Many years ago in my teenagerhood, I read a series of novels by Tom Sharpe. Great British humour: farcical, witty, earthy, full of inventiveness and wordplay.
Well, Tom has returned, it seems. Stephen Cashmore has obviously studied hard at the school of Great British Humour and come out with a Masters. Love on the Line is immense fun. It is all of the above, plus richly plotted.
Be warned. Get a notebook and start jotting down the characters and their various nicknames and their relationships. They will almost certainly come back again and again in the most unexpected moments. And the final scenes tie it all together in a brilliant climax.
It’s pretty simple to start with. Tom and Maureen are comfortably married with a teenage daughter. But somehow their attentions have strayed, and frustration rules the household. Maureen seems to be doing okay, but when Tom tries to do something about it, he gets himself into a right tangle.
And it just gets worse and worse. Or better and better, if you like a good story.
There’s a great deal of bonking going on, rarely with the right partners. Nothing too explicit, nothing pornographic, nothing kinky. Just good energetic shagging at a rapid rate.
I loved this book. In fact, as soon as I finished, I went back to the start and began again. I’d missed some of the clever work that set up the surprises in the final chapters, and it was worth re-reading, this time paying a little more attention to what was going on.
Rest assured, there are happy endings all round; it just takes a whole lot of misadventures to get there. Enjoyable, laugh-out-loud shagging shenanigans.
This book is brilliant. Five sparkling stars.