Book reviews September 2017


DOW reviews some of the hottest books from September's market

Fatal Mistake

Karen M Davis

Simon & Schuster

$35

Fatal -Mistake

Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

2 stars

This book had all the ingredients—undercover cops, drugs, nightclubs, bombs. It just didn’t have… umm I’m not entirely sure.

The plot line seemed pretty solid. Find the people who bombed the Assassin’s clubrooms/find the people dealing drugs/replace the missing porno tapes/keep the Commissioners naughty cop daughter under control/take care of the contract killer—check, check, check, check, check.

So, I’m sitting here wondering where things went wrong. What did I miss? Perhaps it was because the setting was Australia? Nah. Perhaps the writing wasn’t up to scratch? Nah, it wasn’t too bad; quite good for the most part. Dunno. Maybe I was having a bad day, so don’t let that put you off reading it.

If I Die Tonight

A L Gaylin

Penguin Random House

$37

If -I-Die -Tonight

Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

4 stars

If I’m to be entirely honest, this tale started off pretty sloppy and I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for it. Basically, the story centres around Jackie, a divorced mum, and her two teen sons. One is a good boy and the other apparently has wayward tendencies, but both are becoming sullen and withdrawn (I, too, was yawning at this stage).

Throw in a faded 80’s popstar, a Jaguar car named Baby who runs down the high school quarterback in the early hours of the morning, and things start to get a bit more interesting. Add to the mix small town/social media hysteria and the book suddenly becomes a page-turner. Well played, Ali Gaylin, well played.

The Golden House

Salman Rushdie

Penguin Random House

$37

The -Golden -House

Reviewed by Esha Chanda

4 stars

The book starts with the dawn of the Obama years and ends with an America torn in half but what lies in between is not the story of the two drastically different presidents the US has seen but the immigrant life of Nero Golden and his three sons who leave their home, their country, and even their identities.

Echoes of Mumbai’s (and Nero’s) haunting past and the changing political landscape of America and the world are heard over the narrator’s (Rene) voice.

Rene is an aspiring film-maker who finds his subject in the lives of the Goldens and who inevitably becomes a part of that life. On the surface, The Golden House is a story about a billionaire who moves his base from India to New York.

Dig deeper and you will find traces of the world around us that has changed in the last eight years, whether it’s the backlash seen against political correctness, humans’ obsession with identity, or the post-truth world we live in where a media-savvy villain has risen to power. With the narrative voice of Rene blended with pages of scripts from the movie he eventually makes, Salman Rushdie’s book is entertaining and, at times, so accurate about the current climate that it makes for a surreal read.

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