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‘Dangerous People’ by Lesley Hayes

“Life the way it really is – messy and paradoxical and rife with ambiguity.” This is the fourth book by this author that I have read, and I am convinced that she is a major literary talent whose novels deserve to be ranked alongside the greatest novelists this country has ever produced. There are trenchant remarks worthy of Martin Amis – “Osborne had been known to clear rooms with the stench of his sarcasm”. There are shrewd observations worthy of Jane Austen: “Although not much older, Lewis had been practising middle age for the last ten years at least.” She...

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‘The Woman in White Marble’ by Dale Rominger

This is a well-written romp through the clichés of at least three ‘popular’ genres. Dale Rominger is an accomplished writer who has enormous fun with this book. I appreciated his light touch, his perceptive and realistic detail, his irony, sarcasm and occasionally biting humour. “It’s perfectly clear that if you want to write a novel critiquing the socioeconomic political state of America, science fiction is the only legitimate way to go.” Silloth, his place of choice in the middle of nowhere in the North East of England, very close to the back of beyond, is realistically and chillingly ghastly, epitomised...

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