of the Rose Corporation, he has encountered setbacks but has almost always had things his own way, and he has been living … Continue reading

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Shakti by Rajorshi Chakraborti – 2020

Where do divisive thoughts come from?  Why do extreme nationalism and xenophobia take hold in a community?  Why is misogyny, homophobia and intolerance so rife?  Playing out in Bengal in recent times, Shakti asks us to consider the role the … Continue reading

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Moonlight Sonata by Eileen Merriman – 2019

Moonlight sonata starts like a typical slice of New Zealand life novel, with a family meeting up for the Christmas/New Year break in a seaside home, with the usual tensions and jealousies. But this book turns into a much more … Continue reading

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Josephine’s Garden by Stephanie Parkyn – 2019

What does it mean to be a woman in a time of revolution, a time of colonial expansion?  Was Rose de Beauharnais an extraordinary woman or a woman in extraordinary times?  She hailed from exotic Martinique, narrowly survived the reign … Continue reading

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Scented by Laurence Fearnley – 2019

Siân Rees is a senior lecturer in American Studies at the University of Auckland, supported by the head of her department, Archer Hall, and used to picking up the slack for her ambitious young colleague, Jerome Roy.  She lives alone, … Continue reading

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The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox – 2019

Taryn Cornick is a lover of libraries, a valuer of ‘just in case knowledge’, and an observer: “She was always studying the world, not rapt or curious, but patient and dutiful, as if the world was something she’d paid good … Continue reading

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