Shiny Fiction Linkiness

Time to share my Fiction reviews from Issue 8 of Shiny New Books with you – four very different but enjoyable books, click through to read the full reviews, links within the text refer to my previous reviews:

The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre

swindleBest known for his Verhoeven trilogy, Lemaitre has turned from contemporary fare to the end of the Great War for the first in a planned seven volume series of inter-war novels. Part WWI novel, very much in the mould of  All Quiet on the Western Front, part crime caper thriller, The Great Swindle was absolutely gripping from the first page to the last. It may be a crime novel at its heart, but it never shies away from showing the horrors of those who died and survived WWI, often maimed and suffering from PTSD – there is gore, but in WWI context.  Frank Wynne translates again.  (10/10)

Read my full review here.

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Death is a Welcome Guest by Louise Welsh

welsh 2This is the second volume in Welsh’s Plague Times trilogy, which began in A Lovely Way to Burn.  Although the events within are roughly contemporaneous, there is no need to read the first one before the second as they have a different cast of characters, and a different slant on her post-pandemic world. You will want to read both though, for they are brilliant!  If the first volume of Welsh’s Plague Times Trilogy subverted the medical thriller and the second the cosy country house mystery, I can’t wait to see what she does in the third part. I’ve loved it so far. (9/10)

Read my full review here

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The Last of the Bowmans by J Paul Henderson

bowmansIn this black comedy, a son returns home from the USA for the funeral of his father who died after accidentally drinking a jar of white spirit.  Later Greg’s father’s appears to him as a ghost and asks him to fix his family – which means Greg’s younger brother Billy and Uncle Frank.  There’s a definite feel of a British homage to Six Feet Under and there are some great laugh out loud moments. The black comedy mixed with a bittersweet and compassionate drama frequently reminded me of the late, great David Nobbs in style. There was much to enjoy in this novel, and you may be interested to know that Henderson’s first book, Last Bus to Coffeeville has been selected for World Book Night 2016. (8/10)

Read my full review here

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Sophia by Michael Bible

sophiaA story set in the Deep South and New York, featuring a whisky-priest, a chess-playing savant and a blind assassin was always going to pique my interest, and this short novel repaid that in spades.

Told in short vignettes, this caper is narrated by Reverend Alvis Maloney, who describes himself as:

A holy fool on the hunt for something worthy.
I’m the lazy priest of this town’s worst church, nearly defrocked for lascivious behaviour with female parishioners. I want to die for the King of Kings but can’t quite get it right.

He’s like a character in a Tom Waits song. He’s glorious in his bad behaviour, yet he still believes. The characters just jump off the page, and the style of writing works perfectly. I loved this book!

For the full review – click here.

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Source: Publishers – Thank you!

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