‘I opened this book with high expectations. They have been admirably fulfilled.  Here we have a stand alone thriller about two lonely people who pursue a relationship of monthly weekends together in remote spots.  Suddenly one of these two fails to get to the rendezvous-vous and the other realises how very limited her knowledge of her  companion is . . . Gradually the reader pieces together some of the facts as an atmosphere of rising tension envelops everything. The intelligent way Jay, Lisa and others plan their actions is enjoyable and the suspense of the tale is palpable.’


What to read in hospital

Recently I had to have surgery and so the question arose: what should I take to read while waiting to go the operating theatre? It had to be something that I could easily pick and up and put down in the intervals of having my blood pressure taken, being briefed by the anaesthetist, and so on. So nothing too gripping that would make me resent having to leave off to order to be rendered unconscious. Something that could be taken in small bites. Something entertaining that would be take me to a different place. In the end I managed to choose the perfect book: Remainders of the Day: More Diaries from The Bookshop, Wigtown by Shaun Bythell, the follow-up to the sublime The Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller. What better place to escape to than a huge second-hand bookshop in Scotland frequented by annoying customers, eccentric members of staff and Captain, the cat? A review in the TLS described Bythell as ‘laconic, droll, opinionated and unconvincingly misanthropic’ and I can’t better that.

But of course I couldn’t take just one book. Agatha Christie came too. It seemed an occasion for Miss Marple. I hadn’t read At Bertram’s Hotel for a while so that was the one I packed. I didn’t even open it as it happened, but it was a comfort to know it was there. Perhaps it exerted some kind of talismanic power. At any rate, my operation was a success. It was breast cancer and I have had a rocky six months or so, but I am through it now and I am back to writing and blogging.


  1. di
    April 25, 2023

    Glad you’re so to speak up and running again! I have never been calm enough to concentrate to read while I wait for the trolley ride to the theatre…I think if am in that position again I will try a crossword puzzle. Every good wish !


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