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The trespasse

Gone Girl gave us the Cool Girl. Tana French’s The Trespasser shows us her limitations

The Vox


Is there anything more dangerous than a woman who has made herself into a weapon?


That question has been preoccupying literary thrillers over the past few years, arguably beginning with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and peaking in 2012 with Gone Girl. The most recent literary iteration of this weaponised femininity can be seen in The Trespasser, Tana French’s latest entry in the Dublin Murder Squad mystery series, which focuses on the hard-boiled, murder-solving detectives of Dublin’s police force.


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small great things 312 x 500

Jodi Picoult's New Novel About Racism Was 'One of the Hardest' She's Ever Written

People Magazine


“I talk all the time in my books about subjects that people don’t really want to talk about,” she says. “But to me, this feels different. I think racial awareness is one of the most pressing conversations that we really need to have in our country, and it’s something that a lot of people don’t want to talk about because it makes them uncomfortable.”


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rogue16Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS's Elite-Crime-busting Unit


The story of a ‘rogue unit’ operating within the South African Revenue Service (SARS) became entrenched in the public mind following a succession of sensational reports published by the Sunday Times in 2014. The unit, the reports claimed, had carried out a series of illegal spook operations: they had spied on President Jacob Zuma, run a brothel, illegally bought spy ware and entered into unlawful tax settlements. 



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Born to Run 500 x 760Review: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

New York Times, Dwight Garner


The book takes us through his many stabs at romance, which tended to end badly. (He once gave his father the crabs after they’d shared a toilet seat.) He details the failure of his first marriage, to the actress Julianne Phillips, and the success of his second, to Patti Scialfa, whom he describes, in a childhood photo, as “a freckle-faced Raggedy Ann of a little girl.”


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Three Sisters Three Queens by Gregory PhilippaReview: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

Vivienne Beddoe, Books at 60 



Power and Love! The sister queens fought for both.

Three Sisters, Three Queens, by Philippa Gregory, is the story of Katherine of Aragon, Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France,  and how they were at times the greatest support to each other and, at times, the bitterest of enemies and rivals.

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Daughters of Castle Deverill by Santa Montefiore

Q & As With Santa Montefiore

Karen Byrom, My Weekly


Tempestuous, romantic, thrilling, tender –Songs Of Love And War took us through Ireland’s bloody struggle for independence, as seen through the eyes of Kitty Deverill, her cousin Celia and lady’s maid, Bridie.


At the end of the story, the castle of Deverill has changed hands, and a new, exciting chapter begins for each woman. I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t read it, but where Songs Of Love And War leaves off, Daughters of Castle Deverill picks up, and promises to be equally enthralling!


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A strangeness in my mindReview: Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk

Alberto Manguel, The Guardian 


This sprawling story of a street vendor's romance is above all a love letter to the Turkish city in all its faded, messy, dusty glory. 


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Barkskins by Annie ProulxBarkskins by Annie Proulx: Review

Alex Clark, The Guardian


All novels are about time in one way or another, and thus all novels are about mortality. In a book as long as Annie Proulx’s – 700-plus pages that travel from the end of the 17th century to almost the present day – the reader experiences time in an additional sense; not merely as a long act of engagement, but as a form of anxiety. How to remember the exponentially increasing family groups, so frequently shifting location, their members marrying, remarrying, adopting children, disappearing, thriving and then, suddenly, diminishing? This isn’t merely a matter of keeping names straight: the generations of the Sel and the Duquet families are Proulx’s tools for laying bare how dynasties are established, why some flourish and some wither, and their dynamic relationship with their environment and its other inhabitants.


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The book of memeoryThe Book of Memory by Petina Gappah: A Review

Anita Sethi, The Guardian



The novel is startlingly vivid: Memory recalls the taste of a stolen mango, the suffocating smell of camphor, strelitzia flowers blazing with colour. Most poignant of all is what she cannot remember, such as the pain of realising that she can no longer picture her dead sister’s face. It’s through tiny details that Gappah grapples with the grand themes of fate and free will, love and loss, the collision of tradition and modernity, the impact of politics on the personal. Yet withholding details also creates a thriller-like suspense.


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Bourne Enigma by Van LsutbaderReview: Bourne Enigma by Robert Ludlum

The Real Book Spy


In what might just be his most challenging mission yet, Jason Bourne is short on time and resources as he races to find Borz and prevent a war before the clock hits zero. Written with the same heart-pounding suspense fans have come to expect from Van Lustbader, Jason Bourne returns to action in splendid, breath-taking fashion. 



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SHTUMReview: Shtum by Jem Lester

The Guardian, Saskia Baron


What’s going to happen when he’s older? When he’s too big for even me to handle? Will he kill someone? Maim them? What happens when I’m dead? Where will he go … ?” Ben, the narrator of this darkly comic debut from Jem Lester, is brooding about the future of his much-loved and profoundly autistic 11-year-old son. Jonah has no speech, and his only means of communicating his needs is by selecting pictures on laminated cards.


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The Festival of InsignifanceReview: Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera

The Independent, Leyla Sanai


The Nobel Prize contender and Paris-based Czech émigré Milan Kundera’s eleventh work of fiction, his first book for more than a decade, is composed in the same way as many of his novels, using counterpoint: a mixture of the lives and dreams of fictional characters, wry and embellished tales from history, and the author’s own philosophical musings. As with so many of his earlier novels such as The Joke, Life is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and the short story collection Laughable Loves, it is divided into seven parts, and, like the novels,  each part is subdivided into chapters.


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Out of Orange

Read a F*cking Book: Out of Orange is the Real Life Alex Vause’s True Story



If you’ve read Orange is the New Black, you’ll want to read Out of Orange. It’s not so much a rebuttal as a complementary piece; hand-in-hand with Kerman’s own story, it completes the tale of how two women who had never met before became partners in crime and lovers in trouble. 


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Mandibles by Lionel ShriverThe Mandibles A Family 2029 - 2047: Review

The Guardian, Jane Smiley


There are plenty of zippy novels about the end of the world, but Lionel Shriver has had a different idea. The devastation in The Mandibles is monetary – its effect is to destroy the US economy so completely that the impoverished hordes are fleeing to Mexico. The formerly wealthy, who had installed themselves in France, must now go home because the almighty dollar is worth nothing, replaced as the international currency by the “bancor”. Your head may be spinning, because the details of finance are more abstruse than nuclear exchange, asteroid impacts or the second coming, but as she follows her characters through sufferings and accommodations, Shriver manages to make her case – that civilisation is a delicate network and what we have, even if that is only toilet paper and socks, is precious.


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This Must Be the Place by Maggo O farellThis Must Be the Place: Review

The Guardian, Hannah Beckerman


This Must Be the Place is that rare literary beast: both technically dazzling and deeply moving. It has all the structural and temporal playfulness of a Kate Atkinson novel while retaining the hallmark emotional insight for which O’Farrell has become renowned. It is her best novel to date, a book that surely confirms her as one of the UK’s most assured, accomplished and inventive storytellers.


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