Literary Review – June 2023 issue: The issue features a
Crime Round-up. Also, Pétain In The Dock, Twilight of the Elite, Dementia’s Casualties, Man Versus Plague, and more.
All the Sinners Bleed
By S A Cosby
S A Cosby’s troubled hero, Titus Crown, the sheriff of Charon County, Virginia, has to fight on many different fronts. Local racism makes his job difficult at the best of times, but now he is also faced with a school shooting and atrocious crimes against black children. His personal life has its own challenges and he is loaded down with guilt. Cosby’s talent makes all this misery work in a novel of great warmth, and he has a lovely turn of phrase. Titus’s loathing of hypocrisy, injustice and cruelty makes him enormously attractive.
Keep Her Secret
By Mark Edwards
Mark Edwards’s great skill is to involve readers in his characters’ lives, showing step by mistaken step how they get themselves into trouble. In this case, the characters are Matthew and Helena, who had a relationship at university and meet again at a twenty-year reunion, soon after her husband has died. Rekindling their friendship, they travel to Iceland together, where an ill-judged selfie almost leads to her death. In the aftermath of this drama, she reveals a terrible secret to Matthew and their plunge into emotional and practical trauma begins. The writing is straightforward and without flourishes, but it gives the increasingly dramatic story an air of surprising normality. Edwards carries readers with him all the way and then leaves them with a wicked cliffhanger.
By Gilly Macmillan
Gilly Macmillan’s latest psychological thriller is a study in greed and vengeance, and it suggests that there is almost no human being who cannot be persuaded to commit a crime when motivated by one or the other. Nicole and Tom have won £10 million in the lottery and built a spectacular glass barn on the beautiful Lancaut Peninsula on the River Wye. Their nearest neighbours are an at first apparently benevolent but then increasingly sinister couple, Olly and Sasha, who seemingly live without means in a ravishing medieval manor house, cared for by their housekeeper, Kitty. Of course nothing is quite as it appears and when a body is found floating in a swimming pool, the police arrive and everyone’s story begins to unravel. Twisty and colourful, this is a novel to entertain all who have experienced schadenfreude.