Books: Christine Mangan's Tangerine evokes Daphne Du Maurier and Gillian Flynn
BOOK OF THE WEEK
Tangerine by Christine Mangan is published in hardback by Little, Brown, priced £14.99 (ebook £7.99)
TANGERINE is projected to be the literary sensation of the year and its author Christine Mangan has already sold the rights to be made into a feature film starring Scarlett Johansson. A suspense-filled novel, it evokes both the traditional tones of Daphne Du Maurier and the contemporary style of Gillian Flynn. Set in 1950s Morocco, two once inseparable female friends reunite, only for their worlds to be altered forever. Alice, a wealthy English rose is shocked when her charismatic former American college roommate Lucy turns up uninvited at her exotic new home. Things take an even stranger turn when Alice's husband goes missing, throwing her reality and the indestructible friendship she thought she once had, into absolute turmoil. A highly sophisticated mystery novel, Tangerine reels you into a stiflingly intense and glamorous world you won't soon forget.
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton is published in hardback by Wildfire, priced £12.99 (ebook £6.49)
HELL hath no fury like a woman scorned and when it's a woman as unhinged as Juliette in Karen Hamilton's debut novel, you know you're in for a drama filled ride. This guilty pleasure follows Juliette, a troubled young woman who latches on to the wealthy and handsome pilot Nate. He quickly cottons on to her overzealous efforts to be the 'perfect girlfriend' however and breaks up with her. Distraught but determined, Juliette retaliates by taking on a new identity as an air hostess at the same airline Nate works for, in a bid to somehow win him back. As Juliette's actions become more extreme by the day, a tragedy from her past is gradually revealed, shedding light on her obvious and deep-rooted issues. Written much in the same vein as Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train, this psychological thriller is a fast paced read that is as much fun as it is terrifying.
The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse is published in hardback by Picador, priced £14.99 (ebook £12.99)
THE Long Forgotten follows call centre worker Dove as he starts to remember someone else's memories. Through this, his lonely London existence becomes entangled with a crime scene cleaner in New York, a quest for rare flowers and a mysterious plane crash. Encompassing a black box recorder being retrieved from the belly of a whale, call centre life and sheep-eating plants, Journalist David Whitehouse's latest novel is gripping tale that careers around the world, slipping between the every day and exotic melodrama. A thought-provoking read which deftly explores the internal lives of people on the margins and notions of memory, family and identity.
Upstate by James Wood is published in hardback by Jonathan Cape, priced £14.99 (ebook £9.99). Available now
WHAT a nervy burden it is to review a novel by a famed literary critic. Wood is the English-born, American-based critic of The New Yorker. His novel, like his life, straddles England and the US, and is set across six wintry days in upstate New York. Alan Querry, a property developer, has flown there with one daughter to visit another. Helen, a record company executive, arranges the trip because she is worried about Vanessa, who teaches philosophy. Van, who has been mentally fragile before, recently broke her arm in a mysterious fall. Is she OK or not? And is her new younger lover good for her? Wood's insightful novel is short but deep, possessing the openness of a short story. His characters have lived before you meet them; and they live on after the last page. The writing is beautiful, the location snow-crunchingly real, and a vague note of menace thrums. A clear-eyed novel about family, and a quietly engrossing read.
The Secret Barrister by The Secret Barrister is published in hardback by Macmillan, priced £16.99 (ebook £8.54)
IT IS fitting that this warts-and-all expose of life inside the courtroom – written by an anonymous author – is lacking an identity. Comprising historical background, opinion on the law's shortcomings, and peppered with anecdotes, the book is a confusing medley of fact, fiction and comment. Disappointingly, perhaps the most taut tale turns out to be made up, while the tone switches between entry-level explanations that dismiss any prior understanding of the legal process, and the sort of prose that will leave the reader frustrated. The author's departure from blog to book is like a TV series reaching the silver screen. And the jury's out.
CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK
Out Of The Blue by Sophie Cameron is published in paperback by Pan Macmillan, priced £7.99 (ebook £3.79)
THIS debut novel from Sophie Cameron is a wonderful, magical tale set against the backdrop of the bustling throng that is the Edinburgh Festival. For 17-year-old Jaya the world has changed beyond all recognition. In mourning for her mum, and watching her dad deteriorate into a type of madness surrounding a heavenly phenomenon that began two weeks after her mother's sudden death, Jaya doesn't know which way to turn. Angels are falling from the sky and crashing down to earth. No one knows why. Up until now, none of the celestial beings have survived, but then one falls at her feet and is still alive. Out Of The Blue deals with loss, finding out who you are as you grow as a person, and how love can come in any shape. This story of self-discovery and forgiveness taps into dystopia without losing its modern heartbeat.