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Round up of April 2023's book reviews

Simon Evans with a roundup of good reads

1992_the_birth_of_modern_football paperback bookcoverThere are some great new sports books out this month from Pitch Publishing including 1992: The Birth of Modern Football, by Rob Fletcher (£16.99), which looks at a seminal year for the game, including the creation of the Premier League, the change to the back-pass rule and Denmark winning the Euros, The_man_who_put_a_curse_on_muhammad_ali_paperback_bookThe Man Who Put A Curse on Muhammad Ali, by Norman Giller (£18.99), the curious story of the hypnotist who, in 1976, was hired by British boxer Richard Dunn to help him beat ‘The Greatest’ (he ended up putting a curse on Ali instead), Scotland_42_England_1 paperback book coverMark Winter details his obsession with football north of the border in Scotland 42 England 1 (£14.99) and in Disappearing_World paperback book coverDisappearing World (£19.99) Scyld Berry celebrates the many charms of country cricket, a format increasingly under threat from faster, brasher versions of the game…

Chief Superintendent Jo Howe returns in Graham Bartlett’s classy, Brighton-set thriller Bad For Good (Allison and Busby, £16.99), The_last_woman_in_the_world paperback bookThe Last Woman In The World (Sphere, £9.99) is the latest nail-biter from Australian novelist Inga Simpson and in The Institution, by Helen Fields (Avon, £14.99), forensic profiler Dr Connie Woolwine is in a race against time to get inside the mind of a murderer and save the girl he has taken girl hostage…

Pure evil paperback book coverDetective Jack Warr finds himself torn between two cases in Pure Evil (Zaffre, £22) the latest adventure involving Lynda La Plante’s likeable copper, The_Women_Behind_The_Few paperback book coverSarah-Louise Miller celebrates The Women Behind The Few (Biteback, £25), the members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force who provided vital intelligence and support for the brave pilots who defended our skies during the Battle of Britain and Commando_Paperback_Cover_the_inside_story_of_britains_royal_marinesCommando, by Monty Halls (BBC, £11.99) is the inside story of the Royal Marines, telling of the elite military unit’s heroic exploits across the globe…

I'm into something good paperback book coverManager to the stars Harvey Lisberg, whose charges over the years have ranged from Herman’s Hermits and 10cc to Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins has plenty of great stories to tell in I’m Into Something Good (Omnibus Press, £20), Michael Cragg explores what he describes as British pop’s “final party”, the decade from 1996 to 2006, in Reach for the stars paperback bookReach for The Stars (Nine Eight Books, £25), and Spare Us!, by Bruno Vincent (Abacus, £9.99) is a very funny parody of Prince Harry’s controversial recent autobiography…

Koresh_paperback_book_coverKoresh, by Stephen Talty (Apollo, £25), is the shocking true story of the 1993 Waco tragedy, in which 86 people died during an assault by FBI agents on an evangelical sect led by David Koresh, Wanderlust paperback book coverWanderlust, by Reid Mitenbuler (Mariner Books, £25), is the extraordinary story of larger-than-life explorer and adventurer Peter Land healer paperback book coverFreuchen, Jake Fiennes looks at how farming can save the British countryside in Land Healer (Witness, £10.99), and in The frontier below paperback front coverThe Frontier Below (HarperCollins, £25), Jeff Maynard looks at the history of deep see exploration…


The soulmate paperback front coverThe white lady paperback book coverCold cold bones paperback book cover

An idyllic cliffside home, an apparent suicide and a web of secrets and lies provide a typically heady brew in Sally Hepworth’s latest novel The Soulmate (Hodder, £21.99), The White Lady (Allison and Busby, £19.99) is a stand-alone mystery from Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs series, and in Cold, Cold Bones, by Kathy Reichs (Simon & Schuster, £8.99), North Carolina forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan becomes involved in her most personal and dangerous case to date…

In_Memoriam paperback coverWartime_for_the_Chocolate_Girls paperback book cover 

In Memoriam (Viking, £14.99) is Alice Winn’s first novel, the powerful story of two soldiers in the First World War and a forbidden romance that blossoms against a backdrop of death and destruction, and Annie Murray’s Wartime for the Chocolate Girls (Pan, £7.99), is the latest in the popular saga series, following the lives of women working at the Cadbury factory in Birmingham during the Second World War.

Battle song paperback book coverFinally, the world of 13th Century England is brought vividly to life in Battle Song, by Ian Ross (Hodder, £21.99), the story of a young squire and his scheming master who have to take sides in the conflict between Henry III and the barons of the realm who are challenging the king’s power. It’s the first in a trilogy, very much in the tradition of Bernard Cornwell and promising much for future instalments.

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