Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: November 2016

The Hanging Tree (November 2016)

By Ben Aaronovitch

November 1, 2016

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one  of the most expensive apartment blocks in London.  But Lady Ty’s daughter was there and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour.

Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basement are bigger than the houses and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean.  But this is Peter Grant we’re talking about.

He’s been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect.  Assuming he survives the week…

No Man’s Land (November 2016)

By David Baldacci

November 1, 2016

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

One man demands justice…

John Puller is the US Army’s most tenacious investigator, but he is not equipped to face the truth about his mother’s disappearance thirty years ago.  New evidence has come to light suggesting that Puller’s father – a highly decorated army veteran – may have murdered his wife.  When Puller’s friend, intelligence operative Veronica Knox, arrives on the scene, he realizes that there is far more to this case than he first thought.  He knows that nothing will prevent him from discovering when really happened to his mother – even if it means proving that his father is a killer.

… the other seeks revenge

Paul Rogers has just been paroled after spending ten years in a high-security prison for murder.  And with his freedom comes a desire to pay back old debts.  Harbouring a dark past that changed him in unimaginable ways, Rogers embarks on a journey across the country, set on  a path of revenge against the people who took away his humanity.

As both men uncover a trail of deception that stretches back decades, they soon realize that the truth will bind them together in ways they could never have imagined.

The Cloud Leopard’s Daughter (November 2016)

By Deborah Challinor

November 1, 2016

A dramtic new novel featuring Kitty, Amber and other favourites from the Smuggler’s Wife series

On the goldfields of the colonies, enemies are easily made.  In the confines of a ship, they can turn deadly.

When Kitty and Rian Farrell sail their schoonerKatipo III into Dunedin Harbour in 1863, they are on tenterhooks.  The new Otago goldfields have attracted all-comers, including their friend Wong Fu from Ballarat, who has sent a message for their help.

To their surprise, Wong Fu reveals he is more than a mere fortune seeker – he is in fact a Cloud Leopard tong master and his daughter, Bao, has been kidnapped and taken to opium-ridden China.

Kitty and Rian agree to retrieve the missing Bao, but as they sail closer to their quarry the stakes jump dramatically.  And little do they know that the deadliest threat lies in their midst.

The Cloud Leopard’s Daughter takes us through dangerous and unpredictable shoals of love, lust, greed and opium, in search of not one, but two fiery yet vulnerable women – puppets in other people’s calculated games.

Night School (November 2016)

By Lee Child

November 1, 2016

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

It’s just a voice plucked from the air:  ‘The American wants a hundred million dollars.’

For what?  Who from?  It’s 1996, and the Soviets are long gone.  But now there’s a new enemy.  In an apartment in Hamburg, a group of smartly dressed young Saudis are planning something big.

Jack Reacher is fresh off a secret mission and a big win.  The army pats him on the back and gives him a medal.  And then they send him back to school.  It’s a school with only three students: Reacher, an FBI agent and a CIA analyst.

Their assignment?  To find that American.  And what he’s selling.  And to whom.  There is serious shit going on, signs of a world gone mad.

Night School takes Reacher back to his army days, but he’s not in uniform.  With trusted sergeant Frances Neagley at his side, he must carry the fate of the world on his shoulders, in a wired, fiendishly clever new adventure that will make the cold sweat trickle down your spine.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye (November 2016)

By Michael Connelly

November 1, 2016

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

‘What do you want me to do?’  Bosch asked again.

‘I want you to find someone for me,’ Vance said.  ‘Someone who might not have ever existed.’

Harry Bosch is working as a part-time detective in the town of San Fernando outside of Los Angeles, when he gets the invitation to meet with the ageing aviation billionaire Whitney Vance.  When he was eighteen Vance had a relationship with a Mexican girl called Vibiana Duarte, but soon after becoming pregnant she disappeared.

Now, as he reaches the end of his life, Vance wants to know what happened to Vibiana and whether there is an heir to his vast fortune.  And Bosch is the only person he trusts to undertake the assignment.

Harry’s aware that with such sums of money involved, this could be a dangerous undertaking – not just for himself, but for the person he’s looking for – but as he begins to uncover Vibiana’s story, and finds uncanny links to his own past, he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

The Wonder (November 2016)

By Emma Donoghue

November 1, 2016

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

Lib Wright, a young English nures, arrives in an impoverished Irish village on a strange mission.  Eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell is said to have eaten nothing for months but appears to be thriving miraculously.  With tourists thronging to see the child, and the press sowing doubt, the baffled community looks to an outsider to bring the facts to light.  Lib’s job is simple: to watch the girl and uncover the truth.

An educated sceptic, trained by the legendary Florence Nightingale and repelled by what she sees as ignorance and superstition, Lib expects to expose the fast as a hoax right away.  But as she gets to know the girl, over the long days they spend together, Lib becomes more and more unsure.  Is Anna a fraud, or a ‘living wonder’?  Or is something more sinister unfolding right before Lib’s eyes, a tragedy in which she herself is playing a part?

Written with all the propulsive tension that transported readers of Room, The Wonder is a haunting psychological thriller about the lengths we go to for the love of a child.

Victoria (November 2016)

By Daisy Goodwin

November 1, 2016

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Assess Radio 105.4FM 26 November 2016 also on podcast

‘I do not care for the name Alexandrina.  Now that I am Queen, I have decided I shall call myself by my middle name, Victoria.  It is my own’

In June 1837, the eighteen-year-old Victoria wakes up to find that she is Queen of the most powerful nation in the world.  But will she be Queen in her own right, or a puppet controlled by her mother and the sinister Sir John Conroy?  Can this tiny girl prevail against the men like her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who believe that women are too hysterical to rule?

Everyone wants her to get married, but Victoria has no intention of entering into a marriage of convenience with her cousin Albert, a shy bookworm who didn’t know how to dance the last time she met him.  She would much rather reign alone with a little help from her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne.  He may be old enough to be her father, but he is the only man who believes that she will be a great Queen, and he knows how to make her laugh.  A husband would only get in the way…

The Whistler (November 2016)

By John Grisham

November 1, 2016

Investigating judicial misconduct by Florida’s one thousand judges.  Lacy Stoltz never expected to be in the firing line.  Until she meets Greg Myers.

An indicted lawyer working under an assumed name.  Myers represents a whistle blower who knows of a judge in league with organised crime.  A judge who, together with her gangster associates, facilitated the building of a casino on an Indian reservation.  Anyone who opposed the casino is dead.

Having skimmed several fortunes off undeclared winnings, this might be the most corrupt judge in US history and under Florida law, Myers and his whistle blower friend could make millions by bringing these activities to the attention of the state.

But first they need Lucy to start an investigation.  In doing so she will be pitting herself against a judge whose associates think nothing of murder.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen (November 2016)

By Hendrik Groen

November 1, 2016

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 26 November 2016 also on podcast

Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn’t planning to be buried any time soon.  Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter and he has to visit his doctor more than he’d like.  But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?

Hendrik sets out to write an expose: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs – not least his new endeavour: the anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club.  And when Eefje moves in – the woman Hendrik has always longed for – he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what’s left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.

A cultural phenomenon in his native Netherlands and now conquering the globe, Hendrik Groen will not only delight older readers with his wit and relevance, but will charm and inspire those who have years to go before their own expiry date.

Hidden Killers (November 2016)

By Lynda La Plante

November 1, 2016

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

A prostitute dressed ina blue rabbit fur coat walks through the darkness of Hackney Fields, seemingly alone.  But someone is waiting for her…

A woman is found dead in her bath, a small child crying in the room next door…  Is it an accidental death or the perfect murder?

When WPC Jane Tennison is promoted to the role of Detective Constable in London’s Bow Street CID, she is immediately conflicted.  While her far more experienced colleagues move on swiftly from one criminal cast to another, Jane is often left with doubts about their findings.

Becoming inextricable embroiled in a multiple-rape case, Jane must put her life at risk in the search for answers.  Will she toe the CID line, or endanger her position by seeking the truth…?

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