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Vale and her boyfriend, Craw­ford, are child­hood sweet­hearts. Bound for the same col­lege, they have a clear plan for the fu­ture, but when they’re in a hor­rific car crash on the day of their high school grad­u­a­tion, ev­ery­thing changes. All of a sud­den Vale is spend­ing days at the hos­pi­tal hop­ing Craw­ford awak­ens from his coma but she doesn’t bar­gain on meet­ing Slate Allen, a friend of her brother’s. Soon she finds her­self be­com­ing in­volved in Slate’s life and mov­ing on in a way she couldn’t have pre­dicted. Glines treads ground sim­i­lar to that cov­ered in young adult books Be­fore I Fall by Lau­ren Oliver and If I Stay by Gayle For­man, ex­plor­ing how a sin­gle mo­ment can change a life. Easy to read, this young adult drama does its best to keep things in­ter­est­ing with a mid­way plot twist that dis­rupts the nar­ra­tive in an un­set­tling way. Un­for­tu­nately the sec­ond half of the book never quite re­gains the mo­men­tum of the first, but Glines gets points for try­ing to avoid pre­dictabil­ity. If the sound of a sweet but angsty teen ro­mance set in Ten­nessee ap­peals to you, this read may be just what you’re look­ing for. VIC­TO­RIA NU­GENT VER­DICT: Angsty teenage fun

LET ME LIE Clare Mack­in­tosh SPHERE, RRP $30

For­mer UK po­lice­woman Clare Mack­in­tosh had a hit with her de­but sus­pense thriller, I Let You

Go, sell­ing more than a mil­lion copies in 2015. Her sec­ond, I See You, also did ex­tremely well and her third, Let Me Lie has been much an­tic­i­pated by Mack­in­tosh’s grow­ing fan base. In it, Anna is haunted by the un­ex­plained deaths of her par­ents — months apart — which po­lice con­sider sui­cides. Anna is cer­tain they were mur­dered and sets out to un­cover what re­ally hap­pened, baby in tow. The set­ting is sur­pris­ingly do­mes­tic and mid­dle Eng­land, yet the very or­di­nar­i­ness of Anna’s world makes what she dis­cov­ers feel all the more bizarre. Some read­ers who adored I Let You Go say they’re not quite as blown away by the story, but its slower evo­lu­tion and at­ten­tion to de­tail build a psy­cho­log­i­cally en­gross­ing world that may leave you won­der­ing how well you know even those clos­est to you. WENDY TUOHY VER­DICT: Clever twist

MRS. Caitlin Macy SI­MON & SCHUS­TER, $30

Billed as the next Big Lit­tle Lies, and one of the most an­tic­i­pated nov­els of the year, Mrs. dis­sects the world of a group of highly strung moth­ers at the most ex­clu­sive pri­mary school in New York’s Up­per East Side. Into this cir­cle comes for­mer model Philippa Lye, a child­hood ac­quain­tance of Gwen Ho­gan, whose child made it into posh St Tim’s on scholas­tic merit, not money and so­cial con­tacts. Watch­ing the re­ac­tions of the other moth­ers to this in­ter­loper feels like a scaled-up ver­sion of what can hap­pen at any school. When Gwen in­ad­ver­tently pro­vides a link to her pub­lic prose­cu­tor-hus­band be­tween a high-pro­file white-col­lar crim­i­nal case he is in­ves­ti­gat­ing and Philippa’s dam­aged past, the plot be­comes in­creas­ingly grip­ping. This is a won­der­fully writ­ten and meaty psy­cho­log­i­cal story. It is as dis­turb­ing as it should be, and will leave you grate­ful for your own, sim­ple ex­is­tence. WENDY TUOHY VER­DICT: 100 per cent hit

ICE NA­TION Ja­son Bray ECHO, $30

It’s not of­ten serv­ing Vic­to­ria Po­lice of­fi­cers are given per­mis­sion to write a book about their work. But the force has al­lowed de­tec­tive Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Ja­son Bray to com­pile the in­side story of how he and a team of de­tec­tives smashed a vi­o­lent ice-traf­fick­ing syn­di­cate. The book re­veals how Vic­to­ria’s ice prob­lem went from be­ing rel­a­tively small in 2012 to plague pro­por­tions in just a few years. It pro­vides fas­ci­nat­ing de­tail on how po­lice ar­rested more than 100 mem­bers of an ice syn­di­cate that was us­ing Wan­garatta as its base to traf­fic ice around north­east Vic­to­ria and south­ern New South Wales. The book also con­tains a chap­ter par­ents should get their chil­dren to read as it paints a chill­ing pic­ture of how easy it is to get hooked on ice. “It will de­stroy your life and the lives of the peo­ple you love,” it says. “Look around at the many ad­dicts who have lost their way. Bril­liant peo­ple are now use­less with­out the drug.” KEITH MOOR VER­DICT: Ad­dic­tive stuff

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