Derek Robinson - Holy Smoke - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £8.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9780857057334
    • Publication date:16 Nov 2017

Holy Smoke

By Derek Robinson

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

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: 9780857057341
  • Publication date: 16 Nov 2017
  • Page count:
  • 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
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

The World's Smallest Dog with the World's Biggest HeartSmoky the Brave is the extraordinary, touching and true story of a heroic dog and her adoptive masters in the jungles of the Pacific War. In February 1944, as Japanese military advances threatened to engulf Australasia, a tiny, four-pound Yorkshire terrier was discovered hiding in a Japanese shell scrape amidst the thick jungles of Papua New Guinea. The GIs who discovered her presumed she had been some kind of Japanese army mascot, but it soon turned out that she understood neither commands rendered in Japanese nor English. A mystery, she was adopted by Corporal William 'Bill' Wynne, an air-crewman with the US 5th Air Force's 26th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron.Living in Bill Wynne's tent, sleeping on a piece of green felt salvaged from a card table, and sharing his rations, Smoky became the de facto mascot of the regiment. She went on to fly numerous photo-recce and air-sea rescue missions, cocooned in a soldier's pack hanging next to the machine-guns used to repel marauding Japanese fighters. She was awarded eight battle stars, surviving dozens of Japanese combat raids on Papua New Guinea, and braving a typhoon that ravaged Okinawa. After saving Wynne's life by warning of a falling shell, as their landing craft approached an enemy-held beach - a shell that killed the eight men that Wynne was standing beside - he nicknamed her the 'angel from a foxhole'. In one of her most famous exploits Smoky parachuted using a special rig designed to fit one of the world's smallest but toughest dogs.In perhaps her most heroic exploit of all, Smoky ran a cable through a seventy-foot pipe no wider in places than four inches, to enable telephone lines to be run across the recently occupied airbase of Luzon. Her efforts saved hundreds of ground-crew from being exposed to enemy bombing, preventing injury and loss of life. Amongst her many other awards, she was given the PDSA's Certificate for Animal Bravery or Devotion in 2011, a relatively new class of PDSA award.(P)2018 Quercus Editions Limited

riverrun

The Italian Teacher

Tom Rachman
Authors:
Tom Rachman
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
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

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

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?

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**

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.

Quercus

A Killing Winter

Tom Callaghan
Authors:
Tom Callaghan