Review: The Book of Strange New Things – Michel Faber

Back in 2002 Michel Faber published a novel called The Crimson Petal and the White which Kathryn Hughes in The Guardian called “a supremely literary novel” and “dizzyingly accomplished” – a description which I totally agreed with. Looking back on this superb book I still feel it would be up in my top ten ever [...]

Review: Hidden Knowledge – Bernardine Bishop

I have never read anything by Bernardine Bishop before but was drawn to Hidden Knowledge by reading a review of it in the Sunday Times and then by the five star reviews on Amazon (which I have been pleased to add to). Although clerical abuse features in the book, I wouldn’t say that it’s [...]

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: 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: 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: 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: Entry Island – Peter May

I’ve never read a book by Peter May before but have heard such enthusiastic opinions of his writing that I thought I would try his latest novel, Entry Island. Peter May’s most successful books take place in his native Scotland (although he has a series about a Chinese detective). For Entry Island however, Peter May [...]

Review: The Discourtesy of Death – William Brodrick

The Discourtesy of Death is the fifth novel in Matthew Brodrick’s Father Anselm series in which Anselm, the barrister turned monk, takes on an investigation into the death of a famed ballet dancer. Did she die of the bowel cancer that was bound to take her in a few months time anyway, or was she [...]

Review: The Windsor Faction – D J Taylor

After his success with his 2011 Booker long-listed novel Derby Day, D J Taylor’s new novel, The Windsor Faction comes into the category of an “alternative history” novel – a historical novel in which some key event has been changed so that the author can explore what might have happened as events move into [...]

Review: Marriage Material – Sathnam Sanghera

Wherever you go in Britain you’ll find corner shops, run by Asian people, staying open all hours of day and night and selling all those things that people run out of such as milk and cigarettes, and countless impulse buys like chocolate, lottery tickets, magazines and bottles of soft drinks. Before the wave of immigration [...]