Jason Donald’s first novel comes complete with praise from Janice Galloway – “reads like a dream” – so expectations are high and not disappointed. Choke chain is a beautifully written story of two boys in sunny suburban South Africa – in a household dominated by a powerful father. It opens with a strikingly described hail storm – “the size of apricots” – and we are very quickly drawn into the domestic life of the family -the boys Alex and Kevin, Bruce, the macho dad who believes in deceit and petty crime, and Grace the unnaturally quiet mum, who starts to fall apart as events progress. A compelling read, at times shocking. moving, and even funny, it builds to a dramatic climax and a believable resolution. Born in Dundee but raised in Pretoria and now living in Glasgow, Jason Donald has delivered a stunning debut.