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.

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 an exceptional journey, an autobiographical novel that probes the ruinous legacies of Fascist Europe in the twentieth century.From a starting point of the discovery of photographs in a family album ­- of a grandfather who joined Hitler's army, of her Spanish father dressed in the Francoist uniform - Caterina Pascual Söderbaum explores her connections to the most abhorrent passages of twentieth-century history. Her mother was a cousin of Kristina Söderbaum, a celebrated Swedish film star of the Third Reich, adored by Goebbels. She travels with husband and child to the shores of idyllic Attersee in Austria, where the officers of extermination camps spent their holidays, and 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 Villa Saint-Jean, a summer residence where malnourished children from France's internment camps were sent to recover. An exploration into her own family's disturbing history is fused with vividly captured episodes, and the threads of evil that she lays bare she describes 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

Smoky the Brave

Damien Lewis
Authors:
Damien Lewis
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.

Quercus

The Girls from the Local

Rosie Archer
Authors:
Rosie Archer

Gosport, Hampshre, 1943, and even in the middle of war the local pub provides a warm welcome, thanks to its trio of barmaids. A heartwarming saga for fans of Sheila Newberry and Daisy Styles.Ruby has been living and working at the Point of No Return pub since her parents were killed by a bomb. She loves the bustle of the pub; it helps take her mind off worrying about her fiance, Joe, away fighting in France.The only thing Ruby doesn't like about the Point is Sylvie. This singing siren may have a beautiful voice, but she's out for all she can get, including Joe.Finally, there's Marge, a true party girl. She's a great friend to Ruby and makes sure they have fun, going out to dances and flirting with all and sundry, but she's not as fond of her other role as a mother to two young children.The three of them face many obstacles to fulfilling their dreams, but the bonds of friendship and camaraderie that hold the Point together will keep them going through the darkest of times.

Quercus

The Berlin Noir Series

Philip Kerr
Authors:
Philip Kerr

Berlin Noir: the first three thrillers in the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Bernie Gunther series. Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But then the Nazis came to power, and Bernie realised the most dangerous criminals were the ones in charge.'The greatest anti-hero ever written' - Lee ChildMARCH VIOLETSHired by a wealthy industrialist to investigate the murder of his daughter and her husband, Bernie finds himself drawn into the lethal internal politics of the Nazi party. When Hermann Goering himself calls Bernie in with a task for him that throws his existing case into a whole new light, he must weigh up his hatred of the Nazis against his desire to live.THE PALE CRIMINALFive German schoolgirls are missing. Four have been found dead, victims of horrific ritual murders. Bernie Gunther is reluctant to investigate, but when Reynhard Heydrich gives you an order, you obey it if you want to stay alive. What Bernie discovers is far worse than a lone madman: an occult conspiracy at the very heart of the Nazi Party.A GERMAN REQUIEMPostwar Vienna was supposed to be somewhere quiet for Bernie to lie low. Then he is asked to clear an old Kripo colleague's name of murder. This man belonged to a secret society of Nazi hunters, and before he knows it Bernie is face to face with men who have been presumed dead for years. They got away with their crimes once. Bernie will see it doesn't happen again.

MacLehose Press

Avenging Angels

Lyuba Vinogradova
Authors:
Lyuba Vinogradova

The 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

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

MacLehose Press

Between the Wars

Philip Ziegler
Authors:
Philip Ziegler

At the end of 1918 one prescient American historian began to write a history of the Great War. "What will you call it?" he was asked. "The First World War," was his bleak response.In Between the Wars Philip Ziegler examines the major international turning points - cultural and social as well as political and military - that led the world from one war to another. His approach is panoramic, touching on all parts of the world where history was being made, examining Gandhi's March to the Sea and the Chaco War in South America alongside Hitler's rise to power.It is the tragic story of a world determined that the horrors of the First World War would never be repeated, yet committed to a path which in hindsight was inevitably destined to end in a second, even more devastating conflict.Each chapter bears the unmistakable stamp of Ziegler's scholarship: a keen eye for the telling anecdote, elegant and fluid prose, and calm and fair judgments. In a world that grows ever more uncertain, its perspective on how hopes of peace can dissolve into the promise of war becomes more relevant with each passing day.

Quercus

The Gunpowder and Glory Girls

Rosie Archer
Authors:
Rosie Archer

The 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
MacLehose Press

The Bickford Fuse

Andrey Kurkov
Authors:
Andrey Kurkov
Quercus

A Spring Betrayal

Tom Callaghan
Authors:
Tom Callaghan
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.

MacLehose Press

Borders

Roy Jacobsen
Authors:
Roy Jacobsen

Robert Junior never knew the father he was named for, an American G.I. who was captured during the Battle of the Bulge and fell briefly into the arms of a Belgian nurse.Growing up with his mother in the lush forests of the Ardennes, Robert turns for guidance to his godfather, Markus Hebel, a Belgian who served in the German army in Russia.Breaking the silence around his painful past, Markus speaks of the consequences and madness of war - of the son he lost at Stalingrad and the courage of the men who tried to free the trapped German soldiers with a desperate charge across the frozen steppe.In so doing, Markus reveals a secret he has kept since the war, and a doubt that has gnawed at him for twenty years. Did he, a lowly radio operator, waste a chance to save an entire army from annihilation?

Heron Books

Deep Trouble

Rob Lofthouse
Authors:
Rob Lofthouse
Quercus

The Canary Girls

Rosie Archer
Authors:
Rosie Archer

In love and war, who can you trust? 1944, Hampshire. Her face still bearing the scars from the explosion at the factory, Rita Brown is nonetheless back on her feet. She's caught the eye of local wide boy Blackie Bristow, who's sweeping her around the country in a life of shady glamour. But there's a war on, and life is not all fun and games. Some of the local men are taking advantage of the topsy-turvy world to break more than just hearts, and standing up to them comes with its own costs. Rita keeps calm and carries on with a little help from her friends at the factory. But then she discovers someone there has been leaking secrets to the Germans. With D-Day on the horizon, Rita must work out who she can rely on - and fast.

riverrun

The Book of Aron

Jim Shepard
Authors:
Jim Shepard

Warsaw, Poland, 1939. My mother and father named me Aron, but my father said they should have named me What Have You Done or What Were You Thinking.Aron is a nine-year-old Polish Jew, and a troublemaker. As the walls go up around the ghetto in Warsaw, as the lice and typhus rage, food is stolen and even Jewish police betray their people, Aron smuggles from the other side to survive.In a place where no one thinks of anyone but himself, the only exception is Doctor Korczak; trying to keep a hundred and fifty orphans from starving.They call the Doctor a hero. Aron is not a hero. He is not special or selfless or spirited. He is ordinary. He is willing to do what the Doctor will not.

Quercus

A Killing Winter

Tom Callaghan
Authors:
Tom Callaghan