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The Italian Teacher

By Tom Rachman
Authors:
Tom Rachman
'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.
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A Handful of Happiness

By Massimo Vacchetta
Authors:
Massimo Vacchetta
The heart-warming story of how a tiny hedgehog helped one man find hope. 'Could you look after it for a couple of days? . . .' So begins the extraordinary friendship between veterinarian Massimo, who is at a low spot in his life, and a tiny, orphaned hedgehog. Only a few days old, covered with soft, white quills and mewling quietly, this little creature will turn around his life forever. Through the sheer force of Ninna's personality - curious, playful, affectionate - and the sudden, unexpected paternal protectiveness he feels nursing her back to health, Massimo reconnects with the world - and finally begins to feel like home. But as Ninna wakes from her first hibernation, she grows up, like any teenager, longing for freedom. A creature of the wild, she craves the free range of the woods beyond Massimo's house. Massimo must accept that Ninna is ready to move on . . . but one little hedgehog saved and released into her natural habitat is a new beginning for Massimo: setting up a sanctuary for the injured, orphaned, fragile - but with a will to live so strong it is truly contagious.A Handful of Happiness is their funny and life-affirming story - a celebration of our favourite prickly wildlife creature, which will make you laugh and cry. Perfect for animal lovers and fans of A Streetcat Named Bob, Arthur, Finding Gobi and Monty Don's Nigel.
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The Love Factory

By Elaine Proctor
Authors:
Elaine Proctor
What readers are saying about The Love Factory:'The first time I've wanted to start re-reading a book from the moment I finished it''Like Sex and the City on acid''Anna [is] a heart-capturing protagonist''a warm, inclusive, big-hearted book'You can control want, but desire controls youWhen literary writer Anna falls on hard times, she tries her hand at erotic fiction to make money, and faces an uncomfortable truth. Though she's a wife and mother of two, her stories fail to fly because she's never experienced true sexual desire. Even her Sicilian grandmother - wearer of diamante sunglasses and knock-off Louis Vuitton - knows more than she does about real passion. Anna turns to her friends for inspiration. As secrets and desires are revealed, she discovers more about the people close to her than she ever knew. When one of them suggests she borrow an alter ego to banish her inhibitions, a new world opens up, and The Love Factory - a group of writers penning ever more successful sexy stories - is born. Yet Anna knows that she can't rely on borrowed passion and an alter ego forever. For her tales to truly sizzle, she needs to find a true love of her own.
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Vernon Subutex One

By Virginie Despentes
Authors:
Virginie Despentes
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL 2018WHO IS VERNON SUBUTEX?An urban legend.A fall from grace.The mirror who reflects us all.Vernon Subutex was once the proprietor of Revolver, an infamous music shop in Bastille. His legend spread throughout Paris. But by the 2000s his shop is struggling. With his savings gone, his unemployment benefit cut, and the friend who had been covering his rent suddenly dead, Vernon Subutex finds himself down and out on the Paris streets.He has one final card up his sleeve. Even as he holds out his hand to beg for the first time, a throwaway comment he once made on Facebook is taking the internet by storm. Vernon does not realise this, but the word is out: Vernon Subutex has in his possession the last filmed recordings of Alex Bleach, the famous musician and Vernon's benefactor, who has only just died of a drug overdose. A crowd of people from record producers to online trolls and porn stars are now on Vernon's trail.Translated from the French by Frank Wynne
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Without a Word

By Kate McQuaile
Authors:
Kate McQuaile
I was there when it happened. I watched her disappear...'POWERFUL' - Amazon Reviewer 'ABSORBING' - Karen Perry'INCREDIBLE' - Amazon Reviewer'ELEGANT' - Sunday Mirror'GRIPPING' - Amazon Reviewer'ACCOMPLISHED' - Sunday Times'TANTALIZING' - Amazon Reviewer'COMPELLING' - Candis'INTRIGUING' - Amazon Reviewer'TWISTY' - Good Housekeeping'FAST-PACED' - Prima'ADDICTIVE' - Sunday Mirror'Everything you want in a thriller' - Emma Flint, author of Little DeathsAN EMOTIONAL AND ADDICTIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED NOVEL WHAT SHE NEVER TOLD MELillian had phoned telling her to get Skype up and running. 'I have so much to tell you.' Then, the knock on the door. 'Sorry Orla, I'd better see who it is' she said. Orla waited. Seconds became minutes. She didn't know how long she waited before she realised that something terrible had happened.For more than a decade, Lillian's disappearance has remained unsolved, and Orla has found it impossible to move on. Then she receives an unexpected visit from Ned Moynihan, the detective who led the original investigation into her friend's vanishing. Moynihan has been receiving anonymous notes accusing him of having failed to investigate the case properly. He assumes the notes are coming from Orla, yet Orla knows nothing of these letters. Is somebody trying to tell them the truth about what really happened to Lillian that night?
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Evolution Omnibus

By Stephanie Saulter
Authors:
Stephanie Saulter
They were created to save humanity. Now they must fight to save themselves. The complete Evolution series by Stephanie Saulter.For years the human race suffered from a deadly Syndrome, but when a cure was found - in the form of genetically engineered human beings, gems - the line between survival and ethics was radically altered. Now the gems are fighting for their freedom, from the oppression of the companies that created them, and against the norms who see them as slaves. And a conference at which Dr Eli Walker has been commissioned to present his findings on the gems is the key to that freedom. But with the gemtech companies fighting to keep the gems enslaved, and the horrifying godgangs determined to rid the earth of these 'unholy' creations, the gems are up against forces that may just be too powerful to oppose.'Some books are good, some books are even great. This one is important' - SF Signal on Binary
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Karen Lord Omnibus

By Karen Lord
Authors:
Karen Lord
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The Nightingale's Garden

By Jessica Cornwell
Authors:
Jessica Cornwell
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  • The Templars' Last Secret

    By Martin Walker
    Authors:
    Martin Walker
    In this latest mouthwatering mystery starring country policeman, Bruno, the body of a woman is found outside a cave beneath the ruined Templar chateau of Commarque in the heart of the Dordogne. She died of a broken neck. An accidental fall, or was she pushed?The victim carries no identification and her fingerprints are not known to the French Police or Interpol.The only clue to the woman's identity is that her dentistry looks American, but Bruno's inquiries at local hotels and gites yield no trace of a missing foreign woman. The chateau of Commarque, begun in the 11th century, was founded by a Bishop of Sarlat and entrusted to the Knights Templar. In the rocks beneath it are caves. It is one of the few Templar sites in France that has never been associated with the fabled hidden treasure of the Templars - never until now, when a local journalist publishes a sensational story around the unknown woman's death and a centuries-old mystery looks like it might finally be solved...
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    Out of Thin Air

    By Anthony Adeane
    Authors:
    Anthony Adeane
    AS SEEN ON BBC STORYVILLE, AND COMING TO NETFLIX IN SEPTEMBER 2018.'Reads like a great thriller' Ragnar Jonasson, bestselling author of the Dark Iceland crime series'Extraordinary . . . utterly compelling' Sunday TimesEvery Icelander knows about the Gudmundur and Geirfinnur disappearances. 1974. In two separate incidents, two men vanished into thin air. Then, out of it, came six murder confessions and six convictions. Yet, in the decades that followed, these too evaporated.Anthony Adeane explores the stranger-than-fiction story that has unravelled in Iceland across forty-five years. He provides the first full account of the case, paints a fascinating picture of the country, and places each development in the contexts that shaped them: from the Cod Wars to the Cold War, the 2008 economic crash and beyond.Using unprecedented access, and exploring his own personal obsession with the case, he exposes the mistakes that were made, the lives that were ruined, the questions that remain unanswered, and the headlines that continue to be printed. Out Of Thin Air is at once a brilliant portrait of a society, a story of a shocking miscarriage of justice and a compelling true crime narrative.
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  • Kin

    By Snorri Kristjansson
    Authors:
    Snorri Kristjansson
    'A dark mystery in a dark age brought vividly to life' says Robert Fabbri, author of the bestselling Vespasian seriesEveryone loves a family reunion.He can deny it all he likes, but everyone knows Viking warlord Unnthor Reginsson brought home a great chest of gold when he retired from the longboats and settled down with Hildigunnur in a remote valley. Now, in the summer of 970, adopted daughter Helga is awaiting the arrival of her unknown siblings: dark, dangerous Karl, lithe, clever Jorunn, gentle Aslak, henpecked by his shrewish wife, and the giant Bjorn, made bitter by Volund, his idiot son.And they're coming with darkness in their hearts.The siblings gather, bad blood simmers and old feuds resurface as Unnthor's heirs make their moves on the old man's treasure - until one morning Helga is awakened by screams. Blood has been shed: kin has been slain.No one confesses, but all the clues point to one person - who cannot possibly be the murderer, at least in Helga's eyes. But if she's going to save the innocent from the axe and prevent more bloodshed, she's got to solve the mystery - fast . . .Lies. Manipulation. Murder. There's nothing quite like family . . .
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    Operation Man Hunt

    By Damien Lewis
    Authors:
    Damien Lewis
    'The Night Manager meets Narcos' Saul David'To catch this criminal took incredible courage and skill. This is James Bond meets Jason Bourne' Bear GryllsThe new bestseller from the author of Zero Six BravoBy 2007 Viktor Bout had become the world's foremost arms dealer. Known as the 'Merchant of Death' he was both "Public Enemy No. 1" to the global intelligence agencies and a ruthless criminal worth around six billion dollars.For years Bout had eluded capture, meanwhile building up a labyrinthine network of airlines selling weapons to order to dictators, rebels, despots and terror groups worldwide. He was hunted by the CIA, NSA, MI6, as well sought by the United Nations for being their top global sanctions buster. Holed up in Moscow - from where he ran a suite of offices selling anything from AK47s to state-of-the-art helicopter gunships and anti-aircraft missiles - he was shielded by a Russian state that was a partner in his dark dealings. In short, Bout appeared utterly invulnerable and beyond any hope of capture. Step forward former SAS man Mike Snow. After serving in the Regiment, Snow had worked as a bush pilot in Africa, where he'd got to know Bout well. Via its own secretive, shadow network, Snow was approached by the US DEA, the Drugs Enforcement Agency. The DEA agents had one question for him: was Snow able to get to Viktor Bout? This is the incredible tale of OPERATION RELENTLESS, the top-secret mission that Snow and a handful of DEA operatives launched to entrap Viktor Bout - a story that ranges from the steamy jungles of Colombia to the ice-bound streets of Moscow, and from horrific bloodshed and tyranny in the Congo, to a snatch operation like no other. It may read like an implausible thriller, but every word of Operation Man Hunt is true.
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    Larchfield

    By Polly Clark
    Authors:
    Polly Clark
    'Mysterious, wondrous, captivating' Louis de Bernieres 'We need the courage to choose ourselves' W. H. AudenIt's early summer when a young poet, Dora Fielding, moves to Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland and her hopes are first challenged. Newly married, pregnant, she's excited by the prospect of a life that combines family and creativity. She thinks she knows what being a person, a wife, a mother, means. She is soon shown that she is wrong. As the battle begins for her very sense of self, Dora comes to find the realities of small town life suffocating, and, eventually, terrifying; until she finds a way to escape reality altogether.Another poet, she discovers, lived in Helensburgh once. Wystan H. Auden, brilliant and awkward at 24, with his first book of poetry published, should be embarking on success and society in London. Instead, in 1930, fleeing a broken engagement, he takes a teaching post at Larchfield School for boys where he is mocked for his Englishness and suspected - rightly - of homosexuality. Yet in this repressed limbo Wystan will fall in love for the first time, even as he fights his deepest fears.The need for human connection compels these two vulnerable outsiders to find each other and make a reality of their own that will save them both. Echoing the depths of Possession, the elegance of The Stranger's Child and the ingenuity of Longbourn, Larchfield is a beautiful and haunting novel about heroism - the unusual bravery that allows unusual people to go on living; to transcend banality and suffering with the power of their imagination.
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