Snake Road by Sue Peebles

Chance Objects Snake Road by Sue Peebles is an understated, lyrical exploration of an intergenerational family and the different ways in which they are affected by loss. Aggie, the narrator, drifting along in a faltering…



The Good News by Rob A. Mackenzie & The North End of the Possible by Andrew Philip

Humour and Pathos Salt’s recent announcement that it will no longer be commissioning new single author collections but instead will concentrate on publishing anthologies of poetry adds a certain gravitas to reading these two handsome,…



Naw Much of a Talker by Pedro Lenz Translated by Donal McLaughlin

The Joke The Goalie is a storyteller, a ‘pattermerchant, born with the gift of the gab, never happy unless he is entertaining everyone with his stories, “whit ah needed wisnae a woman, but an audience”….



The Most Distant Way by Ewan Gault

Reasons to Run The UK has long fostered a rich tradition of hosting divisive public spectacles, but none can rightfully claim to have been quite so intrusive as London 2012. Even the most committed hermits…



Bevel by William Letford

Hammers & Nails William Letford’s Bevel was one of the most talked about debut poetry collections of 2012. For the most part, it’s easy to see why. Letford gives lively performances and his poems are…



Fremont by Elizabeth Reeder

A Family History Fremont is the accomplished second book from Elizabeth Reeder, whose debut, Ramshackle, was met with wide acclaim. It is a bold, ambitious novel which charts the fortunes of the dysfunctional Fremont family,…



Fabulous Beast by Patricia Ace

Life, and Other Fables This reviewer has no doubt that at least one of his lazy, older, white male colleagues will attempt to ghettoise Ace’s wonderful debut collection as “wimmen’s poetry”, but that would do…



An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful by J David Simons

Looking Back In J David Simons’ third novel, An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful, celebrated British writer Sir Edward Strathairn, now in his seventies, returns to Japan where, decades earlier, he wrote the novel…



The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu

Sunshine City Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, is the country’s largest, busiest metropolitan centre, home of The University of Zimbabwe and nicknamed the ‘Sunshine City’. It is also a place of such political and economic upheaval that…



Rooster by Gerry McGrath

Impossible Vanishings If McGrath’s first collection A to B (2008) suggested a journey, a sense of travelling between poems, Rooster is a more enigmatic title which one may enter at any given point. The title…



If I Touched The Earth by Cynthia Rogerson

Many Lives I wouldn’t have picked this book up if I hadn’t been reviewing it. The cover picture, a side view of a woman holding a rose, and the title, made me think that it…



The Waiting by Regi Claire

The Anti-Heroine Bitch. That’s the word that comes to mind when reading The Waiting, and not only because the characters in this book, like the chorus of Meredith Brooks’ hit, realise the bad as well…



My Gun Was As Tall As Me by Toni Davidson

Important Questions In 2000, a collection of interviews with new writers was published called Repetitive Beat Generation. It featured Roddy Doyle, Alan Warner, Sarah Champion, Irvine Welsh and Duncan McLean amongst others. One of those…



The Magicians of Edinburgh by Ron Butlin

A Changing Edinburgh Ron Butlin has come a long way from the relative obscurity that dogged his career as a novelist and poet in the 1980s and 1990s. After the rediscovery of his coruscating 1987…



The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne

Crime and Judgement London lawyer Daniel Hunter, still stinging from the guilty conviction of a teenager he defended the previous year, is drawn to defending a child accused of murder. Eleven year-old Sebastian was the…