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The Claude Glass by Tom Bullough

Two small boys are growing up with their hippy farmer parents in rural Wales and meet Andrew, son of a neighbouring farmer whose life is very different from theirs. He lives in rags, sleeps with the dogs and survives on scraps from the table. Half fairytale, half poem, this evocative novel deals with the relationship between the three boys and delivers a haunting portrait of the extremes of rural life.

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The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes

A wonderful mix of Victorian gothic and fantasy crime. Very fast, very funny and quite unbelievable (I think) and much better than its cover.

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The Law of Dreams by Peter Behrens

Possibly the most powerful book I've read for many years – but it's neither pleasant nor comfortable. The historical detail is spot on and the language is appropriately coarse - both combine to immerse the reader in the world of young Fergus. His is a life of unthinkable harshness. We feel his sadness and love for all those he has lost, both man and animal, keenly.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

With glowing reviews from Stephen King and Harlen Coben, this assured psychological thriller is up with the best of its kind. Steeped in small-town suffocating atmosphere, with dysfunctional families on every corner, the plot includes vivid descriptions of teenage sex, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse and self-harm. This disturbing, heady mixture is the background to the hunt for a murderer with a macabre killer's signature.

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The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

This story centres on the relationship between a porn star who receives horrific burns in a car accident and a sculptress who claims that they were lovers in a previous life. Gothic horror/boys' own adventure/ medieval romance - unlike any book I've ever read, it simply defies categorisation, and if you can make it beyond the gore of the early chapters you are in for an absolute treat.

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