The North Water by Ian McGuire
The North Water. Written by a Hull boy. Longlisted for the 2016 Booker prize. What could possibly go wrong? Not a lot.
Patrick Sumner, ship's surgeon. Henry Drax, psychopathic harpooner. Kingston upon Hull, England, 1850s. This is Ian McGuire's second novel, and I will be looking for his first very soon. Vividly drawn characters, a tight plot and shocking scenes, it is hard to keep in mind that this is historical fiction. Not that historical fiction has to be slow and cakes, but it so often is. Hilary Mantel and Martin Amis both loved it, and that is a better indication of what lies in wait for you than any detailed review could convey.
Sometimes a book is just too good to review, and this is the first one of 2016 that is as good as that. Buy.
I like the US cover, shown with this post, but I love the UK one. Small things like this show that the American market really is very different.