Book of the Week, February 17th 2018

Hearts and Minds

Jane Robinson

Hearts and Minds

Jane Robinson

It is a hundred years ago since the Representation of the People Act gave the vote to women over 30 who held £5 of property, (or had husbands who did). Many books have hit the shelves to mark this key moment in our political and social history. ‘Hearts and Minds’ is particularly interesting. It focuses … Continue reading Book of the Week, February 17th 2018

It is a hundred years ago since the Representation of the People Act gave the vote to women over 30 who held £5 of property, (or had husbands who did). Many books have hit the shelves to mark this key moment in our political and social history. ‘Hearts and Minds’ is particularly interesting. It focuses on the little reported Great Pilgrimage of 1913, when thousands of women from all over the country embarked upon a 6-week protest march. From all across the country, marchers converged on London where a mass rally of 50,000 people demonstrated in Hyde Park.

On route publicity raising lectures were arranged in town halls, accommodation was organised and refreshments prepared. All set up in just two months, it was an astonishing feat of planning.

The marchers were ordinary people, rich and poor, young and old; from aristocrats and vicar’s wives to nurses and mill workers. Using letters and diaries, Jane Robinson brings to life the colourful, sometimes funny, sometimes moving stories of these women and places the events of 1913 in context within the suffrage movement.

Book of the Week, February 10th 2018

Strange Sight

Syd Moore

Strange Sight

Syd Moore

La Fleur is a trendy London restaurant where something strange seems to be lurking in the cellar. Ghostly noises are heard and a strange apparition seen. The appearance of rats, cockroaches and then food poisoning don’t help trade either and the restaurant owner, an East End gangster, calls on Rosie Strange and Sam Stone from … Continue reading Book of the Week, February 10th 2018

La Fleur is a trendy London restaurant where something strange seems to be lurking in the cellar. Ghostly noises are heard and a strange apparition seen. The appearance of rats, cockroaches and then food poisoning don’t help trade either and the restaurant owner, an East End gangster, calls on Rosie Strange and Sam Stone from the Essex Witch Museum to investigate the phenomena.

By the time they arrive, though, things have become rather more serious. The head chef is found strung up in the cellar and brutally murdered. Could this be the work of a ghost or plain old human greed and jealousy?

Rosie Strange, with her gold boots and high fashion nails, is an Essex Girl through and through and she doesn’t believe in any of this ghost business anyway. Sam Stone is an academic researching the history of witches. Together they make an odd couple but their unlikely friendship grows as they investigate a mysterious and increasingly dangerous case. This fast-paced tale, laced with wit and social commentary, is a refreshingly modern take on the traditional ghost story.

Book of the Week, February 3rd 2018

London Rules

Mick Herron

London Rules

Mick Herron

Slough House is a scruffy neglected building with mildew stained walls and rusty leaking radiators. It is home to the least favoured department of MI5; a dumping ground for outcasts and no hopers whose intelligence careers are on the scrap heap. Headed up by the loud mouthed, self-serving, politically incorrect, Jackson Lamb, his staff of … Continue reading Book of the Week, February 3rd 2018

Slough House is a scruffy neglected building with mildew stained walls and rusty leaking radiators. It is home to the least favoured department of MI5; a dumping ground for outcasts and no hopers whose intelligence careers are on the scrap heap.

Headed up by the loud mouthed, self-serving, politically incorrect, Jackson Lamb, his staff of misfits are confined to the most tedious desk work and endless computer research.

But when a series of random terror attacks shock the country and one of his own team is targeted, Lamb sees a chance to out manoeuvre his bosses at MI5’s swanky Regent’s Park HQ.

The Slough House gang are finally called to action in a murky tale featuring a weak Prime Minister, a charismatic, crusading Brexiteer MP with his eyes set on number 10, and a tabloid columnist with her own agenda.

This is the fifth of Mick Herron’s wonderfully unconventional spy thrillers. It crackles with sparkling dialogue and dark humour and is a brilliantly entertaining read.

 

John Murray hardback, £12.99

Book of the Week, January 27th 2018

On This #Colu Day

Graeson Laitt

On This #Colu Day

Graeson Laitt

Every football lover knows that supporting your local team is mostly an emotionally rocky ride – unless you happen to support Manchester City this year, that is. Colchester United fans have had more than their fair share of tears over the years. Those who grew up to the sound of hands beating on the corrugated … Continue reading Book of the Week, January 27th 2018

Every football lover knows that supporting your local team is mostly an emotionally rocky ride – unless you happen to support Manchester City this year, that is.

Colchester United fans have had more than their fair share of tears over the years. Those who grew up to the sound of hands beating on the corrugated iron at the back of the old Layer Road Ground stands will be disappointed that the move to the new Community Stadium in 2008 didn’t spur the team to a new golden era.

This book is a wonderful collection of key moments in the club’s history arranged in the form of a diary. There are entries, of course, for the U’s glorious 5th round FA cup win over Don Revie’s mighty Leeds in 1971 and the heady days of promotion to the Championship in 2006. More often though the story is of chances not taken – and worst of all the 1990 relegation from the Football League.

Graeson Laitt is dedicated Col U supporter, historian and statistician has put together this remarkable record of the ups and downs of his beloved team.

Coludata paperback, £12.00

Book of the Week, January 20th 2018

In Love And War

Liz Trenow

In Love And War

Liz Trenow

I had no idea that within months of the end of the First World War there were guided tours of the battlefield sites of Belgium and Northern France. But the people who set out for the devastated fields of Flanders were not tourists looking for a good time. Most were relatives of servicemen who never … Continue reading Book of the Week, January 20th 2018

I had no idea that within months of the end of the First World War there were guided tours of the battlefield sites of Belgium and Northern France. But the people who set out for the devastated fields of Flanders were not tourists looking for a good time. Most were relatives of servicemen who never returned home and the tours were undertaken in a desperate search for news of loved ones or some evidence of where and how they had fallen.

This book follows three very different women, one from England, one from America and one from Germany.  They meet at a rundown hotel in a small village near Flanders, travelling in hope of discovering some trace of their lost loves to help them understand their loss.

In this novel three wonderfully resilient women bring differing personal insights into the devastation and sorrow that war brings, but through their meeting come opportunities for reconciliation and for hope. 

Pan Macmillan paperback £7.99