8 Jun 2017

Marlborough Man by Alan Carter

What makes a great thriller great is nerve-wracking plotting, rich atmospheric settings, and complex characters – Marlborough Man has the lot – and it treats the ‘Top of the South’ as Paul Cleave has been treating Christchurch for years – describing a heightened scuzzy substrate that tourists, and most residents, will never glimpse: “In rural New Zealand, calling police out at the sound of shots fired is like calling them out for the sound of cows mooing”.

30 May 2017

The French Perfumer by Amanda Hampson

Iris is 35 and living in London in 1956, her only company her father, her cat and a workmate, Colleen. She does have a brother, but their relationship is tainted by the brother’s ambitious wife. When her father and cat both die, Iris takes Colleen’s advice and ditches her long-standing Civil Service job and heads off to take up a mysterious secretarial position in the South of France.