Laura Hird has launched the latest issue of her New Review site, and it includes a double-header review from me. It was my idea to put the two together, as I thought they made an interesting comparison: both have a pair of protagonists whose inner identities are not what they present to the outside world.
Andrew Wilson’s The Lying Tongue sees an art history graduate travel to Venice to become housekeeper for a reclusive novelist, who turns out to have a dark secret in his past — but so does the graduate. This is Wilson’s first novel, and it’s good, but not quite there yet.
More accomplished is Nina Todd Has Gone, Lesley Glaister’s eleventh novel, in which a woman convicted of murder — and now rehabilitated into the community with a new identity — is pursued unknowingly by the brother of the girl she killed. It’s a better book than Wilson’s, because the emtions are more complex — but you’ll see what I mean when you read the review.