fri 18/08/2017

fiction

Jason Webster: Fatal Sunset review - more flavoursome crime in Valencia

The sixth in a series of crime novels that began in 2011 with Or the Bull Kills You and which introduced readers to Chief Inspector Max Cámara, Fatal Sunset opens with our anarchistic hero summoned to see Rita Hernández, newly installed Commissioner...

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Emma Dibdin: 'Being scared of something is a sign you should write about it'

When I began writing my first novel four years ago, there were a few ideas that had coalesced in my mind. I knew I wanted to write a thriller about mental illness through the eyes of a young woman whose family had been defined by it; someone...

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Lisa Jewell: 'I’d never killed anyone before'

I started writing my first novel in 1995. I was 27 and I’d just come out of a dark, dark marriage to a controlling man who’d kept me more or less locked away from the world. I had no front door key, no phone, was not allowed to see my friends or my...

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Peter Høeg: The Susan Effect review - Nordic noir turns surreal

Peter Høeg is still overwhelmingly known for a novel published a quarter of a century ago. Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow featured a half-Inuit woman whose suspicion over a young neighbour’s death in Copenhagen lures her from Denmark back to...

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Sarah Hall: Madame Zero review – eerie tales of calamity and change

Five thousand miles away from her native Lake District, I first understood the eerie magnetism of Sarah Hall’s fiction. As a regional judge for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, I’d travelled to join the jury’s deliberations in Sri Lanka. I was keen...

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Michael Connelly: The Late Show review - mesmerising and believable characters

Readers have been committed fans since 1992, when the sometime crime reporter Michael Connelly turned novelist. Connelly’s best-known sequence has featured, over three decades now, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective Hieronymus Bosch...

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Eureka: novelist Anthony Quinn on completing his acclaimed trilogy

I am intrigued by those writers who plan their novels with the bristling rigour of a military strategist, drilling their characters like counters on a model battlefield. And impressed that they seem in absolute control of the direction their story...

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Arundhati Roy: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness review - brilliant fragments of divided India

Just as in the United States, the quest among Indian authors in English to deliver the single, knock-out novel that would capture their country’s infinite variety has long been the stuff of parody. More than two decades ago, the writer-politician...

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Muhsin Al-Ramli: 'During Saddam’s regime at least we knew who the enemy was' - interview

Saddam Hussein’s name is never mentioned in The President’s Gardens, even though he haunts every page. The one time that the reader encounters him directly, he is referred to simply by his title. In a novel of vivid pictures, the almost...

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Colm Tóibín: House of Names review - bleakly beautiful twilight of the gods

The news that Colm Tóibín has written a novel about Orestes, Clytemnestra, Electra and the whole accursed House of Atreus might prompt two instant responses. One could run: where does your man find the brass neck to compete with the titans of the...

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Haruki Murakami: Men Without Women review - a bit too abstract and post-modern

“I was a lamprey eel in a former life,” says a woman in “Scheherazade”, one of the most intriguing of the seven stories in Men without Women - it was previously published in the New Yorker, as were four of the others in the collection. Murakami is...

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Hanif Kureishi: The Nothing review - a glittering chamber of ice

Kureishi is mostly loved for his bittersweet panoramas of suburban London, ribald and piquant with satire. The Nothing discards that broad canvas and creeps into a glittering chamber of ice, in which the only subjects are the dying urges of the...

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