The Returners Gemma Malley Published by Bloomsbury ISBN 9781408800904 Will Hodge is insecure about his life and future, but he's not the sort of person to give up easily. He might think and worry too much, but he tells himself daily, 'You never know when things are about to change.' What he does know is that if his mum hadn't died, things wouldn't be as bad for either him or his dad. She would have kept the family together. Set in England in the near future, Gemma Malley's The Returners plays out against an intriguing background. The recession has worsened and the country is sliding daily towards right-wing nationalistic extremes. The National Party has gained power, promising to make the country successful again by ridding it of 'foreign' influences. A friend of Will's father, a policeman turned political activist, has persuaded Mr Hodge to embrace the new politics. This tense, controversial background is crucial to Malley's novel, but it never gets in the way of the story. The Returners is set in disturbing political times, but Malley has a gripping story to tell and doesn't let politics - or anything else - get in her way. There is a lot going on in this gripping and unusual read. Never predictable, Malley keeps her readers involved until the last page. The Returners is a tense and uneasy book from a writer who doesn't offer simple solutions.