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 Teacher
By Tom Rachman
***SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD***'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.
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.
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 Pierre Lemaitre
THE NOVELIST KILLS BY THE BOOK For Commandant Camille Verhoven life is beautiful. He is happily married and soon to become a father.HE'S ALWAYS ONE CHAPTER AHEADBut his blissful existence is punctured by a murder of unprecedented savagery. When his team discovers that the killer has form - and each murder is a homage to a classic crime novel - the Parisian press are quick to coin a nickname . . . The Novelist.HE HATES HAPPY ENDINGS With the public eye fixed on both hunter and hunted, the case develops into a personal duel, each hell-bent on outsmarting the other. There can only be one winner. The one who has the least to lose.
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
'Irenicon is completely fascinating' - Thinking About BooksThe river Irenicon is a feat of Concordian engineering. Blasted through the middle of Rasenna in 1347 using Wave technology, it divided the only city strong enough to defeat the Concordian Empire. But no one could have predicted it would become sentient, and hostile. Sofia Scaligeri, the soon-to-be Contessa of Rasenna, is inheriting a city tearing itself apart from the inside. She can see no way of stopping Rasenna's culture of vendetta . . . until a Concordian engineer arrives to build a bridge over the Irenicon. He shows her that the feuding factions of Rasenna can continue to fight each other, or they can unite against Concord. And they will need to stand together - for Concord is about to unleash the Wave again . . .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 Invisible Ones
By Stef Penney
Rose Janko has been missing for seven years. Her family has made no attempt to find her. Why?Ray Lovell, private investigator, has been hired to discover Rose's fate. But he must first win the trust of the secretive, deceptive, dangerous Janko family, who son Ivo became Rose's husband. If Ray can get to the Jankos, he knows he can find the truth. If he fails, his life - and Rose's - will be over.
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
The Investigator is despatched to a provincial town to find out the truth behind a disturbing spate of suicides amongst employees of The Firm. But from the moment he steps off the train, he finds himself in a world that is alien, unrecognisable, and diabolically complex. From the hostile weather and the fickle hospitality at Hotel Hope to the town's bewildering inhabitants, everything seems to be against him to the point where he wonders whether he is trapped in a recurring nightmare, or has passed into the realm of death itself. Cold, hungry and humiliated, and always one step behind, he nevertheless remains determined to find the only man he can hold to account - The Firm's legendary but elusive founder. The Investigation is an enthralling fable in which our own world is turned on its head, and where the only answers are more questions. Philippe Claudel - author of Brodeck's Report and Monsieur Linh and His Child - is one of Europe's most daring and versatile novelists.
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
The second in Peter Liney's Detainee series. Clancy thought escape from the island would be enough. He was wrong.Having escaped the island - a wasteland that housed those no longer able to contribute to society - ageing 'Big Guy' Clancy thought his fighting days were done. But the mainland is not the haven he anticipated.With the punishment satellites that kept 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. And the fires of hell don't burn much hotter than this.'Impressively dark' - Financial Times
Into a Raging Blaze
By Andreas Norman
Carina Dymek works for the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Until she accidentally exposes secret plans for a European Spy Agency. Suspended, investigated, on the radar of the Security Service, she is fighting to clear her name. But now MI6 are watching. And their plans for her are just beginning.
The Intimate Universe
By Marek Kukula
The scale of the cosmos can be baffling, with distances so vast and timescales to long that it's easy to dismiss them as being completely divorced from our everyday life. But in this new book Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, shows you the myriad ways we are intrinsically connected to the rest of the universe and how everything on Earth - from the ground beneath our feet to the technology in our pockets - has origins in space. Discover how rocks from space reveal what conditions are like at our planet's core, how the desolate surface of the moon holds ancient clues to Earth's earliest life forms, and how buried treasure in the Nile reveals the watery past of Mars. Discover how the atoms of your own body were forged in the heart of a star, how you can see the echo of creation on your TV, and the ways in which technology developed for observing the most far-flung corners of space is now used to diagnose potentially fatal human diseases. The Intimate Universe is a curated tour of the most fascinating phenomena and discoveries in astronomy, revealing how we are inextricably, inspirationally linked to the cosmos.