Category Archives: Fiction

The Outsider

Does anyone remember that in 2002, Stephen King announced his retirement? Let’s just pause to think about that for a second. Even if you assume that From a Buick 8 and the Dark Tower books were already in the pipeline … Continue reading

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Daughters of the North/The Carhullan Army

A woman, who now goes by the name Sister, once lived in the town of Rith in northern England, but she escaped with a rucksack full of supplies and a working gun. Her goal was to find the Carhullan, a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 3 Comments

Thus Bad Begins

I was at the library a couple of weeks ago and ran across this book — and a few others — by Javier Marías. “Spain’s premier novelist,” it said, and I discovered that he’s written about seventeen novels, only one … Continue reading

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Version Control

This is a book of science fiction unlike pretty much any other I’ve read. The science fiction piece revolves around a causality violation device (it’s not a time machine!) and about the consequences of using it or not using it, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments


When Norma’s mother, Anita, dies by falling in front of a Metro train, Norma is left with a mystery. Did she slip? Did she jump? Was she pushed? And why? And who is the mysterious man who turned up at … Continue reading

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The Man in the Wooden Hat

The second book in Jane Gardam’s Old Filth trilogy focuses on Betty, the wife of Edward Feathers—or at least it focuses on their marriage. There are still huge gaps in Betty’s story that I was hoping The Man in the Wooden … Continue reading

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Death in Ecstasy

This is the fourth of Ngaio Marsh’s detective novels starring DI Roderick Alleyn, the smooth, nobly-born, well-educated man who actually works for the police force rather than being a private detective who generously contributes his services. I have to say … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 1 Comment

Signs of Life

Ten years ago, in her twenties, Rachel was in a long-term relationship: “no ruptures, no wrinkles, we were happy.” Then she had an affair with a man at work, someone rougher and more dangerous than her boyfriend Johnny, and it … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 4 Comments

Poor Miss Finch

As you all may be aware, I am a big Wilkie Collins fan. In my view, there’s nothing more fun, or more satisfying for summer reading, than a big old sensationalist Victorian novel — and the more sensationalist the better. … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 6 Comments

Island of the Mad

As the 15th (!) book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series opens, Russell and Holmes are dealing with a minor domestic crisis—an indirect outcome of their previous adventures in The Murder of Mary Russell. But domesticity never lasts long for this … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime, Uncategorized | 2 Comments