I like mystery/crime books. I like them a lot. There was a time when I pretty much only read books that fell into the mystery, crime, thriller, or true crime genres. Yes, I've expanded my reading horizons, but a good mystery book is still one that I love to curl up and read. So, I'd been looking forward to finally reading a book from Michael Robotham because he is an Aussie author that I regularly see him mentioned as a recommendation for this genre.
When I picked up this book, all I knew was the synopsis from goodreads, that it had a 4.05* review on goodreads, and it was about a guy who escapes prison the day before he is set to be released. Sounds like my kind of book. But, I made an assumption. I assumed this Aussie author wrote his books set in Australian locations.
Lo and behold, on the very first page, I see a reference to "Lake Conroe". Uhm. My dad owned a house on Lake Conroe. Not to be morbid, but my stepmother lost her battle to cancer in this very house after spending late spring and early summer looking out the window at scenes on Lake Conroe. Is this my Lake Conroe? Well, yes, yes it is. I got even more excited to read this book.
There were many references to areas and locations that I know very well. The teenage character in this book goes to the very high school that I graduated from. My intimate knowledge caused me to stumble across a few edit mistakes. For instance, there is a massive "master-planned" community called The Woodlands. That's its name...with an upper case "T"...The Woodlands...not just Woodlands, or lower case "t", the Woodlands. But, hey, I don't want to be pedantic or pretentious.
So, I saw a few of these minor mistakes. Then, I saw another. As seen in the following picture, a passage mentions some girls at a "honky-tonk" (fine, no problem, there are actually bars in Texas that we call "honky-tonks"), but these girls seem to be at a bachelorette party (Aussie "hen's night"). The author says that the assumed bride-to-be is wearing "an 'L-plate' strung around her neck."
Hold up. America doesn't have L-plates. It is safe to assume most Americans don't know what L-plates are. And, it is even safer to assume that a bride-to-be in a Texas honky-tonk won't be wearing an L-plate around her neck.
Am I nit-picking? Is this book, published at an Australian book publisher, is it edited for Australian readers? Therefore, are changes made to the book for Australian readers, and the American version wouldn't mention L-plates? I don't know.
I asked Kristen (our favorite Aussie expat in America blogger booklover) what she thought. She said: "you should apply things to where it is set, regardless of where it is published." I must admit, I agree with her.
Rachel mentioned something similar to this about a recent book she read written by an American that was set in London (Lovestruck in London by Rachel Schurig).
Okay...................all the edit questions/comments/concerns aside, I liked this book. I liked the story. I liked the characters. I liked the pace. It wasn't too fast or "thrilling", but it wasn't slow either. It was good story-telling of a crime & mystery book. I liked that the author gives the reader some nuggets of clues throughout the book, as if he wants you to figure some things out on your own, and others he wants to still remain a mystery. In the end, all of the stories are tied together and resolved, and I liked that too. I will definitely read more from Michael Robotham, and I'd recommend him to others.
One more example, Americans call it a "tank top", not a "singlet". In fact, it took me a good month or so living here before I even knew what Aussies were talking about when they said "singlet". If the book is set in Australia, call it a "singlet". If it's set in Texas, call it a "tank top". Am I right?
Okay. I'll stop now. My point was already made, right? Now, I know I am nit-picking.
Two more to go; I got this!
It's the 7th year for the Aussie Author Challenge, and my 2nd year participating (click on the picture/link to take you directly to the site for more information). My working book list is as follows:
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks- COMPLETED 23 April 2016 What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty- COMPLETED 25 March 2016 The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood- COMPLETED 24 August 2016 Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington (non-fiction)- COMPLETED 17 January 2016
- I Hear Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty
Life or Death by Michael Robotham- COMPLETED 23 September 2016 Guilt by Matthew Nable- COMPLETED 3 February 2016
- The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman
Authors New to Me: