#5Books: Book recs and podcasts

#5Books for the week ending 22 July 2018

So, I’ve been listening to Australian True Crime podcasts. A grand total of two, and I blame these two Audible shows for getting me hooked on it. Right now I’ve listened to Trace, which is a podcast investigating the murder of Maria James in her bookshop in Melbourne in 1980 (reviewing the book that came out of this soon) and The Teacher’s Pet, which is about the disappearance and murder of Lynne Dawson, most probably by her husband, who is and was a manipulative abusive jerk, and …

… I don’t even know why I fell down this rabbit hole. It kind of started with I‘ll be Gone in the Dark  which was everywhere for a bit, and I kind of took a chance on it. When I post my review, you’ll see how confused I am about it, and how unsure I am of how to review it. I actually haven’t posted it bc I have to try and refine it a bit.

These aren’t the first true crime books I’ve tried — I have read books by Helen Garner  who is a well-known Australian author and who made me somewhat uncomfortable with how she inserted herself in the court case she writes about at the link about.

But these other ones afford some distance between the reader and the case and I like that — doesn’t mean I’m not still angry at that the police (Trace and The Teacher’s Pet) and the church (Just Trace) did to these people.

Whew. Have you listened or read any non-fic true crime? Totally started off Serial, didn’t it? Thing is, I”ve never listened to that podcast, but these I am enjoying. (Wait, can you enjoy a true crime book?)

Anyhoo, here are some other book recs:

Some Die Nameless

An ex-mercenary and an embattled journalist find themselves unlikely allies against a corrupt defense contractor.

Ray Devlin is retired, living a simple life off the grid in Florida, when a visit from an old colleague stirs some bad memories–and ends with a gunshot. Soon Devlin is forced to again face a past he’d hoped to leave behind, as a member of a mercenary force that helped put a brutal South American dictator into power.
Tracy Quinn is an investigative reporter at a struggling Philadelphia newspaper decimated by layoffs and cutbacks. Then one day what appears to be a straightforward homicide–a body left in an abandoned rowhouse–draws her and Devlin together, and ultimately enmeshes both in a conspiracy that stretches over twenty years and reaches to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Before long, they’re both the targets of a ruthless assassin haunted by his own wartime experiences. For Devlin, it could all mean a last shot at redemption. For Tracy, the biggest story of her career might just cost her life.

Alright, let me introduce you to the reason this book is on this list so you can marvel (and laugh your ass off) at how my mind works:  it reminds me of a neon sign from The Nice Guys – remember that movie? Funnier than I expected, and this book is nowhere even close to being that funny — but there you go: there’s something 70s about this cover that appeals to me, and apparently my mind works in mysterious ways when it comes to judging a book by it’s cover. 

Which begs the question:  what is the weirdest train of thought you had while judging a book by its cover?

The Apology

Adrian Pomeroy teaches English at an all-boys school ‘full of bullshit artists in blazers’. When he finds himself at the centre of an allegation that might end his career, his life starts to unravel in spectacular fashion. With a police investigation underway, Adrian turns to his detective brother for help, but Noel is battling crippling demons of his own.

As the repercussions of this one accusation lead to the implosion of Adrian’s family, he can no longer ignore the secrets buried in his own past. The Apology is an explosive and shocking portrait of the lies we tell ourselves and each other in order to survive.

What secrets are these brothers hiding? The last line sort of gives the whole blurb a more character-focused perspective, doesn’t it?

The Ones You Trust

The new gripping psychological thriller from bestselling author Caroline Overington, author of The One Who Got Away

Someone has taken her little girl … Emma Cardwell, host of top-rating morning TV show Cuppa, is beloved by audiences and only occasionally stalked by crazy fans. She seems to have it all – fame, money, a gorgeous family – but when her tiny daughter disappears from daycare, Emma is faced with every mother’s worst nightmare. Is this a kidnapping, a product of her high profile, or is somebody out for revenge? As the hours tick by and the pressure mounts, everything comes under scrutiny, including her own marriage, and Emma is forced to confront a terrifying question: can we trust the ones we love?

Well, what starts like a blurb about a media star and a kidnapping, goes somewhere entirely different by the ending, doesn’t it? Colour me intrigued – what did Emma do that would make someone do this to her kid?

The spotted dog 

Intrepid baker and erstwhile investigator Corinna Chapman returns triumphantly in her first adventure in seven years

Corinna Chapman, baker extraordinaire, talented sleuth, stalwart friend and lover is back! When a distraught Scottish veteran from Afghanistan is knocked unconscious, waking up to find his beloved ex-service dog missing, Corinna and her lover, Daniel, find themselves inextricably drawn into the machinations of a notorious underworld gang of drug runners.

Corinna and Daniel need to pull together all the strings to find the connections between their wandering Scottish veteran, his kidnapped dog, a student dramatic society that’s moved into Corinna’s building, burglaries, and the threatening notes that begin to mysteriously appear in Corinna’s apartment. Between her forays into danger, there is still time in Corinna’s life for tender encounters as the delicious aromas of newly baked breads, muffins and treats waft out of Corinna’s bakery, Earthly Delights.

Kerry Greenwood is the author of many bestselling novels including six previous books in the Corinna Chapman series and the wildly popular bestselling Phryne Fisher series

Well now, there is a lot going on here isn’t there? I want to see how it all comes together, but more than that, it just made me smile and , I feel like this might actually be rather enjoyable!

The question of the dead mistress

“Is my husband having an affair with a dead woman?”

For Samuel Hoenig, the proprietor of a unique agency called Questions Answered, the answer to this most recent question is simple. Since there’s absolutely no evidence that apparitions exist, it would be impossible for Ginny Fontaine’s husband to be having an affair with one.

But Samuel’s associate, Janet Washburn, isn’t so easily convinced.

Wrestling with his complicated feelings for Ms. Washburn, Samuel proposes that she take the lead on the question. As soon as her research begins, the husband in question ends up dead, leaving Janet and Samuel wondering if they stand a ghost of a chance at unraveling this twisted tale of danger and deceit.

Alright, with a first line like that, I was utterly hooked. But also, what on earth is going on with the husband and the dead woman, and is this a ghost story? I can’t quite figure out this book, but I WANT to know what happens. 

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