I love hearing all these recommendations. I'll be trying quite a few of these in the coming months.
Recently I've read the follow on to life after life by Kate Atkinson, called A God in Ruins. I loved it, although I was a little confused at first, since the characters were the same as those in life after life, but the story lines were different again.
I'm currently reading a trilogy by Peter May, which starts with The Black House. They are reasonably well written, with a decent, if slightly stretched plot, but with fantastic descriptions of the Isles of Lewis and Harris. The history, local knowledge and evocative prose make the books worth reading.
Clare, I agree with those who think you could make a career out of critiquing.