By James Henry
'With well-rounded characters, a terrific sense of time and place and masterful plotting, this solid police procedural is a 24-carat holiday read' GuardianJuly 1983, Essex. Fox Farm is, thanks to two corpses, neither picturesque nor peaceful. The body in its kitchen belongs to eminent historian Christopher Cliff, who has taken his own life with an antique shotgun. The second, found on the property boundary, remains unidentified.DI Nick Lowry's summer is neither sleepy nor serene. And the two deaths are just the half of it. The fact County Chief Merrydown was a college friend of Cliff's means Lowry is now, in turn, under scrutiny from his severely stressed and singularly unsympathetic boss, Sparks.To catalyze his investigation, Lowry enlists the services of DC Daniel Kenton and WPC Jane Gabriel. Gabriel needs direction, if she is to begin a career as a detective. While Kenton, who appears solely focused on beginning a relationship with Gabriel, needs distraction.Both the heat and the investigation soon intensify. The team find themselves interrogating enigmatic neighbors, antiques merchants, jilted lovers and wronged relatives; all the while negotiating the caprices of Sparks - whose attitudes remain as dated as Fox Farm's antiques.Only when they fully open their eyes and minds will they begin to unpick a web of rural rituals, dodgy dealings and fragmented families - and uncover not just one murder, but two.
You Should Have Left
By Daniel Kehlmann
A thrilling exploration of psychological disturbance and fear from the bestselling and prize-winning author of Measuring the World.On retreat in the wintry Alps with his family, a writer is optimistic about completing the sequel to his breakthrough film. Nothing to disturb him except the wind whispering around their glassy house. The perfect place to focus. Intruding on that peace of mind, the demands of his four-year-old daughter splinter open long-simmering arguments with his wife. I love her, he writes in the notebook intended for his script. Why do we fight all the time?Guilt and expectation strain at his concentration, and strain, too, at the walls of the house. They warp under his watch; at night, looking through the window, he sees impossible reflections on the snow outside.Then the words start to appear in his notebook; the words he didn't write.Familiar and forbidding by turns, this is an electrifying experiment in form by one of Europe's boldest writers. The ordinary struggles of a marriage transform, in Kehlmann's hands, into a twisted fable that stays darkly in the mind.