Top positive review
on 10 October 2011
The Northern Clemency is one of my stand-out books of recent years and I was very much looking forward to the follow-up. This book did not disappoint. Other reviewers have summarised the plot and so there is no need for me to do so here, suffice it to say that this is an absolute treat of a book - utterly wonderful writing that manages to combine humour, poignancy, plot, incredible characterisation and great insight. Often it was just the little things that stood out - almost throwaway lines that on rereading revealed an incredible insight into the human character (for example when Billa decides to accept Sylvie's invitation back to her house as she can't face the thought of going home) or quirkiness (Hettie's dolls and their bizarre names, and the Viking funeral). My book of the year so far and I cannot wait to see what the author is going to do next. Surely Philip Henshall is a Booker winner in waiting.