Brian Martin

A Wiltshire mystery: A Saint in Swindon, by Alice Jolly, reviewed

2 May 2020 9:00 am

This novella is suited to our fevered times. Scheduled to coincide with the Swindon spring festival of literature, now cancelled,…

Desperate to preserve her sister Jane’s reputation, Cassandra Austen lost her own

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Poor Cassy. The Miss Austen of this novel’s title is Cassandra, Jane’s elder sister. She was to have married Thomas…

Deborah Moggach. Credit: Getty Images

Angel or demon? The Carer, by Deborah Moggach, reviewed

27 July 2019 9:00 am

You might think The Carer rather an unpromising title, but Deborah Moggach’s book delivers a wickedly witty entertainment. Towards the…

London after the Great Fire: The King’s Evil, by Andrew Taylor, reviewed

11 May 2019 9:00 am

The scene is London in 1667, the city recovering from the Great Fire the year before, with 80,000 people homeless…

One of the world’s great love stories

9 March 2019 9:00 am

‘I still think he was a bastard.’ This is the opinion that Julia, daughter of the novelist Arthur, has about…

Chains and planes: Turbulence, by David Szalay, reviewed

8 December 2018 9:00 am

In the opening pages of Turbulence, a woman in her seventies, who is visiting her sick son in Notting Hill,…

(Image: Getty)

A paean to lesbian love: Aftershocks, by A.N. Wilson, reviewed

8 September 2018 9:00 am

The polymath writer A.N.Wilson returns to the novel in Aftershocks, working on the template of the 2011 earthquake which devastated…

Eat your heart out, Holden Caulfield

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Tim Winton’s novel about a journey of teenage male self-discovery is raw, brutal and merciless. You need to be familiar…

Down’s syndrome and dystopia in Jesse Bull’s Census

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Census is a curious, clever novel. It depicts a dystopia with a father and his Down’s syndrome son journeying from…

Drugs and drag queens in New York’s vanished clubland

25 November 2017 9:00 am

In 2014 Michael Alig, impresario, party promoter and drug provider, was released on parole after 17 years in prison for…

A clash of creeds

12 August 2017 9:00 am

This is a very modern novel. Terrorist atrocity sits side by side with the familiar and the mundane. Where better…

Boualem Sansal

Prophesying doom

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Boualem Sansal’s prophetic novel very clearly derives its lineage from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. A totalitarian surveillance state, a fundamentalist…

Double trouble

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Cousins is a curious novel. If I’d been a publisher’s reader, I’d have consigned it to the rejection pile after…