Thursday 11 August 2011

The Child Who by Simon Lelic

Seemingly inspired by the James Bulger case, a young boy of two who was murdered by two ten-year-old boys, Simon Lelic's third novel is set in an English town which is left reeling when twelve-year-old Daniel Blake is discovered to have brutally murdered his schoolmate Felicity Forbes.
For solicitor Leo Curtice, the case is to be the most high profile – and morally challenging - of his career. But as he begins his defence Leo is unprepared for the impact the public fury surrounding Felicity’s death will have on him and his wife - and his teenage daughter Ellie, above all.
While Leo struggles to get Daniel to talk to him, hoping to unearth the reasons for the boy’s terrible crime, the build-up of pressure on Leo’s family intensifies. As the case nears its climax, events will take their darkest turn. For Leo, his life will never be the same again. 
Lelic is an audacious novelist and whilst it is a brave act for a writer to take on such an uncomfortable, horrific subject, fortunately it is one that Lelic has the talent to pull off. Lelic handles his harsh subject matter with great sensitivity, concluding with a note of hope.
Lelic is in a class of his own and it's hard to imagine anyone not being impressed by this novel.
To be published in January 2012.

Monday 1 August 2011

The New Sherlock Holmes - The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Last week I was delighted to get No. 90 from 300 copies of a beautiful signed limited edition hardback  proof of The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz.
Anthony Horowitz, an Arthur Conan Doyle fan since the age of 16, has written a new Sherlock Holmes novel. 
The book is set in 1890, and written by Watson in a retirement home, a year after the death of Holmes. The story opens with a train robbery in Boston, and moves back to London and to the tranquil settings of Wimbledon but Watson, states in the prologue that "The adventures of The Man in the Flat Cap and The House of Silk were, in some respects, the most sensational of Sherlock Holmes's career but at the time it was impossible for me to tell them, for reasons that will become abundantly clear.... It is no exaggeration to say it could tear apart the very fabric of society."
What starts out as an investigation into a robbery soon takes Holmes and Watson down some very dark and squalid parts of London and to the discovery of a secret organisation that has members from the highest echelons of British society. These members will do anything to protect their identities and their very dark secrets even if it means killing Sherlock Holmes!
For fans of Sherlock Holmes this isn't going to disappoint. Horowitz shows not only his love of Conan Doyle but his gift as a brilliant plotter and storyteller keeping the quality of the original that you would expect, but with a more modern pace. Published on the 1.11.11 The House of Silk deserves to be the publishing success of 2011 it is expected to be. I loved it.