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    Worthy of Alan Bennett

    We move in carefully nuanced way to the deeper effects of Kit's loss of his brother and the tension which mounts as Kit, Terry and Debbie (Kit's girlfriend and Terry's ex) combine in a difficult co-existence compounded by the gradual revelation of more childhood 'skeletons' . For me, one of the most individual aspects of Kate Rigby's work, which I've enjoyed in her other books, is realised at its best when, despite what might seem the gritty or the outwardly bawdy, there is the humour which seems to linger precariously on the surface of hurt and sadness or unrequited need. This is the more pronounced when, after many years, fate throws the main protagonists together in a situation which is bound to test their respective needs and loyalties to the utmost. The tensions are never laboured but those which naturally emerge between characters - I should say 'people', for their accessibility and credibility - for the characters are as true as any of us could be when hurt, tested to the limits of our frailty or ultimately damaged. Yes, the overall plot has its own tensions but, for me, it is the integrity of character observation, often evoked through the sharpest cutting edge of her own brand of humour, that engages me in Rigby's work and, in many places, I'm reminded of the unadorned candour and insight of Alan Bennett.

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