Category: Uncategorized

  • Mini Book Review: ‘1989’ by Val McDermid

    1989 was once thought to be the end of history.  That year, the Berlin Wall fell, seemingly heralding the final triumph of Western liberalism.  We know now that the future was to prove rather different.  In an ambitious novel which uses 1989 as its title, Val McDermid revisits the period.  And it seems that the…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘The It Girl’ by Ruth Ware

    Ruth Ware is a popular crime writer because of her immense talent for drawing upon other authors, but with plenty of originality of her own.  Her previous work has echoed Agatha Christie and Daphne Du Maurier, and in the It Girl, she seems to be borrowing from Evelyn Waugh.  This story reads like Brideshead Revisited…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘Reputation’ by Sarah Vaughan

    Reputation by Sarah Vaughan is not so much a political thriller as a thriller about a politician, and very engrossing it is too. Labour MP Emma Webster is on trial for the murder of a tabloid journalist after her campaign against revenge porn goes awry. Before her fall from grace, she is subjected to vicious…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘The Prisoner’ by B.A. Paris

    Terms like ‘engrossing’ and ‘twisty’ are well worn, much hackneyed cliches.  They might also be regarded as markers of reliable quality in popular fiction.  If that is the case, B.A. Paris is the John Lewis of the page-turner. In the Prisoner, Paris tells the story of Amelie, an ingenue of the magazine world.  One night,…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘My Policeman’ by Bethan Roberts

    I have taken a rare detour away from crime fiction with this book, which was given the big screen treatment. My Policeman by Bethan Roberts is set in 1950s Brighton. Even in this bohemian town, the grey conformity of the era pervades and seeps into every crevice. The story is told by Marion, a young…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘A Winter Grave’ by Peter May

    In a Winter Grave, Peter May takes a genre-crossing risk; his police procedural combines elements of speculative science fiction with murky political thriller.  And it pays off, at least partly because of the bleak, atmospheric setting. Some thirty years in the future, a watery Scotland has become a frontier in a world ravaged by climate…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘One by One’ by Ruth Ware

    I enjoyed One by One by Ruth Ware, which is more of a who-is-doing-it rather than a whodunnit. A group of tech entrepreneurs retreat to a chalet in the French Alps only to be picked off by a killer in their midst. Ware has real talent for evoking a sense of place and ratcheting up…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘The Dinner Guest’ by B P Walter

    I was totally gripped by B P Walter’s the Dinner Guest, and devoured it in less than 48 hours. It has a sort of boxset binge-worthiness. At the heart of the story are this seemingly perfect couple, Matthew and Charlie, who regularly beguile Instagram with their family photos. One evening, their idyll is shattered when…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘Girl A’ by Abigail Dean

    My latest mini book review is of Girl A by Abigail Dean. The cover might give rise to expectations of a high-octane rollercoaster of twists and shocks, in the vein of the similarly titled ‘Gone Girl’. However, this book is actually slow burning and quite ‘literary’. It paints a psychological portrait of a survivor of…

  • Mini Book Review: ‘The Dead Tracks’ by Tim Weaver

    I’m not generally a fan of recurring characters, but this outing for Tim Weaver’s world weary private investigator, David Raker works perfectly as a standalone. One reason I enjoyed it is because I suspect Weaver is a ‘Twin Peaks’ fan. Raker is hired by the parents of missing teen, Megan Carver who is a girl…