reallsed: by turns independent and outspoken. Ellie is frequently insecure. disappointed and frustrated. Gee's prose is rich. lucid and original. and with Ellie. this respected Kiwi author should finally reach the wider audience he deserves. (Allan Radcliffe)


The Mafiana Man (HarperCollins £9.99)

lritfignana man

filfl’fifi El...

Pennance Ward is a temp in his late 20s with no responsibilities and a bad case of pot belly paranoia. When his friend Ting is fatally stabbed. he and his

mates take the ashes up to Mull to give him the riotous send-off he would have wanted.

There's a lot that could have been made of such a road trip. and this novel is clearly intended to be a mix of joy. tragedy and humour that sees its protagonist eventually come to terms with his life. Sadly the narrative is littered with banal metaphors and irritating. smug self- indulgent characters who are ab0ut as appealing as last night's cider cocktails.

The in-jokes are too exclusive. the cultural references too facile and the philosophy jumbled and tedious. If hell is other people. heaven is being able to put this book down and forget ab0ut its dull. insubstantial denizens. (James Smart)


The Surgeon (Bantam 5:12.99) 0...

If you're squeamish. this book is going to make you squirm. ln\?: \

nu Surgeon

particular. those with a fear of scalpels are going to get very clammy palms. In her first outing in the crime genre. physician turned writer Tess Gerritsen takes us to Boston. on the trail of a serial killer whose medical knowledge sees him dubbed the Surgeon. Right from the start we're taken into the mind of the killer. a seemingly invisible presence who stalks women while they sleep before carrying out gruesome surgical procedures.

Gerritsen doesn't deal in stereotypes. and we're given insight into all her characters. from



in conversation with Robert Sabbag author of

the drug smuggling classics ShOWblind and smOkescreen

the killer to the lead detective Thomas Moore. as well as the minor players who appear in the full three


Describing in detail their everyday lives and surroundings, Gerritsen makes it chillingly feasible that the person you enjoy a chat with every day might just be planning the right time to cut your throat. An unpleasant thought. but a valid end result of a taut. well-paced and thoroughly realistic thriller. (Louisa Pearson)


The Brutal Language Of Love (Review 526.99) 0...

Welcome to the nasty world of Alicia Erian. where awful things happen to mixed-up girls. Men are weak and manipulative. parents are foolish and the dank futility of outer suburbia saturates every unoriginal thought.

Erian is a very gifted writer indeed. and her simple prose disguises deeply complex

worldviews usually honed by an over- dependence on counselling and its subsequent introspection. Here we get a mature student becoming a lesbian because she is impressed by her film studies lecturer; a schoolspemng champion who spends her afternoons in the bath with the school bully; and a liberated woman whose spirit is crushed by time and conseQuence.

1/“): t‘ r 1 a I!

Add to this. truly disturbing stories of seductive father-in- laws. rich girl hypochondnac projectionists and a


college-bound student intent on losing her virginity to a local pizza waiter. These addictively dark tales are very reminiscent of Milan Kundera's 1968 short story collection

Laughab/e Loves.

Above all, they linger in the mind. (Paul Dale)


Douglas A Martin Outline Of My Lover (Picador E 6. 99) Acclaimed American coming-of-age debut novel.

Colin Bruce Conned Again, Watson! (Vintage £7.99) New Sherlock Holmes tales of logic. maths and probability.

Robert Lacey Royal

(Little. Brown £20) A revealing portrait of HRH and the monarchy. Daisy Goodwin ed 707 Poems To Help You Understand Men (And Women) (HarperCo/lins £9.99) A battle of the sexes anthology.

Stuart Galbraith IV The Emperor And The Wolf (Faber £20) Joint biography of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro




14—28 Feb 2002 THE LIST 99