Jeff Popple reviews three great Easter reads to self-isolate with this Easter eggstra-long weekend. More of Jeff’s reviews can be found on his blog: murdermayhemandlongdogs.com
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Harper Collins, $29.99
The Guest List is a clever homage to the Golden Age murder mystery, with a group of wedding guests isolated on a windswept island off the Irish coast and murder afoot. However, while we know that someone will be murdered, we do not know who and why until the final pages. Instead, Foley gives the reader an array of secrets and potential motives for murder, and skilfully uses shifting viewpoints, alternating timeframes, lots of foreshadowing and clever little deceptions to maximise the mystery and the suspense as we wait for mayhem to occur. Highly entertaining, with a very surprising ending.
The Long Road Home by Fiona McCallum
Fiona McCallum is one of Australia’s most popular authors and The Long Road Home is another inspiring tale about rebuilding your life and taking chances. A continuation of A Life Of Her Own, it follows the re-invigorated Alice Hamilton as she reconnects with her former husband, Rick, who is struggling with the dilemma of whether he should stay on the family farm, or not. Although he lacks the connection to the land that his father had, Rick is reluctant to give up the farm and what it symbolises. A heart-warming and timely book, it deals sensitively with issues of toxic masculinity, rural isolation and emotional repair.
Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
Peter Swanson is a master of the twisty, unpredictable thriller and his latest book is an enjoyable tale about a serial killer who is using a list of crime fiction’s most devious, foolproof murders to concoct their own perfect murders. Told through the eyes of a very unreliable narrator, mystery bookshop owner Malcolm Kershaw, this is an engaging mixture of murder mystery and serial killer thriller. The story moves along at a good pace, helped by Kershaw’s engaging voice and a steady succession of twists and surprises, and interesting reflections on the crime genre. A terrific long weekend read.