Holmes for my birthday (a rather diminutive 540 pages). The year before I received The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (728 pages, small print, massive book). My wife says it's because men are impossible to buy presents for. Don't quite get the logic? Nor do I, but the way it works is like this: if I dare mention casually in passing that I possess the slightest interest in anything whatsoever at any time during the year - then watch out Christmas and B'day! As I always feel duty bound to read whatever's put in front of me, you'll appreciate the pressure I am under, gentle reader.
This year, however, I was surprised to find the only parcel under the tree that appeared to be book-shaped and addressed to me, was quite modest in size, at 374 pages a mere novella by my wife's standards. And, again breaking with tradition, I had actually never heard of the book Tony & Susan or its author Austin Wright, and therefore could not have mentioned it aloud at any time, in the bath, in my sleep or anywhere else for that matter.
Anyway, I started reading it a few days back and was totally gripped by the story, or rather both stories. Without giving the show away: the basic premise is that the main protagonist receives a manuscript from her ex-husband which tells the story of a dreadful crime that takes place in some remote woods. It is a well-paced quite shocking thriller that examines the effect of a most senseless and inhuman crime. This tale within a tale is counter-posed with the guilt feelings
experienced by the protagonist to do with her own betrayal of her first husband and the underlying tensions hinted-at in her current marriage. It is a book that certainly engaged me emotionally. I highly recommend it. However, you needn't take my word for it; the book's cover is crammed with the praises of some of the most illustrious names currently at work in