An absorbing, intriguing mystery set in early-twentieth century Morocco. At a time when the country is falling under the influence of imperial Europe, a series of disappearances brings Farook al-Alami, a detective from Tangier, to the distant town of Marrakesh. The story not only tells of the solving of the mystery, but also of the petty politics and rising tensions in a society in flux. Saeida Rouass paints a vivid picture that captures the essence of that place and time, yet the pace never slackens and the twists and turns keep the reader hooked until the very end. Recommended.
I gave this four stars on Goodreads.
Excellent workshop on Saturday with Richard Skinner of the Faber Academy, held at Swindon’s Richard Jefferies Museum. The subject was characterisation, and amongst other things we explored the effectiveness of character names. I was still thinking about this on Sunday as I tried to rescue some of my panel-fencing, and indeed my apple tree, from some marauding ivy (Latin name: hedera helix). It was well and truly taking over, having curled itself around the trellis top and forced its way between the boards, even causing the wood itself to flake away in places. Clearly the only things that mattered to the ivy were (a) surviving and (b) getting to the top; and it didn’t matter what it destroyed on the way. Funnily enough, one of the characters in Truth Sister (out in July) is called Mater Hedera . . .
Yay. The cover for Truth Sister has been launched by Impress Books. Looks rather good . . . Meanwhile I’m trying to get the hang of social media. Closely studying Trump to see exactly how not to do it.
Thanks to #ImpressBooks1, Truth Sister is now out there in Twitterworld (#TruthSister). And do follow me @PhilGilvin for more updates. Truth Sister also features on the Impress Books website.
Meanwhile, I’ve got the PDF proofs to go through – exciting to be getting closer to publication . . .
Cover design done. Watch out for announcements from Impress Books in the new year . . .
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
PP does it again! This time, with the world of His Dark Materials as a starting point, La Belle Sauvage gives us a great page-turner as well as a deeper exploration of aforesaid world (e.g. the human-daemon relationship). The great character development is there, of course; and there are some surprises as the story reaches its climax. Bring on Book 2!
View all my reviews
He’s Gone by Alex Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Great stuff. Alex Clare has crafted a novel that, while addressing transgender issues in an authentic way, also manages to be a gripping police procedural. Believable characters and intricate plotting keep the reader turning the pages right to the end. Recommended.