Book review: The Sunshine Cruise Company

WHAT do you do when you’re a 60-year-old middle-class housewife and your comfortable suburban lifestyle is destroyed by your husband’s eye-watering death in a secret sex dungeon?

John Niven

William Heinemann, €22.50; ebook, €11.99

If you’re Susan Frobisher, you recruit your down-at-heel best friend; a wheelchair-bound, obese, octogenarian nymphomaniac from a care home and a straight-laced amateur dramatics fan to rob the local bank.

John Niven’s sharp satire on modern British life follows the quartet as they scarper to the south of France with millions in loot, trying to keep ahead of blundering British detectives and the Russian Mafia. 

It is profane, raucous and at times makes you wince, yet comes with an undercurrent of tenderness that steers it away from slapstick. 

The pace is unrelentingly fast like a film script, something the Scots writer and screenwriter perhaps has planned.

If you like your humour dark and your jokes filthy, it should definitely be in the bag for a late holiday.


When Tom McDonald, my father in law, discovered that his daughter was marrying a musician, I suspect it was music to his ears. It was if he’d been waiting for me.Tom Dunne: Ennio Morricone, my father-in-law, and me

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