Monday 30 May 2016

Wanderlust - Simon Foster

After 9/11, Aussie expat Luke Bales is determined to make a success of his New York bar, The Billabong.

But when a hot fashion student goes missing from the bar, Luke’s liquor license is threatened and his sidekick placed under suspicion.

To keep his dream alive, Luke follows a bloody trail through the city’s boroughs, soon realizing that evil can strike thousands of miles from home.

Or just around the corner. 

What did I think?

Well this was a little hidden gem of a book and I absolutely raced through it one rainy Saturday afternoon.  I knew I was going to love it from the very first page; not just because it was set in a bar (as many people know I'm a beer lover) but because of the easy going Aussie lingo that reminded me of happy days watching Home and Away and Neighbours.  Lingo that greeted me like an old friend, drawing me in and pulling out a seat with my name on it at this friendly bar in NYC named The Billabong.

The book is named after a beer cocktail served at The Billabong - beer cocktail, you say?  Yes, you heard me right.  I have got to try The Wanderlust, although I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to put a dash of Tabasco in my beer.  Anyway I digress enough about the beer, on to the book...

The story starts as Luke and his assistant, Anchor, are setting up his bar one Monday afternoon for what will surely be another busy evening, when in walk two NYPD detectives.  They are investigating a case of a missing Australian girl who was last seen at The Billabong on Friday night.  Luke recognises her from her photograph but can't say who she was with or when she left the bar as it was so busy, so the detectives want to speak to Anchor, who conveniently made a sharp exit as they entered the bar.  When body parts start turning up, it's not long before Anchor's shady past is revealed and he is collared for the crime.  Luke is convinced of his innocence but the detectives are happy they have got their man.  Case closed.  The case is far from closed for Luke who follows a trail around New York, getting into scrapes along the way and using his Aussie charm to talk himself out of trouble.  

Luke is a great character with some cracking lines; there are too many to mention here and by doing so would spoil the book anyway. Needless to say I was crying with laughter at times despite the sometimes serious storyline.  Any character that says, 'Don't be a galah' to an impending fight scene is a winner for me! 

Wanderlust will appeal to all crime fiction fans and the added humour and laid back Aussie style make it something that little bit different; I'm sure Wanderlust is destined for great things and I know without a doubt that it will be one of my top reads of 2016.  It is so addictive that you can't put it down and as usual I didn't get the whodunnit right.  Either I'm really bad at picking up clues or the author is really clever...I'm going to go with the latter!  If you're looking for something a bit different, you won't go wrong with Wanderlust.

An absolutely cracking (or should I say bonzer?) debut from author Simon Foster and I do hope that Simon lets us catch up with Luke and The Billabong again.

I received this e-book from the author, via Books Go Social, in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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