by Rosetta Allan
I read a previous book by Rosetta Allan, Purgatory, in 2014 and loved it. It was a New Zealand historical novel. Crazy Love couldn’t be more different. Based on Allan’s own life and history with her husband, she tells the story of Vicki and her love and struggles with Billy. The novel starts in 2008 when Billy is trying to get away from Vicki and jumping from the Auckland Harbour Bridge seems like his best option. We then get Vicki’s story, which cuts backwards and forwards from the 1980s to the mid-2000s. There’s a deep attraction between Vicki and Billy but also a dark reality that keeps slicing through their love. Allan writes about a narrow and limited life in Napier in the eighties with drugs, squatting and a dysfunctional family life, and then moves into the mad excess of the advertising world in Auckland in the nineties. This is a raw and clever novel of love, hate, frustration, despair and ultimately acceptance.
by Lesley Pearse
This latest novel (her 29th) by the prolific Lesley Pearse starts with the murder of a popular young local girl in the seemingly perfect cul-de-sac of Willow Close. As the police interview the residents, we start to realise, of course, that all is not as it seems. We have a young couple who have just moved in to their first new home, a troubled young girl whose mother drinks a lot while her father seems to be away a lot, and a woman who lives on her own but has mysterious male visitors. There is also another couple who take lots of weekend trips away and seem to be hiding something, and of course some police officers with stories of their own. Pearse writes well and has a loyal following. Easy, good reading.