Abundant Books

The blog of a self confessed book addict. Reviews and musing about what, where and how I read.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Broken Shore
By Peter Temple

Joe Cashin, a city homicide cop recovering from an injury and broken by his last case, returns to the quiet coastal area of South Australia where he grew up to run its one-man police station while his wounds heal and the nightmares fade. He lives a quiet life with his two dogs in the tumbledown wreck his family home has become. It's a peaceful existence - ideal for the rehabilitating man. There he investigates the beating death of elderly millionaire Charles Bourgoyne. After three aboriginal teens try to sell Bourgoyne's missing watch, the cops ambush the boys, killing two. When the department closes the case, Joe, a melancholy, combative cynic sympathetic to underdogs, decides to find the truth on his own. His unauthorized inquiry, which takes him both back in time and sideways into a netherworld of child pornography and sexual abuse, leads to a shocking conclusion.

The relentless story of a town with a hidden past versus a man who is trying to forget his, "The Broken Shore" delivers powerful, lean writing. Temple chooses his words carefully and sparingly. Incisively drawn characters combine with stunning descriptions of the wild, lush, menacing Australian landscape to make this an unforgettable read.

Watch the First Tuesday Book Club's review of this novel.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Hunt for Atlantis
By Andy McDermott

Andy McDermott takes us a roller-coaster ride in search of the legendary Atlantis. Archaeologist Nina Wilde believes she has found the location of the lost city of Atlantis and now she wants the opportunity to prove her theory. Someone else though wants her dead! With the help of ex-SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase and beautiful heiress Kari Frost, Nina faces a breakneck race against time around the world, pursued at every step by agents of the mysterious - and murderous - Brotherhood of Selasphoros. From the jungles of Brazil to the mountains of Tibet, from the streets of Manhattan to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, the hunt for Atlantis leads to a secret hidden for 11,000 years - which in the wrong hands could destroy civilization as we know it....

You would think that a storyline which involved searching for the lost city of Atlantis would have been done to death by now, but this is a very good first novel for the author. The author is very adept at generating excitement and the book is fast paced. The book was enjoyable. It seems that Nina and Eddie will be back in another book - well worth a read. Good travel fodder.

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Spider Light
By Sarah Rayne

Antonia Weston's life was shattered years ago by a personal tragedy made all-too-public. She moves to the sleepy town of Amberwood, hoping to start afresh. But someone knows exactly who she is and they are determined not to let Antonia forget the past. A trained psychiatrist, Antonia becomes intrigued by Latchkill, a former asylum and Twygrist, an abandoned mill. Both buildings have macabre histories, and as a series of disturbing incidents occur, it would seem the past is very much alive. . .

Rayne does an excellent job of evoking an atmosphere of edgy suspense. She handles multiple narratives with ease and manages to leave no loose ends. I don't usually read crime novels but the gothic atmosphere of this novel, along with the mystery of Amberwood, made it really appealing. Well worth a read.

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