A man disappears leaving his phone, wallet and keys behind. His wife is seen clearing out their bank account. Then she is accused of domestic abuse and murder. But nothing is as it seems.
A few pages in and I was ready not to like this book. Old-style thugs and wide boys, set in London in a world where the Krays were revered and has-been boxers flexed their muscles. But I was wrong.
Two things spring to mind about this book - Snapchat and slog.
An epic tale of a young Palestinian man who decides to train to become a doctor during the First World War.
An unusual friendship is the feature of this dark domestic noir and psychological thriller.
A Victorian detective, an abducted child, a bearded lady, a ghost, tattoos that move, deformed mermaids, cruelty, deprivation, circus freaks, things in jars.
A Medieval Doom painting, an Anglo-Saxon saint, mythical creatures, a magpie, an historian, dead babies, the groaning sickness and a big old house. A fantastic gothic tale.
This is a story about accountability. The main focus is a giant, successful pharmaceutical company accused of contributing to the deaths of heroin addicts and a lawyer who specialises in defending corporate companies. Only, for this story, he becomes the prosecutor not the defender.
A light beach read for fans of romantic comedies.
A great layman's guide to the important Emperors who shaped the Roman Empire. As such, it's easy to flick to a particular emperor to learn about him, those around him, his influencers and what he did.
This is a raw and visceral account of a young man from his schooldays through his distressing experiences of drug abuse and war. Written in the first person as he thinks and speaks, the unnamed protagonist tells his tale with acceptance and dark humour.
A nostalgic read in more ways than one. First of all I hail from the city of Liverpool and the references to many of the places, such as Lime Street, the Liverpool Royal Infirmary and the Blue Coat School, as well as the statesmen who also came from the city, bring the comfort of recognition.
Immediately dropped into a world of cover-ups, espionage, mercenaries and dodgy goings-on with guns, threats and fights - I had to stop for breath before the story began.
This book was not what I was expecting, which was a powerful courtroom drama. Instead it is an average read that was published at the right time, when sexual assaults among rich famous people, including inside the British parliament, were exposed and spurred the spread of the #metoo movement.
Andrew Michael Hurley knows landscapes intimately. Forests, rivers, moorland as well as the weather that shapes them and the animals that live there. More than this, he can write about nature in all its brutal guises so much so that the reader feels it in their bones.
The appeal of this psychological thriller is really quite straight forward. An aspiring writer is stalked by a bookshop owner. Sounds like a fantasy to me, but this story definitely is not. Dark and disturbing.
Billed as a 'Heart-Warming Holiday Tale' ('holiday' in this instance means Christmas), I looked forward to some light reading over the festive period. And I loved the cover, which shows a steam engine in the snow. Lovely.
A nice festive read with a few gentle murders. A kind of reading version of Cluedo.
I wasn't long into this Man Booker Prize winning book of 2018, when I realised that it was set in 1970s Northern Ireland, probably Belfast. Although nothing is named, the place 'over the water' and the people who live 'over the road', who follow 'the other religion' was very reminiscent of The Troubles as I remember them. I was living in Liverpool, close to Northern Ireland, and I still have childhood memories of such terms as 'kneecapping', 'car bombs' and 'paramilitary'. And the more I read, the more my belief was reinforced.
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