Alison Flood - Editorial Expert

About Alison Flood

I was that child who used to read under the table during dinner and in the corners at family gatherings. Now I work on the books desk for the Lovereading.co.uk, The Guardian, and review books (thrillers, mostly, but science fiction and fantasy when I can), for whoever will have me, including the Observer and the Sunday Times. When I lived in London, my house was bursting at the seams with books; now I live in Norway, it’s my ereader which is overwhelmed with riches. I’ve two small children, and am loving re-reading favourites from childhood with them.

Latest Reviews By Alison Flood

I am an absolute sucker both for quest-through-the-wilderness tales, and for post-apocalyptic landscapes. Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation delivers both, in creepily brilliant and utterly unforgettable style. Narrated by an unnamed female biologist, it tells of a scientific expedition - the latest of many failed ventures - into a desolate wilderness known as Area X, where they hear a "low, powerful moaning" at dusk. "I would tell you the names of the other three, if it mattered," the biologist tells us, doomily, "but only the surveyor would last more than the next day or two." It all gets progressively more sinister and ... View Full Review
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Margot Lewis is a classics teacher in a Cambridge school. She's also the agony aunt for the local newspaper, dealing with problems from the loneliness of a recent widower to a teenager wondering if she might be pregnant. The disappearance of local girl Katie Browne, a former student, is weighing on her mind when she receives a letter in childish handwriting from a Bethan Avery, begging for help: "I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me."  But Bethan vanished decades earlier, and the ... View Full Review
January 2017 Debut of the Month. One of our Books of the Year 2016. Green, her little sister Blue and October - known as Toby - are children growing up in Foxlowe, a huge old home on the moors. They run free, and play endlessly, and don't go to school, but they are also part of a cult, "the Family", obsessed with keeping out "the Bad". They're forced to endure the pain of "Spike Walks" if they don't behave in the way in which they are supposed to, and they grasp, dangerously in the end, for any scrap of affection thrown their ... View Full Review
One of our Books of the Year 2016. If you're looking for a fresh, addictive police procedural with characters who spring into vivid life, then look no further than Susie Steiner's Missing, Presumed. It's Steiner's first venture into the crime genre - her debut, Homecoming, was more literary - and it follows the efforts of DS Manon Bradshaw, a single woman in her late 30s, who is trying to get a handle on the case of the missing Edith Hind. Edith, a Cambridge post-grad, was dropped home by a friend to the house she shares with her boyfriend; the next day, ... View Full Review
One of our Books of the Year 2016. July 2016 MEGA Debut of the Month. Margot Lewis is a classics teacher in a Cambridge school. She's also the agony aunt for the local newspaper, dealing with problems from the loneliness of a recent widower to a teenager wondering if she might be pregnant. The disappearance of local girl Katie Browne, a former student, is weighing on her mind when she receives a letter in childish handwriting from a Bethan Avery, begging for help: "I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me."  But ... View Full Review
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Green, her little sister Blue and October - known as Toby - are children growing up in Foxlowe, a huge old home on the moors. They run free, and play endlessly, and don't go to school, but they are also part of a cult, "the Family", obsessed with keeping out "the Bad". They're forced to endure the pain of "Spike Walks" if they don't behave in the way in which they are supposed to, and they grasp, dangerously in the end, for any scrap of affection thrown their way. Eleanor Wasserberg tells her ... View Full Review
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Fiction and Breakthrough Author Awards 2016. May 2016 Debut of the Month. Winner of Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards 2016. Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2015. Perhaps it's the sheets of rain which fall continuously on The Loney, that " wild and useless length of English coastline", a "strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest", but I've not read so chilling a ... View Full Review
Linwood Barclay is ace at dreaming up disturbing scenarios and then letting them play out in increasingly creepy ways. This time, the author of No Time for Goodbye (a huge seller in 2008) gives us David Harwood, a newspaper reporter who's out of a job, and living back with his parents and his son Ethan in his hometown of Promise Falls. In typical Barclay style, the author lets us know from the off that things are about to go horribly wrong: "A couple of hours before all hell broke loose, I was in bed, awake since five, pondering the circumstances that ... View Full Review
If you're looking for a fresh, addictive police procedural with characters who spring into vivid life, then look no further than Susie Steiner's Missing, Presumed. It's Steiner's first venture into the crime genre - her debut, Homecoming, was more literary - and it follows the efforts of DS Manon Bradshaw, a single woman in her late 30s, who is trying to get a handle on the case of the missing Edith Hind. Edith, a Cambridge post-grad, was dropped home by a friend to the house she shares with her boyfriend; the next day, he returns to find the door open, ... View Full Review
September 2015 eBook of the Month. Linwood Barclay is ace at dreaming up disturbing scenarios and then letting them play out in increasingly creepy ways. This time, the author of No Time for Goodbye (a huge seller in 2008) gives us David Harwood, a newspaper reporter who's out of a job, and living back with his parents and his son Ethan in his hometown of Promise Falls. In typical Barclay style, the author lets us know from the off that things are about to go horribly wrong: "A couple of hours before all hell broke loose, I was in bed, awake since ... View Full Review
September 2015 Debut of the Month. Hannah is waiting for her husband to come home so she can tell him she's leaving him. Months of put downs and unkindness and little cruelties, years of following his dreams instead of her own, mean she's ready to go. But she falls asleep before he comes home, and when she wakes at 4:30am, she hears a scratching sound. Tom, 32, has fallen out of bed. He's had a stroke, and all of a sudden Hannah finds she can't leave him, that she's caring for him round the clock. Will she be able to keep it ... View Full Review
Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2015. Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Fiction and Breakthrough Author Awards 2016. Perhaps it's the sheets of rain which fall continuously on The Loney, that " wild and useless length of English coastline", a "strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest", but I've not read so chilling a horror novel for years. The setting for an Easter-time Catholic pilgrimage for Andrew Michael Hurley's teenage narrator, his mentally handicapped brother and a motley ... View Full Review