Paperbacks: Mirror Mirror, by Maria Alvarez

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The Independent Culture

Spoilt west Londoner Belle Fellner spends her days knocking around her beautiful home, waiting for her dermatologist husband to return from LA. In between pharmaceutical highs and trips to the Portobello Road, she makes the acquaintance of Tina, an attractive waitress whom she takes in as a lodger.

Sharing clothes, street drugs and porn movies, the titillated twosome infiltrate each other's lives with unsettling consequences. Reminiscent of early Josephine Hart, Alvarez's novel injects this desultory affair with some enjoyable histrionics, though ultimately style wins out over substance and the action falls a little flat.