The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, Imogen Hermes Gowar

I do love historical fiction and this is one of the best I’ve read for a while! Intricately plotted, rigourously researched and with vivid and well-drawn characters. And none of those elements displaced by any other. And with just a touch of magical realism thrown in. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of Hilary Mantel…

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…

Three Moments Of An Explosion, China Miéville

Okay, so short stories. Part of me loves short stories. The precision, the concision, the economy of language within them – read The Dead by James Joyce. Part of me, however, longs for the lengthy, relaxed familiarity you get with the characters in a novel, even in the best of the genre. In the worst collections…

The Midnight Zoo, Sonya Hartnett

A fabulous book! At its most literal level! Reading the blurb of this, the fate of Romany children in Eastern Europe during World War II was an appealing on. Then it mentioned that they come across animals in a zoo which talk to them. Talking animals have never appealed to me: Mrs Frisbee, Beatrix Potter,…