1985 was not a good year to live in The German Democratic Republic. While the country was still in the grip of an oppressive communist government, the wealth and freedoms of the west were becoming ever more visible thanks to the population’s exposure to western radio and television. Only the most loyal communists could continue […]
I have read quite a few books based in Brighton from Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock to the police procedural thrillers of Peter James. Robert Dickinson presented a dystopian vision of a Brighton of the future in which social order had disintegrated (The Noise of Strangers), and Robert Rankin described a Brighton Zodiac with carriageway constellations […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]