Friday, 31 March 2017

Hampstead Fever by Carol Cooper

Hampstead Fever
By Carol Cooper
Published by Hardwick Press (30 June 2016)
ISBN: 978-0995451407

Publisher's description
Ex-con Dan has it all. The perfect job and a new baby with his dream woman. So why is he still an outsider?
Laure had baby Jack late in life. It’s only natural she’s a little over-protective. Motherhood is terrifying.
After surviving serious illness, Sanjay’s got his life back. Now he wants adventure. Where does that leave girlfriend Harriet?
Karen’s love life is reduced to casual sex with the football coach. As a divorcee with four kids, romance is on her to-do list, just below the laundry.
Doctor Geoff’s relationship with actress Daisy is bound to be a bit dramatic. But why all the mystery?

My verdict
Hampstead Fever is a highly enjoyable read, with good writing and well-developed varied characters. I haven't read One Night at the Jacaranda, an earlier book that featured many of the same characters, and this was easy to read as a standalone.

In Hampstead Fever, several strands are intertwined, linking the love lives of key characters together. Each chapter focuses on one particular character's relationships, but other characters drifted in and out with ease. For this reason, the book reminded me of the film Love Actually.

I loved the underlying medical theme with its dark humour - a few important health messages snuck in there, which isn't surprising as the author is a GP. Be warned that there's lots of sex, slightly raunchy in places, so maybe it's not for those who prefer their fiction to be clean and cosy. I enjoyed the setting too, as I know Hampstead and the surrounding areas well - and there are several familiar London landmarks and locations.

Hampstead Fever isn't my usual genre, as I read mainly crime fiction. But this certainly made a welcome change. It's fantastic that it's been picked for a WHSmith promotion that's running over Easter - available at 30 of their bookstores at airports and railway stations on a buy one, get one half price offer. Make sure you grab it!

I received a copy from the author.

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