Quentin and Lottie Bredin, like many modern couples, can't afford to divorce. Having lost their jobs in the recession, they can't afford to go on living in London; instead, they must downsize and move their family to a house in a remote part of Devon. Mud, mice and quarrels are one thing - but why is their rent so low? What is the mystery surrounding their unappealing new home?
Will must run, or die. He's seen a murder, and the gang on his estate are after him. Hurt, hungry and afraid, he comes to an abandoned house in a different part of the city. Behind its high fences is a place of safety. Here, he can hide like a wounded beast. He can find food, and healing - and learn how to do more than survive.
Rich or poor, five people, seemingly very different, find their lives in the capital connected in undreamed-of ways. There is Job, the illegal mini-cab driver whose wife in Zimbabwe no longer answers his letters; Ian, the idealistic supply teacher in exile from South Africa; Katie from New York, jilted and miserable as a dogsbody at a political magazine, and fifteen-year-old Anna, trafficked into sexual slavery. Polly Noble, an overworked human rights lawyer, knows better than most how easy it is to fall through the cracks into the abyss. Yet when her au pair, Iryna, disappears, Polly's own needs and beliefs...
When Polly and Theo Noble book the Casa Luna, near Cortona, for their summer holiday they plan a civilised Anglo-American house-party with Theo's brother Daniel, Daniel's girlfriend Ellen, and Polly's old schoolfriend Hemani in an idyllic Tuscan setting. Their children Tania and Robbie will have Hemani's son Bron to play with, and Theo's mother, Betty is expected keep her grandchildren under control by force of a personality that can curdle mayonnaise at a hundred paces.
Thirty-nine, divorced, jobless: Benedick Hunter is going nowhere, heading in the exact opposite direction he expected. So when he comes across a children's book that his mother, Laura, wrote, he decides that her life and work - haunting stories replete with sinister woods, wicked witches and brave girls who battle giants - hold the key to finding out why his own life is such a mess.
A Vicious Circle exposes the corruption of London's journalistic circuit, the horrors of our hospitals and slums, and the transformations caused by motherhood. Gripping, tender and fiercely funny, it has been instantly recognised as a modern classic about the way we live now.
Knotshead is a school catering for the children of the rich, famous, liberal - and deluded. With its progressive curriculum, complacent staff and beautiful grounds, it looks like Paradise. But the clever, the odd and the bookish are relentlessly persecuted as pupils make their own rules in a bubble of privilege and prejudice. When Alice, the Headmaster's intellectual step-daughter, and the much-expelled American millionaire Winthrop T Sheen join forces against the school bully, Grub Viner, a gifted pianist and school "joker", has to choose between love and loyalty, and black comedy escalates to murder.
One morning Katie F woke from restless dreams to find herself transformed into a gigantic cockroach. She lay on her back, and wondered what was going on. Although her body was still a bright orange colour, it was now quite...
I was lying in the bath, chasing soap and inspiration, when Barty rang. “Justin? Justin, pick up please.” I heaved myself out, donned a dressing-gown of pink Turkish towelling, and dripped over to the telephone. “I was working,” I said...