Movie Reviews, Uncategorized

‘Keeping Faith’ Season One Review

When it comes to English crime shows, I’m pretty much always in. If there’s anything that ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Luther’ taught us, it’s that the British sure as hell know how to make a damn good crime show. So, as soon as this show called ‘Keeping Faith’ popped up on ‘ABC iView’, I brought out the popcorn. But, just how faithful is ‘Keeping Faith’ (Get it? Faith… ‘Keeping Faith’… never mind…) to England’s brilliant crime show record?

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‘Keeping Faith’ is an English thriller staring Eva Myles as Faith, a lawyer and mother of three who’s life gets thrown upside down as her husband fails to return home from a seemingly normal day’s work at their shared law firm. It’s soon discovered there’s more to this disappearance than it seems, and Faith becomes determined to discover her husband’s whereabouts. However, with a rag-tag band of clients and a police officer hot on her back, finding her husband becomes harder than she’d ever thought.

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Overall, I was actually a little disappointed with ‘Keeping Faith’. The acting was excellent, especially from the gorgeous and equally as talented Eva Miles, and the plot did drag me in enough to watch an entire season, but in the end, it just didn’t feel like it paid off. The characters were relatively shallow, the dialogue was pretty average and the plot was all over the place to say the least. At times, it looks like its about to go somewhere and in the next scene, it’s forgotten all together. Overall (spoiler alert), we end up with more questions than we do answers.

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And before you say anything: yes, I am aware there’s a second season. It hasn’t turned up on Australian shores yet – we’ve actually just finished the first season over here – but I’m sure we’ll be getting it sooner or later. The problem is, I just don’t know how invested in a second season I really am. From what I got in the first season, this show is one of those types of shows that’s essentially designed to keep going season after season until it ends up getting canned. If it had’ve just ended with some kind of resolution to the whole mystery, maybe I’d be interested in a second season, but it seems like all shows these days are terrified of loosing their audience if the mystery isn’t still dangling in front of them. All it takes is a quick look to shows like ‘Broadchurch’ to see how viewership still rallies for finalised shows if they’re still done well, but ‘Keeping Faith’ seems far more interested in dragging it’s viewers along by the hairs in some slight hope of a conclusion than it does in making a great show.

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Overall, ‘Keeping Faith’ is by no means a bad show. It’s got excellent acting, good cinematography and a story interesting enough to keep you watching each episode, but in the end, I was left disappointed. Whether or not the second season picks up the plot, I’ll have to wait and see.

Find Season One of ‘Keeping Faith’ at:
https://iview.abc.net.au/show/keeping-faith

Crime and Missing Persons

William Tyrrell – The Case of the Boy in the Spiderman Suit

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – or outside of Australia – for the last few years, you’ve probably heard of the case of William Tyrrell. Maybe you’ve seen his photo in the news; that iconic image of the young boy dressed in a Spider-Man suit caught mid-roar, beaming with joy. But what exactly happened to this missing boy on that fateful September day in 2014? How could a three year old boy completely disappear from his grandparent’s home without a single trace? And how is he still missing?

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New Beginnings

On the 26th of June, 2011, William Tyrrell was born. Unfortunately for young William, his family life was far from simple. Both parents – who remain unnamed for legal reasons – suffered from substance abuse and were described as having a ‘troubled’ marriage. His older sister – who also remains unnamed – had already been taken away due to these family difficulties and had been living in different foster homes ever since. Not much has been said about this family’s ‘troubled’ behaviours, but whatever had been occurring appeared to have a profound effect on the life of William. Before long, authorities had begun speaking about placing William into care.
Terrified at the thought of loosing yet another child, William’s biological parents took William and ran. After six weeks of hiding, William was found safe with his parents at his grandfather’s home in Sydney.
In March of 2012, when William was not even a year old, both him and his older sister were placed into the care of the same foster parents. These two foster parents, alike many in this story, remain unnamed due to the complications of the fostering process. Both William and his sister took a relatively fast liking to their new parents, with William developing an especially close bond with his foster father.
The biological parents continued to spend time with William once a fortnight under the watch of authorities. According to all involves, the biological parents themselves included, William’s biological parents had never spoken to the foster parents, nor attempted to seek them out. William’s foster parents also never harboured any hard feelings towards William’s biological parents, insisting that he keep up routine visits to uphold the bond with his biological family.

6cbe837c16e82210e0d6241fb9c40361[1](Pictured) William Tyrrell’s foster parents

The Day Of

On Thursday the 11th of September, William’s foster parents made the last-minute decision to take a surprise drive up to the country town of ‘Kendall’ to visit William’s Grandmother, picking up both William and his sister from school on their way. The two were overjoyed, never having known about the family’s plans. The drive itself took around three hours from Sydney to Kendall, including one stop at a Caltex service station and another at a McDonalds. It was late, about 9pm, when the family arrived at the Grandmother’s home in Benaroon Drive, Kendall. William’s grandmother, having only been informed of the visit the moment the parents left, was reportedly ill and hadn’t been able to prepare for the family’s visit. The parents set up two separate rooms for each of the children, then set them off to bed.

17447d980ace23519a4b13951f5f372b[1](Pictured) William’s Grandmother’s Kendall home.

The next morning, William woke up early with his father. They both turned on the television and watched a children’s show, attempting not to wake the rest of the house. However, it didn’t take long before William’s sister, mother and grandmother were also awake. Excited about their new bicycles, the two siblings were adamant to go outside. William, dressed in his Spider-Man suit (the same costume pictured in William’s iconic missing person’s photos, dubbing him ‘The Boy in the Spider-Man Suit’) and his sister then rode around their grandmothers’ spacious backyard.
Between 9 and 9:30am, William’s foster father found himself having to make the drive to Laurieton to make a business call via Skype, escaping Kendall’s notoriously bad internet connections.
During this time, William had raced back outside with his foster mother and grandmother, bursting with energy. William and his sister had begun playing a game of dice, each sibling jumping the amount of times the dice commanded. Once that game was over, William had begun playing a game of tigers, racing around the yard ‘roaring’ with his mother. William, still full of energy, ran out into the grass to continue his games.

imagev1e8e7a4ced7f0fa99b8daf861b13aad74-j7w5k6fwjjxzfh3kmp2_ct1880x930[1]After a short amount of time, only a couple of minutes, had passed, William’s foster mother noticed she hadn’t heard William for a little while. She went out to look for him, panicked. She held hope that William’s foster father might’ve dropped by, picking him up to take him for a drive. Maybe William had run down to greet his father, something both him and his sister had a habit of doing. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.
William’s foster father arrived home to hear his son was missing. Both himself and Williams foster mother began a search for him, visiting the houses of nearby neighbours, who also agreed to look for the young William. About 20 minutes later, William’s foster mother called the police, announcing William’s disappearance.

Tyrrell-search2[1](Pictured) Police search Bushland for evidence of William Tyrell.
Image taken from: https://www.nbnnews.com.au/2018/06/27/police-expand-bushland-search-for-william-tyrrell/

The Investigation

New South Wales police were quick to respond to William’s disappearance. Although they had originally suspected it was merely a case of a wondering boy, no sign of the youngster after hours of searching had lead them to believe there were far grimer forces at work, and an Amber Alert was released.
Due to the size of Kendall and the last-minute nature of the family’s decision to drive to Kendall, police began to look into William’s family – his biological family specifically.
William’s biological family had already run off with William once previously at the thought of their son being placed in temporary foster care and the biological family appeared to be again fearful of losing their son after recent talk of William’s foster family looking to permanently adopt William and his sister. However, police appeared to rule the biological family out as suspects. Not only were the two in Sydney at the time, but they had been kept away from William’s foster family and had no idea where William was being housed, let alone where William’s Grandmother lived.
William’s biological parents and Grandmother were also ruled out as suspects. They were extensively questioned and all alibies, including the foster father’s Skype call, had checked out. However, there was one line of inquiry that appeared to take the media by storm.
William’s Grandmother had mentioned a broken washing machine to William’s foster mother. William’s Grandmother had said she had made a call about the problem, but that there still hadn’t been any repairs made. The repairman finally arrived a few days before William’s disappearance.
Although it appeared to be a meaningless visit to police at first, it was later discovered that this repairman, Mr Bill Spedding, was previously accused of historical sex crimes (although these charges were later dropped). Police had searched the Spedding’s Laurieton home, but to no avail. Nothing of William’s was reportedly found. Although Spedding’s name would continue to plague media reports, falsely stating he was a convicted paedophile (an accusation proven to be false), Spedding has appeared to be dropped by police as a suspect in the case.

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(Pictured) ‘Strike Force’ Officer (left) alongside suspect Bill Spedding (right). Photo from: News Corp Australia.

So What Really Happened?

To this day, the fate of the gorgeous youngster in the Spider-Man suit still remains unknown. Most have come to the conclusion that William had been abducted, but the mystery of who still continues to baffle everyone involved. With family all ruled out as suspects, it appears that the only option could be that William was a victim of an opportunistic abductor. William’s foster parents have since described a serious of cars, two which were parked out the front of their street and one which had driven into the street by an unknown person. Being a small country-town, any cars driving past the house that didn’t belong to the family could’ve been suspicious, but they also could’ve just been confused visitors – all a big coincidental passing. There have been reports of a man asking for directions to a road that passed the Grandmother’s home at a local pub – perhaps explaining the car that had ‘suspiciously’ passed the house before William went missing, but as of yet, that driver has not been publicly identified.
On the 5th of August, the inquest into William Tyrrell’s disappearance will continue.
We only hope – we all hope – to find answers for the mourning biological and foster families, and to bring justice to the cheerful, giggly William Tyrrell.
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For more information, I highly recommend the podcast recently released by Chanel 10 titled ‘Where’s William Tyrrell’. It describes in-depth the family life, disappearance and investigation.
Link: https://play.acast.com/s/wheres-william-tyrrell

References:

http://www.whereswilliam.org/

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-28/william-tyrrells-parents-hid-him-from-authorities-court-hears/10949458

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/missing-boy-william-tyrrells-doomed-life/news-story/38baa59f1db54e441f01cc11a6af6eba

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/missing-boy-william-tyrrells-doomed-life/news-story/38baa59f1db54e441f01cc11a6af6eba

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/axed-top-cop-expected-to-be-grilled-at-the-william-tyrrell-inquest-over-his-intense-interest-in-washing-machine-repairman-bill-spedding/ar-AADyaqb

https://www.news.com.au/national/courts-law/paedophile-to-testify-at-william-tyrrell-inquest/news-story/551d485fd59bb6f513d630c6ec9ea7c3

If you have any information relating to the disappearance of William Tyrrell, please contact Crime Stoppers at: 1800 333 000
Reports can be made anonymously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews

Closer Than You Think by Lee Maguire – A Review

As far as I’m aware, I don’t think I’ve ever read a published debut novel. I mean, being an editor and all, I’ve come across my fair share of first novels, but a published debut just isn’t something I come across very often. I usually stick by the well-known authors, the well-known type with a history of popular reads, so this was a little bit out of my comfort zone. However, the promise of an exciting crime drama with a psychological crime thriller undertone swayed me, and I’m glad it did.

Closer Than You Think is the first novel in a developing crime series featuring Doctor Bryce Davidson, a psychologist at a ‘Children’s Agency’. When a strange set of threatening messages arise, it’s up to Davidson to use his wits, intuition and psychological expertise to find the culprit. But with relationship drama getting heavier, work getting tougher and threats getting more and more terrifying by the day, can he catch them in the act before it’s too late?

So, what’s the verdict? Well, as far as debut novels go, Lee Maguire’s Closer Than You Think was surprisingly good. With drama on every page, a frightening stalker and a search for answers, I just couldn’t put the damn book down! For a first-time author, Maguire does a brilliant job at keeping descriptions short and drama central, making it a breeze to read – the perfect ‘air-port read’, so to speak.

That isn’t to say this book doesn’t have it’s flaws, of course. With quite a few noticeable spelling errors, clunky dialogue that seemed a little too formal for normal human conversation and a main character who’s just that little bit too perfect, there’s a lot for Maguire to improve on. The first few chapters were chocked full of strange exposition and description that really could’ve been cut out. But the more I read, the more I found the writing flowed. If it found it’s rhythm earlier on, it could’ve been an excellent read, but from an author with no public writing-style developed and a little experience in the published world of books, I have to give Maguire the benefit of the doubt here. It takes a lot to be a good writer and, as many people say, a first novel is never going to be a great novel. Luckily for Maguire, his ability to keep intrigue saved the day.

Sure, there are going to be people who tear apart this book, but for a debut author and a small publishing team, I have to say, it’s a good start. It did keep me on edge, which is everything in a crime-thriller, and (although it dragged on a bit at the start) its brief, punchy style of writing kept me glued to each page. With a few more improvements, some guidance and a tad more experience, Maguire really could have what it takes to pull off a successful crime series. 

Grab your copy of Closer Than You Think now!:
http://geni.us/closerthanyouthinkm

 

Follow Lee Maguire at:
https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Bryce-Davison-Thriller-Series-1497309670567574/

Find TCK Publishing at their site:
https://www.tckpublishing.com/

TCK Publishing’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/tckpublishing/

TCK Publishing’s Twitter:
https://twitter.com/TCKPublishing

 

Book Reviews

The Passage by Justin Cronin – A review

I’ve got to admit, I never really planned on picking this book up, but the moment I set eyes on it, I knew I had to read it. With its silver, almost holographic cover design, I couldn’t not pick it up. It wasn’t until I held the book in my hand and felt the weight of its epic 963 pages that I realised just how much of a committment I was getting myself into.

Justin Cronin’s The Passage is an epic sci-fi novel, centring around a devastating plague that begins to take over humanity, turning people into violent, vampire-zombie hybrids with a taste for – you guessed it – blood. Throw in an odd young child with an unknown ‘power’ and a ragtag group of youth with a taste for answers, justice and adventure, and you’ve got yourself a prime sci-fi read. But just how readable is Cronin’s novel?

Well, in all honesty, I have to say, I expected more from this book. The first few hundred pages were incredibly captivating. With a cast of intriguing personalities, each one with a well fleshed-out background, motive and voice. The plot was perfectly comprehendible – although a little wild, but nothing out of the ordinary for a sci-fi epic – and Cronin’s writing was the perfect cross between fast-paced, simple and descriptive.

However, as the book continued, I found myself getting more and more bored with the story. Sure, it had some interesting plot points and settings, but overall I found that the major let-down was the characters. As much as I read on, the less I began to care for each of the characters laid out before me. Although there was the occasional attempt to flesh-out characters, there just wasn’t enough characterisation to pull me in. No matter who the characters were or what was happening, every character seemed to have the same voice, speaking the same tone and using the same words (including a particularly frustrating over-use of the word ‘flyers’ as an expletive). In a novel that clearly outlines its central characters, having different language and personality traits was something that should’ve been vital, but there just didn’t appear to be any attempt at setting the characters appart in any means but their personal interests.

Plot, too, became jumbled the more I read on. Characters were introduced, developed, and then completely disregarded in later chapters. Action scenes were incredibly sudden in comparison to the resting phases of the novel, comprising of a series of long, relatively mundane descriptions, which could easily have been cut from the novel without affecting the story. Not to mention, there was a strange amount of cuts between letters, third-person narrations and military reports. In the end, I found it difficult to tell which character was which, what they were meant to be doing and what the purposes of each of the plot points were.

So, was it worth the read? Well, for me, the novel taught me a very valuable lesson: don’t judge a book by its cover. Sure, if you’re into science fiction and post-apocalyptic drama, I wouldn’t be one to stop you. The premise is interesting and it did drag me along long enough for me to finish the novel. However, if you’re after something with a little more depth and characterisation, I’d probably recommend Stephen King’s similar novel The Stand instead.

writing advice

The Epidemic of Showing AND Telling, and How You Can Avoid it

As a newbie editor, I’ve come across my fair share of errors and faults in writing. Usually, when I pick up a piece of writing, I’m on the look out for grammatical errors: spelling mistakes or words used in the wrong context. Sometimes I’ll pull up on a sentence that could be structured differently to make it easier to read, or a paragraph that doesn’t make much sense within the story. But there’s something I’ve been coming across recently that’s been bugging me a lot, something that I just can’t help but notice in most of the first-drafts I read, a little something called the ‘Epidemic of Showing AND Telling’.

What Does ‘Show DON’T Tell’ Mean?

Well, to put it straight, it means that instead of simply telling the audience something that’s occurring in your story, you describe it. That might be describing the actual events, or it could mean describing the effects of the events. Lets start with this basic example:

‘Sarah was afraid.’ 

     Sure, this sentence does the job. Anybody who reads it is going to know immediately how Sarah feels, but it’s vague. Simply telling readers how a character feels probably isn’t going to resonate with them. It’s a ‘blank statement’; something people read and attach virtually no feeling to, akin to reading a fact. So how can you make it resonate? Show!

‘Sarah’s legs began to tremor. A tingling sensation crawled up her spine.’

     Again, it’s short, but rather than telling readers exactly how the character ‘Sarah’ feels, readers are asked to work it out for themselves. It adds an element of trust between the reader and the author; the author trusting in the reader to put two and two together rather than spoon-feeding them everything, and the reader trusting the author to put together a description comprehensively enough for them to be able to put two and two together. Although both examples mean the same thing, one tells the reader what the character feels, and the other allows the reader to connect to the character through a description of feelings that they too have probably experienced before and can therefore relate to. And, as every author knows, relatability is everything.

What is ‘Showing AND Telling’?

To be fair, there is a lot more ‘showing’ these days than there used to be. Ever since the ‘show don’t tell’ phrase got attention, people have been taking notice and adapting their writing to fit the rule. However, although people have started to take the ‘showing’ aspect into account, there’s been quite a few that haven’t wrapped their head around the ‘don’t tell’ part of the phrase. Instead of just showing, they’re both showing AND telling. Here’s our example again, this time showing AND telling:

‘Sarah was afraid. Her legs began to tremor and a tingling sensation crawled up her spine.’

      It doesn’t take a genius to see the author’s lack of trust on this piece. They’re showing the reader that the character of Sarah is afraid, but they add the ‘telling’ in fear the reader won’t get the picture. As pretty much any reader will notice, it’s not necessary. Everyone knows what it feels like to be afraid. Readers know that wobbly knees and a tingle along the spine mean fear and, with the context of the story’s events added in, it doubles the reader’s awareness. They know what your describing, so there’s no need to tell them.

Curing the Epidemic

So, how exactly does an author cure the ‘Showing AND Telling’ epidemic? Well, it’s pretty easy: if you find yourself using both, get rid of one. Sure, telling is still an important part of writing. There will be times when telling is necessary for your story, but for the most part, showing should always take priority, especially when it comes to vital emotionally-driven scenes (which should be a pretty big majority of your writing if your novel is fiction). If telling is necessary, such as in a fast-paced fight scene, make sure you aren’t including any long, droning descriptions or ‘showing’ that might slow down the scene’s pace.

The best way to deal with the issue is to look at each event, page or paragraph, and look at how certain elements are described. If there’s a ‘show’ and a ‘tell’ describing the same element of the story and the ‘show’ suits the story’s pace, get rid of the ‘tell’. Not only will it make your story ten times less demanding to read, but it’ll cut down your word-count, too.

Last but not least, if you’re still not sure, consult a beta reader, editor, or (come on, you saw this coming), myself. Using the ‘contact me’ page, any author who’s still confused can send a message through requesting a free five-page trial edit on their writing, meaning I can pick up on all those ‘showing and telling’ moments and give some advice on how to fix it up.

Uncategorized

Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary’: An Underrated Horror

With the immense popularity of 2017’s ‘IT’, it seems like every Stephen King novel is getting the thumbs-up for TV and movie adaptions, and rightfully so. Earning 700.4 million dollars at the box office, IT smashed records, becoming the highest grossing horror film of all time. However, ‘Pennywise the Dancing Clown’ isn’t the only infamous character to have come out of Stephen King’s novels. Characters such as Cujo (Cujo), Annie Wilkes (Misery), Kurt Barlow (‘Salem’s Lot), Jack Torrance (The Shining) and the unfortunate Carrie White (Carrie) have terrified adults and children alike for generations. It’s not exactly surprising that the adorable and yet horrifyingly evil Gage Creed seems to have caught Hollywood’s eye.

To anyone who hasn’t read the books, this new movie probably appears to be your average 21st century horror movie. Eerie music? Check! Creepy kids? Check! Creepy masks? Check! Anybody who’s read the book knows there’s a whole lot more to this story than you’re average horror, but does the trailer really do the book justice? Can any of these Pet Sematary movies really to the original novel justice?

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Pet Sematary, a novel written by Stephen King in 1983, tells the story of the Creed family; a seemingly perfect couple – Louis and Rachel – with two beautiful young children – Gage and Ellie. After moving to Maine, the Creeds try their best to settle into their new homes before coming across their Maine-native neighbour Jud Crandall who introduces them to the rural pathway which leads to – you guessed it – the Pet Sematary. Spoiler alert, it turns out to be home to an ancient Native American burial ground, cursed to bring anything that’s buried in it’s soil back to life. However, when Louis’ youngest son Gage is hit in a terrible road accident, Louis faces a dilemma: either bring back his son or lose him forever.

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Sure, it has blood and gore. What kind of Stephen King book would it be if it didn’t? But this novel is, surprisingly enough, one of the few true psychological horrors. Instead of playing around with the idea of the carnage an army of the dead could inflict on the living, Stephen King chooses to keep the novel’s focus purely on the Creed family, showing us the inner working’s of the Creed family father-figure, Louis Creed. Instead of revelling in the gore, we’re exposed to the power of grief and it’s horrifying manipulation of the human mind.

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The classic 1989 Pet Sematary adaption, directed by Mary Lambert, did admittedly make some attempt to catch the psychological trauma Stephen King’s original novel depicts. However, there’s an overwhelming ‘horror movie’ cliche theme to just about every scene that, although these same scenes were depicted in the novel, weren’t adjusted to the silver screen in quite the same way. Instead of a slow, spooky ambiance, the film is too predictable. Instead of taking the time to show Louis’ extreme grief in the loss of his son, the film instantly jumps to Louis choosing to bury Gage in the Pet Sematary… right after being told that everything that’s buried in the Pet Sematary turns bad and seeing those consequences for himself after reviving Church the cat.

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Stephen King’s novels are notoriously long for a reason. They’re long because King himself puts a great amount of effort into assuring that his characters are well fleshed out, flawed, and usually well motivated (in terms of the heroes, of course). Louis Creed is told, after being introduced to the Pet Sematary for the very first time, that not all things that are buried in the Pet Sematary are revived as ‘bad’. Many of the revived actually went on to live their lives just as they had before they’d died, lacking in any or all negative side effects such as a ‘dead’ smell and aggressive-natured behaviour. This way, the actions of the grief-struck Louis don’t seem quite as ridiculous – there’s a high chance his son will come back to life completely normal. It makes readers think to themselves: would I do something like that if I were in that situation? Would I be willing to take that risk?

And how about the new Pet Sematary coming out this year? Well, after seeing this trailer a few times, I’m honestly a little disappointed. With the infamy of films such as ‘Searching’, ‘Hush’, ‘Get Out’ and ‘The Babadook’, it seems that experimental films are becoming more and more well-received. We’re coming to a time where the film industry has become heavily over-saturated with similar stories of heroes and action, and it’s only natural for audiences to want something a little bit different. But 2019’s Pet Sematary, a film which could’ve made an excellent experimental psychological horror, appears yet again to have taken the lazy way out. With creepy kids in animal masks (where-ever that idea came from) and the typical ‘evil little girl’ twist that a majority of horror movies take (The Grudge, The Ring, Insidious, The exorcist ect), it just comes across as your average horror flick.

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Although, I guess we can’t judge it too hard just yet. With more sneak-peaks to come and the movie still to be released, we may just be in for a surprise.

 

 

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

‘The Dry’ by Jane Harper – A Review

I’m going to be honest about this one: I never really wanted to read this book. Marketed as more of a piece about the Australian landscape than a book with a story line, I was always hesitant to read it. Sure, I find Australia interesting (I do live in Australia, after all)… but a book that’s main theme focuses around how beautiful the Australian outback is? Yeah, not so much.

But a few months ago my mother told me she’d booked tickets to see Miss Harper in person promoting her newest novel The Lost Man, and I knew I’d have to read it. I mean, you can’t just go to an author’s book release without reading any of the books they’ve written, right? With a sigh of defeat, I opened the first page and let me just say… Jane Harper truly surprised me.

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The Plot: When a young couple and their son are found dead on their property in the rural Australian town of Kiewarra, it’s originally passed off as a murder-suicide. However, former Kiewarra inhabitant and police investigator Aaron Falk begins to suspect there’s more than meets the eye to this tragic case.

Verdict: Jane Harper’s debut novel The Dry is nothing short of magnificent. With it’s fast-paced narration, it’s beautiful characterisation and actively intriguing storyline, it’s nearly impossible to put down.
From the very first chapter to the very last, Harper’s experience with writing and editing process (working previously as a journalist) shines through. With short and snappy narration and realistic dialogue – cutting out that long-winded description a lot of debut authors fall into the trap of writing – The Dry was nothing short of a breeze to read.
Sure, this book isn’t exactly the ‘game changer’ of all crime novels. It’s probably not going to go down as the ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ of our generation and it certainly does have its faults (especially in terms of a particular typography and style choice, which is quickly changed for the rest of Harper’s series) but it’s a fun, solid and creative crime novel set in a time where unique and readable crime novels can be few and far between.

Overall, yeah, Jane Harper’s The Dry was a great read! For anyone who’s a fan of a good crime story, pick it up. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Purchase Harper’s novel here: https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781925481372/

Or visit Jane Harper’s site at: http://janeharper.com.au/Books/The-Dry