Librarian Recommended Reads – Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave

Paul Cleave

Paul Cleave

The saying, ‘give me five minutes alone with that person’,  usually means someone wishes harm to another in retribution for a violent act, and this is the basis for this novel.

Paul Cleave is known for his very graphic writing and he doesn’t mince words on any given subject – and this title is no different!

Theo Tate and Carl Schroder, two Christchurch detectives, are on the hunt for someone who is meting out revenge for past violent crimes with the intention of satisfying the ‘five minutes alone’ wish of the victims or their families. However – innocent people are dying, and many members of the police force are all in favour of the revenge acts, which complicates any investigations.

Plenty of twists and turns in this book!

Read by Adrienne

Reserve Five Minutes Alone here

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Staff Pick: Chappy by Patricia Grace


Uprooted from his privileged European life and sent to New Zealand to sort himself out, twenty-one-year-old Daniel pieces together the history of his Maori family. As his relatives revisit their past, Daniel learns of a

remarkable love story between his Maori grandmother Oriwia and his Japanese grandfather Chappy. The more Daniel hears about his deceased grandfather, the more intriguing – and elusive – Chappy becomes.

Don’t Delay – Reserve Today!

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Recommended Teen Reads: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle


Every October Cara’s mother bundles Cara, her sister Alice, and brother-not brother  Sam inside protective layers. The knifes, the kettle, and the toaster are put away. The gas is turned off, and edges of things are wrapped but still, bones break, bruises are made, and skin is cut. And Cara’s best friend Bea’s tarot cards are saying this accident season will be one of the bad ones.

A story about the secrets we keep, the secrets we share, and the secrets that haunt and hurt us. The love we keep, the love we share, and the love that haunts and hurts us.

The Accident Season is a dreamy, eerie, and evocative read, which drew me into its mysterious and slightly creepy world straight away. I really loved this book, it was impossible to tell what was going on, I really liked the style of writing, and the ending wasn’t a disappointment.

Reading age: 13 –

Recommended by: Raschel

Find The Accident Season in our catalogue here

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Recommended Tween Read: Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky


Grayson is twelve and wishes his pants and hoodies were beautiful swirly skirts and pink sequined T’s, and it’s a secret he can’t tell anyone.

His parents were killed in a car accident when he was four and Grayson has lived with his aunt, uncle, and two boy cousins ever since. They’re nice, but it’s not the same, and he doesn’t feel he can trust them to talk about his feelings and confusion.

Things start to unravel for Grayson when he spontaneously tries out for the school play as Persephone  – the female lead, and he can no longer hide how he really feels inside.

The beginning of this book is a little slow, but it’s worth persevering because it grows into a beautiful story with lots of FEELS! A great read for anyone who feels like they might be “different” or like they don’t fit in but also a really awesome inspiring story for anyone about being yourself and following your dreams.

Reading age 10—15

Recommended by: Raschel

Find Gracefully Grayson in our catalogue here

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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Reserve “Pretty Girls” and other Karin Slaughter books here

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Librarian Recommended Reads – The Antipodeans: a novel by Greg McGee


“Beginning with the return to Venice of an old and sick man determined to confront his past, and accompanied by his daughter who is escaping hers, The Antipodeans spans three generations of a New Zealand family and their interaction with three families of Northern Italy. From Venice to the South Island of New Zealand, from the assassination of a Gestapo commander in the last days of Italian resistance in WWII to contemporary real estate shenanigans in Auckland, from political assassination in the darkest days of the Red Brigade to the vaulting cosmology of particle physics, The Antipodeans is a novel of epic proportions where families from the opposite ends of the earth discover an inter-generational legacy of love and blood and betrayal.”

This novel was 30 years in the writing and well worth the wait! McGee weaves a few different times and places into the narrative: modern day Venice, Italy in the war years, New Zealand before and after the war and early 1950’s, with inserts from the 1970’s back in Italy. It sounds busy, but believe me, it works together fantastically.

McGee produces a vivid and realistic picture of two Kiwi Prisoners of War on the run in Italy (1943-44) as they become entangles with the partisans and their families. This centrepiece opens out into later generations and descendants and weaves back and forth from modern day back through time until the whole story drops into place.

Huge parts of this novel are based on true events and true people. It’s about laying ghosts to rest, old loves, cowards, and heroes.

I really enjoyed this novel!

Read by Adrienne

You can find The Antipodeans: a novel in our catalogue here

About Greg McGee:


“Greg McGee has written for theatre, television and film. His first play, Foreskin’s Lament (1980), drew on Rugby culture of the period to comment more broadly on national codes and values. It first toured New Zealand in 1980 and 1981 and happened to coincide with the political and civil upheaval leading up to the 1981 Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand. McGee’s television writing has won several awards, including Best Drama Writer awards for two of his political documentary dramas.” (NZ Book Council)

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Librarian Recommended Reads – World Gone By by Dennis LeHane


World Gone By is set in Tampa, Florida in the early 1940’s and is every bit as cool as its cover.

The story focuses on Joe Coughlin, a semi-retired gangster, widower, and father whose efforts to maintain the gangster lifestyle and “their thing”  – but at a distance and with as little collateral damage as possible – slowly begin to disintegrate as he is made aware of a possible hit on his life.

Now he must spin, manipulate, analyse, and investigate the higher bosses and inter-connected gangs if he wants to keep the thing he has taken from so many others.

Shutter Island was also written by LeHane and is one of my favourite movies with its sublime plot twist ending, so I had high expectations for World Gone By. The vast cast of characters can be hard to keep track of at times but overall this is a great read for anyone with a strong stomach who likes a surprise ending.

Read by Raschel

Reserve World Gone By here

About the author:DennisLehane-copy1

LeHane writes across a range of genres and has had three of his works made into movies: Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; and Shutter Island and he has also written for popular television series The Wire. He has won several awards for his writing and teaches as well as writing plays and directing.

Also by Paul Cleave:

Live By Night

The Drop

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