BOOK CLUB

AGED CARE ANTICS/MAS­TER­MIND AT WORK/RIVET­ING CLI-FI SCE­NARIO AS WA­TER DRIES UP/LEAP OF FAITH FOR DE­VOTED MOTHER

The Daily Examiner - - WEEKEND -

LO­CAL TIME Fleur Lind AUSTIN MACAULEY $34.90

Fleur Lind works in aged care and this is her third book about an aged care home like no other – Car­ris­brook. It is not clear whether this ec­cen­tric and un­ex­pected com­mu­nity is the ac­tual place where Lind works, or just where she would like to work. It is slightly con­fus­ing for those, like this re­viewer, who have not read the first two books in the tril­ogy as events which oc­curred in those are in­te­gral to the ac­tion but are never ex­plained. The most mys­te­ri­ous of these is the PTM which, by the end of the book, ap­pears to be some kind of time travel ma­chine but how it works is never ex­plained. There are nu­mer­ous oblique ref­er­ences to toma­toes and g-strings and em­bar­rass­ing in­ci­dents con­cerned with them and to other life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ences which also never come to light. The res­i­dents are an ad­ven­tur­ous lot and their es­capades make for good read­ing. While it is fun (de­spite the myr­iad spell­ing mis­takes) it would be much more fun if you had read the first two and knew what was go­ing on.

MARY VERNON

VER­DICT: Start at the be­gin­ning

KILL SHOT

Garry Disher TEXT PUB­LISH­ING, RRP $30

In this lat­est Wy­att out­ing from the ev­er­ac­com­plished and en­ter­tain­ing Garry Disher, the mas­ter thief is on to a good thing with a con­tact who can sup­ply de­tails of likely places to rob. But, as ever, Wy­att is metic­u­lous in his plan­ning and will­ing to walk away from a big pay­day if any­thing seems re­motely off. For most mem­bers of the NSW po­lice force, this men­ac­ing man does not even ex­ist, such is the way Wy­att goes about his busi­ness, never lin­ger­ing long in one place or do­ing any­thing to bring at­ten­tion to him­self. Only one cop sees a pat­tern in a num­ber of re­cent thefts, but he’s a man of old-fash­ioned ways who has a boss with a white­board and ac­tion points rather than a nose for crime. But he’s not the only one who is after the man who seems to be able to dis­ap­pear at will. Disher blends sev­eral threads in Wy­att’s lat­est mis­ad­ven­ture on the way to prov­ing that ever since Ned Kelly, there is a cer­tain type of crim­i­nal for whom Aus­tralians al­ways have a soft spot, and plenty of busi­ness­men we’d all rather see in jail. BARRY REYNOLDS

VER­DICT: CRIME PAYS

DRY

Neal and Jar­rod Shus­ter­man WALKER, RRP $17

Move over sci-fi, make way for cli-fi. The im­pend­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter the world is ig­nor­ing has at least given us one green shoot — a rich seam of cli­mate change fic­tion. Dry, aimed at young adults but still com­pelling for this old one, starts on the day the taps are turned off in Cal­i­for­nia. A brawl over dwin­dling sup­ply has seen the pipe­lines from Ari­zona plugged, and the lo­gis­tics of ship­ping wa­ter means peo­ple will die be­fore re­lief ar­rives. Alyssa and Gar­rett’s par­ents head to a de­sali­na­tion plant in search of wa­ter, but don’t re­turn. Luck­ily, their neigh­bours are dooms­day prep­pers. Un­luck­ily, they aren’t in­clined to share. It takes the in­ter­ven­tion of the neigh­bours’ son Kel­ton be­fore Alyssa and Gar­rett are wel­comed in, but other neigh­bours are cir­cling. In the en­su­ing chaos, Alyssa, Gar­rett and Kel­ton dis­cover how des­per­ate peo­ple can lose their morals. A film ver­sion of Dry is in de­vel­op­ment.

CLAIRE SUTHER­LAND

VER­DICT: Ex­plo­sive

THE DREAM DAUGH­TER Diane Cham­ber­lain

MACMILLAN, RRP $25

Preg­nant Carly Sears is dev­as­tated to dis­cover her un­born daugh­ter, her only link to her sol­dier hus­band lost in the Viet­nam War, has a heart de­fect that can­not be re­paired by the lim­ited med­i­cal tech­nol­ogy avail­able in 1970. But her brother-in-law Hunter, a physi­cist with an un­canny abil­ity to pre­dict the fu­ture, sug­gests a shock so­lu­tion — al­beit with no guar­an­tees of suc­cess or sur­vival. It re­quires a huge leap of faith from Carly — one that will take her away from her fam­ily, pos­si­bly for­ever. With­out giv­ing too much away, this is his­tor­i­cal fic­tion with a dif­fer­ence, com­bin­ing un­ex­pected twists and jour­neys with Carly’s un­re­lent­ing love, sac­ri­fice and vi­sion for her daugh­ter. Cham­ber­lain, a US au­thor of more than two dozen best-sell­ing nov­els, cap­tures Carly’s courage, uncer­tainty and heartache en­twined with the enor­mous risks and steps a mother will take to en­sure her child’s safety, now and in the fu­ture.

CARINA BRUCE

VER­DICT: A jour­ney with heart

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