The Ash Museum by Rebecca Smith

The dying embers of an Indian empire, that had forcibly inducted its indigenous population into a Victorian template of social hierarchy, turns the microscope of these inherent inequalities onto the trauma suffered by a mixed race family unit torn apart by the death of the white patriarch and the subsequent inability of a blinkered western … Continue reading “The Ash Museum by Rebecca Smith”

“Evil Is” by MJ Martin

The deliberately truncated title of this harrowing account of “family life”, in the bleak landscape of 1950’s Aberdeenshire, appears to reflects not only a lack of closure for the infant victims but a social welfare vacuum into which all adult morality has disappeared. This is the deafening silence of a collective guilt captured by Frances’s … Continue reading ““Evil Is” by MJ Martin”

Helen and the Grandbees

Undercurrents of abuse and its inevitable impact on mental health run like a negative charge through this south London story of fear, isolation and gradual re-birth as Helen endures a seemingly interminable emotional blackout before the lights flicker into life again as she is re-united with her daughter and grandchildren. Up until this point Helen … Continue reading “Helen and the Grandbees”

Soldier Boy by Cassandra Parkin

Cassandra Parkin gives added poignancy to Liam’s desperate attempts to hold onto any semblance of normality as she peels back the mental scars of a soldier whose fight to keep his family unit intact appears to have already been lost to the battle fields of Afghanistan. Emma’s solitary battle to overcome the invisible enemy trapped … Continue reading “Soldier Boy by Cassandra Parkin”

Rise of the Shadow Dragons by Liz Flanagan

The much mytholigised fire breathing dragon inhabits childrens’ nightmares before traumatising their waking moments with involuntary checks for singed eyebrows and pleas for parental re-assurances that the house is monster proof. Yet in Liz Flanagan’s sequel to Dragon Daughter we are presented with an unexpected antidote to the winged tormentor who lurks in those dark … Continue reading “Rise of the Shadow Dragons by Liz Flanagan”

Unstoppable by Dan Freedman

Adolescent twins, Kaine and Roxy, are hoping their sporting talents will enablethem to break out from the emotional and physical entrapment of a sinkestate dominated by knife wielding gangs whose coercive influence threatensto sweep away any crime free ambition. The often hopeless existence of this vulnerable underclass is haunted by themenacing presence of Sheldon Statham; … Continue reading “Unstoppable by Dan Freedman”

The Song of Peterloo by Carolyn O’Brien

A peaceful protest at Manchester’s St Peter’s Field is brought to a bloody end by a deadly cavalry charge of sabre swinging yeomanry. The violent culmination to months of fulminating antipathy between the working and ruling classes ultimately becomes a watershed moment in the fight of the disenfranchised to have a voice and meaning to … Continue reading “The Song of Peterloo by Carolyn O’Brien”

Sea of Bones by Deborah O’Donoghue

The whiff of political scandal is swatted to the back benches as Juliet’s suspicions grow over her niece’s sudden death and machievellian egos interplay with the otherworldly symbolism of the Scottish Highlands to unravel a series of human tragedies. In her desperate search for the truth Juliet’s role as Chief of Staff of the Progressive … Continue reading “Sea of Bones by Deborah O’Donoghue”