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.
Zero Six Bravo
By Damien Lewis
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...
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 ...
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.
Zero Hour Trilogy: Deep Trouble
By Rob Lofthouse
Written by a retired British soldier, Deep Trouble is the first in a trilogy of novels telling the breathless, vivid story of one young recruit's experience of one of the greatest military invasions ever launched.6 June 1944 - Somewhere over the Normandy coastline, Robbie Stokes sits in a glider, his Bren resting on the floor between his outstretched legs. The nose lowers and the glider descends rapidly: ten minutes of stomach-churning twists and turns until suddenly the call goes up to 'BRACE'. The belly makes contact with the ground and the first Allied troops tumble out into occupied Europe.For Robbie Stokes it is the beginning of 72 hours of brutal and relentless conflict: a test of character, a test of nerve, a test of comradeship, of the band of brothers around him. If they fail, then the Allied invasion fails. They must succeed on their longest day.The operation to Pegasus Bridge is one of the most famous of the Second World War. Taking place six hours before the famous Normandy landings, when six gliders deposited the 2nd Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry behind enemy lines with the orders to take and hold the bridges at Bénouville and Ranville.Part of this work has been previously published under the title, Well Past Trouble.
Zero Hour Trilogy: Double Trouble
By 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.
Zero Hour Trilogy: Well Past Trouble
By 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.
Zen and the Art of Murder
By Oliver Bottini
** SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA INTERNATIONAL DAGGER 2018 **The first in a gripping new crime series set in Germany - the Black Forest Investigations Louise Boni, maverick chief inspector with the Black Forest crime squad, is struggling with her demons. Divorced at forty-two, she is haunted by the shadows of the past. Dreading yet another a dreary winter weekend alone, she receives a call from the departmental chief which signals the strangest assignment of her career - to trail a Japanese monk wandering through the snowy wasteland to the east of Freiburg, dressed only in sandals and a cowl. She sets off reluctantly, and by the time she catches up with him, she discovers that he is injured, and fearfully fleeing some unknown evil. When her own team comes under fire, the investigation takes on a terrifying dimension, uncovering a hideous ring of child traffickers. The repercussions of their crimes will change the course of her own life.Oliver Bottini is a fresh and exciting voice in the world of crime fiction in translation; the Rhine borderlands of the Black Forest are a perfect setting for his beautifully crafted mysteries.Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch