ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Small Hours by Bobby Palmer

Small Hours by Bobby Palmer is published by Headline and available now in hardcover, eBook and audiobook. My thanks to Ollie Martin for the review copy.

The eagerly awaited new novel from Bobby Palmer, author of the critically acclaimed debut Isaac and the Egg.

If you stood before sunrise in this wild old place, looking through the trees into the garden, here’s what you’d see:

A father and son, a fox standing between them.

Jack, home for the first time in years, still determined to be the opposite of his father.

Gerry, who would rather talk to animals than the angry man back under his roof.

Everything that follows is because of the fox, and because Jack’s mother is missing. It spans generations of big dreams and lost time, unexpected connections and things falling apart, great wide worlds and the moments that define us.

If you met them in the small hours, you’d begin to piece together their story.

Having already read Isaac and the Egg by Bobby Palmer, I knew I was in for something unusual with his follow-up, Small Hours. It is the story of a father and a son and their fractured relationship, a father who is only happy when he’s at one with nature and a son who believes that he is the opposite of everything his father stands for. It takes an injured fox to start to bring them back to each other but this is no normal fox. I loved the fox in this story, not just because foxes are one of my favourite animals, but because this particular fox is pretty special.

When Jack’s mother goes missing he is pulled back to the family home and it comes at a juncture in his life which he didn’t know was coming and definitely didn’t know he needed. I thought his childhood home and its surroundings were magical, beautifully explored within the storyline and full of nature’s inimitable beauty.

Small Hours is a touching fable of family and acceptance with cleverly written parallels and use of animals and the natural world. It was a little out of my comfort zone at times but nevertheless beautifully written and lyrical in style. Palmer is establishing himself as a writer of unique and quirky tales which pierce the heart.

BOBBY PALMER is an author and journalist. His critically acclaimed debut novel, Isaac and the Egg, was published in 2022 and was a Waterstones paperback of the year. He co-hosted the literary podcast Book Chat with Pandora Sykes, and his writing has appeared in GQEsquireMen’s HealthCosmopolitan and more.

Visit for more news about Bobby and his writing or follow him on X and Instagram @thebobpalmer.

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