MORE BOOK RECS – THE ICE TWINS & THE WELL

By 23rd February 2016Uncategorised

Over the years, I’ve often dipped into the mega-selling, front-list fiction genres to see what all the fuss was about (I’ve done this from Bridget Jones & chick-lit, to Fifty Shades). Most of these trends, if I am honest, have not been to my taste (I felt I should have liked the Da Vinci/monks-running-on-covers novels, but didn’t). But I have come across a trend that I am finding very good: Grip Lit.

I’m guessing this loose school of thrillers, with unreliable narrators, began with Gillian Flynn’s terrific Gone Girl, and hit its peak in 2015? But two recent novels that have had me nailed to the sofa are THE ICE TWINS by S.K Tremayne (I disliked each character, but found them so well observed, and I like that friction as a reader), and THE WELL by Catherine Chanter (an extraordinary first novel). These two had a subtle uncanny quality too, that arises from the extreme mental states of the narrators, and that was well done (touch of Henry James in the Ice Twins).

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I won’t dwell on those books that I thought ordinary (with a popularity that was probably created by the level that the books were published at, as much as anything else), but it’s also good to see the likes of Canongate, Faber and Vintage getting into this genre, without compromising the core literary quality that they’re known for (that’s actually what drew me in). A more sophisticated approach to the actual writing, combined with a strong story and compelling situations, has always been a draw for me. I will continue exploring Grip-lit and report back …

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