Tim Bradford

November 29, 2023

Review: Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet

1960s London. Driven by deep suspicion of the charlatan psychiatrist her sister frequented before her suicide, a young woman decides to visit him herself, under the guise of an alter ego. The psychiatrist in question, Collins Braithwaite, is a notorious celebrity quack, famed for his unconventional methods. In seeking the truth, she finds that even the nature of truth is uncertain
November 24, 2023

Animal Husbandry, by SJ Ryan

“Little old ladies…they should be taken out and shot.” Flecks of saliva spat from his mouth as he banged down the discoloured telephone. “They get,” he said, testing the tip of his tongue against the gap between his lower front teeth, “technical problems.” “So this is a man’s shop.” She stood in front of the counter, the only woman amongst the Saturday morning trade of farmers and handymen. Her right hand held the strap of her over-the-shoulder bag for support.
November 24, 2023

Drim, by Nick Norton

Inside the villa they are taking no note of lines. Not of lines shall they be ruled, so it was said. Dr Ignatz is saying this. ‘For a day or so,’ (they whisper). ‘Soon enough,’ (they whisper), ‘best bet. They will be putting lines back in pronto.’
November 24, 2023

Not The End Of The World, by Annabel Banks

Their fight will begin after dinner, once the plates are in the dishwasher, the surfaces wiped. This is unavoidable. Desperate to stall—her heating works, his flatmates don’t—he potters about in her kitchen, musing aloud on his cooking technique, the need for sugar and salt, and is just remarking upon how burnt onions leave their taste in the air—if a taste can be in the air—when it lands on the roof with a wall-shaking thwop.
November 17, 2023

Dead Mouse, by Charlotte Turnbull

When we finally found it in the corner of the downstairs loo – the dead mouse – the children covered their noses with their sleeves and refused to eat breakfast in the kitchen because of an alleged lingering smell. They leaned into the drama. What child doesn’t relish revulsion and swoon? They defined themselves against something – it, or us – and found a purpose, a unity, that morning.
November 17, 2023

Review: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Thematically, Sea of Tranquility is a fairly standard time travel mystery, offering three distinct timelines, linked by a fourth. In 1912, eighteen-year-old Edwin St. John. St. Andrew crosses the Atlantic to the new world, adrift and uncertain of much at all. In 2020, Mirella Kessler mourns her friend Vincent Alkatis Smith (both of these characters also appear in Mandel’s earlier novel The Glass House) and tries to make sense of the circumstances around her death.