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The Surfacing - Cormac James

THE SURFACING is set largely on board a ship in the 1850s, searching for Franklin's lost expedition. It's a challenging and dangerous endeavour in a very male world - that is until Morgan, the second-in-command of the Impetus, realises there is a pregnant

Dark Tides - Chris Ewan

When Claire Cooper was eight years old her mother mysteriously vanished during Hop-tu-naa, the Manx Halloween. At fourteen, Claire is still struggling to come to terms with her disappearance when she's befriended by a group of five teenagers who mark ever

Dark Tides by Chris Ewan review Halloween chills, Manx style

Drawing on classic horror films, this Isle of Man-set thriller avoids schlock cliches to deliver a chilling readIt is 31 October on the Isle of Man. Eight-year-old Claire Cooper is out with her mother, celebrating Hop-tu Naa, the Manx version of Halloween

Once Upon a Time review Marina Warner's scholarly history of the fairytale

A lifetime of investigation into storytelling has gone into this gem of a book from the queen of fairytalesMarina Warner is our doyenne of fairy stories, the British equivalent to Americas Jack Zipes and Maria Tatar, only, it must be said, with a better p

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime review the grisly evolution of swab justice

Crime novelist Val McDermid charts the history of forensics and interviews crime scene investigators to get the maggots-and-all storyThe other day, friends of ours were raided by the Metropolitan police, who confiscated computers and digital storage devic

Book review: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

HILARY Mantel’s short stories have their own special tang. Even as one appreciates her authorial style – light, pared-down, technically scintillating, like the Olympic gymnast who nails her landing every time – one has the sense too that she is work

Evil Eye by Joyce Carol Oates, book review: An extraordinarily vivid depiction of lives gone awry

At the age of 76 and with a backlist that her blurb describes as “over seventy works”, Joyce Carol Oates could be forgiven for taking her foot off the gas.

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel, book review: Author conjures sinister forces

The furore raised by the title story in this collection was perhaps fuelled by the expectation that, after two Booker prizes, Mantel is now firmly of the establishment and should show respect to the similarly empowered

The love song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce, book review: Companion piece to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a wonderful read

For her third novel, Rachel Joyce has written a companion piece to her best-selling debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

The Surfacing by Cormac James review an austere pleasure

A ship trapped in Arctic pack ice with a pregnant stowaway on board is the setting for an essentially domestic psychological novelThe last expedition of Sir John Franklin has been lost for over 160 years, but the search continues. A Canadian team this su