Today is my turn on the blog tour for Phoebe Morgan’s debut novel The Doll House. Now, Phoebe is an editor at Harper Collins UK, and has published some cracking crime authors herself, so if anybody knows what they’re writing about, it’s Phoebe and The Doll House sounds deliciously creepy. First up, however, is Phoebe’s guest post all about the three books she wished she’d written!
1 . The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close – this is a book about ambition and marriage, set around Barack Obama’s political campaign. I read this not long after the November 2016 election, and it brought tears to my eyes for many reasons. Jennifer Close is a brilliant writer – very nuanced, witty and insightful, and this is her third book following Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One. Her books focus on relatable young women and the way they deal with their families in particular, and The Hopefuls is about a woman who isn’t in politics watching it all from the outside (‘They speak in acronyms. They leave their Blackberrys on the table.’) I loved this book and very much admire the author for tackling a difficult subject in an honest, clever and at times hilarious way. I wish I could do that!
2. Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner. I met the author once at the Bath Literary Festival and she was absolutely lovely, plus she’s created one of the greatest modern detectives in fiction – Manon Bradshaw. This is a crime novel, but it’s more than that too – it’s about dating and being lonely (the detective has been internet dating for two years when the novel begins), and it’s a fascinating insight into how a police case actually works when a person goes missing and no actual body is found. The case unfolds in a clever, unpredictable way so that it’s impossible to guess the ending. The second one (Persons Unknown) is out soon and I cannot wait to read it.
3. Alys, Always by Harriet Lane – a psychological suspense novel with a very interesting protagonist – Frances Thorpe, a sub-editor on the books page of a newspaper; quiet, capable, but ignored. This is a gripping, psychologically complex story of how opportunity can arise in the strangest of circumstances, and the lengths one person will go to to escape the life they’re in. It’s quite a quick read, but I read it in one sitting and am still thinking about it a few years later. I love how cleverly Frances’ character unfolds as we realise that underneath her unassuming nature lies a woman who knows what she wants and whose abilities to manipulate are something to behold. It’s a very chilling, unsettling read that can be universally enjoyed. Definitely jealous that I didn’t write this one!