Related to: 'John Connolly Q & A'

Hodder & Stoughton

Witchfinder

Andrew Williams
Authors:
Andrew Williams

A brilliant novel of espionage and betrayal from 'one of Britain's most accomplished thriller writers' (Daily Mail)London 1963. The Beatles, Carnaby Street, mini-skirts. But the new mood hasn't reached the drab and fearful corridors of MI5 and MI6. Many agents joined the secret service to fight the Nazis. Now they are locked in a Cold War against the Russians.And some of them are traitors.The service has been shaken to its core by the high-profile defections of Cambridge-educated spies Burgess, MacLean and now Philby. Appalled at such flagrant breaches of British security, the Americans are demanding a rigorous review.Harry Vaughan is brought back from Vienna to be part of it. The Chief asks him to join two investigators - Arthur Martin and Peter Wright - who are determined to clean out the stables, and the first target of their suspicions is the Deputy Director General of MI5, Graham Mitchell.Harry hooks up with an old flame, Elaine, and joins the hunt - somewhat reluctantly. He is sceptical of the case against Mitchell and wary of the messianic fervour of the two spycatchers. But the further the investigation goes, the greater the sense of paranoia and distrust that spreads through the 'wilderness of mirrors' that is the secret service. The only certainty is that no-one is above suspicion.Including Harry Vaughan.

Hodder & Stoughton

Puppy Versus Kitten

Andy Riley
Authors:
Andy Riley

Two Roads

Blackout

Sarah Hepola
Authors:
Sarah Hepola

A raw, vivid and ultimately uplifting memoir of addiction and recovery from the Salon.com personal essays editor, in the spirit of Drinking: A Love Story and Wild.For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was 'the gasoline of all adventure'. She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman.But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy? She apologized for things she couldn't remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead.A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure-the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent themselves or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most-but getting yourself back in return.

Two Roads

Love and Treasure

Ayelet Waldman
Authors:
Ayelet Waldman

'AN AMBITIOUS, PERCEPTIVE NOVEL' GUARDIAN'A WONDERFULLY IMAGINATIVE WRITER' WASHINGTON POSTA fugitive train loaded with the plunder of a doomed people. A dazzling jewelled pendant in the form of a stylized peacock. And three men - an American infantry captain in World War II, an Israeli-born dealer in art stolen by the Nazis, and a pioneering psychiatrist in fin-de-siecle Budapest - who find their carefully-wrought lives turned upside-down by three fierce women, each locked in a struggle against her own history and the history of our times. And at the centre of Love and Treasure, nested like a photograph hidden in a locket, a mystery: where does the worth of a people and its treasures truly lie? What is the value of a gift, when giver and recipient have been lost - of a love offering when the beloved is no more?In an intricately constructed narrative that is by turns funny and tragic, thrilling and harrowing, with all the expertise and narrative drive that readers have come to expect from her work, Waldman traces the unlikely journey, from 1914 Budapest to post-war Salzburg to present-day New York, of the peacock pendant whose significance changes - token of friendship, love-offering, unlucky talisman - with the changes of fortune undergone by her characters as they find themselves caught up in the ebb and flow of modern European history.Spanning continents and a hundred years of turbulent history, encompassing war and revolution, the history of art, feminism and psychoanalysis, depicting the range of human feeling from the darkness of a shattered Europe to the ordinary heartbreaks of a contemporary New York woman, Love and Treasure marks the full maturity of a remarkable writer.

Mulholland Books

The Saint in Action

Leslie Charteris
Authors:
Leslie Charteris
Hodder Paperbacks

Lost Angel

Mandasue Heller
Authors:
Mandasue Heller

It's a world where crime is almost respectable - until passion ignites a disaster.Things start going wrong the day Johnny Conroy meets Ruth Hynes. He just wants to show his mates that he can pull hard-man Frankie Hynes' daughter, but before he knows it he is part of the Hynes family. And the Hynes family business, which is stealing cars. And there is no way he is ever going to get out of the marriage or the business alive . . . The only good thing in their hellhole of a marriage is his daughter Angel, as nice as her name and as innocent. And the only thing keeping Johnny sane is his secret life.But then Angel grows up and meets Johnny's new employee Ryan. He loves Angel - but the family secrets involve him, too. And they are about to explode.

Sceptre

Song Yet Sung

James Mcbride
Authors:
James Mcbride

In the tense days before the American Civil War, in the swamplands of the Maryland shore, a wounded slave girl and her visions of the future tear a community apart in a riveting drama of hope and redemption. Kidnappings, gunfights and chases ensue in this extraordinary story of violence, tragic triumph, and unexpected kindness.

Sceptre

Jewels: A Secret History

Victoria Finlay
Authors:
Victoria Finlay
Chapter One

A MOST WANTED MAN, by John le Carré

Read the first chapter of John le Carré's A MOST WANTED MAN.

Chapter One

SUNNYSIDE, by Glen David Gold

Read the first chapter of Glen David Gold's SUNNYSIDE.

Extract

GRACE WILLIAMS SAYS IT LOUD, by Emma Henderson

Read an excerpt of Emma Henderson's GRACE WILLIAMS SAYS IT ALL, shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2011.

Chapter One: The House of Punk Sleep

WIDE AWAKE, by Patricia Morrisroe

Read an excerpt of the first chapter of Patricia Morrisroe's brilliant memoir about insomnia, WIDE AWAKE.

Chapter One

COLD GRAVE by Kathryn Fox

Read the first chapter of Kathryn Fox's latest thriller, COLD GRAVE.

First Chapter

THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN, By Siri Hustvedt

Read the first chapter of Siri Hustvedt's THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN.

A fun Q&A with the author of KNIFE EDGE

Fergus McNeill Q&A

Cold war spies or hot action heroes? Cold war spies. I love the idea of hidden secrets and quiet menace - of a quiet and clever war, fought in the shadows. And John Le Carré writes with such effortless beauty in those early novels like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that it's impossible not to be swept away by the story. Drive or be driven? Well, I dislike traffic, and I hate speed cameras, but on balance, I'd say drive. Just. Music or TV? Music. I listen to music whenever I'm writing, using it to manage my mood like an emotional bookmark. Friends describe my musical tastes as weird, filmic or "that ambient rubbish" but it gets my head where it needs to be. My iPhone is full of tracks by artists like Deaf Center, Christina Vantzou, or A Winged Victory For The Sullen. Music also helps me to see places differently. I do a lot of my writing "on location" and listening to something sinister while visiting the scene of a fictional crime makes everything feel terribly real. Salad or steak? Steak. I'm told that I'm as far away from being a vegetarian as it's possible to be. In fact, until quite recently, this was my Facebook avatar: City or country? It's a tough choice, but I'd have to say country. I grew up in a tiny Scottish village, up in the hills between Glasgow, Stirling and Loch Lomond. We took my son there when he was eight years old and, while out for a walk, he stopped and gave me a puzzled look, asking what it was that he could hear. It took me a moment to realise that it was silence – he'd never heard it before. Morning or night? Night. All the best things happen at night. Also, I'm usually baffled in the morning, at least until the coffee kicks in. Pen or Pencil? Neither. My handwriting is achingly slow, and almost completely illegible. Thankfully, I'm a quick typist; I'd still be struggling to finish my first book if I had to scrawl it out by hand. When did you know you were going to be a writer? It still hasn't sunk in. I've had two books published, and my third is almost done, but I still feel as though I've gate-crashed a party I have no right to attend. As to when I knew I *wanted* to be a writer, that was when my secondary school English teacher inspired me with her absolute love of language. Thank you Mrs Pearson. Which authors are your biggest inspirations? I could choose so many great writers across different genres, but I'll mention two that aren't from crime. Firstly, C S Friedman, who wrote the stunning Coldfire Trilogy. In this story, she created one of the most charismatically evil characters I've ever read, and managed to sustain him as a main protagonist for three books. Her ability to stir empathy, where there should have been none, was a big influence on me when I was developing my own charming serial killer. The other author I'll highlight is Philip K Dick. Hugely talented, he was also the master of the unhappy ending, and I rather like books where there's no guarantee of a cheery conclusion, with everything neatly wrapped-up. When anything can happen, the stakes seem so much higher. Which book would you take to a desert island? Assuming that most islands come equipped with the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare, I'd take The Lord Of The Rings by J R R Tolkien. Beneath the epic landscapes and the fantasy cast lies a beautiful story of sacrifice, duty, and friendship. If I could rewrite history, I would . . . …take back some of the stupid things I've said, especially if they hurt people close to me. While it might be tempting to undo historical atrocities, good things frequently arise from tragedy, and I'd hate my good intentions to make things worse. Better that I try and remedy my own mistakes – it's all I'm qualified to fix. In another age I would have been . . . Hopefully a full-time writer. My other skills - game designer, digital artist, photographer - aren’t really transferable to many historical eras. Of course, I'd have to do some work on my penmanship if I wanted anyone to actually read what I wrote... Who would your fantasy dinner guests be? Confining myself to people who are alive, and trying to ensure a group that would spark interesting conversation, I'd invite J K Rowling, Bill Gates, Sir David Attenborough, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I'm confident they'd all hit it off and, so long as I got a grown-up to do the cooking, the evening would be a big success. Who would you choose to survive the apocalypse with? My wife and son. I wouldn't want to survive without them, and they're both much more practical than me, so I probably wouldn't be *able* to survive without them. Which book do you wish you had written? The answer to this question changes depending on my mood, but currently I’d say Lexicon by Max Barry. Reading it was like taking the first ever bite of a new favourite food. It powers forward with such confidence, really quickening the pulse. I can only imagine the buzz of creating something so relentless. If a film was made of your life, which actor would play you? I’m a big fan of fellow-Glaswegian Peter Capaldi, from his time on The Crow Road through to The Thick Of It. I’m sure he’d be up for the role, so long as he doesn’t have any other new projects on the horizon... Who is your favourite crime/thriller character across literature, film, TV, theatre etc? Rick Deckard, from Blade Runner / Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep. I've loved every version of him, from the first cut of the movie with the Marlowe-esque voice-over, to the depressive protagonist in the novel. There's something profoundly compelling about characters who are forced to face the truth about themselves through their investigation and pursuit of others, and in Deckard's case that truth is particularly poignant. At the same time, he's an anti-hero, dwarfed by larger-than-life adversaries, which makes it easier to empathise with him – and if you know the story, you'll see there's an irony in that.

Julie Corbin on losing someone close and her new book NOW THAT YOU'RE GONE.

Author Julie Corbin explores sibling relationships and our mechanisms for coping with loss in her fourth novel NOW THAT YOU'RE GONE . . .

by Howard Sounes

Amy Winehouse, and the 27 Club

Chapter One

UNEXPECTED LESSONS IN LOVE, by Bernardine Bishop

Read the first chapter of Bernardine Bishop's new book, UNEXPECTED LESSONS IN LOVE, published by John Murray in January 2013.

JA Kerley's introduction to The Saint

I intended to write this introduction wearing my scholar’s cloak, with an academically freighted deconstruction utilizing references to Conan Doyle, Sir Walter Scott, the chivalric code and inevitably, Freud. The erudition of my arguments and analyses would not only elucidate the psycho-ontological motivations behind Simon Templar, but make me look pretty damn smart as well. Then I picked up one of my ancient copies of Saint stories, selected ‘The Wonderful War’, and read about a banana republic invaded by one man with a delicious vision for justice. I smiled a lot and laughed aloud almost as often. I re-read passages to be tickled yet again. I set the book aside when finished, but had back it in my hands within an hour. In short, I read with the giddy joy of a thirteen-year-old. Which makes perfect sense, since I was thirteen when I met the Saint. A reader leaning heavily toward the mystery/ suspense genre, I had early immersion in the Bobbsey Twins, Seckatary Hawkins, and the Hardy Boys. I had read them to tatters when my father appeared in my bedroom one evening. ‘I think you’ll like these stories,’ he said, bearing The First Saint Omnibus. ‘They concern a man named Simon Templar, the Saint. They’re more sophisticated than you’re used to, and certainly racier, but I suspect you’ll enjoy that aspect.’ With those cryptic words he set the book in my palms and retreated, singing an odd song about the bells of Hell. Hoping my old man had not gone fully round the bend, I opened the book and, in my own way, have never closed it. I have read all the Saint sagas, including the three gems in Featuring the Saint, at least a dozen times each. If there is anything I as a writer have taken from my father’s prescient gift – and I’ve taken as much from Leslie Charteris as from John D. MacDonald, Robert Parker and James Lee Burke – it is that a good hero always has a moral code (though it might not be yours or mine), the innocent must be protected, and when the bad get a comeuppance, it should fit the crime. Oh . . . and beautiful women never detract from a story. ‘The Wonderful War’ is an all-time favourite, boasting nearly all of the hallmarks of a Saint mini-epic: a comely lady, a masterful plan, a Saintly versification, racy quotes regarding the actress and the Bishop, and The Song. Per a good Saint yarn, the malefactors are suitably venal and unattractive and – perhaps most irritating to Simon Templar – rude. All that’s missing is an appearance by Inspector Teal, though I suspect he might not be much at home in a South American bananocracy. And what grand invention is the country of Pasala . . . Charteris’s setting is a rip-roaringly comic and deviously accurate caricature of the era and locale. The world stops for siesta. The army is five hundred strong, with a general or colonel for every nine men. The navy consists of . . . well, you get the idea. The Saint stories are not for analysis, I realize, at least not by me. Not for deconstruction or preconstruction or anything akin to psychobabble. They’re simply masterworks of delight, asking only that you pick up the pages of a champion storyteller, hold your breath, and step within. You don’t analyse joy, you revel in it. Jack Kerley