Johnny Come Home
By Jake Arnott
'Hypnotic, feverish and altogether wonderful' (Guardian) - the author of the bestselling Long Firm trilogy turns his eye on the anarchic 1970s. As the dreams of the 1960s give way to anger and political unrest in the '70s, the charismatic anarchist Declan O'Connell commits suicide, leaving his boyfriend Pearson and fellow squatter Nina to try to make sense of what has happened. Enter Sweet Thing, a streetwise rent boy, who has an uncanny hold over glam rock star Johnny Chrome; and in the wings lurks Detective Sergeant Walker of the newly formed Bomb Squad, who knows more about O'Connell than anyone ever suspected. The course of all their lives is about to change forever.
Jacko: The Great Intruder
By Thomas Keneally
With his genial air of an Australian innocent, Jacko Emptor is New York's most public trespasser, invading people's homes at random for a live television show. Until he undertakes the televised hunt for a missing woman and, finally, meets a barrier even he will not transgress. The dramatic tale of Jacko's exploits probes the dubious ethics behind some television programmes and illuminates how a civilized society can harbour appalling evil.
By Melvyn Bragg
JOSH LAWTON, a young Cumbrian orphan and farm worker, is an exceptionally good man. Strong and athletic, he is trained to be a fell runner by Cedric, a garrulous ex-soldier who takes Josh under his wing. But Cedric is alienated when Josh falls in love with Maureen, a worldly girl from the neighbouring town, marries her and fathers a child. However, the quiet and simple life that Josh loves does not satisfy Maureen who seeks excitement back home in the arms of her former lover, a local bully. The betrayal brings Cedric back into Josh's life, eager to discredit the woman who had usurped him. It also leads to a climax that is both inevitable and shocking: Josh, who hates fighting, is drawn into a battle with Maureen's lover and is killed. Cedric, filled with revenge, can only turn his knife on himself. The novel's tragic ending is both a warning against simplicity and a cry for its presence in everything.