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The Mail on Sunday (London, England), November 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

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Byline: SIMON SHAW

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Void Moon, by Michael Connelly Orion [pounds sterling]5.99 % [pounds sterling]3.99 (0870 165 0870) **** A female cat burglar is lured out of retirement to take on one last job. But when the haul from the robbery turns out to be much bigger than expected, she finds herself in the middle of a complex criminal scam and at the mercy of a psychopathic investigator who has been hired to reclaim the stolen money at any cost.

Michael Connelly is one of America's top crime writers, but I have to confess I hadn't read him before. I now intend to buy every one of his books I can find. This is thriller writing of the highest quality, brilliantly paced and impossible to put down. Once you've read the nail-biting description of the robbery I guarantee you'll never leave anything valuable in a hotel room again.

The Isles, by Norman Davies Papermac [pounds sterling]15 % [pounds sterling]12 (0870 165 0870) **** Norman Davies has made historical revisionism into an art form. Just as he did in his monumental history of Europe, he has taken a mass of familiar material - what traditional historians have called 'our island story' - and turned it on its head.

Davies's intention is to get away from the Anglocentric view of British history, and to stress the importance of links with the Continent in the development of the peoples who have lived in these isles.

It's an approach which has prompted dark muttering in some quarters, but whether or not you agree with the conclusion that our destiny is indissolubly bound up with Europe, it's impossible not to be stimulated by his narrative sweep and penetrating analysis. …

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