I met Felicity Everett, as part of a writers’ lunch group, during her brief decampment to Australia. I read her prior novel, The Story of Us, and recall being most impressed by her terrific grasp of narrative control and characterisation. These are not my writerly strengths. She has a new book out now, The People at Number 9, and exactly the same thoughts went through my head as I powered through it. In this difficult year of reading, I tend to find fault with every book I open, but not this one. I read it in two days and gasped with admiration: if only I can, one day, write this well!