Testimony by Anita Shreve

Testimony by Anita Shreve is a psychological thriller. There are authors you come to rely on to deliver consistency. For me,  Massachusetts-born Anita Shreve is one such author. I don’t think I have yet been disappointed by any of her novels.

Pack an Anita Shreve novel in your bag when you are heading off on on holiday and you are guaranteed a couple of hours entertainment.

Difficult themes

Shreve’s themes are often difficult and she will make you question your values and judgments so although the novels are easy to read, they do not always make for comfortable reading.

That said, the stories are compelling and well told.

I particularly like her earlier books like The Weight of Water and Fortune’s Rocks.

Published more recently, Testimony, is about a sex scandal in a New England school. At its heart is a shocking incident that takes place in the school. The story unfolds from the way in which the incident is discovered and handled by the school authorities and others. It is told from the perspective of the various characters caught up in and affected by the fallout. Interesting and challenging, Testimony will make you think.

If you like the sound of Testimony, you might also like The Lives of Stella Bain.

On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks

I confess I am a sucker for a flawed hero and there’s a very appealing one here in On Green Dolphin Street.

Sebastian Faulks is one of my favourite authors. You know how some books stay with you for a long time? Well, for me, On Green Dolphin Street, and particularly Charles Linden – the flawed diplomat at the centre of this book – has done just that.

Set your flawed hero in New York in the 1950s and he becomes even more irresistable. On Green Dolphin Street is the story of the diplomat, his wife and her lover – told beautifully and sensitively.

I loved this sad tale. Yes, it’s a different book entirely from Birdsong, but for me Sebastian Faulks never disappoints.