Book review: Precocious by Joanna Barnard

We’re all vultures of a sort, and there are few things that demonstrate our need to know everything and tear everything apart and form an opinion than news stories about teenagers having relationships with their teachers, In Joanna Barnard’s Precocious we join the teenager in the affair as an adult. Thirty years old, Fiona Palmer…

Review: The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan

I can think of nothing more comforting than curling up with a hot chocolate, a thick slice of my favourite cake, and a good book. So when I saw The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan, my eyes lit up (and my stomach started rumbling) – a book about a baking competition? This caters…

Review: Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Obsession – is it ever healthy for you, and if so, at what point does it become dangerous? For Sophie in Tess Sharpe’s Far From You, her obsession with finding out who caused her best friend’s death is dangerous from the beginning, because Mina was murdered. Everyone believes it’s because OxyContin-addicted Sophie was looking for…

Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

As soon as The Queen of the Tearling arrived on my desk, beautifully wrapped in brown paper and string (thanks Bantam Press), I knew it was going to the top of my to-read list.  And that was before I read that it was being turned into a film, with Emma Watson and Harry Potter producer…

Review: The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

Slinky, sensuous and sexy are just a few of the words used to describe Helen Walsh’s The Lemon Grove, set in a hot summer week in a small town in Mallorca. So now that the novel has come out in paperback (it was released in hardback in the dead of winter), and the weather is…

Review: The Storms of War by Kate Williams

If Downton Abbey hasn’t lived up to your expectations since the end of season one, then you need to pick up Kate Williams’ The Storms of War, which is the novel that Downton would have been if it had more historical insight and research behind it and less of the over-the-top drama. It is 1914,…

Perfect summer reads 2014

Summer – the sun is shining and you’re looking for something to read on the beach/on the plane/in the park/in the garden. Here are my top summer reads, some out already, and some coming out in the next couple of months. Most importantly, all are perfect for the hot weather. 1. The Storms of War…

Review: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

There are big books, and then there are books that are big before they’re even released, and Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing is one of the latter. Bought by Viking in a hotly contested auction (I met one of the unsuccessful bidders recently, who more than a year on is still sad they didn’t win),…

Review: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Oh, the domestic thriller. Once you’ve read Gone Girl, you’ve read them all, right? Wrong. Because A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife offers up a whole new chilling and delicious take on the genre. Jodi and Todd’s marriage looks idyllic from the outside, but from the inside things could not be worse. As Jodi heads towards…