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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

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Posts tagged with: book review

Maestra by LS Hilton review – many shades of shocking

Review: A couple of years ago, on the day it was announced that EL James’s Fifty Shades of Grey had sold 1m copies in a …

Sunday 27th March 2016 @ 12:00 am

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier – review

Review: The lure of the New World in the mid-19th century proved fertile ground for Tracy Chevalier in her last novel, The Las …

Sunday 6th March 2016 @ 12:00 am

Yuki chan in Brontë Country by Mick Jackson review – frustrating amateur detective story

Review: Mick Jackson’s last novel, The Widow’s Tale, was narrated by an unnamed woman propelled by bereavement into self-imp …

Sunday 17th January 2016 @ 12:00 am

Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson - resists easy categories

Review: The only certainty about a new Rupert Thomson novel – besides the clear, elegant prose – is that it will defy the expectation …

Sunday 15th November 2015 @ 12:00 am

The Crossing by Andrew Miller - mesmeric but infuriating

Review: Andrew Miller has always been a bold writer, which often means avoiding the obvious or easy path. After the success of his historical nov …

Sunday 1st November 2015 @ 12:00 am

Dictator by Robert Harris - a remarkable literary achievement

Review: Dictator, the third instalment in Robert Harris’s trilogy of novels following the rise and fall of the Roman statesman and …

Sunday 18th October 2015 @ 12:00 am

The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson - The Winter’s Tale retold

Review: Towards the end of this “cover version” of The Winter’s Tale, Jeanette Winterson tells us that the play has be …

Sunday 4th October 2015 @ 12:00 am

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood - madcap life-swapping dystopia

Review: In recent years, Margaret Atwood – now in her mid-70s – has put many younger writers to shame with her enthusiastic early ado …

Monday 7th September 2015 @ 12:00 am

Mislaid & The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink - audacious and shockingly funny

Review: Nell Zink’s story has already become the stuff of publishing fairytales. A former bricklayer and cocktail waitress who had written …

Sunday 5th July 2015 @ 12:00 am

The Infidel Stain - MJ Carter’s smartly plotted murder mystery

Review: Historical detective stories are enjoying a renaissance at the moment, and among the most welcome recent additions to the genre was MJ Ca …

Sunday 24th May 2015 @ 12:00 am

Sophie and the Sibil - George Eliot’s later life reimagined

Review: “For there is, in great writing, a sinister power, primitive and overwhelming, whose grasp upon the organs within us unsettles and …

Sunday 17th May 2015 @ 12:00 am

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson - her finest work

Review: Kate Atkinson’s extraordinary 2013 novel, Life After Life, introduced readers to the Todd family in their Forster-esque ho …

Sunday 10th May 2015 @ 12:00 am

The Kindness - Polly Samson’s sensuous tale of family tragedy

Review: Polly Samson’s last book, Perfect Lives, was a collection of stories whose characters were tangentially connected to one a …

Sunday 29th March 2015 @ 12:00 am

Vanessa and Her Sister - Bloomsbury reimagined

Review: In this impressive novel, everyone is afraid of Virginia Woolf, particularly her elder sister, the artist Vanessa Bell, who has assumed a …

Sunday 15th February 2015 @ 12:00 am

We Are Pirates - madcap sitcom with a dark twist

Review: Daniel Handler is better known to a generation of young readers as Lemony Snicket, author of the 13-volume A Series of Unfortunate Ev …

Sunday 15th February 2015 @ 12:00 am

The Offering – the gifted Grace McCleen addresses memory and religion

Review: Grace McCleen’s third novel, The Offering, returns to the territory of her award-winning debut, The Land of Decoration …

Sunday 18th January 2015 @ 12:00 am

Lamentation by CJ Sansom – a new chapter for Shardlake

Review: Despite his constant avowal not to get involved in court politics, CJ Sansom’s hunchbacked lawyer-turned-detective Matthew Shardlak …

Sunday 2nd November 2014 @ 12:00 am

Treachery reviewed by The Observer

S. J. Parris News: Giordano Bruno, philosopher, poet, cosmologist, heretic and former monk, boards Sir Francis Drake’s ship for his latest adventure. …

Sunday 2nd November 2014 @ 12:00 am

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – the story of Jesus goes intergalactic

Article: In an industry where novelists are increasingly encouraged to produce more of whatever proves successful, as often as possible, Michel Fa …

Sunday 26th October 2014 @ 12:00 am

Books to Die For – passionate advocacy for gems of crime fiction

Review: One of the questions writers are asked most frequently in interviews is which writers they admire and who has influenced their work. For …

Sunday 12th October 2014 @ 12:00 am

The Storms of War – Kate Williams's vivid portrait of Edwardian class war

Review: Few subjects could be more timely or marketable than a first world war novel set around an English stately home, but historian Kate Willi …

Sunday 3rd August 2014 @ 12:00 am

In Love and War – Alex Preston's affecting third novel

Review: "There is no such thing as historical fact." So writes Esmond Lowndes, hero and occasional narrator of Alex Preston's rich and evocative …

Sunday 13th July 2014 @ 12:00 am

Mr Mercedes – Stephen King's everyday killer of recession-hit America

Review: Stephen King may be the acknowledged grand master of horror fiction, but he has always known that the everyday demons hiding behind the s …

Monday 9th June 2014 @ 12:00 am

The Snow Queen – Michael Cunningham's poetic meditation on life and death

Review: The Snow Queen is one of the strangest of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales. It unfolds in a dream-like sequence of scenes; i …

Sunday 11th May 2014 @ 12:00 am

Black Rainbow – poetry in a moving account of depression

Review: One horror of depression is how walled-in it makes the sufferer feel. Advice from outside can seem meaningless; perhaps the greatest gift …

Sunday 4th May 2014 @ 12:00 am

You Should Have Known – a witty domestic suspense novel

Review: f you're a successful couples therapist, secure in your happy marriage to a quietly heroic paediatrician and about to publish a book call …

Sunday 30th March 2014 @ 12:00 am

What Was Promised – 'Tobias Hill's White Teeth'

Review: Tobias Hill is a writer who has never been easily classifiable. His work includes award-winning collections of poetry and short stories, …

Sunday 16th March 2014 @ 12:00 am

Falling into the Fire – a psychiatrist's impressive study of mental health

Review: It's apt that the opening chapter of Christine Montross's second book is titled Bedlam, since an account such as this could easily, in le …

Sunday 9th March 2014 @ 12:00 am

The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh

Review: The unprecedented success of the 50 Shades trilogy, and the rise of a subgenre revoltingly termed "mummy porn", much of which wa …

Sunday 23rd February 2014 @ 12:00 am

The Lie by Helen Dunmore


Sunday 12th January 2014 @ 12:00 am


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