Category Archives: Book Review

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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The Julian Calendar by William Henry – 2018

A year in the life of a young man, Daniel Jamieson, as he recovers from a love affair, befriends an older man, and has various other romantic experiences. Daniel had a ‘love of my life’ relationship with Bridget, an Australian … Continue reading

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The Fell by Robert Jenkins – 2019

This is an extraordinary novel, a bildungsroman set for the most part in a boarding school reminiscent of Gormenghast, where an unnamed narrator makes his way in a community of violent, abandoned teenaged boys. The Fell is short for Feallan … Continue reading

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When it All Went to Custard by Danielle Hawkins – 2019

What a delightful book.  Jenny’s neighbour Andrew seeks her out to tell her he has found her husband in bed with his wife – the rest of the book deals with the fall out of this infidelity.  It is an … Continue reading

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One for Another by Andrea Jacka – 2018

One for another is a classic Western set in Idaho in the 1880s.  It is full of great characters, balances colonial racism with the recognition of indigenous wisdom and is also a cracker of a murder mystery.  The novel introduces Hennessey … Continue reading

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The Lost Dead by Finn Bell – 2019

The lost dead is a psychological thriller, not at all lacking in thrills but also working hard to round out the characters: the Rarua brothers, young Sophie, Eustus Grey and her fellow cops, and the psychopath: Charles Atkins – The … Continue reading

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The Nancys by R.W.R. McDonald – 2019

A small-town murder mystery with lots of suspects, dull police, amateur sleuths, a bundle of local secrets and lashings of glitter. Tippy Chan is 11 and living in Riverstone, South Otago: “Main Street was busy today … I counted seven … Continue reading

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Whatever It Takes by Paul Cleave – 2019

In Paul Cleave’s Whatever it takes we have moved away from his ‘gateway to hell’ Christchurch to Acacia Pines, a small isolated town in the U.S.  Acacia Pines is a sawmill town, surrounded by a “Green Hole” of forests, with … Continue reading

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Rufus Marigold by Ross Murray – 2019

Graphic Novels can be beautiful, informative, funny, moving and sad.  Rufus Marigold is all of these.  Rufus Marigold is the alter ego of the author, and he is living with anxiety.  He is depicted as a hybrid man/chimpanzee – successfully … Continue reading

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