Good Reading : December January 2015
THRILLER WOM word of mouth RATINGS ★ ★ ★★ ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ RG Eden Candice Fox Eden is the second book in a series. I haven’t read the first, but it is easy enough to pick up the backstory. Eden, the title character, is a cop and a serial killer who only kills people who deserve it (think Dexter without the morbid humour). Eden’s stepfather is a notor ious Sydney gangster known as Hades. Her partner, Frank, is a tough but self-destructive cop who views her with a combination of horror and admiration. Frank is recover ing from the murder of his girlfriend and is reluctantly drawn back into duty when Eden goes undercover to investigate the disappearances of three girls. Meanwhile Hades is being stalked by a shadowy figure and Frank reluctantly begins to investigate. This has the makings of a solid series. The characters are well defined and flawed, while the story is cleverly plotted with two distinct strands that draw these characters together. Eden is not particularly deep or even hugely original, but it is strong. It does what it does well and without fuss. The writing is good and the story moves at a brisk pace; it’s a definite page-turner. And it’s always a pleasure to discover a writer with the ability to evoke an unmistakeably Australian setting and tone, something which Fox does with apparent ease. ★★★ Random House $32.99 Reviewed by Tessa Chudy The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins Rachel takes the 8.04am train each morning from her shared flat in the commuter belt to central London. Each evening she repeats the journey in reverse. It’s a slow trip, allowing her plenty of time to gaze idly out the window and imagine the lives of the inhabitants of the many row houses backing onto the railway line. One house in particular has caught her attention. Every day her train stops at a signal and, by ensuring that she always sits in the same seat in the same carriage, provides her with an uninterrupted view into the kitchen of a particular house, allowing her to become familiar with the habits and routines of the young couple that live there. So familiar has she become, that she has invented names for them and a backstory. She’s become very fond of them, imagining that they could become friends. When one day she witnesses something suspicious from the train – and later learns the young woman has gone missing – Rachel feels compelled to intervene. Using the classic trope of the unreliable narrator, Paula Hawkins has woven a taught psychological thriller, musing on twin themes of obsession and human frailty. Rachel’s marriage has broken up and now Tom, her ex-husband, is living with another woman and their new baby. Since her drinking has become more of a full-time commitment than a hobby, her London job has gone west too. She’s a walking disaster, her own worst enemy – that is, until someone much more dangerous appears in the shadows, lurking around the edges of her alcohol-induced blackouts. This is a very tense, fast read with some satisfyingly unexpected plot twists. If you’re looking for the Gone Girl of 2015, this could be it. ★★★★ Doubleday $32.99 Reviewed by Marian Barker plenty of time to gaze idly out the window suspicious from the train – and later learns the young woman has gone missing – Rachel feels compelled to intervene. unreliable narrator, Paula Hawkins has woven a taught psychological thriller, musing on twin themes of obsession and human frailty. Rachel’s marriage has Eden Candice Fox Ethe first, but it is easy enough to pick up the backstory. Eden, the title character, is a cop and a serial killer who only kills people who deserve it (think Dexter AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING DECEMBER 2014 / JANUARY 2015 44 Candice Fox grew up in Bankstown in Sydney’s western suburbs. She is the daughter of a prison parole officer.