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May 2023 Hardback book reviews

The_Last_Passenger. hardback book coverThe Last Passenger, by Will Dean

Fifty-year-old café owner Caz has embarked on the trip of a lifetime, crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner in the company of her new boyfriend, Pete. But when she wakes up after her first night on the RMS Atlantica, Caz is on her own. Pete is nowhere to be found, and neither, seemingly, are the rest of the thousand-odd passengers and crew. This gripping stand-alone thriller from the author of the Tuva Moodyson mysteries piles twist upon twist and keeps you turning the pages right to the end.

Published by Hodder Price £16.99 Pages 496 ISBN 9781529382822


Johnson_at_10_the_inside_story hardback book coverJohnson at 10, by Anthony Seldon and Raymond Newell

Anthony Seldon’s series of books on British Prime Ministers have become go-to tomes for behind-the-scenes insights into the nation’s leaders during the post-war era. Based on more than 200 interviews with those at the heart of Boris Johnson’s government, this latest volume is typically balanced but also unforgiving in its conclusion that, even allowing for the unique challenges it faced, his administration was, at root, deeply dysfunctional. Coming from anyone else this could be dismissed as the rantings of a biased Guardianista, but Seldon and Newell have clearly done their homework and this is a deeply impressive piece of political scholarship.

Published by Atlantic Price £25 Pages 694 ISBN 9781838958022


Kings Road hardback book coverKings Road, by Max Decharne

Originally published in 2005, this riveting history of the Kings Road, and its central place in English popular culture during the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, has been fully updated, including newly sourced, evocative images. In the Sixties the Chelsea thoroughfare was the shop window for the Swinging Sixties, that creative collision of pop music, fashion, advertising, the visual arts and literature, and the road was reborn again in the Seventies when it became the epicentre of the nascent punk revolution, centred on Malcolm Mclaren and Vivien Westwood’s shop, Sex. Going further back in time, Decharne also looks at other important historical figures who lived on the Kings Road, from Henry VIII and Mozart to Karl Marx and Margaret Thatcher.

Published by Omnibus Press Price £25 Pages 528 ISBN 9781913172602


Season of the witch hardback bookSeason of the Witch, by Cathi Unsworth

From noir novelist and biographer of punk icon Jordan comes this fascinating overview of Goth, an Eighties sub-culture spawned in the despair of late Seventies and early Eighties Britain but with its roots in the Sixties occult revival and renewed interest in the work of Aubrey Beardsley, Aleister Crowley and Percy Shelly, not to mention the pulp novels of Dennis Wheatley. Cathi is especially strong on the music associated with Goth, from Joy Division and Magazine to Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure, and tells of how her own experience, growing up in a neglected quarter of Norfolk, drew her to this tribe of outsiders. Even for those not drawn to the Goth flame it’s a brilliant piece of cultural history.

Published by Nine Eight Books Price £25 Pages 487 ISBN 9781788706247 

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