GHOST LIGHT by Joseph O’Connor

GHOST LIGHT by Joseph O’Connor is a brilliant and complex book. It is one of the best books I have read in the last five years. The language is poetic and hallucinatory and this is a book where one can’t skip passages or lines. Every word is necessary and the whole is a gift put together with the greatest care and love.

February 1, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Facing History, Reading Guide, United Kingdom


Cremona, Italy. On the eve of an important performance, local luthier Gianni Castiglione is called on to examine Il Cannone, the violin once played by Niccolò Paganini, which would be played that night by competition winner Yevgeny Ivanov. A minor adjustment is made and at the recital both violin and musician perform flawlessly. The next day, however, a concert attendee, a French art dealer, is found dead in his Cremona hotel. Two items are noted among his possessions: a locked golden box and a torn corner of a music score from the night’s previous performance. Gianni’s police detective friend, Antonio Guastafeste, enlists his help and the two soon find themselves on an international chase, on the trail of not just a murderer but of a priceless historical treasure, one worth killing for.

January 5, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, France, italy, Mystery/Suspense, Sleuths Series, United Kingdom

PORTOBELLO by Ruth Rendell

Prolific mystery writer Ruth Rendell’s work can be divided into two categories: the Inspector Wexford novels and her psychological novels. PORTOBELLO falls into the latter category and fans of Ruth Rendell know what to expect. The novel concentrates on the poisoned lives of a handful of characters who are connected to London’s Portobello Road, and these characters are as varied and colourful as the district itself. Rendell brings her characters together with her usual skill–although the heavy reliance on coincidence argues against the idea that London is, after all, a city of millions of people.

November 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Mystery/Suspense, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

MY WIFE’S AFFAIR by Nancy Woodruff

If you’ve got a hot work project with an overdue deadline, a soccer game that you simply must attend, or any “must do” commitments in the next couple of days, whatever you do, DON’T pick up this book. It will grip you, entice you, and place you under its spell. And in the end, it just may break your heart.

July 22, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Family Matters, United Kingdom

A WEEK IN DECEMBER by Sebastian Faulks

Sebastian Faulks is nothing if not ambitious. In his latest book, a sweeping and piercing satire about contemporary London, Mr. Faulks takes on everything from the financial meltdown and the profusion of silly book awards to shockingly offensive reality TV, cyber porn, London football, and, for good measure, Islamic radicalism. The good news is, for the most part, he succeeds admirably.

July 4, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Humorous, Satire, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

THE ROAD HOME by Rose Tremain

The eminent, award-winning British Author, Rose Tremain, has written another lovely book. THE ROAD HOME is about Lev, an eastern European immigrant and his travails and successes in the big city of London. Lev is a widower who has left his child with his mother in Auror, a small town in eastern Europe. Lev hopes to seek his fortune in London, expecting to make a lot of money and be able to send it home to support his family. He has arrived in London with about 100 pounds in his pocket and nothing else.

December 16, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Orange Prize, United Kingdom, World Lit, y Award Winning Author