The Three Graces


Three very different friends have moved to Tuscany for a retirement in the sunshine. But life is far from quiet…

“In our retiring years, says Ruth, we are supposed to be “invisible, inaudible and negligible, as if we have nothing left to do or say. No wonder older women prefer to be portrayed as witches, or Fates, or Furies…”

The Lie of the Land


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?

The Other Side of You


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.

Hearts and Minds


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 drag her family into a world of danger, deceit and terror.

Love in Idleness


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.

In a Dark Wood


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


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.

A Private Place


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.

Foreign Bodies

Flamingo (Harper Collins)

Emma Kenward is 18, loathes England and her upper class family and longs to be an artist in romantic Italy. She moves to Tuscany and stays with her American friend and role-model Sylvia. Through Sylvia she meets many people including Lucio, with whom she embarks on her first passionate affair.

Short Stories

There are dog people, and there are cat people, and Marta Koning was one of the former. Quite how anyone discovers this about themselves is a mystery. Up until she came to London in 1962, Marta would have said she...

Readers may recognise two of the characters in this, from an earlier stage of life than when they appear in The Golden Rule, where Holly, as child in this story, is the mother of Hannah, its heroine.

The sky over Dartmoor was curdling to grey. “I can’t leave the flock on the top field any longer,” Peter told his wife. “Shall I come too?” Peter grunted, meaning No. He was angry with himself for leaving it so...

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...