Zola and the Victorians
By Eileen Horne
London, 1888: Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of Whitechapel; national strikes and social unrest threaten the status quo; a grave economic crisis is spreading across the Atlantic . . . Yet Her Majesty's government is preoccupied with "a mere book" - or rather, a series of books: new translations of the Rougon-Macquart saga by French literary giant Émile Zola.In his time, Zola made his British contemporaries look positively pastoral; much of his work is considered shocking and transgressive even now. But it was his English publisher who bore the brunt of the Victorians' moral outrage at Zola's "realistic" depictions of striking miners, society courtesans and priapic, feuding farmers.Seventy years before Lady Chatterley's Lover broke the back of British censorship, Henry Vizetelly's commitment to publishing Zola, and to the nascent principle of free speech, not only landed him in the dock and thereafter in prison, but brought to ruin to the publishing house he had founded. Meanwhile, Zola was going from strength to strength, establishing his reputation as a literary legend and falling in love with a woman half his age.This lively, humorous and ultimately tragic tale is an exploration of the consequences of translation and censorship which remains relevant today for readers, publishers and authors everywhere.
By Tony Park
Miranda, a young American research assistant, is killed by a man-eating lion. Her gruesome death leaves three people devastated:Her father, Jed Banks, an American Special Forces soldier serving in Afghanistan.Her boss, Professor Christine Wallis, a wildlife researcher in South Africa. Her lover, Hassan bin Zayid, a hotel magnate in Zambia.Driven to find out what happened, Jed, accompanied by Christine, travels to the banks of the Zambezi to investigate. Not only does Jed learn some shocking truths about the daughter he thought he knew, he begins to suspect that Christine is withholding crucial information about the events leading up to Miranda's death. Meanwhile, Hassan's grief is growing dangerously volatile ...
The Zig Zag Girl
By Elly Griffiths
Brighton, 1950. When a girl's body is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar's. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men. Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind. Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another 'trick', the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in the killer's sights...
Zero Six Bravo
By Damien Lewis
The Sunday Times No.1 bestseller. 'Sixty special forces against 100,000 - a feat of British arms to take the breath away' Frederick Forsyth.They were branded as cowards and accused of being the British Special Forces Squadron that ran away from the Iraqis. But nothing could be further from the truth. Ten years on, the story of these sixty men can finally be told. In March 2003 M Squadron - an SBS unit with SAS embeds - was sent 1,000 kilometres behind enemy lines on a true mission impossible, to take the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps. From the very start their tasking earned the nickname 'Operation No Return'. Caught in a ferocious ambush by thousands of die-hard fanatics from Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen, plus the awesome firepower of the 5th Corps' heavy armour, and with eight of their vehicles bogged in Iraqi swamps, M Squadron launched a desperate bid to escape, inflicting massive damage on their enemies. Running low on fuel and ammunition, outnumbered, outmanoeuvred and outgunned, the elite operators destroyed sensitive kit and prepared for death or capture as the Iraqis closed their deadly trap. Zero Six Bravo recounts in vivid and compelling detail the most desperate battle fought by British and allied Special Forces trapped behind enemy lines since World War Two. It is a classic account of elite soldiering that ranks with Bravo Two Zero and the very greatest Special Forces missions of our time.
The Zookeeper's War
By Steven Conte
It is 1943 and each night in a bomb shelter beneath the Berlin Zoo an Australian woman, Vera, shelters with her German husband, Axel, the zoo's director.Together, they struggle to look after the animals through the air raids and food shortages. When the zoo's staff is drafted into the army, forced labourers are sent in as replacements. At first, Vera finds the idea abhorrent, but gradually she realizes that the new workers are the zoo's only hope, and forms an unlikely bond with one of them.This is a city where a foreign accent is a constant source of suspicion, where busybodies report the names of neighbours' dinner guests to the Gestapo. As tensions mount in the closing days of the war, nothing and no one, it seems, can be trusted.The Zookeeper's War is a powerful novel of a marriage, and of a city collapsing. It confronts not only the brutality of war but the possibility of heroism - and delivers an ending that is both shocking and deeply moving.