LAT­EST TI­TLES

Burton Mail - - Book Shelf -

IN A HOUSE OF LIES

by Ian Rankin, Orion Fic­tion, £20, ebook £10.99 ★★★★★ JOHN Re­bus clings on, lungs rat­tling, body rad­dled. Spin­ning an­other Ed­in­burgh tale with the ex-cop as lynch-pin isn’t easy, but Rankin suc­ceeds. His lat­est isn’t his best but the fa­mil­iar el­e­ments line up: side­kicks Siob­han and Mal­colm, arch neme­sis Caf­ferty, a sort of griz­zled, vil­lain­ous half-brother to Re­bus, and Brillo the dog.

A skele­ton in an aban­doned Polo turns out to be­long to a miss­ing gay pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor. Drugs and cheap ex­ploita­tion films are in­volved. A dif­fer­ent case sees Re­bus sniff­ing out a young man jailed for in­ex­pli­ca­bly mur­der­ing his girl­friend. A good rat­tling read, let down only by too many un­nec­es­sary di­a­logue mod­i­fiers.

ENIGMA VARI­A­TIONS

by An­dre Aci­man, Faber & Faber, £12.99, ebook £7.99 ★★★★★ HEART­BREAK, de­sire and loss are at the core of this novel, which charts a man’s great loves and af­fairs in five sto­ries.

Af­ter read­ing the first of those sto­ries I was slightly wor­ried Enigma Vari­a­tions would sim­ply re­visit the ground Aci­man al­ready cov­ered in his hugely suc­cess­ful de­but, Call Me By Your Name. How­ever, the novel then takes the reader on a jour­ney to New York, where the pro­tag­o­nist pur­sues re­la­tion­ships with both men and women that take a few rather un­ex­pected turns.

MELMOTH

by Sarah Perry, Ser­pent’s Tail, £16.99, ebook £16.99 ★★★★★ GOTHIC and full of un­easi­ness, this book com­bines many sto­ries in the form of let­ters, manuscripts, di­ary en­tries and tes­ti­monies, all an­chored by He­len, a trans­la­tor, whose life is de­lib­er­ately small and full of self-im­posed re­stric­tions.

An at­mo­spheric tale that will have you ex­am­in­ing your own moral­ity, but not hav­ing too many night­mares, hope­fully...

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