Sam Leith

Spectator Books: Ultima

Spectator Books: Ultima
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The Blot

Jonathan Lethem

Cape, pp. 289, £

In this week’s Books Podcast, I’m talking to the historian Lisa Hilton about the latest in her series of what she calls “filthy books” — the raunchy art-world thrillers she writes as L.S. Hilton. The third in the trilogy that began with Maestra (described as “like Lee Child, but with sex instead of punching”), Ultima is out this week and concludes the story of Judith Rashleigh’s corpse-strewn progress across the international scene.

Lisa tells me about why murderers might slide down bannisters, why she hates her American editors, how she came to love her sociopathic heroine, and what she learnt from Joseph Roth, Patricia Highsmith and Shirley Conran. Plus, she tells me what girls of the Tinder generation are actually doing when they should be listening to the Spectator Books Podcast. Listeners, I was shocked…

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