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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Book talk: Families and adventures

Jeff Popple reviews three books about families, adventurers and that ‘Reacher Guy’. More of Jeff’s reviews can be found on his blog: murdermayhemandlongdogs.com

book cover with the beach

Before the Storm by Di Morrissey

Macmillan, $34.99

Di Morrissey is one of Australia’s most successful authors and her popular novels have sold over three million copies. Her locational based dramas have found a very appreciative audience that continues to grow with each book. Her latest, Before the Storm, is set on the beautifully described Victorian coastline and is an engaging novel about families, old secrets and a destructive development proposal. It starts a little slowly, but once underway the tension mounts as the storm of the title approaches. The characters of the seaside town of Storm Harbour are lovingly sketched and Morrissey smoothly draws the reader into her story. A good family drama.

book cover

Adventurers, Pioneers and Misfits by Jim Haynes

Allen & Unwin, $29.99

Jim Haynes is an engaging storyteller, and his latest book is an entertaining romp through the quirky backwaters of Australian history. Just in time for Christmas, Haynes has gathered an enjoyable collection of true-life tales about some of our oddest characters. From swimmer Annette Kellerman, who progressed from exhibitions in a large fish tank in Melbourne to performing on the American vaudeville circuit and starring in the purportedly first million dollar silent movie; to the ground-breaking female politician Edith Cowan whose father was hanged for murder; to Aussie Rules pioneer Tom Willis who stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Fascinating reading.

book cover

The Reacher Guy by Heather Martin

Constable, $32.99

The Reacher Guy is a must for the many fans of the bestselling Jack Reacher novels. Heather Martin’s revealing biography of British author Jim Grant, better known as Lee Child, charts his progression from high flying TV executive to one of the most recognisable brands in publishing. Drawing on her correspondence and interviews with Child, as well as conversations with his friends and family, Martin charts how he turned his fascination with America into a highly profitable series of books that have attracted millions of devoted fans from around the world. An enlightening glimpse into the world of bestselling fiction writing. Highly recommended.

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