Farewell, Cowboy

Olja Savicevic

Reviewed by Alison Burns

In this post-war landscape of ‘dessicated orchards’ and ‘roses expiring in stone troughs’, where ethnicity is ‘everybody’s business’, Dada speaks with wrathful melancholy of her people’s self-destructive impulses. Make no mistake, this is a story to give any casual tourist pause. There are no heroes here [Read more...] in Reviews

May Crime Round-Up

N. J. Cooper

Reviewed by N.J. Cooper

After all these serial killers enjoying their protracted games of torture, rape and death, it was something of a relief to join Antonio Manzini’s rebarbative Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone in Black Run. Schiavone is a Roman through and through, but he has been sent to take charge of the police in Aosta. He hates the mountains, the cold, the snow, the work, his colleagues and pretty much everything that happens to him [Read more...] in Reviews

Muse

Jonathan Galassi

Reviewed by Elsbeth Lindner

The hero/narrator is Paul Dukach, a parvenu in the publishing world, but a lifelong devotee of literature, encouraged from the start by the kind indie bookshop owner Morgan for whom he worked weekends as a teenager. It was Morgan who introduced Paul to the work of landmark American poet Ida Perkins – the muse of the title, whose writing shapes the story, such as it is – after which he never looked back. Like many in the book world, Paul started with a passion for words and worked his way up, in a peculiar, old-fashioned and clubbable industry, arriving eventually at a position of some responsibility although probably not so much cash [Read more...] in Reviews

The Bees

Laline Paull

Reviewed by Shirley Whiteside

The drones, the few male members of the hive, are pampered and cossetted as they grow and mature. Their job is to leave the hive and find a princess bee to mate with, but not all do. They are loud, demanding and conceited, never worried that their sisters might go hungry as they gorge and waste food. Unknown to them, their days of endless nectar and adoring female servants are limited and a shocking fate awaits them [Read more...] in Reviews

The Zoo

Jamie Mollart

Reviewed by Elizabeth Hilliard Selka

James Marlowe is an advertising executive – a successful one whose latest triumph is a prestigious deal with a Dutch bank for a new campaign. He has a great team at the office and at home a lovely wife, Sally, and their beautiful little boy, Harry. It all sounds good news for James, given that advertising is his business. But as we know from the first words of this novel, James is a wreck [Read more...] in Reviews

Outline

Rachel Cusk

Reviewed by Caroline Sanderson

Every reader should have a few troubling writers in their life. Writers who niggle at you and mess with the truisms you’ve grown fond of. Ever since I read A Life’s Work, her bravely navel-gazing non-fiction book about motherhood, Rachel Cusk has been one of those writers for me. Even more so now I’ve read her bracing and brilliant and odd novel Outline, shortlisted for the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction [Read more...] in Reviews

April Crime Round-Up

N.J. Cooper

Reviewed by N.J. Cooper

Christoffer Carlsson is the youngest ever winner of the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the year (2013), with a PhD in Criminology adding a high degree of credibility to his writing. The Invisible Man from Salem is a first-person narrative about Leo Junker, once a troubled teenager from a sink estate on the outskirts of Stockholm and now a disgraced police officer on suspension. The novel shifts between his adolescence, when he was falling in love for the first time and making friends with the even more troubled John Grimberg, and his current involvement with the murder of a drug-dealing prostitute in the hostel adjacent to where he is living out his suspension from work. The characterization, social and political background, psychology, and structure are all masterfully handled [Read more...] in Reviews