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Taddeo's Three Women is the magic number

The Week in Review

Lisa Taddeo's Three Women (Bloomsbury Circus) has earned a cascade of glowing reviews, with critics lauding the journalist's intensive reporting on the sex lives of three different women. In the Evening Standard, Johanna Thomas-Corr said, "Taddeo hasn’t just caught a moment, she has spawned a new genre," adding, "It’s the romantic equivalent of true crime. True romance." The Bookseller's non-fiction previewer Caroline Sanderson described it as a "stealth-bomber of a book" and an "utterly compelling, scorching piece of reportage", while the Sunday Times' Christina Patterson said "This is a book that blazes, glitters and cuts to the heart of who we are. I’m not sure that a book can do much more." Only Parul Sehgal of the New York Times felt concerned it may become hampered by its own hype and the comparisons to "giants of narrative journalism"—as "What we have instead is something much more modest."

Christopher Hull's Our Man Down in Havana (Pegasus), investigating the true story behind Graham Greene's novel, has also won plaudits, with Jake Kerridge in the Sunday Telegraph writing, "Anybody interested in either Greene or Cuba will find this a splendid read, with a trainspotterly level of detail." Richard Greene in the Literary Review added, "His research is, frankly, humbling [...] The book is vivid and accurate in ways that most other works on Greene simply aren’t." The Spectator's Nicholas Shakespeare praised it as "the kind of obsessive book I like best — a full-body immersion into Greeneland, which may overwhelm the uninitiated but delight his most committed readers".

Mick Herron's Joe Country (John Murray) had reviewers pledging allegiance to the sixth book in the Jackson Lamb series, with the Literary Review's Sam Leith describing Herron as an "often glorious sentence-by-sentence writer, and fiercely funny with his dialogue", adding that Joe Country was "hugely satisfying". Natasha Cooper in the TLS praised Herron for the series as a whole, which has "added an original strand to the familiar fabric of espionage fiction", commenting that the latest title was "well-observed, angry and deeply sad", and Laura Wilson in the Guardian said, "Aficionados can expect Herron’s trademark snappy dialogue, memorably flawed characters and sharp political observation."

Kiera O'Brien, charts editor, The Bookseller

Lisa Taddeo

4.30 out of 5

9 reviews

All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn't touch her? All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town? All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object of men, including her husband, who liked to watch her have sex with other men and women? Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions.

Christopher Hull

3.71 out of 5

5 reviews

Combining biography, history and politics, Our Man Down in Havana investigates the real story behind Greene's fictional one. This includes his many visits to a pleasure island that became a revolutionary island, turning his chance involvement into a political commitment. His Cuban novel describes an amateur agent who dupes his intelligence chiefs with invented reports about "concrete platforms and unidentifiable pieces of giant machinery".

Mick Herron

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

The latest instalment in the multi-award winning Jackson Lamb series