Derek Robinson - Holy Smoke - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780857057341
    • Publication date:16 Nov 2017

Holy Smoke

By Derek Robinson

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

The witty, gripping tale - based on real events - of how an Italian pornographer hoodwinked US Intelligence at the height of WWII

The summer of 1944. Rome, Italy - somewhat battered, but liberated by the Allies and glad to be out of the war. Enter a powerful American intelligence agency, hot in pursuit of secret information. Also enter a stunted, insignificant, middle-aged, unemployed Italian journalist, fresh out of jail and desperate for work.

On the face of it, a grotesquely one-sided confrontation, heavily weighted in favour of the professionals. What could possibly go wrong? In the event, almost everything. And that's a fact.

Biographical Notes

Derek Robinson, the son of a policeman, read history at Cambridge before working in advertising in London and New York. His novel Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1971.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857057334
  • Publication date: 16 Nov 2017
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
An outstanding novelist. — Max Hastings.
As writer, Robinson never hits a false note. — Nicholas Lezard, Guardian.
Robinson is a better story-teller than Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follett or Wilbur Smith; his prose is as full of care and colour as most of the Booker winners. — Tibor Fischer, The Times.
MacLehose Press

Madeleine

Euan Cameron
Authors:
Euan Cameron

Family history has always been a mystery to Jo Latymer. His father flatly refused to talk about it, and with no other relatives to consult, it seems that a mystery it shall always remain. Until of course, Jo meets Ghislaine, his beautiful French cousin, in a chance encounter that sends him headlong into the life of his longlost grandfather, Henry Latymer. Reading Henry's old letters and diaries for the first time, Jo discovers an idealistic young man, full of hopes and optimism - an optimism that will gradually be crushed as the realities of life under the Vichy regime become glaringly clear.But the more Jo delves into Henry's past, and into France's troubled history, the darker the secrets he discovers about his grandfather become, and the more he has cause to wonder if sometimes, the past should remain buried.

Quercus

The King's War

Mark Logue, Peter Conradi
Authors:
Mark Logue, Peter Conradi

The broadcast that George VI made to the nation on the outbreak of war in September 1939 - which formed the climax of the multi Oscar-winning film The King's Speech - was the product of years of hard work with Lionel Logue, his iconoclastic Australian-born speech therapist. Yet the relationship between the two men did not end there. Far from it: in the years that followed, Logue was to play an even more important role at the monarch's side.The King's War follows this relationship through the dark days of Dunkirk and the drama of D-Day to eventual victory in 1945 - and beyond. It is written by Peter Conradi, a Sunday Times journalist, and Mark Logue, Lionel's grandson, whose previous book, The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy, was a best-seller in Britain and America and translated into more than 20 languages.The book draws on exclusive material from the Logue Archive - the collection of diaries, letters and other documents left by Lionel and his feisty wife, Myrtle. It provides a fascinating portrait of two men and their respective families - the Windsors and the Logues - as they together faced up to the greatest challenge in Britain's history.(P)2018 Quercus Editions Limited

MacLehose Press

The Oblique Place

Caterina Pascual Söderbaum
Authors:
Caterina Pascual Söderbaum

"Caterina Pascual Söderbaum has left a major European literary work of art as her legacy" STEVE SEM-SANDBERG, author of Emperor of LiesThe Oblique Place is a captivating journey of the imagination, a prize-winning novel that probes the ruinous legacies of Fascist Europe in the twentieth century.The discovery of photographs in an album ­- of her Spanish grandfather who joined Hitler's Wehrmacht and her father in the uniform of Franco's army- leads Caterina Pascual Söderbaum to explore her family's links to some of the most abhorrent passages of twentieth-century history. Her mother turns out to be related to Kristina Söderbaum, a celebrated Swedish film star of the Third Reich, adored by Goebbels.She travels with husband and child to the shores of the idyllic Attersee in Austria, where the officers of the extermination camps spent their holidays. The journey continues from Schloss Hartheim, where the staff of the Nazi euthanasia programme forgot, with the help of alcohol and sex, the horrors that took place there, to the Villa Saint-Jean, where malnourished children from France's internment camps were sent to recover. This imaginative rediscovery of her own family's disturbing history is fused with vividly captured episodes from other lives and times, and the threads of evil that she lays bare are described in language so beautiful, so subtle and painterly, that her odyssey is at once shattering and mesmerising.Translated from the Swedish by Frank Perry

Quercus

A Spring Betrayal

Tom Callaghan
Authors:
Tom Callaghan
Quercus

Smoky the Brave

Damien Lewis
Authors:
Damien Lewis
MacLehose Press

Kingdom of Twilight

Steven Uhly
Authors:
Steven Uhly

HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH - THE TIMESOne night in autumn 1944, a gunshot echoes through the alleyways of a small town in occupied Poland. An S.S. officer is shot dead by a young Polish Jew, Margarita Ejzenstain. In retaliation, his commander orders the execution of thirty-seven Poles - one for every year of the dead man's life. First hidden by a German couple, Margarita must then flee the brutal advance of the Soviet army with her new-born baby. So begins a thrilling panorama of intermingled destinies and events that reverberate from that single act of defiance. KINGDOM OF TWILIGHT follows the lives of Jewish refugees and a German family resettled from Bukovina, as well as a former S.S. officer, chronicling the geographical and psychological dislocation generated by war. A quest for identity and truth takes them from Displaced Persons camps to Lübeck, Berlin, Tel Aviv and New York, as they try to make sense of a changed world, and of their place in it. Hypnotically lyrical and intensely moving, Steven Uhly's epic novel is a finely nuanced and yet shattering exploration of universal themes: love, hatred, doubt, survival, guilt, humanity and redemption.For readers of HHHH by Laurent Binet, THE KINDLY ONES by Jonathan Littell, THE ZONE OF INTEREST by Martin Amis, and ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony DoerrTranslated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

riverrun

The Italian Teacher

Tom Rachman
Authors:
Tom Rachman

'Wickedly funny, deeply touching . . . I confess this was the first of Rachman's novels I'd read but I was so swept away by it that I raced out to buy the other three' PATRICK GALE'Relentlessly entertaining' Daily MailRome, 1955The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot.From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Trying to live up to his father's name - one of the twentieth century's fiercest and most controversial painters - Pinch never quite succeeds. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy.What makes an artist? In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of art and its demons. Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of vulnerability and frustrated talent that - with his signature humour and humanity ­- challenges the very idea of greatness.(P)2018 Quercus Editions Ltd

Quercus

The Girls from the Local

Rosie Archer
Authors:
Rosie Archer
Quercus

The Berlin Noir Series

Philip Kerr
Authors:
Philip Kerr
MacLehose Press

Avenging Angels

Lyuba Vinogradova
Authors:
Lyuba Vinogradova

"Lyuba Vinogradova is a historian with a writer's dramatic eye. By personally interviewing many of the Russian women who as teenagers during WW2 took up arms to defend the motherland, her story becomes undeniably poignant and powerful" MARTIN CRUZ SMITH, author of Gorky ParkThe girls came from every corner of the U.S.S.R. They were factory workers, domestic servants, teachers and clerks, and few were older than twenty. Though many had led hard lives before the war, nothing could have prepared them for the brutal facts of their new existence: with their country on its knees, and millions of its men already dead, grievously wounded or in captivity, from 1942 onwards thousands of Soviet women were trained as snipers.Thrown into the midst of some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War they would soon learn what it was like to spend hour upon hour hunting German soldiers in the bleak expanses of no-man's-land; they would become familiar with the awful power that comes with taking another person's life; and in turn they would discover how it feels to see your closest friends torn away from you by an enemy shell or bullet.In a narrative that travels from the sinister catacombs beneath the Kerch Peninsula to Byelorussia's primeval forests and, finally, to the smoking ruins of the Third Reich, Lyuba Vinogradova recounts the untold stories of these brave young women. Drawing on diaries, letters and interviews with survivors, as well as previously unpublished material from the military archives, she offers a moving and unforgettable record of their experiences: the rigorous training, the squalid living quarters, the blood and chaos of the Eastern Front, and those moments of laughter and happiness that occasionally allowed the girls to forget, for a second or two, their horrifying circumstances. Avenging Angels is a masterful account of an all-too-often overlooked chapter of history, and an unparalleled account of these women's lives.Translated from the Russian by Arch Tait

MacLehose Press

Between the Wars

Philip Ziegler
Authors:
Philip Ziegler
Quercus

The Gunpowder and Glory Girls

Rosie Archer
Authors:
Rosie Archer

The fourth in this series of WW2 sagas about a group of women friends fighting their own battles on the Home FrontThe war is drawing to a close, but the munitions girls are still hard at work in the factory. Gladys, who's been promoted to overseer, has been feeling lonely lately. Her friend Em, and Em's daughter Lizzie, have moved away, and a lot of others have left Gosport too. Then an act of kindness towards Goldie, a homeless teenager, provides Gladys with a new friend and lodger.But Goldie has run away from her dangerous family - a group of local gangsters and black-market smugglers, including a particular thug, a pimp, who is determined to make the girl his ownCan Gladys keep both of them safe while dealing with her own unexpected pregnancy?

Quercus

The Factory Girls

Rosie Archer
Authors:
Rosie Archer

For fans of Daisy Styles, a heart-warming wartime saga about a group of women who work in an armaments factory. No matter how hard the times, despite bombing, short rations, cruel men, unwanted pregnancy, through thick and thin friendship will pull you through. Autumn, 1944. Doodlebugs are the latest threat to war-battered southern England. At Priddy's Hard munitions factory though, Em Earle is about to suffer a threat to her livelihood from much nearer home. Local crook Samuel Golden is back and up to his old tricks, trying to find ways to exploit people's hardship for his own gain.As well as Samuel's unwanted attentions, Em has to deal with some huge revelations from within her own family. Her daughter Lizzie is pregnant, and a strange woman has turned up on Em's doorstep claiming to be her sister. Em is excited, but wary - could this woman be too good to be true? Once again it will be up to the girls from the bomb factory to rally round and support one of their own.

Heron Books

Zero Hour Trilogy: Well Past Trouble

Rob Lofthouse
Authors:
Rob Lofthouse

Well Past Trouble is the last in the Zero Hour trilogy and sees Robbie and his men's endurance, spirit and bond tested to their limits.March, 1945 - With the Germans in retreat, the Allies begin to look toward the ultimate prize: Berlin. But first they must cross the heavily-defended Rhine into Germany's industrial heartland. In the savage fighting for this crucial gateway, Robbie Stokes and his airborne division must drop into enemy territory and hold off German reinforcements.Exhausted after fighting through France and the Netherlands it falls to Robbie to lift his company for one final operation and the push into Germany. But despite his experience, nothing he's seen yet can prepare him for what they find as the Germans retreat and their cruelty is revealed. The end is insight, but Robbie and his men will have to fight every inch of the way.

MacLehose Press

The Bickford Fuse

Andrey Kurkov
Authors:
Andrey Kurkov

Catch-22 meets The Brothers Karamazov in the last great satire of the Soviet EraThe Great Patriotic War is stumbling to a close, but a new darkness has fallen over Soviet Russia. And for a disparate, disconnected clutch of wanderers - many thousands of miles apart but linked by a common goal - four parallel journeys are just beginning.Gorych and his driver, rolling through water, sand and snow on an empty petrol tank; the occupant of a black airship, looking down benevolently as he floats above his Fatherland; young Andrey, who leaves his religious community in search of a new life; and Kharitonov, who trudges from the Sea of Japan to Leningrad, carrying a fuse that, when lit, could blow all and sundry to smithereens.Written in the final years of Communism, The Bickford Fuse is a satirical epic of the Soviet soul, exploring the origins and dead-ends of the Russian mentality from the end of World War Two to the Union's collapse. Blending allegory and fable with real events, and as deliriously absurd as anything Kurkov has written, it is both an elegy for lost years and a song of hope for a future not yet set in stone.Translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk

MacLehose Press

Defending the Motherland

Lyuba Vinogradova
Authors:
Lyuba Vinogradova

Plucked from every background, and led by an N.K.V.D. Major, the new recruits who boarded a train in Moscow on 16th October 1941 to go to war had much in common with millions of others across the world. What made the 586th Fighter Regiment, the 587th Heavy-bomber Regiment and the 588th Regiment of light night-bombers unique was their gender: the Soviet Union was creating the first all-female active combat units in modern history.Drawing on original interviews with surviving airwomen, Lyuba Vinogradova weaves together the untold stories of the female Soviet fighter pilots of the Second World War. From that first train journey to the last tragic disappearance, Vinogradova's panoramic account of these women's lives follows them from society balls to unmarked graves, from landmark victories to the horrors of Stalingrad. Battling not just fearsome Aces of the Luftwaffe but also patronising prejudice from their own leaders, women such as Lilya Litvyak and Ekaterina Budanova are brought to life by the diaries and recollections of those who knew them, and who watched them live, love, fight and die.

Heron Books

Zero Hour Trilogy: Double Trouble

Rob Lofthouse
Authors:
Rob Lofthouse

Double Trouble is the sensational, breathless sequel to Deep Trouble and tells the story of one of the most famous operations of the Second World War: 50,000 airborne troops, nine days of fierce fighting, one bridge too far.September, 1944 - Just three months after D-Day and the Allied invasion is getting bogged down in France. The commanders need a change of tactics. Cue Operation Market Garden - the largest and most audacious airborne raid of the war. Fresh from D-Day, Robbie Stokes finds himself drafted into an airborne division and landing in occupied Netherlands. Greeted by a hail of German flak and bullets it quickly becomes clear that the operation is not the surprise it should be. Battle-hardened in Normandy, Robbie finds himself forced to take a leading role as he and his platoon try and break through to Arnhem Bridge.

Quercus

The Other Side of Silence

Philip Kerr
Authors:
Philip Kerr

The French Riviera, 1956. A world-weary Bernie Gunther is working under a false name as a hotel concierge. His attempts to keep his nose clean go horribly awry when a wartime acquaintance sucks him into a blackmail plot involving one of the most famous British writers of the 20th century and the Cambridge Spies.Bernie is missing his old detective life when his past walks through the door in the shape of Harold Hennig, a former captain in the Nazi security service - the man who, in 1945, was responsible for the deaths of thousands, among them a woman Bernie loved. Hennig now enjoys a lucrative career as a blackmailer. Hennig's target on the Cote d'Azur is a famous resident with a dark past and plenty to hide - the writer, Somerset Maugham. A shared love of bridge draws Bernie to Maugham's magnificent villa, where Maugham tells him of the existence of a very compromising photograph. Taken in 1937, it shows Maugham among a group of naked men beside a swimming pool - one of whom is the infamous spy and homosexual, Guy Burgess, who, with Donald Maclean, has recently defected to Moscow. Hennig has the photograph and is demanding $50,000 for its release. Bernie is reluctant to become Maugham's agent but his former life has made him as vulnerable to blackmail as Maugham himself. Not only that - he has a massive score to settle with Hennig.

Quercus

The Food of Love

Prue Leith
Authors:
Prue Leith

A proud family. Snubbed by aristocratic neighbour Lord Frampton at a coming-of-age ball, Donald Oliver dreams of the day he'll have his vengeance.A wild daughter. Laura Oliver, beautiful and tempestuous, falls in love with Giovanni, an Italian ex-prisoner-of-war, now a humble cook. Disdaining her father's snobbishness - and his wrath - the couple flee to London.A desperate hope. Giovanni and Laura arrive to a city that has not yet re-awoken after the traumas of war. Facing destitution, only their love for one another and their dream of opening a restaurant business keeps them going.From Cotswolds farmland to London fish markets, society ballrooms to icy gutters, this is a tale of prejudice and ambition, power and passion, and one couple's struggle to overcome all obstacles and carve out a life of their own.

riverrun

The Book of Aron

Jim Shepard
Authors:
Jim Shepard

**SHORTLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE AWARD**'Powerful . . . shattering . . . a masterpiece' The Times'Testament of love and sacrifice . . . a masterpiece' Joshua Ferris, Guardian'Transcendent and timeless . . . masterpiece' Washington PostAron is a nine-year-old Polish Jew, and a troublemaker. His mother despairs of him. His father beats him. He tries to be good. But in 1939, as the walls go up around the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, as lice and typhus rage, families starve and fight, it is Aron who finds a way - however dangerous, however treacherous - to survive. It isn't until he lands at the feet of Janusz Korczak - orphanage director and reluctant hero - that he learns of something greater than survival.**With new exclusive endmatter, featuring a biography of Korczak and questions for book clubs**