A body in the coal hole of the Carlton Club; a strangulation with a Hermes scarf: Kate Atkinson has written a sophisticated and witty espionage novel which plays with the genre’s conventions while being partially based on a WWII spy’s memoir, a book with an unusual Irish dimension.
Before 1914 recruitment to the British army from Belfast was often less than half that of Dublin, although the Northern city had a larger population. But Belfast was an industrial powerhouse, not a sleepy provincial backwater dependent on the production of beer and biscuits.
The Indian poems of Gabriel Rosenstock’s latest collection are populated by saints and stics and interspersed with allusions that reinforce an image of timelessness and transcendence, many exploring the no-man’s-land separating the known and the metaphysical world.
A poetry collection by broadcaster John Kelly is flush with acute observation and understanding, as well as sparkling felicities of imaginative detail and linguistic invention. The references range from popular culture to the natural world, with the poems marked by both gravity and wit.