April was a month of mixed reading fortunes with a couple of excellent reads juxtaposed by several absolute duds (including two tomes which will remain forever unfinished) and rounded out by the usual middle of the pack selection. My pick of the month is going to new-to-me author Honey Brown’s THROUGH THE CRACKS which managed to surprise me despite the publisher’s efforts to suck the suspense from it by including a major plot spoiler in the first line of the back cover blurb. It is the tale of a teenage boy’s escape from abuse and although a grim subject manages not to be a depressing book.
The Rest (in reading order, minus the DNFs)
While I read a fair amount during the month I was not a diligent reviewer, neglecting several books for no reason other than laziness
- Sue Grafton’s W IS FOR WASTED was not the best of this long-running series for me – it needed some editing
- Karin Fossum’s CALLING OUT FOR YOU (also known as THE INDIAN BRIDE which is a much better title) was a book I really enjoyed but never got around to reviewing. Its tale of late-blooming love brought to an abrupt end is compelling and hearbreaking.
- William Brodrick’s THE DISCOURTESY OF DEATH is up for discussion at my book club this month and was a confronting read that could generate some discussion with its exploration of the notion of killing for the greater good.
- Ilsa Evans’ NEFARIOUS DOINGS is the first title in an Australian cosy mystery series that shows lots of promise with its humour and well-drawn cast of characters.
- Sarah Hilary’s debut police procedural SOMEONE ELSE’S SECRET made for compelling listening though I have to admit there was perhaps one too many plot thread.
- The sheer weight of Leif G.W. Persson’s LINDA, AS IN THE LINDA MURDER got to me before the end but there are elements of the book that are quite brilliant
- Belinda Bauer’s latest psychological thriller THE FACTS OF LIFE AND DEATH gripped me completely (this was nearly my pick of the month)
- Kelly Braffet’s SAVE YOURSELF was a grim but captivating tale of three young people in small-town USA weighed down by their families and choices.
- Dick Francis’ FOR KICKS is comfort listening
- Ken Bruen’s THE GUARDS introduces Jack Taylor (and will soon be the subject of a book vs adaptation post)
Progress towards book-ish goals
As far as official challenges go I read 2 more books for the Australian Women Writers challenge, bringing my total to 8 read, 7 reviewed and read another great book for the Reading USA Fiction challenge. On a down note for the second month in a row I failed to make any mark at all on my pre-2014 TBR pile.
I’ve also continued to actively support my resolve to only buy books within Australia (audio books excluded) but didn’t manage to read any crime fiction by Irish women this month.
Here in Australia it’s the middle of Autumn and I turned the household heating on for the first time just last night. This time of year has always said “serious reading can now commence” so I’ll hopefully knock off a good chunk of the rather alarming number of books that arrived for the judging panel that I’m on this year in the coming weeks. And maybe a ring-in or two just to keep things interesting.
What about you? Did you read anything memorable during April?