The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley

There is something very frustrating about this book. It was so close to being great that the fact that it wasn’t great is so disappointing. The premise sounded brilliant: members of a religious community go on a retreat to an isolated location; suspicious and sinister villagers mill around; a young boy is being prayed for…

The Keeper Of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan

My daughter is four. She loves Talking Tom games and You Tube episodes. I was more invested in the relationship between Tom and Angela on those cartoons than I was in the relationships between Laura and Freddy, or the post-death relationship between Anthony and Therése or between Eunice and Bomber. It is a nice enough…

A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman

We all know that old bloke on the corner who glowers at us, the one with a face like a bulldog sucking lemons, the one who barks at us for dropping litter or parking in the wrong place. The one who we suspect goes around the house grumbling about the radiators being on. Hell, I fear…

The Humans, Matt Haig

There’s nothing new or original in this novel. Touches of Doctor Who, Perhaps. Touches of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime. Touches, indeed, of Eleanor Oliphant Is Perfectly Fine. An outsider struggles to fit into humam society and ultimately fights to understand what it is to be human. Wrap that up with…

The Boy On The Bridge, M. R. Carey

There are times when comfort, familiarity and ease are, actually, exactly what you need; at other times, by all means, challenge me, make me confront my preconceptions, subvert my genres in different ways. When I’m tired, poorly and stressed, however, enfold me in familiar settings, tropes and – hell, yes – even the comfort of…

The Plague Charmer, Karen Maitland

As the image above shows, this book is another historical fiction novel by the author of Company of Liars, which I read and enjoyed a while ago. It wasn’t a great book but it was an enjoyable enough read, earning a decent four star review here. I was expecting something similarly entertaining and comfortable reading….

The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch

 It’s a funny thing about series. What is original and unique can become familiar and even – dare I say it? – stale as a series goes on. They become perhaps over-thought or overworked like a piece of dough that’s had the life kneaded out of it. I wonder whether that’s what has happened with…

The Risk Of Darkness, Susan Hill

This will be a fairly brief review for two reasons: firstly, I thought I’d already reviewed it and only realised when I tried to link my review of The Vows of Silence to it that I’d not; and secondly, it is very much a continuation of the second novel, The Pure In Heart. Serrailler is…

Grave Peril, Jim Butcher

It’s a Dresden File. It’s Harry Dresden; it’s Jim Butcher. Even after reading only the previous two novels, I already know what to expect. It’s also a step up from the previous two novels in the series: the prose is still very, well, prosaic; Dresden is still a wise cracking hard boiled detective with magic;…

The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith

You know when you hope you got a book series wrong? Other people are telling you it’s great but you just don’t get it? You end up offering excuses for the writer: maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind; maybe  I was too tired; maybe I read it too quickly. Sometimes, it is…

The Vows Of Silence, Susan Hill

Susan Hill is, without doubt, a fantastic writer. The Woman In Black is an exquisitely crafted horror; Strange Meeting is exceptional. so I am persevering with these detective novels hoping for … well something. But I’ve not found it yet. I really don’t know what it is that’s missing but something is. The plots are decent enough: this…

The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith

Okay. I’m putting my hands up to this. I did not like this book. Yes, I know that Robert Galbraith is J. K. Rowling and the sainted J. K. can do no wrong in the eyes of many… but this did not work for me. The plot was decent enough: the death of Lula Landry,…