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FICTION The People vs. Alex Cross. by James psychotherapist Alex Cross now faces the case of his life.

Suddenly finding himself on the wrong side of the law, he is being used as an "example" of a triggerhappy cop who deserves to be punished. But of course, Cross doesn't plan on going down without a mighty fight.

Running parallel to the courtroom drama is a mysterious case involving kidnapped blonde teen girls and the dark web.

Despite Cross being suspended from his department, his former partner John Sampson persuades him to help solve the case - before it's too late for these missing adolescents.

While it's fast-paced and action-packed, it was hard not to finish this without feeling slightly cheated, on both the predictability and farfetchedness of it all.

DEMI-GODS by Eliza Robertson Bloomsbury, hardback PS12.99, ebook PS10.99 HH HHH CANADIAN writer Eliza Robertson's Demi-Gods begins in 1950s rural British Columbia, and traces narrator Willa's bizarre relationship with Patrick - the son of her mother's new boyfriend.

The action alternates between Canada and sunny California, as Willa and Patrick grow up and their relationship becomes increasingly twisted.

Robertson's depiction of confused teenage sexuality is believable, however, there's a dark shadow cast over the novel.

Patrick is portrayed as sexy and dangerous, when in reality he sexually abuses Willa when she's young - something that isn't fully acknowledged. As such, reading about their relationship feels increasingly uncomfortable.

NON-FICTION DAEMON VOICES: ESSAYS ON STORYTELLING by Philip Pullman David Fickling Books, hardback PS20, ebook PS12.92 HHH HH A HEFTY collection of more than 30 essays and speeches spanning two decades, Daemon Voices is a weighty tome in every sense of the word. It's a curious choice of release, timed to coincide with the celebrated unveiling of La Belle Sauvage, the first part of Pullman's Dark Materials 'equel', The Book of Dust.

Running to almost 500 pages there are plenty of "behind the scenes" anecdotes to amuse and inform fans of Lyra Belacqua and co, and some good advice for budding novelists.

For a writer with such a fine grasp of pace, drama and capturing the essence of life, Daemon Voices feels like a bit of a rushed affair.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2017
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