Cry Blue Murder

Cry Blue MurderCry Blue Murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this thriller/mystery novel. I decided to read it because the word of mouth reviews from my students were all very positive. Kane and Roberts use lots of interesting devices to keep interest high including police interview transcripts; newspaper reports and of course the email relationship between Celia and Alice.
Hallie Knight is missing and Celia and Alice are connnected by their concern about her whereabouts and fate. Celia goes to a school in Hallie’s neighbourhood and Alice has friends who know Hallie, but Alice herself is at boarding school in Mildura. The two girls strike up an online friendship bound by their interest in the case. It soon transpires that whilst the girls have different family situations, there are also similarities too and they quickily becomne firm friends.

When Hallie is found after several weeks, the mystery only deepens as she describes her abductor and the police try to track him down.

All the while, Alice and Celia grow closer, bonding over the circumstances and details of the case, as well as sharing the innermost workings of each other’s lives. As the police narrow-in on their prime suspect, Alice and Celia start making plans to meet up in person and turn their friendship into a going concern as Alice has been allowed to come home from boarding school for good.

I can’t say anymore as it will be full of spoilers, but I can tell you I saw the ending coming from miles away. This is more due to my wide expereince of crime thrillers rather than any flaw in the narrative, and I completely understand how swept up and involved younger readers would become in this story. Alice and Celia are likeable characters and you are quickly drawn into their developing friendship.

The ending is satisfying, however, and I look forward to the next offering from Kane and Roberts, particularly if it is in this genre. I would love to see this made as a series by someone like ABC3. I would certainly watch it, even knowing the outcome, because I think it would make fantastic television.

Highly recommended for ages 13 and up, and especially for girls who love their emails and online chatter.

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The Shallows is very deep

The Shallows: How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and RememberThe Shallows: How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember by Nicholas G. Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There appear to be many people happy to call Nicholas Carr a Luddite – I am happy to say I am not one of them. The Shallows, while it does take a position against the Internet and technology, it is not urging us not to use it. Carr is, instead, telling us we need to use our minds in both world. This book is a reminder that technology is a tool, a way of getting somewhere, NOT the destination. He illustrates, through careful use of research and observation, that using the Web on a daily basis IS changing the way our brains process and retain information. It is a scary thought – the Web might be driving the next stage of human evolution. It’s scary because while we may control a great deal of the content of the Web, the mechanism is run by others- often large companies with their own agendas. This is a very interesting book that certainly made me re-evaluate my role as a librarian in society. As a provider of information and the means to find it (books AND the Web), I can honestly say this made me sit up and take notice.
Highly recommended.