The Spectator

Books of the Year II — chosen by our regular reviewers

Susan Hill, Hilary Spurling, Sebastian Faulks, William Dalrymple and many more describe the books they have most enjoyed in 2020

David Crane

If nothing else, this has been a good time for catch-up. Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest (translated by Walter Wallich, Persephone Books, £13) was a treat. But the real discovery of the year was an author I had never heard of, Wallace Breem. He seems to have spent his life as a librarian in the Inner Temple but found time to write three historical novels, one of which, The Leopard and the Cliff (Faber Finds, £13), set during the Third Afghan War of 1919, is up there with the very best novels of military life: vivid, tense and deeply moving,...

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