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The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by HG Parry

Sometimes when I review a book, I find myself saying that I expected to love it but was disappointed - in this case, it was the other way round. I was intrigued by the premise, which is that literary characters can escape from their books and materialise in the real world, but almost certain that it wouldn't work in a way that I'd enjoy. I had previously tried reading Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, which has a somewhat similar set-up, and found them to be far too self-consciously whimsical and insufferably arch and smug, and I feared HG Parry's The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep might be similar in tone. I was completely wrong, thankfully. It's an action-packed, witty, smart urban fantasy with the difficult relationship between two brothers as its emotional heart.

Rob Sutherland is a New Zealand lawyer practising in the city of Wellington. Pragmatic and capable, he deals very much in facts and certainties. His younger brother Charley, however, is a professor …

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