Dark Places, Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn My rating: 5 of 5 stars I first encountered this author with Gone Girl and I loved her style, so I decided to give this earlier book a go. Great decision. Dark Places is written in the same style as Gone Girl, with each chapter giving us the point of […]


Mr Vertigo, Paul Auster

Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster My rating: 4 of 5 stars The opening sentence of a novel can make or break it. So far, my top intros were “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.” ( Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca) and “It was a bright, cold day in April and the clock was […]


Damned, Chuck Palahnuik

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk My rating: 3 of 5 stars This is pure Palahniuk so you know what you’re getting. Not as good as Fight Club (can anything ever be?) and not as bad as Snuff. Scratch that, compared to Snuff, this is brilliant stuff. We do get a 13-year-old leading us on a wild […]


Story of O

Story of O by Pauline Réage My rating: 3 of 5 stars The real deal for those who think BDSM is a pretty pair of handcuffs. Slightly scary and makes you wince in more than one part. Well-written, but get ready for a disappointing – or missing, which is what most online versions will give […]


The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern My rating: 4 of 5 stars The book that took me back to magic after months of Ruth Rendells. Morgenstern has a gift for luscious description and from the first page manages to make you feel like you’ve entered a different world. The characters are entirely believable and I […]


Magna Mater

Magna Mater by Loranne Vella My rating: 4 of 5 stars Interesting take on a Malta suffering from the ravages of global warming and from a surfeit of personal technology. Don’t make the same mistake I did by reading the title in Latin – the ‘Magna’ in the title is in Maltese and refers to […]


Book review: Is-Sriep Reġgħu Saru Velenużi


Alex Vella Gera: Is-Sriep Reġgħu Saru Velenużi. Merlin Publishers. 2012. 526 pp. On an island like Malta, one particular X-factor is likely to turn any book into an immediate object of discussion, hype and desire. That X factor, particularly mere months after his passing, is former premier Dom Mintoff. Add an assassination conspiracy to the […]


Book review: Gone Girl


Gillian Flynn: Gone Girl, Crown, 2012. 432 pp. This review appeared on the Sunday Times. Despite the blurb describing this book as a psychological thriller, the actual summary of the plotline made me start reading it fully expecting an easy-going, summer chick-lit. Just the thing to while away some lazy hours at the beach, I […]


Fifty Shades of boring


E.L. JAMES: Fifty Shades Freed, Vintage Books, 2012. 456 pp. €7.73 It’s the trilogy that is enjoying as much hype as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, although of course the genres couldn’t be more different from each other. The first Fifty Shades instalment was released less than a year ago, while the final volume – […]


Hunger Games: inspiration or rip off?


As I’m writing this, I just came back from a session of exasperated eye-rolling at one of Valletta’s coffee-shops. The reason? The girl sitting at the table next to mine just couldn’t stop waxing lyrical about a particular movie that’s really raking in the cash right now: The Hunger Games. I realise that I’m totally […]