Book Reviews

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), July 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews


NEW FICTION Mateship With Birds by Carrie Tiffany is published in hardback by Picador, priced pounds 14.99. Available now.

The latest from Orange Prize-shortlisted Australian author Carrie Tiffany is set in the 1950s countryside, where single mother Betty looks after her children and the neighbourly farmer Harry looks out for Betty.

Part narrative, part ornithologist Harry's diary entries about a small family of kookaburras, the novel is a tender exploration of normal lives and finding love when you thought all hope was lost.

Each character, from lustful teen Michael, to feisty Little Hazel and creepy neighbour Mues, is carefully crafted to capture the reader and keep them interested all the way through.

Tiffany paints the post-war era, with its sexual repression, poignantly and questions what it means to be a family.

XO by Jeffery Deaver is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton, priced pounds 18.99. Available now. King of suspense Jeffery Deaver promised he would alternate books about quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance, a body analysis expert with the California Bureau of Investigation, and he has remained true to his word.

Deaver is one of the genre's most prolific writers. XO follows The Burning Wire in 2010 featuring Rhyme and Carte Blanche - the latest instalment in the James Bond series, published in 2011.

In XO, Dance finds herself in the right place at the right time when her country singer friend Kayleigh Towne reveals she is being stalked by an obsessed fan, shortly before a homecoming concert.

Despite being off-duty, Dance jumps into action when one of Towne's crew is killed, echoing the lyrics of one of her own songs.

Fans of Deaver - a folk singer who has gone to the effort of writing 11 'Towne' tracks and even recorded an accompanying album - will enjoy his latest book, even if they have an inkling of what to expect.

Whatever It Takes by Adele Parks is published in paperback by Headline Review, priced pounds 11.99. Available now.

How far would you go to secure your family's happiness? Or even to create that perfect family in the first place? That's the question Adele Parks poses in her 12th novel. Eloise and her husband Mark have a content home life with their three young daughters in London, which they leave behind for a change of pace in Dartmouth.

While Mark has dreamed of living in the countryside for years, Eloise struggles with being farther away from her best friend Sara and closer to her mother-in-law Margaret.

We hear, through their own voices, how intent Sara is on having a baby - and how she will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. …

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