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  ‘Let him be an example. My Frank. Of how to live best, and to stop all this death. Let them put down their knives, stop being ruled by fear. They are all so fearful, that’s why my boy died. Not because another kid was showing off, as the papers said, not muscles being flexed. … Continue readings

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  A beautifully nuanced novel, Permission by Saskia Vogel is a sometimes challenging and often lyrical exploration of longing, loneliness and loss. Following her father’s tragic death, LA actress Echo struggles to deal with her bereavement – ‘the gape of loss’. Cast adrift, she embarks on a series of meaningless encounters with men, before meeting … Continue readings

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  ‘Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age …”   There’s nothing better than a good opener and, in this, debut novelist Catherine Steadman doesn’t disappoint, drawing us in from the very first line of the highly acclaimed Something in the Water. (Who … Continue readings

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  Ah, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ – even if you don’t recognised the title, you’ll know the track. Or if you don’t know the track, you’ll recognise the slogan. Played on the radio, on film soundtracks, at clubs, festivals, on music compilations and even in Tahrir Square during an attempt to overthrow Egyptian … Continue readings

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  ‘All of this started the night Will told us he was going to be a serial killer. He said, ‘Okay, I’ve decided what I want to do when I’m older…’ So begins SR Masters’ psychological thriller, The Killer You Know. It’s a great opening – suitably creepy and attention grabbing. And it’s a clever … Continue readings

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  We’ve already waxed lyrical about how much we love poetry and so Katya Boirand’s collection, Take Me to the Edge, published by Unbound, simply had to be read. It’s an interesting premise, to ask a selection of people, from different walks of life, for five words and then to weave them together into a … Continue readings

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  Sue Lawrence’s Down to the Sea joins the number of novels, at the moment being published, set in dual timelines. Moving between the early 1980s, when the book opens, and the late 1890s, it’s set in the Newhaven area of Edinburgh, by the sea. From the first words, we’re plunged into Rona and Craig’s … Continue readings

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  Today, we’re delighted to welcome Canadian author Paul E. Hardisty to The Literary Lounge. Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasy Dagger award, Paul’s Claymore Straker series is critically acclaimed and has garnered fans such as Lee Child. Turbulent Wake, Paul’s latest book, is a beautifully penned standalone, examining love and loss. It is published … Continue readings

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  Set in Edinburgh in the 1840s, Ambrose Parry’s excellent The Way of All Flesh is an utter joy. From the very first line, we are immersed in the Victorian world of Will Raven, a struggling medical student, newly apprenticed to the eminent Scottish obstetrician Dr James Young Simpson. As the city is beset by … Continue readings

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  ‘Proportionality bias is the instinctive notion that a large outcome must have had a large cause. It’s why we find it hard to accept that a princess can simply die in a car crash or that a lone sniper can take down a president. In a world that seems frighteningly chaotic, we crave a … Continue readings

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  When I first heard the premise for Louise Beech’s Call Me Star Girl, Clint Eastwood’s iconic film Play Misty for Me (1971) came to mind – late night DJ with potentially crazed stalker fan, murder, bloody murder, secrets and lies … Certainly, there’s something extremely filmic about the book and, like Eastwood, from the … Continue readings

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  Alice Jolly’s Between the Regions of Kindness takes its title from Naomi Shibab Nye’s poem ‘Kindness’ – ‘how desolate the landscape can be / between the regions of kindness’. Fourteen years in the making, the novel is a moving, rather beautiful in parts, exploration of loss, grief and culpability. Moving between the Second World … Continue readings