'24 for 3' by Jennie Walker - a pseudonym of Charles Boyle the poet. This is a novella rather than a novel and unique as books go. It covers the time span of a test match between England and India. The female narrator - never named - has no knowledge of cricket and her husband - Alan - and lover - the loss adjuster - attempt to explain the rules to her. Stepson Selwyn goes missing for a few days though a phone call is received to say he is all right. The narrator toys with the idea of leaving her husband and family. There are little gems of poetic description and the symbolism provided by the match is linked to everyday life. It is a beautiful book and the Hockneyesque cover really sums it up.
'Got You Back' by Jane Fallon demonstrated in quite literary fashion that you cannot team up with someone else to exact revenge on a third party because you always have different ideas about when enough is enough. Seldom have I read about a believable character with such large feet of clay. James, the husband, is someone we've all met who seems to think his view of life is the right one and everyone sees what he sees. It does not have the conventional happy ending.
I've also read 'Now Then, Lad . . . .Tales of a Country Bobby' by Mike Pannett. This has a very chatty conversational style and contains both funny and tragic events. His knowledge of human nature and the criminal world are wide and he demonstrates how policing in the country is different from policing in London. He transfers back to his home county of Yorkshire because he misses the countryside. His love of the area really shines through. The only thing I found irritating was the Yorkshire dialect - he could have simply commented on the way they spoke and written the dialogue in plain English.
I have also started - Anne Brooke's 'Maloney's Law' - 70 pages - good so far Anne. I like Paul but am definitely less sure about Dominic!
For total contrast I'm also reading Christina Jones' 'Happy Birthday'.