Book Review and Giveaway: Double Take

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Author: Kendall Talbot
ISBN: 9781743692998
RRP: $29.99

Double Take is the first foray into crime fiction for Australian author Kendall Talbot. I didn’t do much reading up about the book before I started so though I knew it was about a bank heist I was unaware that it was inspired by an actual robbery in that same branch, the branch a young Kendall Talbot once worked in.

The robbery that actually went down was intricately planned, as was the one in Double Take, but that and the branch are the only real similarities.

Talbot asks the age old questions of whether crime really does pay and how far would you go for the one you love. Would you commit a felony for the one you love? But the big question that stuck in my mind was just how far would you go to make good on a promise you made as a thankful teenager.

Double Take is as entertaining as it is intriguing and once I picked it up I had trouble having to put it down.

Jackson Rich has his own business supplying businesses with potted plants for their workplaces. It’s not a lot but it’s all he’s got, he lost his previous job, sold the house and the cars and now he may be just lose his wife as well.

If you find the love of your life and there is a chance you can buy her a reprieve from her terminal illness would you stop at nothing to get the cash for the life saving operation? Jackson Rich is willing to risk it all to save the life of his love but he has it perfectly planned.

Talbot has created characters with depth, characters that make you feel for them and then there are characters that just rubbed me wrong from their very first appearance.

The motivations took a bit to get my head around. I can understand Jacksons motives, he was getting desperate and out of options. The old gang all have a promise to keep, but that promise was made as teenagers and now they are well past that and have moved on from their teenaged mistakes; they have built lives for themselves that will be jeopardised if anything goes wrong. I could understand it a little more if the gang had stayed together through the years, or at least stayed in touch, but it seems that apart from Jackson’s brother they haven’t seen each other since the promise was made.

double take

Double Take isn’t all tension and suspense, there are some laugh out loud moments and some characters that I just wanted to slap.

There are multiple simultaneous storylines so there has to be multiple view points though none of them are in the first person. We follow Jackson as he brings the gang together and lays his plans out for them; we follow the two boys in the wrong place at the right time and we follow the bored gold digger trying to find herself some security and then later on we also keep up with police officer Montgomery Steel.

Double Take spans more than a decade to ensure we follow the story from start to finish and it was certainly pitted with twists I hadn’t seen coming.

This book is a must read for lovers of Australian fiction, it has an undeniable Aussie feel to it that I can’t really explain.

The pacing was good with action right the way through, leaving you always wondering and for every questions answered another arose.

The gang Jackson brought together was his brother Jimmy, Rachel, Donny, Stubbs and Pete. We learn a bit about Jimmy and Rachel, gaining an understanding of why they got involved and also of their personalities. That wasn’t the case with the others. Donny and Stubbs were part of the old gang from high school and they made a promise but we don’t really learn much more than that. Pete is even more enigmatic. They are only secondary characters and not knowing them doesn’t affect the enjoyment of the story but for my own satisfaction I would have liked to know them better.

Double Take is a gripping read that will satisfy readers of many genres, this is definitely a crime novel and it is a well written crime novel but it is also about the people and the relationships outside of that.

I loved Double Take and I hope that you will too.

Double Take is book #48 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2015.

For more about Kendall and her work you can find her at and on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to Harlequin Mira we have copies of Double Take to giveaway to 5 of our lucky readers. If you want to be one of them tell us in the comments below when you had a perfect plan go spectacularly wrong.

Competition closes 28/09/15 midnight AEST. You must be subscribed to the Beauty and Lace newsletter OR a Facebook fan to enter. Make sure you use a valid email address so we can contact you if you are a lucky winner

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27 thoughts on “Book Review and Giveaway: Double Take

  1. I came home early from 10 months in America but didn’t tell my friends as I wanted to surprise them. Was on a 2 hour train trip out to see them at their house and was texting to see what they were up to, as they thought I was in America still, and then I found out they weren’t even home, so I got off at the next station, turned around and came home and had to come clean about the fact that I was home already. Spectacular fail.

  2. Decided to organize a surprise event for a work mate who was turning 50.

    I knew she wouldn’t be in on her birthday and that she had a medical appointment during her lunch break the day before her birthday so organised a morning tea (which she knew about) and some flowers, a card and a gift.

    Shortly before the morning tea was due to start said workmate gets up and advises she will be back later, she’s changed her medical appointment to earlier, but we should go ahead and have the morning tea without her.

    She leaves and I madly contact everyone invited to advise morning tea is off and we will have a quick get together at lunchtime. Lunchtime comes, and she still hasn’t returned from her appointment, madly cancel lunch event and ask everyone to come back at afternoon tea time.

    Workmate returns from appointment and says as her doctor was close to the market she had decided to have lunch there. She then announces that as it is her birthday the next day she is leaving at 3 pm – yep you guessed it – afternoon tea time!

    Mad hustle to get everyone back then and there in order to make presentation, at which point she says “oh, I hadn’t realized the morning tea was for me, sorry”

    Aaaaaaargh. Last time I try to organise an event at work for anyone!

  3. My Perfect plan went wrong when i booked my 10 year old sons birthday party for the wrong date and had all the guests show up on the wrong date.

  4. I don’t think I can top many of the great (or not so great really) stories written here! Earlier this year I had to go to Melbourne for a medical appointment which I was stressing about, so we also bought tickets to see the Lion King the night after and stay a few days in Melbourne as a “reward”. A couple of days after the booking (which I made only 10 days prior to the trip) I was talking to a friend about how I was excited about the performance, and it dawned on me that I may have booked the wrong date – Yep my subconscious was right – I booked the right day but for a week earlier than we were there. That meant i had booked for a show in only two days time! I was so disappointed as they were expensive and I wouldn’t be able to afford more, and doubted I could sell in time.

    Luckily I got a buyer on gumtree (thought I may not as they were printable etickets, and it was hardly time to get a bank transfer) and I only lost $30 overall, and was able to secure tickets for the correct night (even if they were about 10 rows further back)

  5. Is there such a thing as the perfect plan? Me thinks not! I do try though and am called Miss Organisation by my friends. My last flop was organising a work reunion and then having the flu so bad that I couldn’t go. Oh well!

  6. The weather was gorgeous and hubby had the weekend off. So we settled on going to the park and getting outdoors with the kids, have some fun.

    We got ourselves a coffee on the way as we like to pretend the kids are not there and we are on a date. Begins with hubby spilling his coffee all over himself.

    He recovers from that and then not being a sporty man he still tries with our 3 sons. Come on boys let kick the footy. There were older boys kicking around there footies, around the 20 year mark. Anyway hubby goes to kick the football, slips over and falls in front of everyone. Making a noise that made everyone turn and see what happened. Or could have been my laughter that turned heads!

    We decide to lets just go and play on the park equipment instead. Hubby thinks swinging on the swing is a perfect safe idea, until he forgets to lift his feet and they bend backwards and he ends up with a sprained ankle.

    The boys and I had an hysterically laughing time at the park on this occasion. Hubby not so much. After all the mishaps I thought it would be safer for me to drive home that day.

  7. My plans always go wrong which is why I like to live on the spare of the moment, I planned to marry and have kids but here I am still single but luckily have 1 kid!

  8. When getting my hair cut last time they cut it all wrong but I got home and washed it and styled it myself and it looks the best it ever has

  9. I had a life plan with my partner of over a decade to buy a house, get married and start a family. Plans changed when my partner become very sick and for the last few years I worked and looked after my partner. Now my boyfriend has recovered remarkable and we have started to turn our dreams into reality as we believe it’s never too late.

  10. I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Double Take in one of Beauty and Lace’s competitions and found it to be overall an enjoyable read.

    The storyline revolves around three main characters:
    Jackson Rich, whose wife Candice is terminally ill and they can’t afford the $74,300 needed for the operation which can save her life.
    Gemma, girlfriend of Murray and his two sons Max and Trent
    Detective Montgomery Steel, with thirty plus years of experience in the force.

    Jack (Jackson) decides that the only way he can get the money to fund Candice’s operation is to rob a bank, on Melbourne Cup day, the one day of the year that everything shuts down for the running of the cup. To do so he calls in a promise from his old gang and they meet in an old deserted boathouse where he outlines his plan to them. The plan seems foolproof, they will have fake guns, rob the bank, take the money, split it 6 ways, no one will get hurt and he will have enough money to pay for Candice’s operation and save her life.

    Sadly for Jack, Murray’s sons Max and Trent happen to be playing under the boathouse when the plan is discussed and overhear every word. In order to prove to Murray that they are telling the truth the boys tape the next meeting of the group and play it to Murray and Gemma. Murray wants to report the plan to the police, but Gemma persuades him that they need more information and assures him that she will take the taped conversation to the police once they have more evidence.

    Gemma is as good as her word to Murray and does report the planned robbery to the police, although there appear to be a few omissions, for example the actual bank at which the robbery is to take place.

    Detective Steel is left with a quandary, he knows a bank will be robbed but not which one, he knows when the robbery will take place and he knows where the gang will meet after the robbery. So obviously his best bet will be to catch the robbers with loot in hand once the robbery is over.

    What could possibly go wrong – apart from everything!

    I enjoyed this book, although I was frustrated by the inconsistencies in the behaviours of some of the characters, particularly the boys Max and Trent. Given the age of the boys I would have expected them to have been more involved in following up on what happened about the robbery after the event. After all, a bank robbery on Melbourne Cup Day would have been reported on the news and in the papers. Instead once the boys have reported about the robbery to Murray and Gemma they disappear from the storyline only to reappear as adults towards the end of the book.

    If you are prepared to overlook some of the less believable aspects of the story and enjoy a little crime and intrigue in your reading then this is a nice light easy read which will leave you amused at the twists and turns.

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