Natasha Cooper

The Ties That Bind

The Party


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.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Moore’s work has been so influential that the former ministers who provided him with much of his information now r… ,
    • 'Although he travels through time and space to find the best produce, his choices, delightfully, are not obvious.'… ,
    • RT : I regularly make purchases based on - it’s excellent.,
    • RT : I wrote about Yoko Ogawa's dreamlike, allegorical novel The Memory Police, newly published in English in a translat… ,
    • 'At this frankly apocalyptic moment for indigenous rights in Brazil, John Hemming’s "People of the Rainforest" is a… ,
    • 'I was dumbfounded by the view of the Berlin Wall from the eastern side. It seemed inconceivable that in under thre… ,
    • RT : Danger for ‘local’ staff, access in exchange for silence (and logos) - all sounds familiar in this fascinating look… ,