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Presumed Innocent/Scott Turow

Scott Turow is an American best-selling author and this is his first novel published in 1987. It draws from his experience as a Public Attorney in Chicago and is very much a book by a lawyer for lawyers.  This said he has a gift for characterisation and writing. He was described to me by the [...]

February 25, 2021 // 0 Comments

Blood Orange/Harriet Tyce

This debut novel has been hanging about on my Kindle for some time. Harriet Tyce (author) It was recommended both by a good friend who is an art tutor and The Richard and Judy Show.  I fancied a page-turner after some demanding reading. My critical assessment is that it is indeed a page-turner but [...]

January 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

The Infiltrators /Norman Ohler

I have always been interested in the degree of complicity of the German people – das Volk – in Nazism and its crimes and conversely the resistance domestically to the regime. This readable and well-researched account of two such resistants – Harro Schultze-Boysen and his wife [...]

January 19, 2021 // 0 Comments

British Football Greatest Grounds/Mike Bayly

When it comes to visiting new football grounds I’m something of an anorak so this compendium of 100 ‘must visit’ grounds was of enormous appeal. As a Fulham supporter for over 50 years, watching my boys in 4 divisions, I must have visited over 70 stadia and have my own preferences and [...]

January 5, 2021 // 0 Comments

Have yourself a Vermeer Xmas

For this most bizarre of Xmases I have taken Johannes Vermeer the Dutch master of the seventeenth century for company. A good friend gave me his complete works a sumptuous publication by the Art Publisher Taschen for Xmas. I have just read Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier and am now [...]

December 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

A review of a book that took three years to read

Since the beginning of December – with some unexpected spare time on my hands – I have turned to a pastime that frankly I do far too little of … reading. Quite without justification because, of course, “if you want something done, give it to a busy person” – or, in this context perhaps, [...]

December 19, 2020 // 0 Comments

John le Carre

Although espionage is one of my favourite genres, I cannot list John le Carre’s novels amongst my favourites as the smoke and mirrors often left me confused. I preferred the dramatisations and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy remains one of the best productions I have seen on television. I can however [...]

December 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

In the Garden of Beasts/Erik Larson

This is the true story of the American Ambassador to Germany, William Dodd, appointed at the time of Adolf Hitler’s ascendancy to total power in 1933-44. Erik Larson (author) William Dodd was a mild-mannered history professor from Chicago who studied in Leipzig. He described himself as a [...]

December 9, 2020 // 0 Comments

Mr Wilder & Me/Jonathan Coe

You do not have to read a biography by a film critic to appreciate a legendary director as this novel which I finished yesterday by audio book confirms. Jonathan Coe The narrator is a Greek girl called Calista who when she first meets Billy Wilder in the late 1970s has never heard of him. Later she [...]

November 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

Trio/William Boyd

A new William Boyd book is always a significant publishing event as he is one of Britain’s most popular novelists and you do not know what to expect. In a writing career that early on embraced drole colonialism in West Africa but has included espionage and a broad sweep of a life by journal in [...]

November 19, 2020 // 0 Comments

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