The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

Reviewed by Annabel Gaskell The aftermath of war can be just as hard to get through as the war itself for both so-called winners and losers – although in reality, everyone loses by degree. Rhidian Brook’s novel gives us a portrait of life in the British zone of Hamburg after …

The Death of the Poet by N. Quentin Woolf

Reviewed by Harriet Devine How can I best describe to you this wonderful, powerful book? If I tell you that it’s about a man who falls desperately in love with a beautiful, intelligent, deeply troubled young woman who subjects him to endless abuse, both mental and physical, culminating in an …

Mother Island by Bethan Roberts

Reviewed by Annabel Gaskell Bethan Roberts’s fourth novel takes on one of the primal fears of all parents – that of someone abducting your child. Mother Island is not, however, a thriller – it is a drama though and a compelling one at that. Roberts uses the abduction to analyse the …

The Dance of Love by Angela Young

Reviewed by Simon Thomas In the first issue of Shiny New Books we had a lovely piece by Angela Young about the genesis of her novel The Dance of Love. We were thus teased and in suspense for some months before the novel was actually published by Buried River Press …

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Reviewed by Harriet Devine Strike hated paddling on the periphery of a case, forced to watch as others dived for clues, leads and information. He sat up late with the Quine file that night, reviewing the notes he had made of interviews, examining again the photographs he had printed from …

Gossip by Beth Gutcheon

Reviewed by Annabel Gaskell When the first UK edition of Beth Gutcheon’s novel came out last year, I couldn’t resist the allure of the cover (below) in an oversized paperback format with French flaps; now available as a standard paperback (right), the new cover is also striking. Luckily the novel …

A Bright Moon For Fools by Jasper Gibson

Reviewed by Annabel Gaskell Harry Christmas strode out of Caracas airport with little more than a wallet full of stolen money and the dried-up brain of a long-haul drinker. Beyond the terminal building lay the sea. Beyond the car park there were mountains. The sunset was coronary. That’s quite an …

I Predict A Riot by Catherine Bruton

Reviewed by Rhys Jones Catherine Bruton’s third novel moves its gaze to more serious situations than her previous novels We Can Be Heroes and Pop!, setting its story in the midst of the London Riots of 2011, on the fictional set of Coronation Road. Maggie is our guide to Coronation …

The Baklava Club by Jason Goodwin

Reviewed by Helen Parry ‘I’ve been complaining,’ Yashim said, ‘how Istanbul is overrun with foreigners these days. As if it was ever any different’. It’s 1842, and three Italian exiles are kicking their heels in Istanbul in the company of the beautiful Dane, Sarah Lund, and awaiting instructions on how …

Angelica’s Smile by Andrea Camilleri

Reviewed by Elaine Simpson-Long I discovered the Inspector Montalbano books by Camilleri some six or seven years ago and at first wasn’t sure I liked them or their hero. I now simply love them and cannot understand my initial reaction. And if I did not care for them why did …