Book reviews: February 2019

Deals on Wheels reviews some of the latest titles to hit the bookshelves

The Expatriates

By Martin Edmond



Bridget Williams Books

Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

3/5 stars

Ok, so yours truly is the first to admit that I’m no hot shot academic. So why the heck did it ever occur to me that reading a book about four homogenised expatriate Kiwis who established significant academic lives in the U.K last century would be something of interest?

Well, as things turn out I did find their tales not only interesting, but in the process gained plenty of knowledge about Russian society, the spy industry and libraries of all things.

I know this all sounds rather random, but sometimes you just need to dive into untested waters – even if it does mean you have to consult the dictionary app on your phone on a semi-regular basis.

Bye Bye Baby

By Fiona McIntosh



Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

2/5 stars

One thing I dislike a lot about some female crime writers is that they can’t help wrapping a schmaltzy extended love story around what is an otherwise solid yarn. In this case, the author has provided that with the jealous machinations of the main cop character’s female sidekick; a weird sub-plot that reaffirms time and again how good-looking her boss is.

It’s rather strange to hear people telling him this fact on numerous occasions, all while they search for a killer who is picking off a group of connected bullies one at a time. There’s a reasonably good twist near the end, albeit one that an astute reader will probably pick up on many pages earlier. Oh, and did I mention that the main character is really good looking?

My Fight Your Fight

By Ronda Rousey




Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

5/5 stars

Even if you don’t follow any kind of physical contact sport, you’d be some kind of stupid if you didn’t know who this amazing fighter was. And while we all know who she is and her fantastic accomplishments in the octagon (or ‘caged ring’ as the less-informed might call it) Ronda Rousey’s life story to date is a definite page turner.

At this point I’ll say that there are athletes and then there are champions – and then there are a handful in Ronda’s league. Following in her Olympic champion mother’s footsteps, her astounding resilience and determination saw her rise through the judo ranks to a bronze medal at the Bejing Olympics, before crossing to professional cage fighting and quickly becoming the first UFC female fighter in history.

After reading the 300-odd pages in a couple of hard core sittings, I’m totally in awe of her. You will be too. The book has been out for a while, but go buy it; I recommend it.


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