Saul Kelly - The Hunt for Zerzura - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds

The Hunt for Zerzura

By Saul Kelly

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

A study of the true story behind The English Patient

This is a study of the true story behind The English Patient, one of the least known and most extraordinary episodes of World War II.

In the 1930s, the Zerzura Club (named after a lost oasis in the Libyan desert) met once a year for dinner at the Cafe Royal in London. Ostensibly, its members were cosmopolitan adventurers indulging a craze for desert travel by motor car and aeroplane, and searching for the lost oases and ancient cities of a vanished civilization. In reality they were mapping the desert for military reasons, marking vital wells and checking terrain.

The Club's members were drawn from countries that would soon be enemies, and fellowship masked a vicious rivalry. Mussolini hoped to make Egypt the centrepiece of a new Italian empire, but the British - for whom the Suez Canal was strategically vital - were determined to hold onto that country. When war broke out in 1939, Ralph Bagnold founded the Long Range Desert Group to spy on and disrupt the Axis powers' advance on Cairo under Rommel, while his fellow club member Count Almasy tried to spirit the Egyptian Chief of Staff out of Cairo, and succeeded in inserting German spies. Both of them were using knowledge and desert craft drawn from the hazardous hunt for the Zerzura Oasis, where each had deceived the other about his true purpose.

In telling this story, Saul Kelly draws on interviews with survivors as well as previously unknown documentary material in Britain, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Egypt. His book reads like a thriller by John Buchan or Frederick Forsyth - with one key difference: it is true.

Biographical Notes

Saul Kelly, who is a lecturer at King's College London (Joint Services Command and Staff College), specialises in the history of the Great Powers in North Africa. He is the author of 'Cold War in the Desert' and 'Whitehall and the Suez Canal', which Douglas Hurd called 'admirable'.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780719561672
  • Publication date: 19 Jun 2003
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: John Murray
Starts with a fairy tale, becomes a nightmare and ends up as the stuff of fiction — Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times
Kelly has a superb cast, wide canvas and great plot and his writing lives up to them — Andrew Roberts, BBC History
John Murray

Epic Continent

Nicholas Jubber
Authors:
Nicholas Jubber

These are the stories that made Europe.Journeying from Turkey to Iceland, award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber takes us on a fascinating adventure through our continent's most enduring epic poems to learn how they were shaped by their times, and how they have since shaped us. The great European epics were all inspired by moments of seismic change: The Odyssey tells of the aftermath of the Trojan War, the primal conflict from which much of European civilisation was spawned. The Song of the Nibelungen tracks the collapse of a Germanic kingdom on the edge of the Roman Empire. Both the French Song of Roland and the Serbian Kosovo Cycle emerged from devastating conflicts between Christian and Muslim powers. Beowulf, the only surviving Old English epic, and the great Icelandic Saga of Burnt Njal, respond to times of great religious struggle - the shift from paganism to Christianity. These stories have stirred passions ever since they were composed, motivating armies and revolutionaries, and they continue to do so today.Reaching back into the ancient and medieval eras in which these defining works were produced, and investigating their continuing influence today, Epic Continent explores how matters of honour, fundamentalism, fate, nationhood, sex, class and politics have preoccupied the people of Europe across the millennia. In these tales soaked in blood and fire, Nicholas Jubber discovers how the world of gods and emperors, dragons and water-maidens, knights and princesses made our own: their deep impact on European identity, and their resonance in our turbulent times.

John Murray

The Stonemason

Andrew Ziminski
Authors:
Andrew Ziminski
Hodder & Stoughton

The Absolution

Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Authors:
Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Yrsa remains the queen of Icelandic thriller writers. - GuardianAll he wants is for them to say sorry... In the latest novel from the Queen of Icelandic crime, Freyja and Huldar must stop a ruthless killer taking revenge on teenage bullies.The first the police know of the crime is when clips are sent from the victim's Snapchat account, showing her begging for forgiveness. The CCTV at the cinema where she was working show her being dragged into the night by a masked killer. When the body is found, it is marked with a number 2...Detective Huldar joins the murder investigation, bringing child psychologist Freyja on board to help question the murdered teenager's friends. Soon, they uncover that Stella was far from the angel people claim: a relentless bully, she made life miserable for those around her. Freyja suspects this led to her death - but she may be overly influenced by her own childhood. Huldar simply wants to find out if there is a first victim still waiting to be discovered. Then another teenager goes missing, and more clips are sent. Freyja and Huldar can agree on two things at least: the truth is far from simple. And the killer is not done yet.(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

John Murray

France

John Julius Norwich
Authors:
John Julius Norwich
Hodder & Stoughton

Battle Sight Zero

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

The Kalashnikov AK47. A weapon with a unique image. A symbol of freedom fighters and terrorists across the globe. Undercover officer Andy Knight has infiltrated an extremist group intent on bringing the rifle to Britain - something MI5 have been struggling for years to prevent. He befriends Zeinab, the young Muslim student from Yorkshire who is at the centre of the plot. All Zeinab needs to do is travel to the impoverished high-rise estates of Marseilles and bring one rifle home on a test run. Then many more will follow - and with them would come killing on an horrendous scale. Zeinab is both passionate and attractive, and though Andy knows that the golden rule of undercover work is not to get emotionally attached to the target, sometimes rules are impossible to follow. Supremely suspenseful, Battle Sight Zero follows Andy and Zeinab to the lethal badlands of the French port city, simultaneously tracking the extraordinary life journey of the blood-soaked weapon they are destined to be handed there.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Quest for Queen Mary

James Pope-Hennessy, Hugo Vickers
Authors:
James Pope-Hennessy, Hugo Vickers

* * 'Very funny and astute, it provides a loathly feast for royal-watchers' Hilary Mantel, New Statesman Books of the Year 2018'Almost every page is a gem'A. N. Wilson, Spectator Christmas Books'I wonder if this will be the year's surprise Christmas bestseller? ... Wonderful' Robert Harris* * *When James Pope-Hennessy began his work on Queen Mary's official biography, it opened the door to meetings with royalty, court members and retainers around Europe. The series of candid observations, secrets and indiscretions contained in his notes were to be kept private for 50 years. Now published in full for the first time and edited by the highly admired royal biographer Hugo Vickers, this is a riveting, often hilarious portrait of the eccentric aristocracy of a bygone age. Giving much greater insight into Queen Mary than the official version, and including sharply observed encounters with, among others, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Duke of Gloucester, and a young Queen Elizabeth, The Quest for Queen Mary is set to be a classic of royal publishing.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Rhine

Ben Coates
Authors:
Ben Coates
Hodder & Stoughton

The Death of Hitler

Jean-Christophe Brisard, Lana Parshina
Authors:
Jean-Christophe Brisard, Lana Parshina
Teach Yourself

The Ultimate Self Care Book

Clara Seeger, Stephen Evans-Howe, Patrick Forsyth, Dena Michelli
Authors:
Clara Seeger, Stephen Evans-Howe, Patrick Forsyth, Dena Michelli
Hodder & Stoughton

The Reckoning

Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Authors:
Yrsa Sigurdardottir

'Yrsa is a magnificent writer' Karin SlaughterYrsa Sigurdardottir, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for best Scandinavian Crime Novel, delivers another tour de force in her second novel in the Freyja and Huldar series.A chilling note predicting the deaths of six people is found in a school's time capsule, ten years after it was buried. But surely, if a thirteen-year-old wrote it, it can't be a real threat...Detective Huldar suspects he's been given the investigation simply to keep him away from real police work. He turns to psychologist Freyja to help understand the child who hid the message. Soon, however, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.For the discovery of the letter coincides with a string of macabre events: body parts found in a garden, followed by the murder of the man who owned the house. His initials are BT, one of the names on the note.Huldar and Freyja must race to identify the writer, the victims and the murderer, before the rest of the targets are killed...'The Reckoning is another chilling, atmospheric tale from the undisputed Queen of Icelandic Noir. I loved it.' Simon Kernick

Hodder & Stoughton

A Damned Serious Business

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

'The novel is an absorbing briefing on cyberwarfare as well as a masterclass in characterisation' SUNDAY TIMES Thriller of the MonthThere is a new cold war raging and its frontline warriors are Russian hackers - gang-members working freelance for the FSB, successor to the KGB. Massive thefts of personal information, electoral interference, catastrophic disruption of commercial and social services, banks, airlines, even whole countries disabled - this is happening now.Nicknamed 'Boot' because of his obsession with the Duke of Wellington and the battle of Waterloo, Edwin Coker is a case officer at the Vauxhall headquarters of MI6. When a young hacker falls into his hands and reveals details of a secret meeting, Boot conceives a daring plan to strike back - not with a computer virus of his own, but with a bomb that will seriously damage the Russian operation, spreading fear and distrust.Now Boot and his little team need a 'deniable' handler to deliver the explosives across the border from Estonia into Russia and bring the hacker back out. They turn to Merc, an ex-soldier fighting in Iraq, a gun-for-hire who knows how to get out of a tight spot. They hope.From the moment Merc sets out to cross the River Narva things do not go to plan and when the hacker's sister becomes involved, his mission turns from tough to near impossible. The scene is set for a classic story of pursuit and evasion and an epic battle for survival.

John Murray

Four Princes

John Julius Norwich
Authors:
John Julius Norwich

'Never before had the world seen four such giants co-existing. Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, these four men together held Europe in the hollow of their hands.' Four great princes - Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent - were born within a single decade. Each looms large in his country's history and, in this book, John Julius Norwich broadens the scope and shows how, against the rich background of the Renaissance and destruction of the Reformation, their wary obsession with one another laid the foundations for modern Europe. Individually, each man could hardly have been more different ­- from the scandals of Henry's six wives to Charles's monasticism - but, together, they dominated the world stage. From the Field of the Cloth of Gold, a pageant of jousting, feasting and general carousing so lavish that it nearly bankrupted both France and England, to Suleiman's celebratory pyramid of 2,000 human heads (including those of seven Hungarian bishops) after the battle of Mohács; from Anne Boleyn's six-fingered hand (a potential sign of witchcraft) that had the pious nervously crossing themselves to the real story of the Maltese falcon, Four Princes is history at its vivid, entertaining best. With a cast list that extends from Leonardo da Vinci to Barbarossa, and from Joanna the Mad to le roi grand-nez, John Julius Norwich offers the perfect guide to the most colourful century the world has ever known and brings the past to unforgettable life.

Hodder & Stoughton

A Nearly Infallible History of the Reformation

Nick Page
Authors:
Nick Page

500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his ideas to a church door - and the Reformation began. Or maybe it was a little more complicated than that. Nick Page brings his skills as an unlicensed historian to bear on this key period in European (and world) history in order to uncover everything you need to know about the Reformation - with a fair few bits you never wanted to know thrown in for good measure.Historians tell us that the Protestant Reformation laid the foundations for the Industrial Revolution, religious freedom, and all sorts of other Good Things. But what actually happened? Who were the winners and the losers, the ogres and the beauty queens of this key moment in church history? (spoiler: there weren't any beauty queens)In-depth research, historical analysis and cutting-edge guesswork combine to scintillating effect in this fast-moving examination of the strange and wonderful whirlwind that was church life in late medieval Europe.'You were predestined to read this.' John Calvin

Hodder & Stoughton

Martin Luther

Peter Stanford
Authors:
Peter Stanford
John Murray

Sicily

John Julius Norwich
Authors:
John Julius Norwich

'Sicily is the key to everything' Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The author of the classic book on Venice turns his sights to Sicily in this beautiful book full of maps and colour photographs.'I discovered Sicily almost by mistake . . .We drove as far as Naples, then put the car on the night ferry to Palermo. There was a degree of excitement in the early hours when we passed Stromboli, emitting a rich glow every half-minute or so like an ogre puffing on an immense cigar; and a few hours later, in the early morning sunshine, we sailed into the Conca d'Oro, the Golden Shell, in which the city lies. Apart from the beauty of the setting, I remember being instantly struck by a change in atmosphere. The Strait of Messina is only a couple of miles across and the island is politically part of Italy; yet somehow one feels that one has entered a different world . . . This book is, among other things, an attempt to analyse why this should be.' The stepping stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation post, Sicily has been invaded and fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and the French for thousands of years. It has belonged to them all - and yet has properly been part of none. John Julius Norwich was inspired to become a writer by his first visit in 1961 and this book is the result of a fascination that has lasted over half a century. In tracing its dark story, he attempts to explain the enigma that lies at the heart of the Mediterranean's largest island. This vivid short history covers everything from erupting volcanoes to the assassination of Byzantine emperors, from Nelson's affair with Emma Hamilton to Garibaldi and the rise of the Mafia. Taking in the key buildings and towns, and packed with fascinating stories and unforgettable characters, Sicily is the book he was born to write.

Two Roads

A Dying Breed

Peter Hanington
Authors:
Peter Hanington

'TREMENDOUS' William Boyd'AMAZINGLY GRIPPING' Melvyn Bragg'A BELTING GOOD READ' A.L. Kennedy'BRILLIANT' Evan Davis'I LOVED EVERY MINUTE IN THIS BOOK'S COMPANY' Fi Glover'A NATURAL STORYTELLER' John Humphrys'URGENT, COMPELLING' Gillian Reynolds'DEEPLY INTELLIGENT' Will GompertzKabul, Afghanistan.William Carver, a veteran but unpredictable BBC hack, is thrown into the unknown when a bomb goes off killing a local official. Warned off the story from every direction, Carver won't give in until he finds the truth.Patrick, a young producer, is sent out on his first foreign assignment to control the wayward Carver, but as the story unravels it looks like the real story lies between the shadowy corridors of the BBC, the perilous streets of Kabul and the dark chambers of Whitehall.Set in a shadowy le-Carré-esque world, A Dying Breed is a gripping novel about journalism in a time of war,about the struggle to tell the stories that need to be told - even if it is much easier not to.(P) 2016 John Murray Press

Two Roads

The Arab of the Future

Riad Sattouf
Authors:
Riad Sattouf

VOLUME 1 IN THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHILDHOODA GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR 2015/2016 | AN OBSERVER GRAPHIC BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016 | A NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' TOP BOOKS OF 2016 'EXUBERANTLY HERETICAL''I tore through it... The most enjoyable graphic novel I've read in a while' Zadie Smith'I joyously recommend this book to you' Mark Haddon'Riad Sattouf is one of the great creators of our time' Alain De Botton'Beautifully-written and drawn, witty, sad, fascinating... Brilliant' Simon Sebag MontefioreThe Arab of the Future tells the unforgettable story of Riad Sattouf's childhood, spent in the shadows of three dictators - Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez al-Assad, and his father.In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi's Libya, and Assad's Syria - but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation.Riad, delicate and wide-eyed, follows in the trail of his mismatched parents: his mother, a bookish French student, is as modest as his father is flamboyant. Venturing first to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab State and then joining the family tribe in Homs, Syria, they hold fast to the vision of the paradise that always lies just around the corner. And hold they do, though food is scarce, children kill dogs for sport, and with locks banned, the Sattoufs come home one day to discover another family occupying their apartment. The ultimate outsider, Riad, with his flowing blond hair, is called the ultimate insult... Jewish. And in no time at all, his father has come up with yet another grand plan, moving from building a new people to building his own great palace.Brimming with life and dark humour, The Arab of the Future reveals the truth and texture of one eccentric family in an absurd Middle East, and also introduces a master cartoonist in a work destined to stand alongside Maus and Persepolis.Translated by Sam Taylor.WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR GRAPHIC NOVELSNOMINATED FOR 'BEST REALITY-BASED WORK' AT THE EISNER AWARDS'ENGROSSING' New York Times'A PAGE TURNER' Guardian'MARVELLOUS... BEGS TO BE READ IN ONE LONG SITTING' Herald'AN OBJECT OF CONSENSUAL RAPTURE' New Yorker'ONE OF THE GREATEST CARTOONISTS OF HIS GENERATION' Le Monde

John Murray

After Hitler

Michael Jones
Authors:
Michael Jones

On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. The following day, his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels also killed himself and the crumbling Third Reich passed to Admiral Karl Dönitz. The Nazis' position seemed hopeless. Yet remarkably, the war in the rest of Europe went on for another ten days. After Hitler looks at these days as a narrative day-by-day countdown but also as a broader global history of a European war that had seen some of the most savage battles in history. Relations between the 'Big Three' - the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union - suddenly plunged to near breaking point. This book reveals that tumultuous story.After Hitler also looks at the wider canvas of the war and the terrible humanitarian catastrophe uncovered in Europe. It describes those who felt the joy of freedom, but also those who faced a highly uncertain future. As Red Army soldiers joined forces with their British and American allies, Stalin's East finally came face to face with Churchill's and Truman's West. After Hitler tells of their growing mistrust, but also of moments of remarkable goodwill and co-operation - the brief but poignant hope that these great nations could together fashion a new and safer future. This is a fascinating exploration of the brief but crucial period that shaped the emerging post-war world.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Swiss Watching

Diccon Bewes
Authors:
Diccon Bewes

A FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAROne country, four languages, 26 cantons, and 7.5 million people (but only 80% of them Swiss): there's nowhere else in Europe like it. Switzerland may be almost 400 km from the nearest drop of seawater, but it is an island at the centre of Europe. Welcome to the landlocked island. Swiss Watching is a fascinating journey around Europe's most individual and misunderstood country. From seeking Heidi and finding the best chocolate to reliving a bloody past and exploring an uncertain future, Diccon Bewes proves that there's more to Switzerland than banks and skis, francs and cheese. This book dispels the myths and unravels the true meaning of Swissness. In a land of cultural contradictions, this is a picture of the real and normally unseen Switzerland, a place where the breathtaking scenery shaped a nation not just a tour itinerary, and where tradition is as important as innovation. It's also the story of its people, who have more power than their politicians, but can't speak to one another in the same language and who own more guns per head than the people of Iraq. As for those national clichés, well, not all the cheese has holes, cuckoo clocks aren't Swiss and the trains don't always run exactly on time.

John Murray

Spitfire

Leo McKinstry
Authors:
Leo McKinstry

In June 1940, the German Army had brought the rest of Europe to its knees. 'Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world will move forward into broad, sunlit uplands,' said Churchill. The future of Europe depended on Britain. A self-confident Herman Goring thought that it would be only a matter of weeks before his planes had forced Britain to surrender. The courage, resourcefulness and brilliant organisation of the RAF were to prove him wrong. By late September 1940, the RAF had proved invincible, thanks to the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire. It exceeded anything that any other air force possessed. RJ Mitchell, a shy and almost painfully modest engineer, was the genius behind the Spitfire. On the 5th March 1936, following its successful maiden flight, a legend was born. Prize-winning historian Leo McKinstry's vivid history of the Spitfire brings together a rich cast of characters and first hand testimonies. It is a tale full of drama and heroism, of glory and tragedy, with the main protagonist the remarkable plane that played a crucial role in saving Britain.