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Heartstone

C. J. Sansom’s continued success of the Shardlake series is undeniably linked to his flawless ability to describe medieval London and its streets, smells and atmosphere in great detail, through the eyes of non-conformist Serjant Shardlake. Heartstone is the fifth novel in the series in which the good-natured hunchback lawyer […]

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Disputed Land

Disputed Land, Tim Pears’ seventh novel, returns to the subject that has dominated his writing – families, their environments, and the dynamics that underpin them. Like his first novel, In The Place Of Fallen Leaves, he uses a young narrator, in this case a boy, Theo Cannon, who is taking his […]

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A Week in December

Sebastian Faulks’ tenth novel has been compared to Thackeray’s Vanity Fair and described as Dickensian in scope. However, some readers may be reminded of the 2005 film ‘Love Actually’ when reading this book. The different storylines about the lives and relationships of the various characters set against the background of […]

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Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog is Kate Atkinson’s seventh novel and her fourth featuring ex-army, ex-police and sometime private Detective Jackson Brodie who first appeared in the hazy, sun-drenched and impossibly sad Case Histories. It is a very modern mystery novel that muses as much on the past as it […]

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Villain

Villain is the first novel by Shuichi Yoshida to be published in English and is translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel. Although it concerns the murder of a young woman it is, at its heart, a novel about modern Japan. Yoshida uses the murder as a peg upon which to […]

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The Slap

I read this novel because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Snappy tag-lines appeared in review supplements the world over, and I really needed to know just what was so (as judge at Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, Nicholas Hasluck, put it) ‘controversial’ and ‘daring’ about it. The […]

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The Legion

Simon Scarrow, writer of the bestselling military Eagle series has produced another successful follow-up with The Legion. If you are a fan of historical fiction you won’t be disappointed with Scarrow’s latest addition. It is the 10th novel of the Eagle series and Scarrow has managed to avoid writing to […]

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Sixteen Shades of Crazy

I was in the audience when an extract from the first chapter of Sixteen Shades of Crazy was read at the Green Man Festival. As a fan of Rachel Trezise’s writing, I’d waited for its release with curiosity. Her debut novel, In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl, was a triumph over […]

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The Long Song

The Long Song is a vibrant, fictitious ‘autobiographical’ novel that visits the darkest corners of the slave trade in Jamaica with a bagful of wit and wry humour. July, the story’s main narrator, describes the ridiculous habits and brutalities of the colonial invaders at Amity, while telling her own life […]

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By Nightfall

Michael Cunningham’s fifth novel is a departure from his recent books, The Hours and Specimen Days, which drew on the work of Virginia Woolf and Walt Whitman respectively for inspiration. By Nightfall tells the story of art dealer Peter and magazine editor Rebecca, a forty-something couple who work in the […]