I heard of Louise Doughty through the Telegraph experiment, in which she gave advice to young writers. I thought she must be a star if she does that, and her first novel wouldn't be a bad place to start.
Crazy Paving was a let down. It barely has any plot. The novel tracks the lives of three co-workers at the London Transport Authority. The three heroines are confronted with office intrigues, affairs, and the repercussions from bomb attacks - this takes place in the early 1990s. It doesn't get much more coherent than that, even if the protagonists are likeable and their everyday lives and backgrounds are reasonably well portrayed. And Louise Doughty seems to break one of the basic rules of fiction: that too much coincidence harms realism. London in the 1990s is pleasantly evoked; its street and office life, the rush-hour crossing of the bridges, the sandwich shops, the dress and behaviour of its great swarms. For someone who was there, it is agreeably nostalgic. Otherwise, though, this goes little beyond the TV series `the Office'.