You might remember Pat from her days with Mr Squiggle and then as one of Australia’s leading film producers – Picnic at Hanging Rock and Gallipoli were both her films. Pat lived for many years at Clareville, and you would have seen her exercising her two golden retrievers every day. Pat was one fiesty individual, and she died last night after a short illness. We’ll really miss her, her black stockings, her terrific jewellery, her wonderful laugh. She was an inspiration to us all.
Sometime I pick up an unknown book by for me an unknown author and pow! the book hits a bullseye. This is one of that rare breed. It’s great crime that doesn’t follow a formula. The author is the creator of graphic novels – when you read the book you can see this. Now to tell you a bit about the book – Detective John Tallow and his partner are called to a murder scene in Manhattan. His partner is killed rather graphically – at this stage I nearly gave up – and Tallow finds a hidden room covered with guns of all makes and ages, arranged in rows and spirals on the walls and floor of the apartment. Each weapon is tied to a single unsolved murder. Tallow’s bosses dont want him to solve the case, and the serial killer keeps slipping back in his mind to the time when Manhattan was inhabited by an indian tribe. The story kept me glued to the book, and I felt like I’d been through the wringer by the time I’d finished. William Gibson called this book ‘delightful’, Ian Rankin ‘Hellish fun’. What else can I say?
Enough of this looking back and remembering all those great books we read last year. I’m looking forward, and I’ll share with you some of the rippers for the first half of the year. Sara Dunant’s The Medicis is due I think April and is a terrific retelling of the story of the pope and his four children. There will be a sequel sometime in the future. Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life is due mid March. Atkinson uses one woman’s life to look back at the most devastating events of the 20th century and imagines how history could be changed if you had the chance to live your life over and over again, to die and start over again, each time changing a small detail that affects the course of your destiny and possibly, that of the world itself. And Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave is due March. These are three of my favourite authors so the first half of the year is like rolling in clover! And I understand Margaret Atwood’s third instalment of Oryx and Crake will be published later in the year.