“Ask A Historian” by Greg Jenner (2021)

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“Did Anne Boleyn have three nipples?”

Two history books in one month? I must be craving a TARDIS.

This time around, Greg Jenner is taking us on a whistle stop tour of world history by answering fifty questions given to him by members of the public. Jenner is one of the best historical communicators we’ve got at the moment (for my money, Lucy Worsley is the other particular great), as evidenced with all his work on TV, in books and with his excellent You’re Dead To Me podcast. Here, his usual style is fully in evidence, packing the pages with amazing facts and silly jokes which work well together, neither swamping the other.

Along the way, he teaches us about what the Flintstones got right, why people once thought eating ground-up mummies was a good idea, when sign language was invented, why we suffer from hay fever more than our ancestors did, how women dealt with menstruation before the invention of tampons and sanitary pads, what happened the time a dead Pope was put on trial, and, curiously, when the first Monday was.

With a lightness of touch and genuine enthusiasm for the subjects at hand, Jenner brings to life histories that we’ve given little thought to before now. There’s nothing academically dense about the book, and it’s easy to dip in and out of to learn something new to share at your next social occasion, and it never fails to be interesting, whether the subject is the Windrush generation, penises on Greek statues, or when we started selling seeds in packets.

Lovely, engaging stuff from someone who properly cares about the subjects.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“The Secret Life Of Albert Entwistle” by Matt Cain (2021)

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“Albert Entwistle was a postman.”

How much do you know about your postman? Let’s talk to one.

Sixty-four-year-old Albert Entwistle has been a postman for almost fifty years, and lives for his job. Keeping himself to himself and trying to avoid any interactions with his customers or colleagues, he spends his evenings with his cat, Gracie, and watching television. He is the eternal outsider. Just before Christmas, he finds himself with receiving a letter of his own, and one that will change everything. His retirement is imminent, and can’t be postponed, and he’s now threatened with a future of loneliness and lack of purpose.

Determined to make a change, he decides to delve into his past. For years, he’s kept a secret of his sexuality, because of the way things ended with his teenage boyfriend, George. Now he’s going to be brave and go after what he wants, because life is too short, and he’s never forgotten George. He just hopes George can forgive him…

This is a novel that will pull on all the heartstrings, as you follow Albert expand his universe. From the off, though he tries never to share anything with anyone on the page, we get to learn a lot about him. He likes dancing, but never in front of other people, and he’s always cautious in public to never do anything without checking no one’s watching him first. He is determined to remain in the shadows. When he does begin to come out of his shell, however, he finds that people like him and, even better, he likes people too. He finds them interesting and quickly makes friends, something that he’s not had for decades. The prominent relationship he develops is with Nicole, a teenage single mother who is working hard to provide for her daughter and struggling with a new boyfriend. Their cross-generational relationship is very touching.

It is occasionally tiresome when books with queer protagonists seem to centre around coming out, as I always want to see more LGBT literature where the characters are simply allowed to exist and are not defined by their sexuality. Here, however, that’s sort of the point, and it’s refreshing to have the coming out story given to an older character. It’s also nice that his sexuality is never, at least in the present day chapters, seen as a problem. Cain doesn’t shy away, though, from showing what it was like for gay people to grow up during the 1970s, when they were far less accepted. Touchingly, at the end of the book there are several interviews with real gay men over the age of sixty about their experiences.

A beautifully expressed novel about the perils of a wasted life.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“Fake History” by Otto English (2021)

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“Through nothing more than sheer longevity, my grandparents became time travellers from another age.”

For the last few years, it seems increasingly that we live in what is called a “post-truth world”. Politicians, celebrities and sometimes even the media seem able to say whatever they want and claim it’s fact, even with evidence to the contrary staring them in the face and available to anyone with access to Google. But this is actually nothing new. They say history is written by the winners, but sometimes it’s simply written by those who had a better story, regardless of how accurate it is. In this book, Otto English explores ten of the lies that are most widely believed.

Although each chapter deals with a specific “lie”, there’s a lot more to the book than that. Several other supplementary tales are usually included in each one, and there are wider discussions on propaganda, nationalism, mythology, politics and language, and how they all assist in propagating falsehoods. Among other historical “facts”, English takes a look at why it’s nonsense to say the British royal family are German (nationality doesn’t work like that, and King Charles III is just as descended from a Frenchman as he is a German), it’s silly to say curry comes from India (it doesn’t, and actually there’s not really even such a thing as “curry”), it’s ridiculous to say the British would be speaking French had Napoleon won at Waterloo (wrong, as evidenced by the fact the French don’t speak English after their loss) and it’s daft to think ancient people all thought the Earth was flat (they hadn’t since the days of Ancient Egypt). Along the way we meet such historical heroes and villains as Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler and Genghis Khan, and learn that they’re far more complicated than the history books would have us believe. Khan was not a thoughtless barbarian, or else he would never have held onto such a large empire, and Lincoln only accepted all men were equal only a few years before his speech at Gettysberg.

He’s also almost gleeful when it comes to putting the boot into Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, two of the biggest liars on the planet, but whom many seem to mindlessly believe just because they are (or, rather, were) in authority.

Naturally, I daresay some people will read this and snap loudly, “Well, of course he’d say that! That’s what he wants you to believe!” And maybe so. But I trust him because, as with all the people who think the mainstream media or scientists or supporters of equal rights, what has he got to gain by lying, really? He might sell some more books, sure, but if he’s managed to convince me on a few things that don’t actually actively do any harm and instead might make me realise the world isn’t so black and white and we can’t trust everything at face value, then I’m on board.

As a writer myself, I’ve always liked the adage, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”, but increasingly that is nonsense. It’s fine when it comes to fiction – you can have a bus take a route in fiction that it doesn’t in real life if it helps the plot along – but when fake news and blatant lies are used to damage people, ideas, countries and the planet itself, then perhaps it’s time to start looking at what’s actually going on.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“Slade House” by David Mitchell (2015)

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“Whatever Mum’s saying’s drowned out by the grimy roar of the bus pulling away, revealing a pub called The Fox and Hounds.”

Which idiot decided to read a book about a haunted house while living alone in a very quiet block of flats? Oh, looks like it was me. Fortunately, it’s David Mitchell, and he writes too well for me to stay mad at for long.

In 1979, precocious child Nathan Bishop and his mother Rita are invited to a musical soiree at Slade House, home of Lady Norah Grayer. While Nathan would rather be anywhere else, Rita is excited to be mixing with a quality set, finally able to show off her musical abilities. The house, however, proves harder to find than she imagines, and the only entrance seems to be a small, black, iron door in the brick wall of Slade Alley. Once inside, Nathan befriends Jonah, a child in the house, but things soon take a darker turn when Nathan finds a portrait on the wall of himself, dressed in exactly the same clothes he’s currently wearing.

Nine years later, in 1988, divorced police officer Gordon Edmonds finds his way into Slade House. In 1997, Sally Timms and her university friends stumble into it as part of a trip with the Paranormal Society. In 2006, Sally’s sister Freya makes the trip, and in 2015, it’s time for Dr Iris Marinus-Fenby to visit. Each person visiting seems to have little in common, except for one very important thing: none of them ever leave. Because Slade House is not like a normal house, and every nine years it must take another victim…

Another one of those books it’s difficult to talk about without giving too much away, it’s typical of Mitchell in that the genre is fluid (as genre should be) and it serves as several stories interlocking into one another, although not to the extreme way that he did with the masterpiece that is Cloud Atlas. The horror of the house is juxtaposed nicely by the fact that all the characters we see get taken in by its mystery and magic all feel almost disturbingly real, with full – if not necessarily happy – lives. Each story plays with blurring reality and fiction too, and unless you’ve got your wits about you, it can be hard to work out what’s really happening and what isn’t.

A chilling, sharp little book that is packed with surprises.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“Fever Knights” by Adam Ellis (2021)

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“Welcome to the world of Fever Knights!”

We’re kicking off the year with a short one. I don’t always review graphic novels, but this one has a unique twist that I thought deserved mentioning, as I love it when someone produces something entirely new. Penned and illustrated by Adam Ellis, well known on Instagram and Twitter for his knack for telling believably creepy stories, this is a novel told through the medium of a video game strategy guide. If you’re unfamiliar with gaming – or, at least, unfamiliar with how it worked in the nineties – a strategy guide was a book that accompanied a game and basically served as the instruction manual, often containing spoilers on how to beat difficult bosses and where to find specific power ups.

This one is the guide to the fictional game Fever Knights, where six teenage friends on a weird island seek to destroy the strange creatures and dark magic that seem to be infecting their world. It all seemed to start when Finneus meets with an accident of some kind on Starfish Beach, waking up in hospital with no memory and no left arm. He and his friends, each with their own traits, weapons and abilities, set out on an adventure to find out what happened, along the way encountering grumpy gnomes, restless fast food servers, poisonous mushrooms, and creepy clowns. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Like most of Ellis’s stuff, on the surface it looks innocuous and brightly coloured, but looking a little deeper and reading the text that accompanies the drawings, something much darker emerges. The book does well at talking about the mechanics of the game, such as showing health items, and weapon upgrades, although not everything is spelled out for you, so one assumes those playing the game have extra information. Although not a traditional novel in any sense, the tension does nonetheless build and turns into a unique story all of its own, as you get glimpses into a strange world.

My only complaint? That I can’t play this game for real.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“The Time Traveller’s Guide To Regency Britain” by Ian Mortimer (2020)

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“As your ship approaches the south coast of England, you’ll be looking out for land.”

Ian Mortimer is unlike other historians. To him, the Regency Period is not just about Jane Austen, Anne Lister, or Lord Byron. It’s about how much a Jane Austen novel would cost you, what Anne Lister did for underwear, or how Lord Byron would cut his toenails. This is history through the eyes of the people, not through dates, wars and coronations. His premise is thus: you’ve just travelled back in time, and this book is your guide on how to survive, what to wear, what to eat, and how to talk.

I’ve read three books by him before, covering the Medieval, Elizabethan and Restoration eras, and now this – apparently the last – takes us to the Regency period, where hedonism is rife, fashion is everything, technology is making great strides, and the class divides are perhaps even more pronounced than ever. While aristocrats and royalty live in luxury, with daily feasts, access to great literature and museums, and endless parties, the poorest in society live in workhouses, struggle in debtor’s prison, and sometimes have to rent out half their bed just to make ends meet.

Here, while London is still the most important city in the country – and only increasing in importance as the French Revolution has moved a lot of the fashion, culture and development here instead – other parts of the country are coming into their own. Brighton is now more than a fishing village, and is indeed one of the most fashionable places to visit, to take in the sea air or simply to be seen parading about in your finery. The northern towns of Manchester and Liverpool are becoming manufacturing behemoths, soon connected by the first trains, and from Scotland to Somerset streets are being lit for the first time.

Mortimer’s social histories are some of the most engaging and interesting popular history books available. It’s one thing to know who was on the throne and what technology was incoming, but it’s another to know whether people cared who was ruling them, and how those new inventions actually helped day to day life. Alongside the great figures of the time, we also learn about James Braidwood, who made enormous strides in the field of firefighting, we see how your class and your income were not necessarily linked, and in 1810, people finally develop tins for food, although the tin opener is still quite a way off. Despite the glamour we associate with the time – this is the era of famous fop Beau Brummell, after all – we also see that it is still barbaric in many ways, with prison reform only just coming in, the death penalty still very much in effect, and doctors are still unaware of the existence of germs.

Mortimer told me via Twitter once that this was going to be the last in the series, but I really hope he comes back to the concept for more, as I still need guidance on how to behave if I stumble into the Viking or Victorian era.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“Fifteen Dogs” by André Alexis (2015)

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“One evening in Toronto, the gods Apollo and Hermes were at the Wheat Sheaf Tavern.”

Let’s just crack on. We’re off to Canada to go dog walking.

The gods Apollo and Hermes are drinking one night and wonder how animals would behave if they had human intelligence. Hermes thinks they might be happy – Apollo disagrees. Wagering a year’s servitude, they bequeath intelligence to fifteen dogs in a shelter, who all immediately develop an understanding of who and what they are and break out into the night.

From here, we see what happens to them all as they struggle for dominance, and try to work out their place in the world and whether they still want their human masters. A couple turn against humans, angered by the apparent servitude their kind have been subjected to. Others seek out new owners, preferring the easy life. One begins to invent a language and write poetry. And then there’s Majnoun, who reveals to his new masters that he has intelligence vastly greater than any dog they’ve known, potentially changing the relationship between humans and dogs forever.

As much as you might expect me to say that this book is great for people who love dogs, I’m not actually totally sure that it is. The dogs, as a rule, do not react well to developing consciousness, and Alexis doesn’t hold back in showing quite how tragic some of them become. What does make it worth reading, however, is the cleverness with which he shows the morality of dogs, which doesn’t necessarily align with human morality but still makes complete sense. Dogs do not understand concepts like sexuality, but they do have a strict hierarchy and seem to almost crave knowing their position in the pack.

The fact that it’s the Greek gods behind the change is sort of incidental, although it’s always fun to see them turn up in fiction. It’s only really Hermes, Apollo and, later, Zeus, that we get to meet though, and I like the idea that their immortality is such that all they’ve got left to do is mess with Earth and place bets on the results.

Not a joyful read, but certainly a clever one.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“The Stranger Times” by C K McDonnell (2021)

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“The two men stood on the rooftop, watching the city toss and turn in its sleep.”

I never really understood those newspapers that print nothing but rubbish. Not rubbish in the way The Sun or The Daily Mail do, but ones that tell blatantly false tales about aliens helping build the Shard or Kurt Cobain working in a New York Burger King. You know, stuff that clearly isn’t a thing. It’s time to go through the headlines and find out more.

Hannah Willis is in desperate need of a job. With her marriage fallen apart, she finds herself broke and alone for the first time, and entirely out of her comfort zone in a spare room in Manchester. After seeing a peculiar advert for a journalism job at The Stranger Times, she decides she’s nothing left to lose and attends an interview. The Stranger Times is supposedly a newspaper, but one that reports solely on ghosts, ghouls, alien sightings, and people who believe their cat has been possessed by Elvis Presley. And that’s even before you get onto the staff.

In her first week on the job, however, the newspaper’s number one fan Simon Brush, who hangs around outside the offices desperate to be hired, is found dead in suspicious circumstances, and the violent, alcoholic, Irish editor Vincent Banecroft, finally decides to do some actual investigating. What he and team discover, however, is that they may have bitten off more than they can chew, and some of the stories they’ve been writing about might actually have more than a dash of truth about them…

Firstly, it’s refreshing to have a story like this set somewhere other than London. I don’t know anything about McDonnell or where he’s from, so perhaps he just knows Manchester better, but while there’s little that specifically locks it there, it’s just nice for fiction to acknowledge there is more than one city in England. Some of the settings are lovely though, especially the headquarters of the Times, which is located in a converted church, adding another sense of majesty to the proceedings.

There are some lovely character descriptions – I especially enjoy Banecroft as being described as Ireland’s revenge for everything the English has done to them – and it’s certainly a colourful, diverse cast, with no one’s race or sexuality being a plot point or “issue”. It all feels very natural, even if the world they inhabit is not. Stella clearly has hidden depths from the off, and while Hannah is struggling with her new circumstances, she has bite and she’ll use it when she needs to. Reggie, too, has a side that will hopefully see more exploration in future books.

Although some of the plot seems to lose steam towards the end, I nonetheless enjoyed the romp, and laughed out loud in a few places, and it ends on the perfect cliffhanger that means I really do want to know what’s going to happen next. It’s a fun book, and I’m curious to see where the lore goes and what the characters will continue to discover.

We live in strange times, but these ones are stranger.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“The Unlikely Escape Of Uriah Heep” by H G Parry (2019)

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“At four in the morning, I was woken by a phone call from my younger brother.”

This opening will not be a good look on me, but here we go. Have you ever read or seen something that you wanted to be bad? Has it then turned out to be good and, while you enjoyed it very much, there’s still a tinge of bitterness lingering? I hope that’s not just me. On we go…

Charley Sutherland was a child genius, speaking at eight months and reading the Russian classics by his fourth birthday. Not only was he reading them, he was understanding them too, and it quickly transpires he’s a genius of literary theory. He, however, has a secret. When he focuses on a character in a book, he can bring them to life, be it Sherlock Holmes or the Cat in the Hat.

Now at twenty-six and a lecturer at a Wellington university, he tries to keep a handle on his ability, but sometimes he loses control. That’s how he’s found himself chasing Uriah Heep around his office. He calls on his brother Rob to help, as he does so often before. But this time things will not be so easy. It turns out that Charley is not the only summoner after all, and when literary characters begin causing havoc around the city and threatening to destroy the world, it’s up to Rob and Charley to stop them before they do.

The reason for my slightly sour introduction is that simply it feels like Jasper Fforde has done this idea so comprehensively that anyone else trying for it would simply look like a copycat. Sure, Tom Holt did something like it in the nineties, and the Inkheart books by Cornelia Funke overlap in the timeline with Thursday Next, and we now have Pages & Co as well, which is redoing the idea for children, but it seems that it would be impossible now to do a story like this without making firm acceptance of Fforde. Granted, there is a brief mention of him in the book’s acknowledgements, but Parry seems to have been more into the Inkheart books instead. This is all fine – sometimes people have the same ideas without knowing, but you’d think that someone might’ve mentioned it.

I don’t really know why I’m so bitter. I think it’s because the idea of fictional characters interacting with the real world is such a good one, I’m just furious and jealous I didn’t do it first, and I’ll never be able to do it now without aping Fforde or Parry or Funke. This is a hugely competent debut novel, with rules and a world that is desperately moreish. Being able to have characters move out of fiction into the real world is, really, all it has in common with Fforde, so it can stand alone and does so masterfully. I’ve read very little set in New Zealand, so that’s a fun thing (although it’s never clear just why British literature would be so desperate to find its way to Wellington, other than “that’s where the main characters are”), and I love the idea that each fictional character emerges imbued with their metaphors becoming all-too-real. Heathcliff’s eyes really do burn. If you think Uriah Heep is a bit of a shapeshifter, then when he comes out, he’ll be one literally. It’s a shame the Invisible Man is only mentioned in passing, rather than a character himself. This is most fun with the Darcys, as there are five of them, each with a different personality based on different readings. It’s just joyful.

The choice of characters is great, too. Sutherland is a Victorian scholar, and Parry must love the era too, as a lot of the characters come from Dickens, but we also get to meet Narnia’s White Witch, Lancelot of Arthurian legend, Wilde’s Dorian Gray and Matilda Wormwood, the latter of whom just makes me wonder how the laws of copyright lie. Is she fair game because, while she’s not out of copyright, her author is dead? You wouldn’t stick Ron Weasley in here. The world’s logic constantly holds up, and it’s silly in places, but nothing is throwaway, and everything comes back to mean something later on. It’s funny, and it’s interesting to have done it from the point of view of Charley’s older brother, rather than in the third person or from Charley himself. It gives it further depth.

For all my mutterings about it just being a copy, I’m wrong, and I’m actually quite happy to have been proved wrong, as the more I think about it, the more I love it. By the novel’s end, the big threat has passed (with a fantastic payoff as to who is behind it all – once you know, it couldn’t have been anyone else), but I’d be curious to slip back into the world again and find out what else it has to offer.

I really must stop judging books by their covers.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

“Dear Child” by Romy Hausmann (2019)

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“On the first day I lose my sense of time, my dignity and a molar.”

I really need to find some cheerier books. But for now, on with this German thriller…

Thirteen years ago, Lena was kidnapped. Forced to live ina windowless shack in the woods under the strict rules of her captor, who is also the father of her two children. Everything in her life has been regimented since ending up here, all under the guise of protecting them all from the wider world. He will protect his family from everything.

But now, she has escaped, but it’s not the end of the nightmare. Hit by a car, she ends up in hospital with her daughter, who knows nothing of the world outside the cabin, and her parents are called to identify her, having lived for well over a decade never knowing what happened to their daughter. But even though she’s out, Lena’s nightmare is not over. And things get even more complicated when it turns out that she might not actually be the person they thought she was. And if she isn’t, who is she? And where’s Lena? Everyone is now determined to fit together a puzzle that doesn’t fit.

At first reminiscent of Room, this book veers off into wildly darker territory pretty quickly. It’s not the easiest book to review as it’s one of those where there’s another big reveal every fifty pages or so that I don’t want to give away, but I’ll do what I can. The life that the residents of the cabin have to endure is appalling, where everyone seems to live off cereal bars, your toilet times are preordained, and there’s a single encyclopaedia that is, apparently, always correct. Hannah, the daughter of Lena and her captor, is a tragic character. Aged thirteen (although clearly with the mind of someone much younger), she has never had any contact with the outside world, but has a good memory and a vivid imagination. When she meets other people, she continues to think of them in her terms, convinced that her life was normal. I suppose that’s exactly what would happen. Her brother Jonathan, on the other hand handles the wider world very badly, retreating into himself and requiring medication to cope with his loss of routine.

As the novel goes on, it becomes increasingly harrowing, and the text leaps around in time, showing the characters at different points of their journeys. There are three narrators, but they are all substantially different and each very interesting in their own way. A few lines hit you like a gut punch, and I can’t spoil them here, but there’s some true horror lurking in these pages. When the reveals start coming, however, they’re somewhat disappointing, but none of it detracts from the absolute shitshow that everyone has had to endure.

It’s not a book for those with a weak stomach, and if you don’t want to read about violence against women then forget it, but it’s certainly a thriller that will stick with me for a while.

Looking for something else? Try my novels, The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus (the story of a cannibal and an ex-god) and The Third Wheel (a comedic alien invasion tale), test yourself with a quiz from my book Questioning Your Sanity, or visit my website and I’ll cultivate you a whole quiz on whatever subjects you like. If you just want more reviews, guide yourself around my blog with the navigation bar and find hundreds of reviews at your fingertips.

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