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  If you like comedy, Andy Hamilton will be a familiar name and face. A regular panellist on game shows and an accomplished screenwriter, with such highly rated series as Outnumbered and Drop the Dead Donkey under his belt, Hamilton publishes his novel, Longhand, this month with Unbound. Both a love letter to the lost … Continue readings

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      We’ve said on several occasions how much we like a good historical novel, and ones paying a nod to the Gothic tradition are of particular interest: Rhiannon Ward (aka crime writer Sarah Ward) ticks both these boxes in the beautifully produced The Quickening. Set in 1925, in a post-World War I world, … Continue readings

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    Inspired by true events, Hazel Gaynor’s The Bird in the Bamboo Cage tells of a group of teachers and children interned by the Japanese during the Second World War. At the heart of the story are teacher Elspeth Kent and ten-year-old pupil Nancy, from whose dual perspectives we witness events. In 1941, the … Continue readings

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    Newfoundland is one of those places that captures the imagination – if, indeed, you are aware of it at all. We love books like Michael Crummey’s The Innocents, which evoke its haunting, savage, challenging, sometimes extremely strange landscape, which really is like nowhere else on earth. That alone would make us like this … Continue readings

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    Helen Fitzgerald’s Ash Mountain adds to the many very good novels set in Australia published in the past few years. A concise book, only 211 pages, it packs a punch and has a lasting resonance. Told from multiple perspectives, the story has at its heart Fran, the single mother, who’s returned to the … Continue readings

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    Hannah Begbie’s Blurred Lines is one of those books that really does spark debate. The premise is very much of the time, building on the he said–she said debate, the issue of consent and the very difficult but important subject of sexual violence. In Begbie’s book, the main protagonist Becky has the ultimate … Continue readings

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    Vintage Crime, edited by novelist Martin Edwards, raids the Crime Writers Association (CWA) archives to bring together some of the best short stories written in the genre, since the organisation was founded in 1953. Edwards, CWA archivist and former chair, has selected work which shows the evolution of crime-fiction writing over almost seventy … Continue readings

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    Emmie Blue and Luke Moreau find each other under the strangest of circumstances, when they’re both sixteen, in Lia Louis’ Dear Emmie Blue. Luke discovers a balloon in Boulogne-sur-Mer, which Emmie released in Ramsgate, containing a secret. Fast-forward fourteen years and the two are best friends. When Luke tells Emmie he has something … Continue readings

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    Eva Mozes Kor’s The Twins of Auschwitz is an extraordinary piece of memoir. Aged ten, Romanian Jews Eva and her sister, Miriam, survived the gas chambers because of one small genetic factor: they were twins. Selected to be part of Dr Josef Mengele’s scientific experiments, Eva and Miriam were ripped from their mother’s … Continue readings

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    Shed No Tears, Caz Frear’s latest novel, is our first foray into the world of DC Cat Kinsella. The third in the series featuring the detective, this book can also be read as a standalone. When the remains of a young woman are discovered in Cambridgeshire, Cat is assigned the case, along with … Continue readings

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    In How To Be Nowhere, Tim MacGabhann’s new novel, published by W&N this month, we catch up with Irish journalist and recovering addict Andrew, introduced to us in the author’s debut work. This Andrew is a different man to the protagonist of Call Him Mine. He’s adjusting to life, sober, with a new … Continue readings

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Our first foray into international best-selling novelist Michel Bussi’s work, Never Forget, published in the UK by W&N, doesn’t disappoint. Literary crime at its best, it opens with a report from a lieutenant of the National Gendarmerie requesting help with an investigation, after a rockfall west of Yport in Normandy reveals the skeletons of three … Continue readings

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    ‘In a world that is increasingly dark and aggressive, I think making beauty is an act of rebellion and that’s what I’m trying to do really,’ says author and illustrator Jackie Morris of The Unwindings. And she does it most successfully in this gorgeously produced book. A pillow book, compact enough to be … Continue readings

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  ‘Where does a mistake begin?’ Juliet Partlow asks at the beginning of Amity Gaige’s novel, Sea Wife. ‘… Did my mistake begin with the boat? Or my marriage itself?’ And from that very first page, we know that something terrible has happened. The Partlows are a normal couple, living in the suburbs, with their … Continue readings

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  When I first heard the premise for Amanda Craig’s new novel, The Golden Rule, I was intrigued. Two women meet on a train, talk and agree to kill each other’s husbands. It’s Strangers on the Train revisited surely? As a huge Hitchcock and Highsmith fan that’s wonderful. It’s even more so to discover the … Continue readings

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