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Posted by on 5 Feb, 2022 in Australian Crime Fiction, Canberra Weekly, Crime, Thriller | 0 comments



Canberra Weekly 3 February 2022

This week in the Canberra Weekly I reviewed three new novels to start your February reading off with.

Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay (HQ, 2 February 2022)

My favourite of the three was the latest suburban thriller by Linwood Barclay, Take Your Breath Away (HQ, 2 February 2022). This is one of Barclay’s better novels of recent years and is a good twisty read with a multitude of plot strands and secrets, all set against a believable suburban backdrop.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Linwood Barclay matches Harlan Coben in his ability to create clever twisty storylines that grab your attention from the opening page. In Take Your Breath Away, widower Andrew Mason comes under suspicion when his supposedly dead wife, Brie, turns up at their old family home screaming accusations before disappearing again. Is it really Brie, or is there something more sinister going on?  This is a very entertaining tale that skips along at a good pace and offers several neat surprises.  Barclay excels at this type of suburban thriller with its credible, ordinary characters, and Take Your Breath Away will not disappoint his many admirers.”

I will be doing a longer review of Take Your Breath Away over the next few days.

We Are The Brennans by Tracey Lange (Macmillan, December 2021)

Offering a change of pace is Tracey Lange’s debut family drama We Are The Brennans (Macmillan). Set in New York and featuring a sprawling Irish American family, it also has plenty of family secrets and lots of human drama.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Fans of intense family dramas will enjoy We Are The Brennans by Tracey Lange. Set in New York it follows the tribulations of an Irish Catholic family beset by old secrets and potential financial ruin. After a drunken car accident in Los Angeles, Sunday Brennan returns home to New York and the family’s pub business, but finds that trouble from her past has followed her. Together the family must pull together and deal with damaging family secrets in order to go forward. This is a confident and engaging debut that bodes well for Tracey’s future as an author.”

The Gallerist by Michael Levitt (Fremantle Press, February 2022)

Michael Levitt’s debut crime novel, The Gallerist (Fremantle Press, February 2022), is not so much a ‘whodunit’ as a ‘who-painted-it’. A gently paced and enjoyable cosy crime novel, the story revolves around the provenance of an unusual painting.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Also very engaging is Michael Levitt’s debut crime novel The Gallerist.   Perth gallery owner Mark Lewis becomes caught up in art fraud, when a local woman brings him a painting that looks like it was done by enigmatic artist James Devlin. As Lewis searches for the painting’s true provenance, he finds that Devlin is determined to keep his past confidential, and will go to any lengths to ensure that his secrets are kept. The Gallerist is a leisurely and well-written mystery, with a touch of romance, that provides an entertaining look behind the scenes of the art world. Pleasant fun.”

I also did a longer review a back in late January:

So some varied and enjoyable reading for the last month of summer (Australia).

Thanks to the publishers and the Canberra Weekly for the books.

The weekly reviews can also be seen on the Canberra Weekly site:

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