Book Reviews: February 2020

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding.
Harper Collins £8.99
A very impressive debut! This gripping, unsettling psychological thriller really captures the sleep-deprived isolation of new motherhood… with added dark, fairy tale elements!
Lauren is exhausted and shell-shocked after the birth of her twins, so no-one believes her when she has a terrifying encounter in the middle of the night with a strange figure, who tries to steal her babies. Only DS Harper is sympathetic to Lauren’s claim, but as she becomes increasingly involved in the case, she, like the reader, begins to question Lauren’s sanity…. Are there dark forces at work, or is Lauren, as her husband and the medics believe, suffering post-partum psychosis?
Blending the folklore darkness of Grimm’s fairy tales with a thoroughly modern toxic marital setting, and cleverly balancing the supernatural against the psychological, ‘Little Darlings’ is a compulsively creepy page-turner, which had me checking behind the curtains at night! Gudrun.

Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston.
Macmillan £8.99
Often called the Banksy of poetry, 'Brian Bilston' is a former journalist who joined Twitter 'to discover what his colleagues were talking about' and chose a fictitious name for his profile alongside a vintage photograph of a man smoking a pipe. His gentle, humorous and topical poems became an unexpected hit, leading to interest from several mainstream publishers. First came a poetry collection and then his debut work of fiction, Diary of a Somebody, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. With echoes of George Grossmith and Sue Townsend, the book is narrated by an amateur poet - also called Brian Bilston - who becomes prime suspect in the murder of a rival. The Costa judges called his novel 'warm, comic and original'. It is certainly great fun to read. Sara.
'Brian' will be with us at the Gluck Studio on Tuesday 11th February 7.30pm. Tickets in advance only.

The Kid Who Came from Space. Ross Welford.
Harper Collins £6.99
A new book by middle-grade children’s writer Ross Welford is always a cause for celebration in my house, and ‘The Kid who came from Space’ does not disappoint!
Containing all Ross Welford’s trademark features; a Northumbrian setting, quirky yet believable characters, fast-paced adventure, humour, a smattering of science, and bags of imagination, this is a warm-hearted story of family, friendship and interstellar adventure perfect for 9-12 year old readers.
The small village of Kielder in Northumbria is rocked by the disappearance of 12 year old Tammy Tait. But Tammy’s twin brother Ethan and his mate Iggy have stumbled upon an extraordinary secret – they know Tammy is alive and well…but very, very far away! Helped by a talking spaceship called Philip, a mysterious and very hairy alien, and Suzy the trained chicken, they embark on a nail-biting chase to the furthest reaches of the universe to save Tammy.
Absolutely brilliant! Gudrun.

The Bear Who Did by Louise Greig Illustrated by Laura Hughes

Egmont £6.99
A great new picture book from the author of The Night Box, with energetic and colourful illustrations by the award -winning illustrator of There’s A Pig Up My Nose! A jar of honey has been stolen by a smug looking grey bear and aggrieved brown bear’s rage causes epic disasters to spread across the pages.
The bouncy, rhyming text is clever and lively and is perfect for pre-schoolers who are learning about how to share. Tantrums and chaos followed by cooperation and resolution - perfect! Sara.
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