Edinburgh, 1847. City of medicine, money and murder. This is a fantastic historical crime novel set in Victorian Edinburgh among the grit and the muck and the well-to-do. The Way of All Flesh has great pace right to the end as a series of crimes is investigated by a young apprentice doctor Will Raven and his unlikely accomplice, housemaid Sarah Fisher.
Ever since Sophie Mac first arrived at Eastbrook High School, feeling excluded as her solo Mum had no money for things like nice shoes, she has always stuck with the first two girls who befriended her: Sophie A and Twiggy (Sophie Twigg). The trio of Sophies are tight friends, that is until Sophie A disappears, and Mac starts writing a diary …
Should you be judged by your intentions or by the consequences of your actions? This is the question throughout The Devils you Know, from the rightness of taking a job, pursuing a fixation, or invading a country. Vincent decides to leave New York after his protecting a workmate ends up with three people in hospital and his house being blown up. He decides to take a “High pay, low stress” job protecting a California supermarket magnate, but things quickly start to get complicated.
What can a body do? The answer, presented in a richly investigative and thought-provoking new book by Sara Hendren, is that it depends on a huge number of factors but many of these factors are shaped by the built world around us – not just buildings or structures, but also technology and constructs such as time (which in the chapter Clock, Hendren demonstrates is really just an idea made manifest by everyone going along with it, or trying to).
2020 has provided us with some seriously outstanding fiction, and here are my personal top three titles for the year; two with a common theme of tragic and severe environmental change and the extremes humanity will go to given licence, and the other a retelling of one of western culture's greatest mythologies. And perhaps 2020 was the year of escapist reading for me as all three titles are imbued with a certain magic or otherness;
Damien Linnane is a former Australian soldier and a former prisoner. In November 2015 he was sentenced to 10 months in prison for a series of crimes that the sentencing magistrate described as “vigilante action”. He spent the first five months of his sentence writing the first draft of his debut novel, a psychological thriller entitled 'Scarred'.