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Best-selling novelist Louise Beech’s latest novel, This Is How We Are Human, is really an exploration of love in all its guises. Beech has proved herself a fearless writer, unafraid to tackle subjects many would run away from. Here she explores an area little discussed, love and sex for those people on the spectrum.   … Continue readings

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We’d love to meet Professor Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson. Apart from the fact she sounds like she’d be great fun, her book, Tapestries of Life: Uncovering Lifesaving Secrets of the Natural World, is just joyous. A wonderful evocation and celebration of our world, which also holds us to account. In the opening pages, the author tells of … Continue readings

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Helga Flatland’s books are a joy, her writing quiet, her observations sharp, her language simple but carefully chosen. One Last Time, her latest, is a fine example of this and, like her debut, it focuses on family. Here, Flatland’s gaze hones in on the relationship between mothers and daughters, as exposed in three generations of … Continue readings

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The only part of her that stands out are her eyes, which are as green as the tops of those paddle-shaped plants, and her nose, pink as the tip of a sunset. She looks at us for a long, silent moment. So long that I think she might not move at all, and when she … Continue readings

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      I typed in my usual search (Douglas Jordan Dead Cave Floodwater) and one of the hits … was  a listing on a baby names website. Douglas (boy). Means. Dark Water. Ever since then I’ve blamed myself and Gill, accidental prophets. I blame us for choosing a name that turned out to be … Continue readings

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    Fargo is one of those films, you either absolutely love with an almost cultish adoration, or just don’t get: it’s too screwball, too noir, too dark, too odd. We sit firmly in the former camp and, when we first saw it, in a small press screening in Soho, in 1996, it was mesmerising. … Continue readings

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  Romance is one of the most underrated genres, which is an outrage as so many talented authors write within it. Liz Jones’ The Queen of Romance celebrates one of the late greats – and, no doubt, to many, unknowns – Marguerite Jervis. A prolific writer, better known by her pen names, among them Countess … Continue readings

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      We’ve been fans of Kathy Reich’s Temperance Brennan for a long time and it’s a huge pleasure to meet her again in The Bone Code, her twentieth outing. It’s rather like catching up with an old friend. Set between South Carolina and Montreal predominantly, here we find the forensic anthropologist living in … Continue readings

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      Identical twins, a Gothic-esque house, mysteries from the past and a missing woman – oh, and a fantasy place created by said children in said house – that’s Mirrorland, Carole Johnstone’s psychological novel, in its most simplified form and what’s not to like? It takes its title from the escapist world sisters … Continue readings

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    It feels fitting to review Together on this day, 12 April 2021, when the world, or at least our little part of it, begins to open up again, easing our return we hope to a better, brighter, safer and healthier new world. We hope. And that’s what Luke Adam Hawker and Marianne Laidlaw’s … Continue readings

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    We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and yet most of us do, particularly in this age of having to buy online, without flicking through pages or sniffing paper. In the case of Song, Michelle Jana Chan’s acclaimed novel, published in paperback this month by Unbound, we’re pleased to say that it’s … Continue readings

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      Coming shortly after the week we’ve had, the months we’ve had, the years, a book essentially celebrating the achievements of a group of very fine women (and, yes, men) who essentially helped save the day for the Allies during the Second World War, is both timely and great. Kate Quinn’s The Rose … Continue readings

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    We love Bitter Lemon’s list, especially its crime-fiction in translation, and The Measure of Time, by award-winning author Gianrico Carofiglio, joins its ranks this month. Set in Bari, in southern Italy, it’s the sixth book in Carofiglio’s series featuring aging lawyer Guido Guerrieri, a philosophical man coming to terms with the passing of … Continue readings

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    We are great fans of a good island-set crime-fiction novel. Scandinavian writer Maria Adolfsson’s Fatal Isles, translated into English by Agnes Broome, is set on the fictional Doggerland, a cluster of islands which lie between Denmark and the UK, and a melting pot of cultures. Recently returned to Doggerland after many years in … Continue readings

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      Acclaimed Scottish writer Ewan Morrison sets his latest book, How To Survive Everything, in a pandemic world. Sound familiar? Here though, we witness it through the eyes of young Haley, fifteen years old when she and brother Ben are first spirited away to a secret hideaway carefully prepared by their seemingly paranoid … Continue readings

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