Book Review: Booth, Karen Joy Fowler

SIX BROTHERS AND SISTERS. ONE INJUSTICE THAT WILL SHATTER THEIR BOND FOREVER. Junius is the patriarch, a celebrated Shakespearean actor who fled bigamy charges in England, both a mesmerising talent and a man of terrifying instability. As his children grow up in a remote farmstead in 1830s rural Baltimore, the country draws ever closer to… Continue reading Book Review: Booth, Karen Joy Fowler

Book Review: Oh William! Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband - and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters,… Continue reading Book Review: Oh William! Elizabeth Strout

Book Review: The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki

One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house - a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are… Continue reading Book Review: The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki

Book Review: Real Tigers, Mick Herron

Slough House is the Intelligence Service outpost for failed spies called the 'slow horses'. One of them, Catherine Standish, knows that chance encounters never happen to spooks.She's worked in the Intelligence Service long enough to understand treachery, double-dealing and stabbing in the back. What she doesn't know is why anyone would target her: a recovering… Continue reading Book Review: Real Tigers, Mick Herron

Book Review: The Half-Life of Valery K, Natasha Pulley

In 1963, in a Siberian prison, former nuclear specialist Valery Kolkhanov has mastered what it takes to survive: the right connections to the guards for access to food and cigarettes, the right pair of warm boots, and the right attitude toward the small pleasures of life so he won't go insane. But one day, all… Continue reading Book Review: The Half-Life of Valery K, Natasha Pulley

Book Review: Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason

Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets.So why is everything broken? Why is Martha - on the edge of 40 - friendless, practically jobless and… Continue reading Book Review: Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason

Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could… Continue reading Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Book Review: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith

1986: The teenage daughter of a wealthy Vietnamese family gets lost in an abandoned rubber plantation while fleeing her angry father, and is forever changed by the experience. 2011: Twenty-five years later, a young, unhappy Vietnamese-American disappears from her new home in Saigon without a trace.The fates of both women are inescapably linked, bound together by past generations, by ghosts and ancestors, by the history of possessed bodies and… Continue reading Book Review: Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith

Book Review: Careless, Kirsty Capes

At 3.04 p.m. on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out she's pregnant.She could tell her social worker Henry, but he's useless.She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won't understand.She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn't spoken to him in weeks.Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn't come… Continue reading Book Review: Careless, Kirsty Capes

Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the… Continue reading Book Review: The Island Of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak

Book Review: Mrs Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

Dorothy is a grieving housewife in the Californian suburbs; her husband is unfaithful, but they are too unhappy to get a divorce. One day, she is doing chores when she hears strange voices on the radio announcing that a green-skinned sea monster has escaped from the Institute for Oceanographic Research - but little does she… Continue reading Book Review: Mrs Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

Book Review: Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Eva Jurczyk

Liesl Weiss long ago learned to be content working behind the scenes in the distinguished rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she's left to run things, she discovers that the… Continue reading Book Review: Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Eva Jurczyk

Book Review: Exit, Belinder Bauer

Meet Felix Pink. The most unlikely murderer you'll ever have the good fortune to spend time with.When Felix lets himself in to Number 3 Black Lane, he's there to perform an act of charity: to keep a dying man company as he takes his final breath . . .But just fifteen minutes later Felix is… Continue reading Book Review: Exit, Belinder Bauer

Book Review: Under the Whispering Door, T. J. Klune

Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.The tea is hot, the scones are fresh and the dead are just passing through.When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own sparsely-attended funeral, Wallace is outraged. But he begins to suspect she’s right, and he is in fact dead. Then when Hugo, owner of a most peculiar tea shop,… Continue reading Book Review: Under the Whispering Door, T. J. Klune

Book Review: The Appeal, Janice Hallett

Dear Reader - enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What's… Continue reading Book Review: The Appeal, Janice Hallett

Book Review: The Editor’s Wife, Clare Chambers

When aspiring novelist Christopher Flinders drops out of university to write his masterpiece (in between shifts as a fish delivery man and builder's mate), his family is sceptical.But when he is taken up by the London editor Owen Goddard and his charming wife Diana it seems success is just around the corner. Christopher's life has… Continue reading Book Review: The Editor’s Wife, Clare Chambers

Book Review: Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart

“Rain was the natural state of Glasgow. It kept the grass green and the people pale and bronchial.” I have been delaying reviewing this book for a while, wanting to let it dwell in my mind for some time before putting my thoughts down... and then life got in the way - as did new… Continue reading Book Review: Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart

Book Review: A Line to Kill, Anthony Horowitz

Many thanks to Anthony Horowitz and Penguin Books for the chance to read this ARC, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I've really enjoyed Horowitz' crime capers in the past as he has played with the form: the Susan Ryeland series (Magpie Murders and Moonflower Murders) which interpose Atticus Pund's fiction-within-a-fiction detective… Continue reading Book Review: A Line to Kill, Anthony Horowitz

Book Review: Piranesi, Susanna Clarke

Oh my goodness! This was just sublime! It took a few chapters to get into and was not what I had expected at all from the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but once you were in, this was a novel that did not let go and which haunts the reader long after reading… Continue reading Book Review: Piranesi, Susanna Clarke

Book Review: Snow, John Banville

“How strange a thing it was to be here, animate and conscious, on this ball of mud and brine as it whirled through the illimitable depths of space.” John Banville has been writing crime novels under the pen name of Benjamin Black for some years - since Christine Falls in 2007 - and with Snow… Continue reading Book Review: Snow, John Banville

Book Review: Slow Horses, Mick Herron

Amongst the wealth of literary fiction and fiction nominated for prizes - specifically the Carnegie Medal and Women's Prize at this time of year - I am often in the midst of worthy or issue-led or meditative novels, all of which I love. But at the same time I am also mired in a morass… Continue reading Book Review: Slow Horses, Mick Herron

Book Review: The Survivors, Jane Harper

“Are they supposed to be happy or sad? I mean, is it a celebration of the people who made it, or a memorial to the ones who didn't?” One thing that Jane Harper can do extraordinarily well is to create a sense of place in her writing: her settings, whether they be the oppressive heat… Continue reading Book Review: The Survivors, Jane Harper

Book Review: Pine, Francine Toon

“'My mum.’ The images of death are involuntary and relentless: crushed snail shells, veins in meat, vampire teeth, soil filling a mouth.” The year's end is always a great time to read a chilling novel: I remember finishing 2018 with Melmoth by Sarah Perry; 2019 with Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley; and now 2020… Continue reading Book Review: Pine, Francine Toon

The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

I’m hoping it will not be the essay I proposed to Mrs Morgan. I’m hoping it will be the truth. What really happened to Andie Bell on the 20th April 2012? And – as my instincts tell me – if Salil ‘Sal’ Singh is not guilty, then who killed her? How would a community react… Continue reading The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman

“In life you have to learn to count the good days. You have to tuck them in your pocket and carry them around with you. So I’m putting today in my pocket and I’m off to bed.” Oh this was a delightful little book! The cosiest of cosy detective stories! Wrapped up in the warm… Continue reading The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman