editor’s choice

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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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  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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  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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  We’re great Tom Cox fans. We love him, in fact. He first came into our lives on Twitter, when we, like many, many others, followed the hilarious, poignant and sometimes quite daft escapades of his feline friends. This essay collection, 21st-Century Yokel, is, in fact, dedicated to two of them, his (and our) beloved … Continue readings

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  Archie was fifty-two years old. One of life’s natural procrastinators, he was aware that life was passing him by. It was happening slowly, and without any real abrasion, but even in his positive moments, he acknowledged that he should do something about it. There were essentially four routes for his kind: the factory shift … Continue readings

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  There’s something extremely unsettling about Harriet Tyce’s Blood Orange – unsettling, unnerving, compelling. As I read it, I could feel myself getting more and more tense and then angry – at the characters and the situations they put themselves in, yes, but then at myself. So many of the things that the protagonist experiences … Continue readings

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  The rain creates walls in the night. Falling from the sky, they are like mirrors, reflecting and warping the blue light from the police car. Everything spins. The street emerges from the darkness and loses itself behind the harbour lights, and there – right in the middle, just where it suddenly drops downhill – … Continue readings

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  There was a single homestead somewhere to the north of the fence, and another to the south. Next-door neighbours, three hours apart. The road to the east was invisible from the grave itself. And road was a generous description. The wide dirt track could sit silent for days without being troubled by a vehicle. … Continue readings

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  Matt Wesolowski’s Changeling is like a masterclass in how to construct a good plot. It’s exacting, clever and chilling, while using themes and motifs of which we are all culturally aware, and of which we’re fearful, in ways that constantly challenge our perception, making us question what’s truth and what’s reality – and frankly … Continue readings

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  There was once an inn that sat peacefully on the bank of the Thames at Radcot, a long day’s walk from the source. There were a great many inns along the upper reaches of the Thames at the time of this story … but beyond the usual ale and cider, each one had some … Continue readings

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  ‘For everyone, everywhere, who believes in freedom and equality for all’: the dedication to The Word for Freedom, a short story anthology celebrating one hundred years of women’s suffrage, speaks for itself. At the very heart of the collection, edited by Amanda Saint and Rose McGinty, is the fact that ‘we still need words … Continue readings

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  It’s a huge pleasure to have finally read Louise Voss’s The Old You. Like many, I’d heard about the book, read reviews and even had a copy on my shelves, beckoning to me over the last months – yet I didn’t read it as I didn’t have the time. Then, as luck would have … Continue readings

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  Today, we’re delighted to welcome writer TOM COX to The Literary Lounge. The author of nine non-fiction books – and friend to many felines, including the beautiful The Bear – Tom makes his fictional debut this month with the short story collection Help the Witch, published by Unbound. Tom, thanks so much for joining … Continue readings

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