BRAND NEW FRIEND by Mike Gayle

WHEN Rob moves to Manchester to be with the love of his life, Ashley, he realises that making friends in a new city when you re in your 30s and work from home is not the easiest thing. Despair soon sets in, and despite Ashley s best efforts – she even p

WHEN Rob moves to Manchester to be with the love of his life, Ashley, he realises that making friends in a new city when you're in your 30s and work from home is not the easiest thing.

Despair soon sets in, and despite Ashley's best efforts - she even puts a 'lonely hearts' style ad in a paper to get him some new friends - he finds himself pining for his mates back in London.

But there is someone who he thinks he could be friends with - the trouble is, she's called Jo and she's a girl.

Whether or not men and women can just be friends is not a new theme but Gayle gives the impression of providing readers with a refreshingly honest blokes' eye view of the situation.

Gayle has an easy style and a gentle, humorous tone which makes Brand New Friend hard to put down.

Thanks to Ottakar's of Stevenage. 4/5