Susan Frobisher and Julie Wickham are turning sixty. Susan has just discovered that her recently deceased husband was not only a swinger but had run up a fortune in debts in pursuing his extravagant double life. Julie's not faring better: living in a council house and working in an old people's home, she's desperate for excitement. When the bank threatens to take Susan's beloved home to clear the debt, the women seek the help of an octogenarian gangster named Nails. Rather than let the bank take everything Susan has, they're going to take the bank. With the help of Nails and a thrill-crazy, wheelchair-bound friend they pull off the daring robbery, and discover that getting away with it is not so easy and that the adventure is only just beginning.
The wild man of literature... [The Sunshine Cruise Company is] Fast and furious and, characteristically, brutal in places. * Independent * Fast-moving, acerbic, occasionally tasteless but never dull, this will delight anyone who thinks old people get a raw deal...A great comic romp with deft touches. * Mail on Sunday * John Niven manages the trick of being both profane and humane. -- Ian Rankin * Observer - summer reads * The fun is considerable...a caper...it may well be the funniest thing you'll read this year. * Independent on Sunday * A hearty bloodstained handshake, then, for John Niven's The Sunshine Cruise Company, in which a group of women aged from their mid-teens to advanced eighties get to behave in a thoroughly disreputable fashion...This new novel, Niven's seventh, breaks with his usual habit of laying bare the male psyche, but retains his celebrated strengths: sparky, unfussy writing; a fast-moving plot; and, most notably, an ability to be thoroughly outspoken about matters sexual and scatological whilst retaining a surprising degree of empathy for the human trials of his characters...Comic fiction that reduces all its personnel to mere caricatures can be a trial to read, but this book, for all the amped-up extremity of the events it portrays, works because its characters get a grounding in emotional reality as well as a bunch of outrageous events with which to contend...Engaging, utterly accessible and boundary-bending: middle-aged chick lit that follows none of the conventions of middle-aged chick lit; lad lit that features no lads. In other words, it's for pretty much anyone, provided they can stomach Ethel's vocabulary and the unsavoury details of Barry's exit from life...It would be a major thrill to see a story like this in movie form. Might the ladies of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel be persuaded to consider a slightly racier residence...? * Independent *