Half A World Away by Mike Gayle

Half a World Away is one of my favourite novels I have read so far this year. From its sociological observations (“little frustrates the human brain so much as an inability to immediately pigeonhole complete strangers”) to its multifaceted characters and at times heartbreaking storyline, Half a World Away will pierce its way into your heart. Read more

The British Book Awards: Debut Book Of The Year Nominees

It’s that time of year again: The British Book Awards, aka the Nibbies. Usually I manage to get my post published before the winners are called, but this year I missed the delivery of books so had to go to the big post office, which was shut, and then I arranged a redelivery and missed that too, and so it went on for a couple of weeks, until finally last week I received all six nominees for Debut Book of the Year.

I read them over the weekend, and didn’t look at the winner until after I’d made my own judgements. Like every other year, I seem to be out of step with the judges, but never mind. Here’s what I thought of this year’s Debut nominees, from the one I liked least to the one I liked most. Read more

Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

The Temple family are those people you’ve always looked at and wanted to be. The patriarch is a respected academic who has recently risen to prominence after debating conspiracy theories on a popular TV show. The matriarch, Celia, had her own meteoric rise to fame decades ago, playing a beautiful woman in a sci-fi series.

Their children, and their children’s children, are no different: from the outside, they seem like the perfect family. Or are they…? Read more