Three more Big Issue book round-ups

Here are a few more of my Big Issue reviews:



Here’s my review of new books by Chris Brookmyre and Evan Dolan, two cracking British crime novels.



Here’s my review of Edith Pearlman latest story collection and Anna Smaill’s debut literary novel.



And here’s my review of Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself and graphic novel Grandville Noel by Bryan Talbot.

All illustrations by Dom McKenzie.

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My review of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins in The Independent on Sunday


OK, so this ran in the paper a while ago, but here’s my review of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train in the Independent on Sunday. It’s a much talked-about book, but I found it solid rather than exceptional.

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Here’s the cover for THE JUMP!

the jump front cover

Here’s the front cover for my next novel, THE JUMP, which is published by Faber & Faber on August the 6th. I absolutely love it. Very classy. Unlike me.

And here’s the back cover, with all the blurb about the book:

the jump back cover

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The Dead Beat out in paperback!


And while I remember, The Dead Beat is now out in shiny new paperback edition in the UK.

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Wer Einmal Verschwindet

gone again germany

Guten Morgen! My novel Gone Again is published today in Germany by btb, under the nifty title Wer Einmal Verschwindet. Nice cover.

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A cover of Low’s ‘Holy Ghost’

OK, so here I am over at Aussie website Writers’ Bloc doing an acoustic cover version of Low’s ‘Holy Ghost’. Not exactly a cheery Christmas song, but one that means a lot.

And if you want to know what it should sound like, here’s Low’s original. And Mavis Staples even did a cracking version.

Merry Christmas all!


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Top Ten Books of the Year

Ho ho ho, etc. Here are my favourite books of 2014. I haven’t written too much about them here, as the book covers below link to my reviews that either appeared in The Independent on Sunday or The Big Issue magazine. Anyway, they’re all awesome. Enjoy! Dx

1. Megan Abbott, The Fever (Picador)

51Pqm2V7UQL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Just the sharpest and smartest piece of writing. A brilliant look at suburban America in general and the everyday mania of teenage girls in particular, as strange symptoms spread amongst kids at a school. I can’t tell you how much I loved this book.

2. Anneliese Mackintosh, Any Other Mouth (Freight)

FB_AOM_Cover_visual_3_web.270A truly startling debut collection of semi-autobiographical stories that deal with grief, alcoholism, mental health issues and sexuality, but somehow Mackintosh does it all with a laugh and a huge heart.

3. Willy Vlautin, The Free (Faber)

25119-3jhmnS83fVlautin’s best book yet in my opinion, as a cast of characters struggle to do good things in the face of terrible hardship. So moving.

4. Amy Poehler, Yes Please (Picador)

20910157I love Amy Poehler! And this memoir is just terrific, a manifesto for living the right way without ever being po-faced or preachy. And very, very funny.

5. Dennis Lehane, The Drop (Abacus)

51ED-2Gtt9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Oh, just the tightest little noir plot you could imagine, as a well-intentioned everyman gets sucked into badness beyond his wildest nightmares.

6. Laura Lippman, After I’m Gone (Faber)

6a010536b33b69970b01a3fd1a3a40970b-250wiBrilliant stuff from Lippman, as ever, this look at the women left behind by a missing criminal is expansive and heartfelt, a wide-ranging but deeply personal tale.

7. Craig Davidson, Cataract City (Atlantic)

CVT_Cataract-City_2232Davidson is a brave writer on men and masculinity, and this is his most ambitious book yet, tracking the lives of two friends after a terrible early experience.

8. Christos Tsiolkas, Barracuda (Atlantic)

51bADcOT96L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Tsiolkas is the best chronicler of modern Australia, and this look at the country’s relationship to sport and class is as visceral as ever.

9. Joyce Carol Oates, Evil Eye (Head of Zeus)

14928740Four genuinely scary stories collected together. Oates is brilliant at creating tension and creepiness in her prose, and both are here in spades.

10. Rory Flynn, Third Rail (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

ThirdRail_cover_277x419The only book I haven’t reviewed, as it hasn’t been published in the UK yet. A cracking dip into crime fiction by author Stona Fitch under a pseudonym, this is the darkest detective story you can imagine, dripping with disillusionment and moral ambiguity. Cracking, in other words.

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