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Linwood Barclay, ‘A Tap on the Window’ (2013)

This is the first of Linwood Barclay’s novels that I’ve read, although I was familiar with the name; I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of A Tap on the Window from Graeme Williams at Orion, who publish the book next month. At close to 500 pages, I was initially concerned that it was over-long. … Continue reading

Ferdinand von Schirach, ‘The Collini Case’ (2012)

It’s somewhat uncomfortable to admit you have reservations about a book as solemn as The Collini Case. Written by German-born lawyer von Schirach, it centres on the murder of a wealthy industrialist, by an Italian man with seemingly no connection to him. After shooting him dead, the murderer (the eponymous Collini) further disfigures the victim, … Continue reading

On Philip Marlowe’s socks

Twitter recently pointed me in the direction of the fascinating Clothes in Books blog, on which there’s plenty to enjoy. I was drawn there by this post on Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep; in turn, it reminded me of the opening of the novel, which features one of my favourite paragraphs in all of literature: ‘It … Continue reading

On the velocity of books

How fast do you read? I probably average a book a week, but I’m not as quick as I used to be, and rarely finish books in a single sitting. As a teenager, I read Pet Sematary on a damp (is there any other kind?) Bank Holiday Monday. I bought Messiah by Boris Starling – one of the … Continue reading