Went into work shutdown over Christmas / New Year to a) charge very spent batteries and b) stand and sniff the skyline for signs of smoke. It's going to be a long, hot, very trying summer in large parts of Southern Australia - so here's hoping we all get through the next few months.
Over the break I did manage to get a bit of reading done, although I will confess not as much as I'd hoped. No fires near us but the heat has been unbelievable and the ongoing drought does cut into leisure time (okay, it pretty well obliterates it completely).
But those books which I did manage to read were well worth the time.
Left Luggage by Andrew Christie
When John Lawrence finally finds out about his father’s dangerous legacy, it forces him to confront a family past marked by secrets and loss. After leaving the army, John is back in Sydney and trying to build himself a new life while he looks after his elderly mother. Betty Lawrence was a photojournalist. She survived Vietnam, Lebanon and Sarajevo, but now she is bitter and resentful that old age and a broken leg have forced her to leave Paris and return to the home town she abandoned long ago. Betty is followed by deadly baggage that puts them both in danger. A suitcase loaded with weapons and money, intended for a terrorist attack that never happened triggers a power struggle between local crime gangs. John and Betty are drawn into the violence and John has to fight to keep them both alive while he tries to understand just who his parents really were.
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory--and her grip on everyday life. Notes fill her pockets and dot the walls of her home, increasingly crucial reminders of the immediate world. Most crucial is the fact that she can't find her only friend--Elizabeth has disappeared: she isn't answering the phone and doesn't seem to be at her house. Maud, convinced Elizabeth is in terrible danger, refuses to forget her even if her frustrated daughter, Helen, her carer, Carla, and the police won't listen and won't help. Armed with an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth desperately needs her help, Maud sets out to find her. And, unexpectedly, her search triggers an old and powerful memory of another unsolved disappearance--that of her sister, Sukey, who vanished more than 50 years ago, shortly after the Second World War.
No Man's Land by Roland Fishman
Special operative Russell Carter has turned his back on everything he ever believed in. A year ago he walked away from the order and its leader, Thomas Wing, a man he once regarded as a father. Since then he's been living the good life, surfing at Lennox Head and trying to forget his past. On Christmas Day Thomas is kidnapped from a remote bush property near the Queensland border, and Carter is sucked straight back into the violent world he left behind. Now an Indonesian terrorist cell is trying to kill him - and every other member of the order.
Reviews to come just as soon as I can get my head straight and remember how to drive a keyboard.