Buried Under Books

REVIEW: ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Lianne Moriarty

‘It was almost like she seriously didn’t care about the exhaust system.’ This is why I enjoy Lianne Moriarty’s books. The third person narration offers a frequently amusing and consistently insightful look into people’s inner thoughts and closest relationships, usually supported by a gradually tightening suspense story. Having previously read and enjoyed several of Moriarty’s […]

REVIEW: ‘The Woman Before Me’ by Ruth Dugdall

‘Dark, disturbing and authentic.’ This was the CWA judging panel’s judgement and I completely agree with this description (whilst noting that I don’t know enough about prisons to comment accurately on the third, but the officers’ attitudes feel plausible). So why did ‘The Woman Before Me’ win the CWA’s debut dagger? What’s it about? Rose […]

REVIEW: ‘The After Wife’ by Cass Hunter

‘I thought that love would last forever. I was wrong.’ So wrote Auden in his beautiful and haunting poem, ‘Funeral Blues’. But, what if it could? In these digital days of iPhones, iPads and iWatches, how far away are we from the possibility of an iRachel? Cass Hunter explores longing, loss, love and, erm, the […]

‘The Marriage Lie’: do you really know your husband?

Trust. Love. Honesty. These are all important ingredients in a happy marriage. You might think all those ingredients are present in your marriage, but could you be deceiving yourself? What if you couldn’t trust your favourite person in the world? This is Iris’ dilemma in Kimberley Belle’s suspenseful third novel, ‘The Marriage Lie’. What’s it […]

‘Intrusion’: loss, grief and the desire for retribution

Grief is a challenging topic for any novelist to explore. This is presumably even more pertinent when the novel involved is your debut and the grief involved was once your own. Mary McCluskey, journalist and short-story writer, tackles this subject with knowledge and care in her subtle portrait of a couple whose marriage is struggling […]

‘The Sister’: how secrets destroyed a family

“I did something terrible, Grace. I hope you can forgive me.”‘ Charlie’s last words to best friend Grace have haunted her since Charlie died four months ago. What can Charlie possibly have done? It can’t be worse than what Grace did…can it? What’s it about? After her best friend dies, Grace feels set adrift. In […]

‘A Boy Made of Blocks’ explores childhood trauma, autism and the perils of standing still

Autism is everywhere. Regardless of the cause(s), diagnoses are increasing and, having grown up with two autistic siblings, I was keen to read Keith Stuart’s ‘A Boy Made of Blocks’, which promised to be ‘an astonishingly authentic story of love, family and autism‘. What’s it about? Alex hates his job and, essentially, his life. He loves his […]

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