The Insult by Rupert Thomson

Blame David Bowie for this one. The Insult by Rupert Thomson was part of the Thin White Duke’s ‘Top 100 must-read books’ list, published to coincide with the V&A’s David Bowie Is exhibition. It’s quite a recommendation and the novel starts promisingly: Martin Blom has been shot in the head by an unknown attacker in a car park and has…

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

Little Nell – spoiler alert! – dies during The Old Curiosity Shop. Actually, since it’s one of the most famous deaths in literature, this isn’t much of a spoiler. It’s the one that Oscar Wilde said you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at. Oh pish, Oscar! Nell walks to her doom, having to pass…