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Tag / Fiction

The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale

Imagine seeing your loving husband on a dating app. Now imagine that’s the best thing that happens to you all week …

Charlie and Oliver have a storybook marriage… until Charlie sees her loving husband on a dating app. ⠀
Suddenly other signs of betrayal begin to add up and Charlie soon discovers that infidelity is the least of her problems. Nothing is as it seems and nobody is who she thinks they are in The Strangers We Know, QBD’s thrilling February Book of the Month.

What Our Readers Thought:

Charlie Carter has a fairytale life and a perfect husband who supports her acting ambitions. And then the week from hell begins, on a night out with friends she sees her husband on a dating app, and that is probably the high point of her week.
Pip Drysdale has crafted an engaging thriller that will keep you reading well into the morning. You'll want to binge this like your favourite TV show.

Jessica, Cairns QBD

Meet Charlie an inspiring actress who's perfect life begins to turn into something out a movie when she finds her husband Oliver's been keeping dangerous secrets from her. Secrets that make her a suspect in a murder!
Pip Drysdale has not failed to impress me once again this is a great example of a well written psychological thriller that encourages the reader to stay for that 'one more chapter'.

Ruby, Eastland QBD

I lost sleep along with this character trying to decipher the secrets of her partner and potential betrayal. Can you trust the one you love when everything is telling you not to? Charlie thought she finally found the perfect man, only to discover an online dating profile that he denies. Follow her down the rabbit hole as she plots to discover the truth!

Kaitlyn, Miranda QBD

Pip has written her second psychological thriller that would make a good film. When Charlie discovers her loving husbands photo on a dating site, her world begins to unravel as she learns he is not who he says he is. When she investigates further, she becomes involved in crimes she didn’t commit. This book will make you question whether the loved ones around you are who they say they are.

Mark, Tea Tree Plaza QBD

We’re back in black!

We've brought our most popular Black Friday offers back for a limited time! Save on popular fiction titles, puzzles and mini books.

This offer is only available in store, so grab those car keys and head on down to your local QBD ASAP!

The deals:

Piece together a great Christmas gift with Landscapes, Harry Potter,
Christmas and Children's puzzles all just $9!

Suitable for ages 3 and above, these adorable mini books are legible and fully recyclable. Some of the titles included are Storm Boy, Do Not Open This Book, Paw Patrol: Jurassic Bark, The Famous Five and more...
HOT TIP: Mini books make perfect stocking stuffers! 

What's better than a new book? 2 new books! For a limited time get 2 great fiction reads for just $15 in store. With authors like Matthew Reilly, David Baldacci, Judy Nunn and Jay Kristoff there's something for everyone!

Sale ends December 13th 2019!

Not sure where to find your local QBD? Check out our locations page!

QBD Reviews: Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq

Houellebecq has famously called English the language of Donald Duck, so perhaps it is no wonder that Shaun Whiteside’s English translation (due for release September 26) was held back six months later than all other translations. And look, I bought a first edition in French (and it came with a beautiful Houellebecq-themed French bookmark that I now cherish as a kind of page-saving relic or even talisman, I’m sorry to admit...) and, look, I tried to read it en français, and I got through the first four pages or so at about the rate of half an hour a page ... but it was too much like work and not the sort of work I wanted to be doing, the kind of work that is pure literacy indulgence; so I gave up and waited out the language embargo patiently (and went back to Tintin for French practice).

So I’ll start with what it isn’t.

...nothing had given me the feeling that I had a place to live, or a context, let alone a reason.”

Firstly, let me just say that the ‘prophetic’ tag re. les gilets jaunes movement is over-blown. Sure, there are elements of serious discontent going on in the novel re. farming practices in France etc but nothing that mirrors anywhere near closely the actual movement and how it happened and progressed. The novel is much more relevant and interesting and terribly beautiful than to be considered some kind of Nostradamic manifesto. It’s much worse than that. It’s much more fantastic, in the literal sense of that word.

It’s also not about 'the vanquished white male'.

If anything. It’s about the dynamic that would lead to people saying it’s about the vanquished white male. The ones that say he missed the Me Too movement, which he quite obviously didn’t. He’s sitting in it, uncomfortably, like it’s a public spa bath that hasn’t been cleaned for an uncomfortably long time. And the sort of people saying: “That whole aesthetic of the ‘old white male’ is dated, past its sell-by date and clearly no longer brings anything good. ‘What’s the point in trying to save a vanquished old white male?’ the narrator asks. What’s the point, indeed.”

That’s the point ... right there, if not the meaning. The French do irony like they do pastry: delicate but calorie-ridden

...from the bureaucratic point of view, a good citizen is a dead citizen.

But Houellebecq has a way of beguiling by combining the most honestly and disarming brutal kinds of impulses of a man and the most delicate tenderness. The story does not shrink away from the most abject of things, and treats them with a banal internalised indifference. All the bluster on key issues of the moment, and everything else metoometoometoometoometoometoo on every platform where access to wifi trumps any Bill of Rights, there’s maybe a space still for the old white male, vanquished or otherwise, since no-one else seems to be noticing much outside of this at all. Maybe nobody’s meant to.

Was I, in the end, as unhappy as all that?

If you need a word for the book to be about something, happiness would be it, unsurprisingly. Claude-Florant is sad, a sadness unto death; and he is unpacking his life in an effort to assess (perhaps) why this is so. Between the lines, maybe he’s considering how things could have been different ... while at the same time understanding things can never be different.

Everything that had happened had happened for all eternity.

On a wider scale, leaving behind the ‘whiteness’ the ‘old’ and the ‘male’ as kinds of window dressings (undesirable ones, of course) we can understand that there is a connection between Claude-Florant and being vanquished, certainly; but this state does not connect with his sadness. His sadness has not come from without; it is a self-disgust, a self-vanquishment. Enemies may be all to quick to hoist a foot upon the still-breathing corpse, but there is a strong sense of Claude-Florant’s awareness of his ultimate culpability for his position. To use the Oprah-esque parlance of our times, he owns his misery. And it’s not any more or less helpful than not owning it. In fact, it’s probably worse.

An atmosphere of general catastrophe always alleviates individual catastrophe...

The malaise is individual, but of course there is a sense of it being shared. Dare I even say it: the death of the West? A culture so utterly disappointed in itself, dying of sorrow due to the girth of its own reflexive demands. Maybe, if he ever writes another novel, he will tackle what comes next, the rough beast slouching its way toward Bethlehem. Maybe he has already...

I could still carry on to the end, because I could, I could in material terms...

Houellebecq remains the only living writer that I am truly interested in reading.

Review by Sean, Eastland QBD

QBD reviews: The Wife and The Widow

Have you picked up our Book of the Month, Christian White's The Wife and the Widow, yet?

Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and the Widow is a mystery/thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband's secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside down when she's forced to confront the evidence that her husband is a murderer. But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives.

What our reviewers thought:

An unsettling and shocking murder mystery set on a small island off the coast of Melbourne, where a Wife hunts for answers about the murder of her husband and discovers things are not as she thought. The twists in this novel were second to none - completely unexpected and skilfully plotted. Easily one of the best crime thrillers I have read all year. One word - Brilliant!

Tricia, QBD Books Bondi

From the author that gave us The Nowhere Child comes another thrilling masterpiece that will leave you questioning if you truly know those close to you. A widow is left unravelling the secrets her husband left behind, while a wife starts to question if her husband could in fact be a murderer. A truly incredible narrative, full of twists and turns. Another amazing Aussie crime author to watch.

Rosie, QBD Books Mandurah

Get your copy of The Wife and The Widow here.

QBD Reviews: Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Author Heather Morris

Happy publication day to Cilka's Journey!

The sequel to Heather Morris' International  Bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz, is available in stores from today. 

Readers  have wondered what happened to Cilka, and this book answers all their questions (and then some!)

QBD's Quick Synopsis: 

After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? She was only a child when she arrived in Auschwitz. 

Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.

Some of our readers were lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Cilka's Journey. Here's what they thought: 

"The Tattooist of Auschwitz was one of my favourite books of 2018 and it was where we were first introduced to Cilka. In Heather Morris’ follow up novel, Cilka’s Journey, the war is over. This should mean freedom for Cilka but she is arrested for ‘consorting with the enemy’ and sentenced to 15 years at the Vortuka Gulag in Siberia. The conditions are inhumane and every minute is a battle for survival. Despite all this, we see the light of humanity shine through as Cilka makes friends and we are introduced to some very strong female characters. Cilka’s Story is one of unrivaled strength and a raw determination to never give up and to survive. A truly inspirational read."

Julie, Woodgrove QBD

"When I heard this book was nearing release, I began to count down the days, eagerly awaiting a story I knew would not disappoint. Continuing on from where The Tattooist of Auschwitz ended, Cilka's Journey tells of Cilka's move from accused Nazi collaborator, to Siberian prisoner for an arduous 15 years.

The challenges Cilka faces are a horribly familiar, but begin twisting into something unrecognizable as she mistakenly garners the attention of the self-proclaimed 'head prisoners'. But through her daily encounters with death and terror, Cilka meets a woman doctor, who takes her under her wing, allowing her to try aid the ill and struggling where she can.

Cilka definitely lives up to Lale's assessment as 'One of the strongest women (he has) ever known', and her inspirational story shows that even in your darkest days, there may be a little bit of room for love."

Kirsty, Geelong QBD

"Heather Morris is back with another gut-wrenching masterpiece from one of the darkest periods in human history. We follow Cilka in her journey after Auschwitz, to the Gulag in Siberia. Sentenced to fifteen years hard labour for what she was forced to do to survive Auschwitz, Cilka shivers her way through the harsh conditions, fearing what her fellow hut-mates will do when they find out her secret. Based on true events, this is an incredible story of heartache, uncertainty, and above all, survival. A must read."

Rosie, Mandurah QBD

Cilka's Journey is available in store & online now. Purchase your copy here.