Review: El Sicario Confessions of a Cartel Hit Man edited by Molly Molloy et al

El Sicario: Confessions of a Cartel Hit Man

edited by Molly Molloy and Charles Bowden

Welcome to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the most dangerous city on earth. This is the killing ground of the unnamed assassin El Sicario. He has executed hundreds, is an expert in torture, spent years working for the state police, and received training from the FBI. He now lives as a fugitive in the US, with $250,000 price tag on his head.

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Review: When My Husband Does the Dishes… by Kerri Sackville

When My Husband Does the Dishes…

A Memoir of marriage and motherhood

by Kerri Sackville

‘When My Husband Does the Dishes… is about what marriage looks like after three children and 150 years of togetherness. It’s about little white lies and boxer shorts on t he floor and eating frankfurts for dinner every night. It’s my life. And I suspect it could be yours too.’

Kerri Sackville has written this book for people like her, people who can relate to her, or people who find her amusing – which in a tragic sort of way, she is.

When My Husband Does the Dishes…is part memoir, part faux guide to marriage and motherhood and a must read for all women. It is accurate, clever and very, very funny.

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Review: Daughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope


Joanna Trollope

Rachel loves being at the centre of her large family. She has devoted herself fiercely to bringing up her three sons, and continues to do so now that they are all grown up – and getting married.

In return, the boys remain deeply attached to her, and to their father, Anthony, and to their childhood home on the wide, bird-haunted coast of Suffolk.

But when her youngest, Luke, gets married, Rachel finds that her control begins to slip away. Other women – her daughters-in-law – are usurping her position, and seem to be becoming more important to her boys than she is. She can no longer rely on her time-honoured role as provider and matriarch. Her daughters-in-law begin to do things in their individual and separate ways, and so, to her bewilderment and grief, do her husband and sons.

A crisis brings these subtle rifts to the surface, forcing the whole family to question old assumptions and find a new dynamic, if any of their relationships are going to survive.

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Review: Come Back to Me by Sara Foster

Come Back to Me

by Sara Foster

Do you have to honour a promise you made in the past if it means losing all that you have now?

When Mark introduces his date, Julia, to Chloe and her husband at a London restaurant, it’s obvious something is very, very wrong. Alex and Julia pretend not to know each other, but the shocked expressions on their faces tell another story.

As the mystery of Julia’s identity unravels, a terrible tragedy from ten years ago gradually comes to light. While Chloe struggles with a secret of her own, Alex has to decide whether he should take Julia back to Australia to try to lay the past to rest, when doing so will risk all he has with the wife he loves.

And Julia must decide whether to finally confront Alex with the whole truth about what happened back then.

Set in London and Perth, Come Back to Me is a taut psychological drama that will keep you enthralled until the very last page.

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Review : Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

Beneath the Shadows

by Sara Foster

When Grace’s husband, Adam, inherits a cottage on the isolated North Yorkshire moors, they leave London behind to try a new life. However, a week later, Adam vanishes, leaving their baby daughter on the doorstep.

The following year, Grace returns to the tiny village of Roseby. She is desperate for answers, but is seems the slumbering village is unwilling to give up its secrets. As Grace learns more about the locals and the area’s superstitions and folklore, strange dreams begin to trouble her. Are the villagers hiding something, or is she becoming increasingly paranoid? Only as snowfall threatens to cut them off from the rest of the world does Grace begin to understand just how close the threat lies, and that she and her daughter may be in terrible danger if she cannot get them away in time.

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Review: Ghost Child by Caroline Overington

Ghost Child

By Caroline Overington

In 1982 Victorian police were called to a home on a housing estate an hour west of Melbourne. There, they found a five-year-old boy lying still and silent on the carpet.

There were no obvious signs of trauma, but the child, Jacob, died the next day.

The story made the headlines and hundreds attended the funeral. Few people were surprised when the boy’s mother and her boyfriend went to prison for the crime. Police declared themselves satisfied with the result, saying there was no doubt that justice had been done.

And yet, for years rumours swept the estate, clinging like cobwebs to the long-vacant house: there had been a cover-up. The real perpetrator, at least according to local gossip, was the boy’s six-year old sister, Lauren…

Twenty years on, Lauren has created a new life for herself, but details of Jacob’s death begin to resurface and the story again makes the newspapers. As Lauren struggles with the ghosts of her childhood, it seems only a matter of time before the past catches up with her.

This is a book that speaks volumes about the way that we should treat children; as parents, neighbours, citizens, workers, and carers. We join the family after the police and ambulance have been called to attend to Jacob – who allegedly had been attacked on the way to the shops with his little brother Harley, beaten and robbed for a few dollars.

The main character throughout the book is Lauren, even though it is really Jacob’s story, it is her that the story focuses on and keeps coming back to. It is narrated through the eyes and memories of most of the main characters who were involved with the family around the time of Jacob’s untimely death, but told twenty years on, when Lauren again comes to the attention of the media.

I found that the story really captured, how it is us as adults who need to stand up and protect our children, they will either copy and mimic us in good or bad, lie to protect us, and essentially do as we ask regardless of the consequences as we are there role models.

The author tells how the Department of Children’s Services can fall short in their care of young children who have nowhere to go after they are left orphaned, abandoned or otherwise. It covers how much it can affect children psychologically when they are pushed from carer to carer without a stable environment to teach them respect and boundaries. It questions whether the best thing for a child is to maintain contact with their mother – even when that mother is in jail for the manslaughter of their own son.

It is a book that could read as a true story, as it is a story that could actually happen.  A compelling read.

Favourite Quote: ‘It was such a relief to hear those words: We were both just kids.’ Page 353.

Pages: 363

Published by: Random House

Recommended Retail Price $32.95

Recommended Age: 18+

My Rating: 4/5

Review: Homework for Grown-Ups by E. Foley and B Coates


Homework for Grown-Ups : Everything you learnt at school…and promptly forgot

by E. Foley and B. Coates

Any idea why the sky is blue? Baffled by bird’s foot deltas? Confused about chromosomes? Don’t know your isosceles from your equilateral? Forgotten who wrote Waltzing Matilda? Perpleaxed by past participles?

Bewildered already? Fret no longer. Swot up with Homework for Grown-ups.

This book is awesome, it has ten chapters, with each chapter covering a school subject; English, Maths, Home Ecomnomics, History, Science, Religious Education, Geography, Classics, Physical Education and Art. At the end of each chapter is a test paper, with answers at the end of the book.

In the short space it has for each subject, it manages to jampack it full of information; from the difference bewteen nouns and verbs, Poems to remember, square roots, long division, how to boil an egg, making a bed, dinosaurs, Henry the VIII, components of an atom, The Periodic Table, warning symbols, anatamy of a flower, The Facts of Life, how to make a paper plane, different relgions, classic empires, ancient greek philosophy, The Roman God’s, how to play cricket, rugby, netball etc, and key artistic movements.

Even though the book is set up to read a chapter at a time and then take the test, it doesn’t have to be like that. I’ve treated and read it as a coffee table book, that I can pick up when I have a few minutes and read a snippet at a time, just to refresh the knowledge that I used to have in school. 

This is a great book to have around just to increase your knowledge base, obviously it’s much smaller and more simplified than an encyclopedia, but that’s part of it’s beauty. It’s easy to read and isn’t daunting.

 Published by Random House

RRP: $29.95

Pages: 418

Ages: 15+

Rating: 4.5/5

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