Thursday, 29 March 2012

Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games

Not my kind of reading material but here you are :-

The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available for the first time ever in a beautiful boxset edition. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. The trilogy is now complete!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Harlan Coben - Stay Close

Stay Close

Harlan Coben follows four consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers with a stand-alone thriller in the vein of his beloved breakout novels Caught and Hold Tight.

Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Now she's got two kids, a perfect husband, a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at age forty he finds himself in a dead- end job posing as a paparazzo pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Jack is a detective who can't let go of a cold case-a local husband and father disappeared seventeen years ago, and Jack spends the anniversary every year visiting a house frozen in time, the missing man's family still waiting, his slippers left by the recliner as if he might show up any moment to step into them.
Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past doesn't recede. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all. And as each confronts the dark side of the American Dream- the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger that can lurk behind even the prettiest facades- they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper-thin as a heartbeat.
With his trademark combination of page-turning thrills and unrivaled insight into the dark shadows that creep into even the happiest communities, Harlan Coben delivers a thriller that cements his status as the master of domestic suspense.

Kindle edition to be released end of March @ $11.99

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Simon Beckett

Simon Beckett

Public relations exec Kate Powell loves her business, but has not been as lucky in love. Her last relationship, which ended three years ago, turned her off the idea of marriage. Yet she wants to have a child, and can't bear the thought of its father being an anonymous donor. After she places an ad in various professional journals, hoping to meet a suitable donor who will respect her autonomy in this most personal of matters, her life will become a nightmare.

Where's There's Smoke is one of Beckett's first published thrillers, written before he became interested in forensics. Though published in 1998, it's main themes, which include abortion, single parenthood, stalking, and mental illness, are no less topical today. Good early effort.

"Whispers of the Dead" is sinister and unnerving. There are enough gory scenes to turn the stomach of all but the most hardened reader, but the fascinating forensic details almost make it all worthwhile. Beckett describes the dead bodies, and there are quite a few of them, in such excruciating detail that we can almost smell the rotting flesh and visualize the maggots feeding on the corpses. Although the psychopath is another one of those weirdoes that we encounter time and again in novels of this type, his methods and motive are unique, and the author springs a number of surprises on us as the story progresses. This is an edgy and nightmarish thriller in which Beckett raises the suspense to an almost unbearable level before concluding with an explosive and violent finale. After his traumatic ordeal in Tennessee, Dr. David Hunter would do well to seek treatment from the best therapist in London.

"Written in Bone" follows the conventions of a "closed island" mystery. The hero is left to his own devices, trying to maintain control of a rapidly deteriorating situation. Not only is it impossible for Hunter to get outside help, but the weather is so wretched that it is difficult to preserve the remains for examination. There is no well-equipped morgue or laboratory on Runa, and Hunter is reduced to using freezer bags for storage of body parts. In spite of the primitive conditions that prevail, Hunter is resourceful enough to draw logical conclusions from the available evidence

 The Chemistry of Death
I (the reviewer) read this novel in two sittings, and a number of the characters are going to occupy my consciousness for a while. This novel is full of page turning twists and turns. It is also full of detail which, while it may be too much for some, adds to the complexity of solving the case and increases the tension in the tale. I (not me but the person who wrote this review) also enjoyed `Written in Bone' and will be looking for more from this author.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Chris Pavone - The Expats

The Expats
As the years have passed and her family has begun to grow, she has become less comfortable with the dangers she encounters and is haunted by her actions. When Dexter tells her of an opportunity to move to Europe in the quaint town of Luxembourg and the promise of financial success for her husband, she resigns from the CIA.

Enter Julia and Ben Maclean, two expats who become increasingly nosy, inappropriate and uncomfortable to be around in her new surroundings. Who are they? What do they want? Are they dangerous?

These questions and more are answered as Kate uses her special skills to unveil their identity in an effort to protect herself and family from clandestine characters.

The Expats is a quick 326-page easy read that is an entertaining and enjoyable novel by and up-and-coming breath of fresh air in espionage genre.

The international thriller that Patricia Cornwell says is “bristling with suspense” about an American abroad who finds herself in complex web of intrigue.

Can We Ever Escape Our Secrets?

Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew.
She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done—playdates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and never-ending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, at a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she’s not allowed to know. He’s becoming distant and evasive; she’s getting lonely and bored.

Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they say they are, and she’s terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun, a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money, and finally unravels the mind-boggling long-play con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life.

Stylish and sophisticated, fiercely intelligent and expertly crafted, The Expats proves Chris Pavone to be a writer of tremendous talent

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Henry Porter - Three Great Novels

Eight years ago David Beck was knocked unconscious and left for dead, and his wife Elizabeth kidnapped and murdered. Every day since, the horror has haunted him. Now Beck is faced by an email that links him to a webcam image of Elizabeth.

But as he tries to find out if his wife is alive and what really happened the night she disappeared, the FBI are trying to pin Elizabeth's murder on him, and everyone he turns to seems to end up dead...GONE FOR GOOD - When Ken Klein became the subject of an international manhunt, accused of a brutal murder, he vanished.

His brother Will has tried to get on with his life in the intervening years. But when his mother reveals, on her deathbed, that Ken is still alive, and shortly afterwards Will's girlfriend Sheila disappears, the cracks start to show. But it is only when he finds that Sheila herself is wanted for a savage double murder that his life actually starts to fall apart. DARKEST FEAR - Life isn't going well for Myron Bolitar.

Business trouble, family trouble, and there's more on the horizon. Emily, Myron's college sweetheart, reappears in his life with devastating news: her son Jeremy is gravely ill and can be saved only by a bone marrow transplant from a donor who has vanished without trace. But for Myron, finding the only person who can save the boy's life means cracking open a mystery as dark as it is heartbreaking.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Tatiana de Rosnay - The House I loved

I am not completely stuck on what reviews say. I have never read this author and wonder if somebody would care to give an opinion?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sarah’s Key and A Secret Kept comes an absorbing new novel about one woman’s resistance during an époque that shook Paris to its very core.

Paris, France: 1860’s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussman has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, moulding it into a “modern city.” The reforms will erase generations of history—but in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand.

Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years. Tatiana de Rosnay's The House I Loved is both a poignant story of one woman’s indelible strength, and an ode to Paris, where houses harbor the joys and sorrows of their inhabitants, and secrets endure in the very walls...

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Olen Steinhauer - You know what's going On

You Know What's Going On

You Know What's Going On" is a novella (47 pages in the printed edition) originally published in Agents of Treachery, an espionage-fiction anthology edited by Otto Penzler.

"Like my recent books (The Tourist, The Nearest Exit), "You Know What's Going On" deals with spies and spying, but with this story I wanted to move away from the European setting of most of my novels, and into Africa--specifically, Kenya and Somalia. I also wanted to deal with something I've kept at arm's length--Muslim extremism. Add to this Somali pirates, self-loathing Western agents, and a disastrous stop-over in Rome before heading on to Nairobi, and you have...well, you have the makings for some explosions.

I hope you enjoy it. If you do, then of course don't resist the impulse to run out and purchase my back catalog, but I'd also suggest picking up a copy of Agents of Treachery--it's an excellent collection for any fan of spy fiction. For fans of the genre, I'd call it required reading."

Olen Steinhauer grew up in Virginia, and has since lived in Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the US, he's lived in Croatia (when it was called Yugoslavia), the Czech Republic and Italy. He also spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright grant, an experience that helped inspire his first five books. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and daughter.

P S Is $2.99 not a bit much for a novella of 47 pages?

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Jeffrey Archer - The Sins of the Farthers

On the heels of the international bestseller Only Time Will Tell, Jeffrey Archer picks up the sweeping story of the Clifton Chronicles….

Only days before Britain declares war on Germany, Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of long-buried family secrets, and forced to accept that his desire to marry Emma Barrington will never be fulfilled, has joined the Merchant Navy. But his ship is sunk in the Atlantic by a German U-boat, drowning almost the entire crew. An American cruise liner, the SS Kansas Star, rescues a handful of sailors, among them Harry and the third officer, an American named Tom Bradshaw. When Bradshaw dies in the night, Harry seizes on the chance to escape his tangled past and assumes his identity.

On landing in America, however, Bradshaw quickly learns the mistake he has made, when he discovers what is awaiting him in New York. Without any way of proving his true identity, Harry Clifton is now chained to a past that could be far worse than the one he had hoped to escape.

(However those that want to read the book as a "stand alone" should steer clear at this stage - you really need to read "Only Time Will Tell" first, and you're going to have to wait another 12 months for the next installment to clean up the loose ends.)

Friday, 16 March 2012

PeterJames - Dead Man's Grip

Sometimes authors can mount an all-guns-blazing, full-frontal assault on the bestseller charts, achieving success by bludgeoning their way to the top, utilising well worn, unchallenging methods that can always be guaranteed upon to achieve crowd-pleasing results. But there is another approach, and it is the one adapted by the talented Peter James. By the straightforward expedient of using carefully crafted, well honed narratives with a strong sense of place and a sure grasp of character, James has slowly but surely worked his way towards an almost unassailable position as one of Britain's best-loved crime writers. That sense of place, of course, is located in Brighton, the increasingly fashionable setting just an hour's train journey from London, and over the course of his novels, James is proving to be as adroit chronicler of that town as Graham Greene in Brighton Rock (although James has yet to write a novel quite as intense as Green's masterpiece -- a fact that he would no doubt admit, as Greene's novel is a particular favourite of Peter James). And the character that James locates here is his tenacious copper Roy Grace (shortly to be incarnated in a long-overdue television series). Dead Man's Grip is a particularly gripping entry in the Grace series, although to say that it is not massively different from other books in the sequence is simply to note that James has shown a remarkable consistency over all the Roy Grace books.
Here the detective is involved in dark developments after a young woman is traumatised in a fatal traffic accident. The accident has resulted in the death of student – but then the drivers of other vehicles involved are discovered tortured and killed.
The fact that Peter James has built up considerable storytelling skills over the years is hardly an accident; had he not written a single Roy Grace novel, he would, of course, be remembered for a series of highly professional supernatural outings (recently reissued with covers that rather cheekily suggested the books are like his more recent work). But his most signal achievement is to keep us comprehensively engaged in the increasingly overfamiliar field of the police procedural. Not an easy task, but one that James pulls off with aplomb. --Barry Forshaw

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Larry Watson - American Boy

I have just discovered this author and what a great  writer he is.

AMERICAN BOY is, in the end, an old tale made new and fresh through the story-telling skills of a master hand at fiction. Larry Watson burst onto the book scene nearly twenty years ago with his first novel, MONTANA 1948., a shocking and beautiful book. His latest offering shows he is still at the top of his game.

We were exposed to these phenomena in order that we might learn something, but of course the lessons we learn are not always those we are taught . . .

So begins Matthew Garth’s story of the fall of 1962, when the shooting of a young woman on Thanksgiving Day sets off a chain of unsettling events in Willow Falls, Minnesota. Matthew first sees Louisa Lindahl in Dr. Dunbar’s home office, and at the time her bullet wound makes nearly as strong an impression as her unclothed body. Fueled over the following weeks by his feverish longing for this mysterious woman—as well as by a deep desire for the comfort and affluence that appears to surround the Dunbars—Matthew finds himself drawn into a series of confrontations he never expected, the results of which will change his life irrevocably and give lie to his version of the American dream.

Immersive, heartbreaking, and richly evocative of time and place, this long-awaited new novel marks the return of a great American storyteller.

“[Watson will] harvest a bumper crop of readers this autumn.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“[Watson] spins charm and melancholy around the same fingers, the result a soft but urgent rendering of a young man coming of age in rural America that is recognizable to even those of us who were never there.”—Denver Post

“Watson has penned some of the best contemporary fiction about small-town America, and his new novel does not disappoint. . . . With his graceful writing style, well-drawn characters, and subtly moving plot, Watson masterfully portrays the dark side of small-town America. Highly readable and enthusiastically recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Eighteen years ago, Milkweed published Watson’s breakthrough novel, Montana 1948; now the author returns to Milkweed with another powerful coming-of-age story about a teenage boy [Matthew Garth] being shocked into maturity by a moment of sudden and unexpected violence. . . . Like Holden Caulfield trying to catch innocent children before they fall off the cliff adjoining that field of rye, Matthew struggles to save the Dunbars and, in so doing, save himself. He fails, of course, but that’s the point of much of Watson’s always melancholic, always morally ambiguous fiction: coming-of-age is about failure as much as it is about growth.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Watson’s new novel about a young man’s coming-of-age in rural Minnesota during the early ’60s never veers off course.”—Publishers Weekly

“There are a handful of writers I push on everyone I meet, and Larry Watson is one of them. For the past twenty years has quietly penned some of the wisest, most powerful novels in my library, and I am thrilled to make room on the shelf for his latest, a gripping, poignant coming-of-age story that opens with a gunshot that will ultimately bury its bullet in your heart. American Boy is an American classic.”—Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding and Refresh, Refresh

“Larry Watson’s latest book, American Boy, may be his best yet. With the patient skill of a seasoned writer, Watson tells an engaging coming-of-age story of a young man in Willow Falls, Minnesota during the 1960s. Youthful passions, heartbreaks, loyalties and moral uncertainties are all rendered in vivid color.”—David Rhodes, author of Driftless

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Andrew E Kaufman - The Lion The Lamb the Hunted

From Andrew E. Kaufman, author of the #1 bestseller, While the Savage Sleeps…

SHE ONLY STEPPED OUTSIDE FOR A MINUTE... But a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley's world upside down--a minute she'd regret for the rest of her life. 


Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again. 


 A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair. 


Now, more than thirty years later, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother's belongings. It paints his mother as the killer and her brother, a wealthy and powerful senator, as the one pulling the strings.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO NATHAN KINGSLEY? There's a hole in the case a mile wide, and Patrick is determined to close it. But what he doesn't know is that the closer he moves toward the truth, the more he's putting his life on the line, that he’s become the hunted. Someone's hiding a dark secret and will stop at nothing to keep it that way. The clock is ticking, the walls are closing, and the stakes are getting higher as he races to find a killer--one who's hot on his trail. One who's out for his blood.

Andrew E. Kaufman is an award winning journalist and author living in Southern California, along with his Labrador Retrievers, 2 horses, and a very bossy Jack Russell Terrier who thinks she owns the place.

His debut novel, While the Savage Sleeps, a forensic paranormal mystery, broke out on four of Amazon's bestsellers lists, taking the #1 spot on two of them and third place on the much-coveted Movers and Shakers list. It also dominated six of their Top-Rated lists. The novel is available on Kindle, trade paperback, and other e-book formats.

His newest novel, The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted, a psychological thriller, is now available.

He also wrote a story for Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book where he chronicled his battle with the disease. After receiving his journalism and political science degrees at San Diego State University,

Andrew began his writing career as an Emmy-nominated writer/producer, working at KFMB-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Diego, then at KCAL-TV in Los Angeles. For more than ten years, he produced special series and covered many nationally known cases, including the O.J. Simpson Trial. For more information about Andrew and his work, please visit his website: and blog:

.Please view my DISCLAIMER

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Perri O'Shaughnessy - Dreams of the Dead

Philip informs Nina that he was finalizing the selling of his Lake Tahoe resort ski lodge but the sale was blocked in court allegedly by Jim who is apparently living in Brazil. Philip believes the affidavit is a fraud filed by someone trying to obtain his son's share of the receipts. Nina fears Jim lives and remains a threat to her family and friends especially when females associated with casinos are suddenly murdered.

The unexpected but realistic twists to this Nina Reilly thriller make for a powerful tale as Nina recalls what her then boyfriend prosecutor said when she defended Jim that. He believed the man was a psychopath who will go after her and her family if he is convicted. She believes he is back in Tahoe while her "protector" Paul von Wagoner knows someone stalks his former lover. Dreams of the Dead is a super thrilling twister.

Please read my DISCLAIMER

Monday, 12 March 2012

Carol O'Connell - Chalk Girl

The astonishing new Mallory novel from the New York Times- bestselling author.
The little girl appeared in Central Park: red-haired, blue-eyed, smiling, perfect-except for the blood on her shoulder. It fell from the sky, she said, while she was looking for her uncle, who turned into a tree. Poor child, people thought. And then they found the body in the tree.
For Mallory, newly returned to the Special Crimes Unit after three months' lost time, there is something about the girl that she understands. Mallory is damaged, they say, but she can tell a kindred spirit. And this one will lead her to a story of extraordinary crimes: murders stretching back fifteen years, blackmail and complicity and a particular cruelty that only someone with Mallory's history could fully recognize. In the next few weeks, she will deal with them all . . . in her own way.
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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Leighton Gage - Buried Strangers

At the start of Gage's intelligent and subtle second mystery to depict life in modern Brazil (after 2008's Blood of the Wicked), Yoshiro Tanaka, a corrupt local policeman, uncovers a secret cemetery in a park near Brasilia that contains more than three dozen corpses, including those of 24 children. Mario Silva, of the Brazilian Federal Police, has an uphill battle persuading his politically sensitive boss, Nelson Sampaio, that the find warrants federal resources. When forensics indicate that the dead were each missing a body part, Sampaio fears rumors that a satanic cult is responsible will harm the country's tourism industry. Tanaka, under pressure from his wife to bring in more money, dutifully tracks down clues identifying some of the dead people. When Tanaka's attempts to extort money backfire, Silva must pick up the pieces of his investigation. Lovers of suspenseful and sophisticated crime novels will be rewarded. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Realistic characters that the readers can care about. . . . The ultimate story of the haves vs. the have nots.”—Detroit Free Press

“Gage's compelling novels are good examples of how talented crime writers use the police procedural form to lay bare a society.”—Indianapolis Star

“Gage creates a contemporary tapestry of Brazil . . . [and] builds a compelling foundation for future Silva cases.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Emotionally charged. . . . Vividly evokes a country of political corruptions, startling economic disparity and relentless crime.”—Booklist

A playful dog finds a bone at the outset of this mystery set in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the federal police based in Brasilia and his team of investigators, Hector Costa and Arnaldo Nunes, are called in. The bone is human and the investigators soon unearth a clandestine cemetery. Someone has secretly disposed of the bodies of unknown human beings, often interred in family groups. And in Sao Paulo, it turns out, many patrons of a local travel agency have never reached their North American destinations. The motive for these mass murders is completely contemporary and completely appalling

Leighton Gage writes the Chief Inspector Mario Silva series, crime novels set in Brazil. His work has been praised by the New York Times, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus and a variety of other publications as well as by numerous online reviewers. You can visit him on the web at

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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Jean Plaidy - A Favorite of the Queen

A Historical Novel for a change?

Torn between her heart’s passion and duty to her kingdom, a young queen makes a dark choice…
 Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester was the most powerful man in England during the reign of Elizabeth I. Handsome and clever, he drew the interest of many women—but it was Elizabeth herself that loved him best of all. Their relationship could have culminated in marriage but for the existence of Amy Robsart, Robert's tragic young wife, who stood between them and refused to be swept away to satisfy a monarch’s desire for a man that was not rightfully her own.

But when Amy suddenly dies, under circumstances that many deem to be mysterious at best, the Queen and her lover are placed under a dark cloud of suspicion, and Elizabeth is forced to make a choice that will define her legacy.

Jean Plaidy

Born September 01, 1906 in Kensington, London, The United Kingdom
Died January 18, 1993
Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). Lesser known were the novels Hibbert published under her maiden name Eleanor Burford, or the pseudonyms of Elbur Ford, Kathleen Kellow and Ellalice Tate. Many of her readers under one penname never suspected her other identities.

Friday, 9 March 2012

James Patterson - 11th Hour

New Release

Your best friend

Lindsay Boxer is pregnant at last! But her work doesn't slow for a second. When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, she discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco's most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from her own department's evidence locker. Anyone could be the killer--even her closest friends.

Or a vicious killer?

Lindsay is called next to the most bizarre crime scene she's ever seen: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor. Another head is unearthed in the garden, and Lindsay realizes that the ground could hide hundreds of victims.  Download Link

You won't know until the 11th hour

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Christopher Smith - The Fifth Avenue Series Boxed

Christopher Smith is the international best-selling author of "Fifth Avenue," "Running of the Bulls," "From Manhattan with Love," "Bullied," "Revenge," "Witch" and "War." For fifteen years, Smith was the film critic for a major newspaper in the Northeast. For eight years, he appeared weekly on NBC affiliates, and two years nationally on the E! network. He has written over 4,000 reviews and he has been named Best Critic for 2010 by the MPA. He lives in Maine.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

William Nicholson - The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life

Some authors are completely new to me as is Nicolson and that is part of the fun of finding out about books and authors..
Here Nicholson transports the flavour of The Unbearable Lightness of Being to Joanna Trollope's landscape as he follows, over six days, the lives of a group of middle-class bumblers living in a Sussex village.
Ostensibly the story centres around the seemingly idyllic marriage of Laura and Henry, as Laura receives a letter from Nick, a man with whom she had a passionate affair 20 years ago. Her self-obsessed, frustrated husband has never been any match for Nick's dynamism and she knows it. The reader knows she has – at most – a week to make up her mind whether she is in or out of her marriage.
Henry is a brilliant, tortured character, hating himself for his success as a documentary director, always upstaged by the idiotic posers who front his programmes. His disillusion is shared by the other characters whose lives are discreetly doomed by the failure to act with any honesty or daring: Alan, the teacher still kidding himself that really he's a playwright; Liz, the single mother who can't stay away from her manipulative ex; Marion, the disturbed woman with designs on Alan; the vicar who is questioning his faith.
Somehow Nicholson avoids any of this becoming twee, with his remarkable eye for detail and for the weaknesses of human nature. There is an undercurrent of lust throughout the novel, somehow poignant, sometimes comical. He moves slickly between his characters, pulling away unpredictably just as we think we've got to know them. You can almost feel him panning cinematically across their lives.
More commercial than his previous adult novels, The Trial of True Love and The Society of Others, this is an interesting departure for a writer who knows his way around the human psyche. In Nicholson's capable hands, the cosy setting becomes uneasy and the familiar takes on new meaning: think Midsomer Murders but with existentialism instead of murder. The sequel – All the Hopeful Lovers – is out in September. Can't wait.
The writing is unobtrusively brilliant. I can't remember enjoying and admiring a new novel more."—Elizabeth Jane Howard, author of Marking Time

"Utterly captures the sense of quiet desperation of ordinary lives . . . and the ways in which life turns on a sixpence."—Kate Mosse, author of Sepulchre

"Hugely funny. . . . But beneath the Wodehousian surface, it is a serious book about men, women and children with complex inner lives trying to find happiness and coping with disappointment."—Daily Telegraph

Laura is a happily married mother of two who begins to question her choices when her first love resurfaces after twenty years. She’s forced to compare the passion of that relationship with the domesticity of her suburban life. What if she’d stayed with him? Would she be happier? And what is happiness, really?

Little does she know that many others in her gentrified English village, including a rector who’s lost his faith, a frustrated school teacher, and a successful single mother who can’t get over her ex, are struggling with their own personal crises.

Two of William Nicholson's screenplays—Shadowlands and Gladiator—have garnered Academy Award nominations. He is the author of five previous novels and lives in Sussex with his wife and three children.