British contemporary fiction

Cover image for Nightshift by Kiare Ladner

Nightshift by Kiare Ladner: A disquieting tale of seduction and obsession

I was very taken with Nightshift’s premise of an obsessive relationship between two women set against a backdrop of nocturnal London when I spotted it on Twitter and put up my hand for a proof. Kiare Ladner’s debut follows Meggie’s attempt to exorcise Sabine’s influence, two decades after they last saw each other. Their toxic …

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Cover image for Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves

Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves: Everybody needs good neighbours

I’d already spotted Gemma Reeves’ Victoria Park in the publishing schedules before I was offered it for review. The first copy failed to materialise, caught up in the Covid/Christmas Royal Mail vortex that hit the headlines in December, but I’m pleased to say the second arrived before I had to resort to NetGalley, not my …

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The Mission House by Carys Davies

The Mission House by Carys Davies: ‘Both strange and familiar’

Carys Davies’ name will be known to many readers, I’m sure. Her elegantly slim debut, West, was much acclaimed when it was published in 2018. The story of a man so obsessed by reports of ancient bones found in a Kentucky swamp that he leaves his young daughter to fend for herself, it’s very different …

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Cover image for The Liar's Dictionary by Eley Williams

The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams: ’The action of telling lies in an artful way’

I remember Eley Williams’ collection of short stories, Attrib, being garlanded with praise from all sorts of people whose opinions I trust back in 2017 when it was published. I’ve no idea why I didn’t get around to reading it, being well over my short story aversion by then, particularly as its themes seem to …

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The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig: ‘Do as you would be done by’

Amanda Craig’s The Golden Rule is the latest in a series of loosely interconnected novels which explore the state of my particular nation. I’m a sucker for this kind of fiction and have enjoyed several of Craig’s contributions to it including The Lie of the Land, a Brexit novel that, for me, was very much …

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