The Sticky Six – 6 novels I couldn’t put down
If you’re looking for great holiday reads, something to make a long-haul flight more enjoyable, here are my recommendations. What I look for in a page turner is:
Great plot and characters
Feel free to comment with your own favourite ‘sticky’ books.
1. Kate Atkinson Case Histories: a plotty twister with Jackson Brodie (my go-to life-hardened, reluctant sleuth). Kate A. gives great plot and intrigue and her writing is like fine music, seemingly effortless and fills your head
2. Ruth Rendell Adam & Eve and Pinch Me: superb tension, characterisation and an ending that’s a Rendellian tour de force of planning. Leaves you saying, ‘Oh God, no!’
3. Barbara Erskine Midnight is a Lonely Place: It is, and so is the Essex coastline on which the story is set. A page turner that’s deliciously creepy. Avoid staying in a big, ancient house in a foggy landscape where there are frequent power cuts.
4. Jonathan Coe The Rotters Club: Moving, incredibly funny, occasionally filthy, this is a joy for its writing and anarchic a***-kicking of the narrative form and illuminations about 1970s prog rock bands such as . . . http://www.hatfieldandthenorth.co.uk/
5. Anne Tyler The Ladder of Years: my first foray into this American’s novels. I remember arriving early to pick my child up from school so I could have fifteen minutes’ undisturbed reading. For contemporary, page-turner women’s fiction (which men love too) AT is a must.
6. Bernard Cornwell – he gets three; The Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur: You’d need a longish holiday to read them back-to-back, but a joy for those who love history and epic tales with bite. For me, Cornwell is the best teller of the Arthurian myth.