Utterly Monkey By Nick Laird

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When an old schoolfriend turns up at his Stoke Newington flat, young Irish lawyer Danny Williams has no choice but to put him up. Overnight his shiny new life stumbles into free-fall as he finds himself unwittingly embroiled in terrorist activities and a plot to blow up the Bank of England.

Poet turned novelist Nick Laird proves - like his wife, Zadie Smith - a clued-up observer of life in the capital, particularly the pratfalls of office politics and urban romance. This is a novel that combines lad-lit staples - car-chases, pub crawls and beautiful women - with grown-up savoir faire.