By Tony Park
Alex Tremain is a pirate who needs to up his game. He's facing a mounting tide of debts and his crew of ex-military cutthroats are getting restless. A chance raid on a wildlife smugglers' ship promises both bounty and excitement. Unfortunately it also sets the Chinese triads after him. As a pleasing distraction corporate lawyer Jane Humphries lands, literally, in his lap. But once again his luck doesn't last - it turns out her lover is a ruthless shipping magnate backed up by a bunch of deadly contract killers.What Alex needs is one last, big heist. When the South African government makes a controversial decision to reinstate the culling of elephants in its national parks, Alex thinks his luck has finally changed. He couldn't be more wrong . . .
The Italian Quarter
By Domenica De Rosa
Sophie is only a quarter Italian. But that quarter is her charismatic grandfather Cesare, and he has instilled in her a great love of her Italian heritage. So when a journalist starts to investigate Cesare's war record, Sophie reluctantly questions just how proud she should really be. She embarks upon a journey into the past which takes her from nineteenth-century Naples to London's Italian quarter and one of the war's forgotten tragedies. And along the way she also learns something very important about herself...
It's All About Treo
By Damien Lewis, Damien Lewis, Dave Heyhoe
This is the incredible true story of the unbreakable bond forged between Treo, the world's most highly decorated dog, and his handler Sgt. Dave HeyhoeWhen Dave Heyhoe was sent to Afghanistan to help detect the Taliban's murderous roadside bombs, he knew he'd need a special dog by his side. Luckily for him, his closest pal Treo, a staggeringly brave ball of energy and mischief was with him every step of the way. The two friends had a miraculous understanding that helped them save countless lives but, as they embarked on a roller-coaster emotional ride, Dave realized he needed Treo more than he could ever have imagined. Tear-jerkingly sad one moment, laugh-out-loud hilarious the next, It's All About Treo is a moving and uplifting story that will melt the hearts of animal lovers everywhere.
It Can't Go On
By Joseph Connolly
The moment he spots Maria's long legs at a party, Jeremy knows he's done for. The moment she sees that look in his eyes, Maria knows she's in for a free ride. The moment she twigs Jeremy's sneaking around, his wife Anne thinks she knows he's having an affair with Nan - their nanny. And chucks him out. Like dropping a grenade into a pond, this sets off a ricochet of concentric calamity that changes Jeremy's life; and those of Anne, Maria, Nan, Max, Hugo and everyone else they know; leaving them in disarray, washed up or exactly where they were before. In razor-sharp comic style, Joseph Connolly sets up his characters like pawns in a devilish chess game, prodding them towards war, conquest, or merely in evermaddening circles. Lust, manipulation and fear of being alone propel Jeremy in the most inextricable of purgatorial repetitons, until he seems to embody society's cruellest absurdities about the pointlessness of it all - forever going on.
Istanbul, Rome and Jerusalem
By Simon Sebag Montefiore
Simon Sebag Montefiore, one of our most popular historians, and also presenter of BBC television series on Istanbul, Rome and Jerusalem, selects the essential cast of dramatic characters who built, destroyed or changed the three great Holy Cities. The creators of Istanbul: from the murderous visionary Constantine the Great to the ultimate power couple, Justinian and his burlesque-dancer-turned-empress Theodora, to Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roxelana, all the way to Ataturk. In Jerusalem: from Herod the Great, who killed his beloved wife and three sons, to the great Crusader queen Melisende and the Arab conqueror Saladin. In Rome, from psychotic Caligula and the philosopher Marcus Aurelius to the megalomanical seductress Marozia, the Borgias and Mussolini. These are stories and characters that everyone should know and no one should forget.
Isms and Ologies
By Arthur Goldwag
What's the difference between an anarchist and an anarcho-syndicalist, a Platonist and a Neo-Platonist? And how modern can Modernism really be if all the famous modernists are dead? To those who've been humiliated by a knowing reference to Wahhabism at a dinner party, caught short by a casual allusion to Orphism at a private view, or flummoxed by a smug mention of post-structuralism by a fellow member of a suburban book group, Isms and Ologies offers hope and enlightenment. Crackpot convictions, perplexing philosophies, tricky tenets, and wacky Weltanschauungs - Isms and Ologies lists them all, and explains their salient features clearly and accessibly. So, if you're genuinely curious to know the crucial characteristics of phenomenology or just want to lend a veneer of intellectual rigour to your small talk, Isms and Ologies could be just the book you are looking for.
Isle of the Dead
By Alex Connor
VENICE, ITALY: CITY OF SPLENDOUR. CITY OF SECRETS. CITY OF THE SKIN HUNTER. In October 1555 the Italian master Titian painted the portrait of Angelico Vespucci - a Venetian merchant whose cruelty words could not capture. When Vespucci was revealed to be the elusive monster who had been flaying young women across the city, he vanished inexplicably, along with the painting. All that remained was a chilling warning: when the portrait emerges, so will the man. Now the lost Titian masterpiece has surfaced in modern-day London, and skinless corpses are amassing across the globe. And it will fall to an unlikely man from the fringes of the art world to unravel half a millennium of myth, mystery and murder.
By Halldor Gudmundsson
Island of Wings
By Karin Altenberg
Longlisted for the Orange Prize 2012. 1830. Neil and Lizzie MacKenzie, a newly married young couple, arrive at the remotest part of the British Isles: St Kilda. He is a minister determined to save the souls of the pagan inhabitants; his pregnant wife speaks no Gaelic and, when her husband is away, has only the waves and the cry of gulls for company. As both find themselves tested to the limit in this harsh new environment, Lizzie soon discovers that marriage is as treacherous a country as the land that surrounds her.
Is There Life On Mars?
By Stuart Clark
By Matt Fitzgerald
Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2012. On October 14, 1989, driven by one of the most intense and lasting two-man rivalries in any sport, a pair of generational talents at the height of their powers ran a race that redefined human limits. The battle between Dave Scott and Mark Allen at the 13th Hawaii Ironman stands as one of the most dramatic stories in the history of athletics. The two greatest athletes of triathlon's pioneering generation raced side by side, literally, for eight straight hours at breakneck speed before Allen finally tore away from his longtime nemesis with less than two miles left in the 140.6-mile event. His margin of victory was a scant 58 seconds. So intense was the drama, the race came to be known as 'Iron War' - the single most awe-inspiring sporting event ever witnessed. More than a compelling story, Iron War is a fascinating exploration of how Scott and Allen pushed themselves and each other - and what it takes for anyone to break through perceived limits. Much as Christopher McDougall added depth to Born to Run by tying in new research on the evolutionary origins of humans as runners, Iron War shows how new discoveries in neuroscience explain how some elite athletes are able to literally will their bodies to do things that should be beyond their capacities. The book weaves an examination of the anatomy of mental toughness into a gripping tale of athletic adventure. With its emotional and intellectual depth, Iron War is a captivating and thought-provoking portrait of the human will..
By Aidan Harte
Set in a darkly original alternative Renaissance Italy, Irenicon is a gripping adventure, a tragic love story and a very modern tale of redemption.The river Irenicon was blasted through the middle of Rasenna in 1347 and now it is a permanent reminder to the feuding factions that nothing can stand in the way of the Concordian Empire. The artificial river, created overnight by Concordian engineers using the Wave, runs uphill. But the Wave is both weapon and mystery; not even the Concordians know how the river became conscious - and hostile. Concordian engineer Captain Giovanni is ordered to bridge the Irenicon - not to reunite the sundered city, but to aid Concord's mighty armies, for the engineers have their sights set firmly on world domination and Rasenna is in their way. Sofia Scaglieri will soon be seventeen, when she will become Contessa of Rasenna, but her inheritance is tainted: she can see no way of stopping the ancient culture of vendetta which divides her city. What she can't understand is why Giovanni is trying so hard to stop the feuding, or why he is prepared to risk his life, not just with her people, but also with the lethal water spirits - the buio - that infest the Irenicon. Times are changing. And only the young Contessa and the enemy engineer Giovanni understand they have to change too, if they are to survive the coming devastation - for Concord is about to unleash the Wave again...
The Invisible Ones
By Stef Penney
The Invisible Ones
By Roy Jacobsen
Barrøy Island off the North-western coast of Norway - a holdfast for a single family, their livestock, their crops, their hopes and dreams. And their fears. There is a taint passed down the Barrøy line, and Hans and Maria Barrøy fear their daughter Ingrid may be affected. The early years of the twentieth century prove that Norway cannot stand apart from the wider world - no more than Barrøy island can remain at a remove from the rest of Norway. Hans Barrøy decides to build a quay so that his family can be properly connected to the mainland and with neighbouring islands. In time, Ingrid is sent to serve with one of the rich families on the coast, caring for their two children. But when tragedy strikes - twice in quick succession - she finds herself responsible not only for two newly orphaned children, but for Barrøy Island itself. If they are to survive, she and the other young must learn how to tame this remote earthly paradise for themselves.
The Invisible Cross
By Andrew Davidson
The unseen letters of the only British officer to spend three years in the trenches throughout the First World WarColonel Graham Chaplin, commander of the Cameron Highlanders, wrote letters from the trenches almost daily to the wife he had married just before the war began. Even if he had no time to write, he would at least send a postcard to reassure her he was 'Quite well'. These personal and loving letters give a rare insight into the mind of a serving officer, his worries about his men and his family back home, his concern for the progress of the war (however cautiously phrased) and his comments on the growing list of friends dead or wounded.Having once refused what he considered unacceptably dangerous orders to send his troops over the top during the Battle of Loos, Chaplin wasn't promoted out of the trenches until 1917. Respected and trusted by his men, he was, even so, the only officer to whom this happened.Andrew Davidson, author of the highly praised Fred's War, analyses Chaplin's unique status and weaves around his letters a fascinating portrait of a soldier's life and of the war on the Western Front.
By Philippe Claudel
By Stephen Coonts
1973. The skies over Vietnam have finally gone silent. America has pulled out and the war is over. But for Lt. Jake Grafton, USN, fresh from two combat cruises and a harrowing shoot-down over Laos, the personal battle is just beginning.His country has not welcomed him home with open arms, but with closed minds and closed fists. When his girlfriend's father called him a murderer, Jake walked away. But when a stranger in a bar challenged his honour, the man was not so lucky - the guy landed in the hospital. Jake landed in jail. And now Grafton's commander, who bailed him out, has devised the perfect punishment: an eight-month mission teaching jarheads - Marines - the nuances of carrier aviation. The Marines may be made of tempered steel and brass balls, but taking off and landing from a slippery flight deck, on a choppy sea, in pitch-black, there is no margin for error - or for animosity. And men like Marine Captain Flap Le Beau, Grafton's bombardier/navigator, have a real gift for pushing Jake's buttons. But he's going to have to learn to live with him, as now they must fly together in the same cockpit, and make the split-second decisions which will insure that, tonight, their fellow pilots don't raise a glass to them.
Into the Jaws of Death
By Robert Lyman
On the night of 28 March 1942 the Royal Navy and British commandos assaulted the German-held French Atlantic port of Saint-Nazaire in one of the most audacious raids of the Second World War. Their plan was simple: to drive an old destroyer packed with three tons of explosive at full speed into the outer gate of the Normandie dock. Destroying this would deny the formidable Tirpitz battleship, currently lurking menacingly in the Norwegian fjords, a base from which it could inflict devastation upon the convoys supplying Britain from the United States. 'Operation Chariot' was dramatically successful, but at a great cost. Fewer than half the men who went on the mission returned. In recognition of their extraordinary bravery, eighty-nine decorations were awarded, including five Victoria Crosses. Into the Jaws of Death is a gripping story of high daring that demonstrates how the decisive courage of a small group of men changed the course of the war.
Into The Fire
By Peter Liney
'Big Guy' Clancy thought escape from the island would be enough, but with the punishment satellites gone hell has been unleashed . . . Having escaped the Island - a wasteland that housed those no longer able to contribute to society - ageing 'Big Guy' Clancy thought his fight was over. But they have returned to the mainland to find that it is not the haven they anticipated. With the punishment satellites that kept them on the Island - and the city under control - gone, hell has been unleashed. A mysterious organisation has begun to decimate the population; those it doesn't kill outright are herded into the streets and then set free to run - for the rich and powerful to hunt. Clancy is about to discover that his work is far from over. The fires of hell don't burn much hotter than this.