All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Daintree by Annie Seaton

on July 25, 2017

Daintree (The Porter Sisters #2)
Annie Seaton
Pan Macmillan AUS
2016, 326p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

The Daintree breeds survivors, those who can weather the storms, heat and floods that come hand-in-hand with its beauty. Doctor Emma Porter is one such survivor, dedicated to her patients and to preserving this precious land where she has made a home.

Emma’s quiet life is disrupted when Doctor Jeremy Langford starts working at the hospital, bringing back painful memories: Jeremy was her first love and embodies all that she left behind in Sydney. Jeremy has demons of his own, however, and the tight-knit community of Dalrymple seems to promise the peace he has been looking for.

But while some come to the Daintree to find shelter, others are here to exploit the rainforest’s riches. And they will stop at nothing to get their hands on its bounty.

For the middle book in this trilogy, we move away from the Northern Territory to north Queensland and the tropical rainforest setting of the Daintree. Emma works as an emergency doctor and also has a practice in town where she focuses on her passion of a holistic approach. The local area has been understaffed for some time but it appears that finally they are getting someone to help share the load. It’s hard to say who is more surprised at seeing the other – Emma or Dr Jeremy Langford.

Years ago at university in Sydney the two were in an intense relationship which ended abruptly with the death of Emma’s father when she had to go back to the Northern Territory. A series of {deliberate} misunderstandings lead them both to think that the other has ended things suddenly. The two were very different – Jeremy comes from a very prominent and wealthy Sydney family of private practitioners with a private school upbringing and Emma’s family always struggled to make the mango farm profitable. She had plenty of insecurity about whether or not she would fit in in Jeremy’s world. After a long period of no contact, the two will be working closely together and living in close proximity.

As well as dealing with the reappearance of Jeremy in her life and what that might mean for her both professionally and personally, Emma has noticed that there’s something weird going on in the forest. There are definitely people up to something in there and when she stumbles across something that gives her a clue, it could threaten her life.

This was another really solid story with a combination of romance and suspense that blended together really well in an exotic location. Emma is a very solitary person at the book’s opening – she lives in an isolated cottage accessed by a punt across a river with temperamental amenities. Although she works with people and occasionally socialises with a group, she seems to shun close relationships and seems to enjoy keeping her distance. I enjoyed her approach to medicine and the way in which she looks to traditional methods to supplement her modern knowledge.

Jeremy was an okay character, I didn’t really love him. I felt his assumption that Emma had dropped out because she couldn’t cope in Sydney quite arrogant and also unfounded. She got excellent marks – in fact Emma remembers to herself how Jeremy used to sulk if she got a better mark than he did. Jeremy’s background was a bit of a cliche – rich doctor dad, socialite mother, over-achieving brothers. Jeremy wants something different for himself and after a really traumatic event that he witnessed that touched him personally, he wants to approach his career in medicine quite differently. That was interesting although I do feel that he overcame his obstacles about practicing in an emergency department sort of magically, merely by telling Emma about it. That felt a bit of an easy way out for me and I’ve liked to see him do a bit more work to overcome this almost a form of PTSD. There was also little resolution with the actions of one of his family members that I felt could’ve been addressed for the sake of closure.

The mystery of what was going on in the forest was a really strong part of the story. At first I definitely thought the culprits were up to something else and I didn’t even consider the possibility of what they were actually doing. It’s plausible and I have to admit that although I was right in my suspicions about a couple of people that were involved, I was definitely surprised by the identity of the final person. It felt like the suspense built really nicely and there were a couple of really dangerous events that raised the tension level a few notches.

Although this is the second book in the series, for me it’s the final one as I read the third one first. All together they are a really nice trilogy. I thought all the sisters were great, they were all strong, independent women with interesting careers (chopper pilot, doctor, engineer) and the romances weren’t super strong parts of the plots, more like a complimentary piece of the overall picture. I’d love to read more romantic suspense novels set in rural Australia – we have such a broad array of settings that are ripe for this sort of genre and Annie Seaton has utilised some of them really cleverly in this trilogy.

8/10

Book #124 of 2017

Daintree is book #40 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017

 

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One response to “Review: Daintree by Annie Seaton

  1. I do like me a good trilogy.

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