Reservoir 13

i nearly always have at least one library book on the go, a request drawn from systematic trawling of reviews at the weekend. But my current choice is utterly stunning - Reservoir 13, by Jon McGregor. I've read most of his other stuff, and it's always interesting - original without being tricksy or flashy. This again is different, as it should be - hey, he's an intelligent writer -but I find it rivetting. It looks as though it's going to be routine thriller territory, as girl in rural community vanishes, police and volunteers comb the area, friends and family wonder where she's gone. But she doesn't show up, and we never know. What we do get is a close, careful tracing of this rural community as time goes by, responding to the seasons, changes, time passing - but including wild life, crops and weather along with the human stories with which they are intertwined. within a paragraph you can move from an estranged couple to birds migrating south. that may sound off putting rather than enticing, in which case I apologise. don't take my word for it; go out and get it.