BOOK BITES | Peter Swanson, Christine Mangan, Zoe Chance

31 July 2022 - 00:00 By William Saunderson-Meyer, Tiah Beautement and JESSICA LEVITT

This week we feature a mystery that echoes Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, a psychological thriller of a writer's woe set in 1960s Venice, and a self-help book to help you influence friends, family and co-workers 

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by Peter Swanson.
Nine Lives by Peter Swanson.
Image: Supplied

Nine Lives ★★★
Peter Swanson
Faber & Faber

Nine Lives is a fast and riveting thriller but faintly disappointing. It is an intriguing plot that references Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel And Then There Were None, the world’s best-selling mystery that's had several cinema incarnations. Nine strangers are mailed a list with all their names on an otherwise blank sheet of paper. Some dismiss the list, others find it disturbing. The nine are from across the US, and are of different ages and professions. One by one they are murdered. FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who is on the list, seeks to hunt down the killer by finding out what links those listed. Despite being a gripping read it is a little formulaic and the reveal at the end is unconvincing. It’s also difficult for even the best of writers to adequately develop nine main characters so that they engage the reader’s empathy. — William Saunderson-Meyer


Click here to buy Nine Lives 

by Christine Mangan.
Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan.
Image: Supplied

Palace of the Drowned ★★★
Christine Mangan
Little Brown

It's 1966, Frances Croy’s career in the UK is in shambles. She’s gone from a debut darling
to third-book disappointment with scandal overshadowing her every move. Now she’s hiding in her friend’s flat in Venice, alone. But young Gilly appears. A fan determined to
be best friends. But Frances suspects the woman lies. Yet she’s bored, and Gilly intrigues. A tale of unlikeable characters who will ruthlessly use others to achieve their desires.
— Tiah Beautement 






Click here to buy Palace of the Drowned 

by Zoe Chance.
Influence is Your Superpower by Zoe Chance.
Image: Supplied

Influence is Your Superpower ★★★★
Zoe Chance

Do not judge this book by its cover (or title). Dr Zoe Chance is a professor at the Yale School of Management and put together this useful guide on how to use strategies
that can influence success. She draws on the latest behavioural research and entertaining stories from her own life to explain how simple, effective communication can not only have a positive effect, but will also persuade people without any manipulation. The
idea is to understand how to use charm to enter the gateway of negotiation, and through this you’ll not only be able to hold your own but also win people over. It’s more than your average self-help book. Chance, who is an award-winning academic, produces easy strategies to use whether you are in the boardroom, or having it out with a BFF or bae.
— Jessica Levitt



Click here to buy Influence is Your Superpower 

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