OVER MY DEAD BODY by Jeffrey Archer (HarperCollins £20, 384 pp)


by Jeffrey Archer (HarperCollins £20, 384 pp)

The world’s poshest policeman, William Warwick, is aboard an ocean liner where a murder takes place.

Meanwhile, on dry land, Miles Faulkner, the Moriarty to WW’s Holmes, is up to his old art-stealing tricks again. This time he’s trying to pinch a Caravaggio as well as marry his ex-wife, who’s actually his widow because he’s faked his own death.

Oh, and he’s completely transformed his appearance. This may sound confusing, but it gallops along, full of cryptic one-liners and heavily seasoned with police procedure and museum politics (Warwick’s wife, the snippy Beth, is a curator).

A cracking read. Archer fans will lap it up.


by Lucy Mangan (Souvenir £16.99, 320 pp)

This latest addition to the mum-lit canon is a middle-class mother’s diary.

We follow her the year round, from parents’ evening to Norfolk holiday; themed birthday party to Nativity play.

The many comic challenges are met by our heroine with doughty humour, obliging parents, a ‘coven’ of sympathetic friends and a barrister husband who knows the answer to everything.

She’s a lucky woman and no mistake. Colourful characters include a nonchalant French maman, a no-nonsense pensioner next door and kids Evie and Thomas who are world-beating and wilting respectively.

Mangan, a Guardian writer, conveys true passion for family life in all its joys and sorrows.

THE IMPOSSIBLE TRUTHS OF LOVE by Hannah Beckerman (Lake Union £8.99, 299 pp)


by Hannah Beckerman (Lake Union £8.99, 299 pp)

The disintegration of a family with the death of one parent and Alzheimer’s in the other is the subject of this sensitive novel.

Nell, the youngest and cleverest of three sisters, has always felt the odd one out. But only now, as her mother Annie fades in and out of reality, does Nell discover there’s a reason for this.

A mystery surrounds her birth; what is it? The shocking truth emerges slowly through Annie’s tragic experiences, which took place a generation earlier.

Her sad story alternates with Nell’s slow detective work amid the dismal business of hospital visits, care homes, sibling difficulties and taking an entire past to the charity shop.

Bleak but moving, it builds to a dramatic climax.

To buy any book reviewed here, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937  

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