The Anarchists’ Club, Alex Reeve

In the spirit of anarchy, I chose to read this book – the second of the Leo Stanhope series – without having read the first. I know! ANARCHY starts from this! Being honest, I don’t think it mattered a jot: Reeve introduces his transgender Victorian protagonist essentially from scratch with enough – possibly too much…

The Lying Room, Nicci French

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher, Simon and Schuster, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am new to this NetGalley and ARC business. A newbie, a greenback, a novice. I’ve received perhaps half a dozen ARCs in total, which is not many. Principally this is because I’ve…

The Trespasser, Tana French

I’d been saving this one up for the summer holidays when I have time to indulge it, not sneaking a half-hour read in late at night when I should be sleeping. I also wanted to head back to the beginning of the series, having started with The Secret Place, and catch up chronologically. And I…

Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver

This was my first Paver read having heard some good things about her, and it thrust me straight into a solid Gothic historical yarn with some genuinely creepy moments! The novel is perhaps misnamed: it focuses on the house Wake’s End set beside the local fen, some three miles from the village of Wakenhyrst; and,…

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

There are some books you want to love so much, but which – for some reason – you cannot. There’s a barrier between you and what you think you should feel about the book. And this is one of those books. There is so much about it that chimed wonderfully with all the things I…

My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite

Next up, from the Women’s Prize Longlist came Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer, an interesting parallel to Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater. It is an intriguing little novel – a mere 240 pages, for those for whom that is relevant, not much more than a day or weekend’s read – and remarkably effective in the…

The Soul of Discretion, Susan Hill

Trigger Warning: child sexual abuse and rape. Ah, Susan Hill, you seemed to have taken a different direction with this book from the rest of the Serrailler series. Had the gentility of Lafferton started to wane for you? Was there only so much you could do with the cloistered – and I choose that metaphor…

Melmoth, Sarah Perry

Look! It is winter in Prague: night is rising in the mother of cities and over her thousand spires. Look down at the darkness around your feet, in all the lanes and alleys, as if it were a soft black dust swept there by a broom; look at the stone apostles on the old Charles Bridge, and at all the blue-eyed jackdaws on the shoulders of St. John of Nepomuk. Look!

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

Oh well, having set down my best intentions earlier, to review Washington Black before finishing Sally Rooney’s Normal People, and to complete the 30 Day Book Challenge by Christmas, I have failed on all accounts and now have Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls to review as well! But, I have had a lovely Chrsitmas…