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Books in the Media Update

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Critics call Adshead's The Devil You Know an 'eye-opening casebook of offenders'

Book reviews of the week

Gwen Adshead's The Devil You Know (Faber & Faber) was a favourite amongst this weekend's reviewers. In her first book for general readership — written with Eileen Horne — Adshead, a Broadmoor psychiatrist, profiles 11 men and women trying to understand and treat the behaviour of offenders who are among the most vilified in our society. A Book of the Month for The Bookseller's Caroline Sanderson, who wrote: "What Adshead so brilliantly demonstrates through these case histories is that society itself is so often at the root of why such troubled people commit these crimes." The title was also a Book of the Week in the Observer, Kate Kellaway said: "Adshead’s warm intelligence, curiosity and nuanced understanding of her work inspire trust in what turns out to be an unmissable book."

Reviews were ablaze with Frances Wilson's Burning Man: The Ascent of DH Lawrence (Bloomsbury Circus) this weekend. Another Book of the Week in the Observer, where Rachel Cooke called it "as magnificently flawed as its subject — and a work of art in its own right." In the Times, Laura Freeman called the memoir of the writer a "red-hot, propulsive book", whilst in the Sunday Times John Carey praised Wilson: "Her great strength is the aliveness of her writing." 

Lisa McInerney's The Rules of Revelation (John Murray Publishers) was no secret to critics this weekend. In the Irish Times, Sarah Gilmartin called McInerney's third novel "engaging" whilst the Spectator's Stephanie Sy-Quia thought that the author "does not disappoint." The Guardian's Sarah Ditum selected the novel as a Book of the Week, writing: "Revelation exercises just enough restraint to avoid being overwhelming, and in doing so brings the saga of Ryan to a satisfying completion." Finally, the Observer's Alex Preston wrote: "There is no doubt that McInerney is a writer of great gifts and boundless ambition." 

Tamsin Hackett, Books Co-ordinator, The Bookseller

Gwen Adshead, Eileen Horne

3.75 out of 5

3 reviews

As she argues 'Punishment doesn't change minds but psychological space does'. As well as exploring her patients' minds, Adshead examines her own learning curve and psychology - how she deals with revulsion and hopelessness, boundaries and personal risk.

Frances Wilson

3.25 out of 5

3 reviews

'Frances Wilson writes books that blow your hair back. She makes Lawrence live and breathe, annoy and captivate you ... she conjures the past with such clarity and wit and flair that it feels utterly present' Katherine Rundell

Lisa McInerney

3.50 out of 5

5 reviews

The third novel from the author of the Baileys Prize-winning The Glorious Heresies