THE OTHER WIFE by Michael Robotham, Hachette
Robotham’s unravelling of the life of a psychologist, Professor Joe O’Loughlin, lurches faster than an underground train. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s 13 years earlier, his late wife Julianne died of surgical complications, and he “endures” for the sake of his daughters. Now his surgeon father William is in an induced coma, after catastrophic head injuries; his wife is at his bedside. Joe thought his father lived with his mother, Mary, but at his bedside is other wife Olivia. A couple for 20 years, they have raised another child together. The attack happened at their London home. Joe looks incredulously at the pink sweaters and jeans in his father’s wardrobe; Viagra on the bedside table. Robotham’s flair makes O’Loughlin’s final bow intriguing reading.
THE HONOURABLE THIEF by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios, Pan Macmillan,
Turkey, 1955: a discredited US archaeologist whose knack for placing trench marks in the sand has uncovered a layer-cake of human history, an incomparable Italian artisan and an Istanbul gallery owner with a laissez-faire attitude flog fake antiquities. We join Benedict Hitchens, Raphael Donazetti and Ilhan Aslan as Charles and Marilyn Van Burns from Los Angeles fall for their lucrative clowning. The movie mogul wants a genuine antiquity; the sort that is not allowed to leave the country. Aslan is happy to show him his personal collection, but they are not for sale. On cue, enter Hitchens, accusing Aslan of selling Turkey’s treasures! Result: fleeced philistine tourist hands over cash for a worthless figurine.
THE NOWHERE CHILD by Christian White, Affirm
A cleverly crafted cold case thriller in which the life of a 30-year-old Melbourne teacher is turned upside down.
Kim Leamy tells younger half-sister Amy of a phone call from a
James Finn, saying he’s sure she’s Sammy Went, who was abducted as a two-year-old from a house in America in
1990. Kim’s mother died two years earlier and all she said of her dad was that “he was not very nice”. When Kim meets up with Finn, he takes her DNA from a soda, finding a sibling match – he is her brother Stu. White focuses on a feral cast of characters in Kentucky. But the beacon of hope is in the really shiny people – such as Kim’s stepdad, Dean. Casting a dark shadow – rattlesnake-ridden cult Church of the Light Within, where “fundie” mum Molly worships and exorcisms are rife.