Fiction

Time and Time Again by Ben Elton: Elton loses the plot with clichéd time-travelling tale

From Sir Edmund Blackadder to the Queen: Your Glorious Maj, I send thee a book said to be by Master Elton.

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith review – exhausting and implausible

McCall Smith fails to redraw Austen’s matchmaking heroine for the modern world in this third in a series of updated classicsNo matter how great the writer behind “a 21st-century reimagining” of Jane Austen, it is going to feel weird. But is there a

Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius, John Carlin, review: A skilful analysis of the Blade Runner’s fall from grace

A lot of people adored Oscar Pistorius, and some still do. Not necessarily as a remote sporting hero, but as a flesh-and-blood person whose effect on some of them was life-changing – not through his achievements on the track but by acts of personal kind

Sylvia Garland’s Broken Heart review - Helen Harris’s study of family turmoil

The friction between a man’s wife and his mother is brought vividly to life in this divorce dramaSylvia Garland’s Broken Heart is the first novel Helen Harris has written for more than a decade (she wrote several much-praised books in her 20s and 30s)

Six Stories & an Essay by Andrea Levy: This is a slight collection, but full of important insights

In the autobiographical essay that opens this collection, Levy writes about her early life, growing up in London.

Refusing the Veil by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Cry freedom for the women of Islam

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown describes herself as a “leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist Muslim” and undoubtedly there will be many fellow Muslims and leftie liberals who take issue with her incisive repudiation of the veil.

Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn, book review: My friend, the psychopath

When Walter Kirn, a respected journalist, volunteers to deliver a paralysed dog to a stranger, he is not acting purely out of altruistic motives.

Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place by Philip Marsden – review

An enriching wander through the history and mysticism of the Cornish landscapeThis chronicle of walks through Cornwall – from Bodmin Moor to Land’s End, and beyond to the Isles of Scilly – opens by invoking another West Country landscape, a little

‘Amnesia’, by Peter Carey

The Australian novelist blends conspiracy thriller, comic farce and a examination of contemporary hackers

‘The American Lover’, by Rose Tremain

A new story collection marked by a timeless melancholy