Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Reviews

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Reviews

Article excerpt

FICTION MACBETH by Jo Nesbo, Hogarth, hardback PS20, ebook PS9.99.

HHHHH NORWEGIAN crime writer Jo Nesbo steeps his thriller in blood, in a version of 1970s Scotland, with Macbeth the honoured general turned police officer who murders his way to the top.

He is helped by casino owner Lady, the unstable, sleepwalking love of his life, and by quantities of brew, the local drug of choice.

Nesbo was apparently attracted to Macbeth because the story was short, allowing the spinning of his own plot. Sadly, he spins too much and it's a very long read, thrilling in parts, curiously unengaging in others.

Fans of his addictive thrillers may be confused: paradoxically, it's a racy read and yet a bit of a slog, too.

THE HUNGER by Alma Katsu, Bantam Press, hardback PS12.99, ebook PS9.99.

HHHHH THIS historical horror is inspired by real events - the journey made by a wagon train of settlers known as the Donner Party in 1846, who took a short cut while moving west from Illinois to the new American frontier along the California Trail.

The route was already wellestabished, but at Wyoming, the party took the advice of a selfappointed expert, Lansford Hastings, and opted for a supposed shortcut.

The new route proved virtually impassable, there were massive delays, and by the time the group reached the Sierra Nevada, winter had set in hard.

Snowed in and without supplies, the survivors turned to cannibalism. So far, so factual.

In Katsu's tale, the cannibalism appears to have a supernatural cause. The tale itself has enough horror and mystery, and the introduction of evil spirits had a slightly contrived, formulaic air.

We believed fully in the history, but didn't buy the horror.

NON-FICTION FIRST, CATCH by Thom Eagle, Quadrille, hardback PS16.99, ebook PS10. …

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