Fiction

Her by Harriet Lane: A very fine psychological thriller

There’s always a niggling worry that a second novel won’t quite live up to a debut as impressive as Harriet Lane’s chilling Alys, Always but I’m pleased to say that Her doesn’t disappoint. It’s a one-sitting, riveting read: a dual narrative as cleverly controlled as a Maggie O’Farrell – queen of that particular form – …

Her by Harriet Lane: A very fine psychological thriller Read More »

The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric: Splendid, indeed

Along with Harriet Lane’s Her which I’ll be reviewing in a few weeks, this is the book I had been most looking forward to in the June publishing schedules. It’s not entirely true, although that wouldn’t trip of the tongue as a title, but it is splendid. Michelle Lovric has transplanted the story of the …

The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric: Splendid, indeed Read More »

Cover image

Tigerman by Nick Harkaway: A thriller with a sense of humour and a heart of gold

There was a great deal of marketing hoo-ha around Nick Harkaway’s first novel which always makes me wary, so much so that I avoided it but when Angelmaker was published so many readers whose opinions I respect jumped up and down proclaiming it a masterpiece that I though I’d better take a dekko. It’s a …

Tigerman by Nick Harkaway: A thriller with a sense of humour and a heart of gold Read More »

Cover image

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey: Leavened with some much needed humour

There’s been a great deal of buzz about this book, stretching as far back as the beginning of the year I seem to remember. I always think about the author when that happens. Such a whipping up of anticipation must feel like a great deal of pressure, particularly when you’re a young writer and it’s …

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey: Leavened with some much needed humour Read More »

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tomm Rachman: Storytelling that pulls you in

I loved The Imperfectionists. Funny, poignant and thoroughly entertaining it was stuffed full of engaging characters caught up in their own lives seemingly oblivious to the fact that the newspaper for which they worked was being pulled inexorably down the tubes by the brave new world of the internet. Expectations were high, then, for Tom …

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tomm Rachman: Storytelling that pulls you in Read More »

Cover image

Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan: A tasty little titbit that leaves you hungry for more.

Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore was one of the most enjoyable books I read last year. Clichéd as it may sound it made me laugh, it made me cry and kept me thoroughly entertained while doing so. I’d been told there might be a spin-off but had forgotten all about it until a neat little hardback …

Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan: A tasty little titbit that leaves you hungry for more. Read More »

Cover image

A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie: A story of war, love and empire

This is a book I’ve been looking forward to for some time. Novels are so often described as epics – it’s come to be a wearisome cliché – but it was a perfect fit for Burnt Shadows, Kamila Shamsie’s last novel which followed twenty-one-year-old Hiroko Tanaka from the immediate aftermath of Nagasaki in 1945 to …

A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie: A story of war, love and empire Read More »