THE DIRECTION OF OUR FEAR is such an interesting idea - multiple characters living separate lives, getting on with their day to day existences, moving through place and time without knowing each other, or even being aware that there will come that intersecting point ...
Pursued, bedded and betrayed by her husband the King, Anne Boleyn's story is equally as complex as it is tragic. Anne through both whim and circumstance comes to possess exactly the same ambitions as her bullish husband - to rule absolute, and to provide an heir to the English throne.
Ten years of two families missing their two children of course takes its toll. One couple survives the aftermath of the kidnappings and the other does not. So what will happen now that only one of the two boys is coming home?
Something very clever is being mined from our collective pop culture psyche here, and that is the fascination we have with the last person standing. Plane crashes, shootings, natural disasters etc; it's the sole survivors that fascinate.
Many years have passed since Dr Jekyll suddenly left London society. Lawyer Mr Utterson, seemingly steadfast in his continued assistance to the absent Dr Jekyll, has been busy making plans. Lasting plans, and they include a lady’s affection.
In 2005, the Police and Justice Museum in Sydney had an exhibition of police photographs from the early twentieth century. One of these that caught the eye of author Pip Smith was of a man called Harry Crawford, arrested for murder.
When two young people go missing, it's first thought by the police that young love could be the reason why. Amaya and Kamal's respective families both had other plans for their future, and the control wielded over the lives of their children was both archaic and suffocating. Did the two leave their controlling families behind in order to map out their own lives? Or has someone taken them?
The unaware, vaguely idiotic central character provides a deep mine of material for any type of slightly tongue in cheek story-telling, and UNFAITHFUL UNTO DEATH uses the premises in setting up Dr Cyril Peabody from the outset of the novel.
Jody mourns the loss of what she felt could have been the most important relationship she has ever had. Her world that had begun to show so much hope with a blossoming new friendship has once again become a dark place. The other flat residents of the converted church had generally kept to themselves and it was only Abe who had made an effort to connect to the shy and lonely Jody.
There's something deliciously intriguing about the idea that a top spy could lose a briefcase, which, rather than chock full of official secrets and classified documents, instead contains three mince pies, two fruit pies, the NZ Listener, a Penthouse magazine, and unfortunately a diary chock full of gossip.
Miranda Rader once was known as Randi the problem teen. Rejected by her family after a brush with the law, Randi’s life seemed to then be heading down all the wrong roads. Fortunately, the time spent in youth detention becomes the making of her.
The Baltimore Boys is a family saga hooked around the mysterious tragedy (every action at some point seems to presage this event). But while it is often engaging on the surface it is not very satisfying.