Review: The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters

I thought I wouldn’t be able to stay away from writing about books for long and it only took a fine novel like The Paying Guests to start putting fingers to keyboard again.

Let me say at the start, there are no spoilers in this review.

After reading a few “so-so” books I found myself [...]

Review: Death in Pont-Aven – Jean-Luc Bannalec

And what do we have here? The first novel in a crime series by a new French writer, Jean-Luc Bannalec? Well, not quite, for most literary journalists are agreed that M Bannelec is in fact Jörg Bong, a top German publisher who has been doing a bit of moon-lighting by creating the somewhat grumpy police [...]

Review: Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes

So, it’s today’s Germany, and Adolf Hitler finds himself waking up early one afternoon on a patch of undeveloped land.

It was relatively quiet; I could not see any enemy aircraft flying overhead, or hear the thunder of artillery fire, there seemed to be no shelling nearby or explosions, no air-raid sirens. It also struck [...]

Review: Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been casting around for something to read, making two or three false starts (on books which were so unimpressive I gave up on them), and finally deciding that it’s about time I revisited the works of Graham Greene. I was partly inspired by the relaunch in Amazon Kindle [...]

Review: The Asylum – Johan Theorin

Last year I enjoyed reading Johan Theorin’s book, The Quarry , the third book in a quartet of novels based on the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. While possibly falling into the hugely popular “Scandi-crime” genre, The Quarry had elements which set it apart, not least by its interweaving of a thoroughly modern [...]

Review: Tales from the Underworld – Hans Fallada

In recent years their has been a resurgence of interest in the mid-20th century German writer Hans Fallada. His novel Alone in Berlin was an unexpected success when Penguin published a new translation in 2010. Around the same time Melville House published the novel Little Man What Now and then Penguin followed with A Small [...]

Review: Last Friends – Jane Gardam

Jane Gardam is one of Britain’s more distinguished novelists (Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the Royal Society for Literature, two Whitbread Awards etc).

Last Friends is the final volume in her trilogy based around the story of Sir Edward Feathers (“Old Filth” – Failed in London, Try Hong Kong), a successful lawyer and [...]

Review: The German Lottery – Miha Mazzini

CB Editions can always be relied upon to produce quirky and interesting books and Miha Mazzini’s novel, The German Lottery is no exception.

It is 1950s Slovenia and Toni, a young postman, walks his daily round through a small town, chatting to neighbours along the way and doing his best to obey the Code of [...]

Review: Jawbone Lake – Ray Robinson

Jawbone Lake is set in Derbyshire, the home of the English Peak District, a place of rugged scenery, small towns and villages and a feeling of remoteness from the large cities which surround it. You could summarise it by saying that it’s about a young man discovering that his deceased father was not what [...]

Review: In The Light of the Morning – Tim Pears

Whenever a new novel by Tim Pears appears I always get hold of it as soon as I can. Ever since his 1993 novel, In the Place of Fallen Leaves I have never failed to be impressed by the quality of his writing and the inventiveness of his story lines. I have only reviewed [...]