Natasha Cooper

The Ties That Bind

The Party

By

Fourth Estate 294pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

If you were to cross L P Hartley’s The Go-Between with Harold Pinter’s script for Joseph Losey’s film Accident and add some mockery of the excesses of the Notting Hill/Chipping Norton set, you might come up with something like the plot of Elizabeth Day’s latest novel.

Her first-person narrative is split between Martin Gilmour and his ‘pliant, adoring little wife’, Lucy. His contempt for her is obvious from the start. They met at the newspaper where he was a journalist and she a secretary. She was impressed by his impeccable clothes, pristine fingernails and air of not caring what anyone else might think of him. This was misleading. He cared a great deal about what his best friend, Ben, thought. As the well-structured flashbacks continue, we learn why.

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