Madness is Better than Defeat
By Ned Beauman
In 1938, two rival expeditions set off for a lost Mayan temple in the jungles of Honduras, one intending to shoot a screwball comedy on location there, the other intending to disassemble it and ship it back to New York. A seemingly endless stalemate ensues, and twenty years later, when a rogue CIA agent learns that both expeditions are still out in the wilderness, he embarks on a mission to exploit the temple as a geopolitical pawn. But the mission hurtles towards disaster when he discovers that the temple is the locus of grander conspiracies than anyone could have guessed.
Mafia Brotherhoods: Camorra, mafia, 'ndrangheta: the rise of the Honoured Societies
By John Dickie
MAFIA BROTHERHOODS (previously published as BLOOD BROTHERHOODS) is the enthralling new history of Italian organised crime by the author of the international bestseller COSA NOSTRA. The Sicilian mafia, or Cosa Nostra, is far from being Italy's only dangerous criminal fraternity. The south of the country hosts two other major mafias: the camorra, from Naples and its hinterland; and the 'ndrangheta, the mafia from the poor and isolated region of Calabria that has now risen to become the most powerful mob of all.Each of these brotherhoods has its own methods, its own dark rituals, its own style of ferocity and corruption. Their early history is little known; indeed some of it has been entirely shrouded in myth and silence until now. MAFIA BROTHERHOODS is a book of breathtaking ambition, charting the birth and rise of all three of Italy's mafias. It blends ground-breaking archival research, passionate narrative, and shrewd historical analysis to bring Italy's unique 'criminal ecosystem', and the three terrifying criminal brotherhoods that evolved within it, to life on the page.Previously published as BLOOD BROTHERHOODS.
Mafia Republic: Italy's Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, 'Ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present
By John Dickie
In MAFIA REPUBLIC, John Dickie, Professor of Italian Studies at University College, London and author of the international bestsellers COSA NOSTRA and MAFIA BROTHERHOODS, shows how the Italian mafias have grown in power and become more and more interconnected, with terrifying consequences. In 1946, Italy became a democratic Republic, thereby entering the family of modern western nations. But deep within Italy there lurked a forgotten curse: three major criminal brotherhoods, whose methods had been honed over a century of experience. As Italy grew, so did the mafias. Sicily's Cosa Nostra, the camorra from Naples, and the mysterious 'ndrangheta from Calabria stood ready to enter the wealthiest and bloodiest period of their long history.Italy made itself rich by making scooters, cars and handbags. The mafias carved out their own route to wealth through tobacco smuggling, construction, kidnapping and narcotics. And as criminal business grew exponentially, the mafias grew not just more powerful, but became more interconnected.By the 1980s, Southern Italy was on the edge of becoming a narco-state. The scene was set for a titanic confrontation between heroic representatives of the law, and mafiosi who could no longer tolerate any obstacle to their ambitions. This was a war for Italy's future as a civilized country. At its peak in 1992-93, the 'ndrangheta was beheading people in the street, and the Sicilian mafia murdered its greatest enemies, investigating magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, before embarking on a major terrorist bombing campaign on the Italian mainland.Today, the long shadow of mafia history still hangs over a nation wracked by debt, political paralysis, and widespread corruption. While police put their lives on the line every day, one of Silvio Berlusconi's ministers said that Italy had to 'learn to live with the mafia'; suspicions of mafia involvement still surround some of the country's most powerful media moguls and politicians. The latest investigations show that its reach is astonishing: it controls much of Europe's wholesale cocaine trade, and representatives from as far away as Germany, Canada and Australia come to Calabria to seek authorisation for their affairs. Just when it thought it had finally contained the mafia threat, Italy is now discovering that it harbours the most global criminal network of them all.The Financial Times described John Dickie's MAFIA BROTHERHOODS as 'Powered by the sort of muscular prose that one associates with great detective fiction' and in MAFIA REPUBLIC John Dickie again marries outstanding scholarship with compelling storytelling.
By Jill Dawson
In the dead of night, Lily Waite and her 5-year-old son, Matthew, arrive at their new home on a council estate in East London; their only possessions, two suitcases and a bag of charred remains. Their past is a mystery, Matthew's father nowhere in evidence, and Lily resolute in her need for privacy. But Lily has to come to terms with the events that precipitated her flight from Yorkshire and, as she relaxes enough to allow new relationships into her and her son's life, the secrets of the past finally begin to relinquish their hold on the future.
The Maid of Buttermere
By Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg's highly acclaimed and bestselling historical novel, the story behind one of the 19th century's greatest scandals.Set in the Lake District in the early 19th century, the riveting story of an imposter, bigamist and fortune hunter who came to grief by falling helplessly in love with the famed 'Maid of Buttermere'.
The Maid's Version
By Daniel Woodrell
In 1929, an explosion in a Missouri dance hall killed forty-two people. Who was to blame? Mobsters from St Louis? Embittered gypsies? The preacher who cursed the waltzing couples for their sins? Or could it just have been a colossal accident?Alma Dunahew, whose scandalous younger sister was among the dead, believes the answer lies in a dangerous love affair, but no one will listen to a maid from the wrong side of the tracks. It is only decades later that her grandson hears her version of events - and must decide if it is the right one.
A Man Called Ove
By Fredrik Backman
The million-copy bestselling phenomenon, Fredrik Backman's heartwarming debut is a funny, moving, uplifting tale of love and community that will leave you with a spring in your step. Perfect for fans of Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project and David Nicholl's US.New York Times bestseller'Warm, funny, and almost unbearably moving' Daily Mail'Rescued all those men who constantly mean to read novels but never get round to it' Spectator Books of the YearAt first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible...
The Man Who Disappeared
By Clare Morrall
What would you do if, out of the blue, your husband disappeared and you found out he was a suspected criminal?When reliable, respectable Felix Kendall vanishes, his wife Kate is left reeling. As she and their children cope with the shocking impact on their comfortable lives, Kate realises that, if Felix is guilty, she never truly knew the man she loved. But as she faces the possibility that he might not return, she also discovers strengths she never knew she had.
The Map Of Tenderness
By William Wall
Joe Lyons has never had much success with relationships until he meets Suzie, a young music teacher. Living a solitary existence as a writer, he's alienated his mother with his autobiographical first novel and has little to say to his stridently religious sister, Mary. Only his father keeps in regular touch. But now, in the warmth of this new love, the happy endings finally seem to outnumber the tragedies. So when news comes that his mother is seriously ill, he returns home, but what he finds there shocks him out of his complacency and Joe, like his father, comes to understand the true nature of love.
The Marlowe Papers
By Ros Barber
*WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2013*On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now Christopher Marlowe reveals the truth: that his 'death' was an elaborate ruse to avoid being convicted of heresy; that he was spirited across the Channel to live on in lonely exile; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford - one William Shakespeare. With the grip of a thriller and the emotional force of a sonnet, this remarkable novel in verse gives voice to a man who was brilliant, passionate and mercurial. A cobbler's son who counted nobles among his friends, a spy in the Queen's service, a fickle lover and a declared religious sceptic, he was always courting trouble. Memoir, love letter, confession, settling of accounts and a cry for recognition as the creator of some of the most sublime works in the English language, The Marlowe Papers brings Christopher Marlowe and his era to vivid life. Written by a poet and scholar, it is a work of exceptional art, erudition and imagination.
By Justin Cartwright
'A provocative novel about a disillusioned writer who travels to Africa to research a screenplay. Cartwright tellingly contrasts the supposed savagery of the dark continent with the very real barbarism of Nazi Germany and the modern world' Esquire'Ambitious ... the book works well, as a story, as a compendium of reflections on race and nationhood and as a novel with a refined and distinctive narrative voice and one marvellously complete character, the old White Kenyan, Tom Fairfax ... an elegantly complex, unfailingly intelligent novel'Lucy Hughes-Hallett, The Spectator
By Pete Mccarthy
Pete McCarthy's tale of his hilarious trip around Ireland has gained thousands of fans all over the world. Pete was born in Warrington to an Irish mother and an English father and spent happy summer holidays in Cork. Years later, reflecting on the many places he has visited as a travel broadcaster, Pete admits that he feels more at home in Ireland than anywhere. To find out whether this is due to rose-coloured spectacles or to a deeper tie with the country of his ancestors, Pete sets off on a trip around Ireland and discovers that it has changed in surprising ways. Firstly obeying the rule 'never pass a pub with your name on it', he encounters McCarthy's bars up and down the land, and meets English hippies, German musicians, married priests and many others. A funny, affectionate look at one of the most popular countries in the world.
By Margot Livesey, Derek Perkins, Nicol Zanzarella
Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury - a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past - arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.Mercury's owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harboured, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv's ambitions and his own myopia.(P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
The Mercy Seat
By Elizabeth H. Winthrop
As the sun begins to set over Louisiana one October day in 1943, a young black man faces the final hours of his life: at midnight, eighteen-year-old Willie Jones will be executed by electric chair for raping a white girl - a crime some believe he did not commit. In a tale taut with tension, events unfold hour by hour from the perspectives of nine people involved. They include Willie himself, who knows what really happened, and his father, desperately trying to reach the town jail to see his son one last time; the prosecuting lawyer, haunted by being forced to seek the death penalty against his convictions, and his wife, who believes Willie to be innocent; the priest who has become a friend to Willie; and a mother whose only son is fighting in the Pacific, bent on befriending her black neighbours in defiance of her husband. In this exceptionally powerful novel, Elizabeth Winthrop explores matters of justice, racism and the death penalty in a fresh, subtle and profoundly affecting way. Her kaleidoscopic narrative allows us to inhabit the lives of her characters and see them for what they are - complex individuals, making fateful choices we might not condone, but can understand.'It takes a brave writer to compose a novel about the execution of an African-American man in the Deep South when the topic has previously been brought to life by authors like Harper Lee and Ernest Gaines. There are multiple possibilities for failure: preachiness, melodrama and bias, to name a few. But Elizabeth H. Winthrop avoids these hazards by writing well, demonstrating once again that while the subject matter is the body of the narrative, the prose itself is the soul and the thing that makes a topic new. . . [The novel] gathers great power as it rolls on propelled by its many voices.' Tim Gautreaux, New York Times
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
By John Berendt
Published for the first time in flipback - the new, portable, stylish format that's taken Europe by storm.Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A morose inventor who owns a bottle of poison powerful enough to kill everyone in town. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a 'walking streak of sex'.These are some of the real residents of Savannah, Georgia, a city whose eccentric mores are unerringly observed - and whose dirty linen is gleefully aired - in this utterly irresistible book. At once a true-crime murder story and a hugely entertaining and deliciously perverse travelogue, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is as bracing and intoxicating as half-a-dozen mint juleps.
Miracle at St. Anna
By James Mcbride, James Macbride
Based on the historical incident of an unspeakable massacre at the site of Sant'Anna Di Stazzema, a small village in Tuscany, and on the experiences of the famed Buffalo soldiers from the 92nd Division in Italy during World War II, Miracle at Sant'Anna is a singular evocation of war, cruelty, passion, and heroism. It is the story of four American Negro soldiers, a band of partisans, and an Italian boy who encounter a miracle - though perhaps the true miracle lies in themselves. Traversing class, race, and geography, Miracle at Sant'Anna is above all a hymn to the brotherhood of man and the power to do good that lives in each of us
By Stephen Thompson
Joe, Dilys and their son Sean are all outsiders in the small English town where they live. Joe because of insidious racism, Dilys because she suffers the remaining stigma of her alcoholic mother and mentally ill father, and Sean because he seems slow. As Dilys and Sean become increasingly and unhealthily co-dependent, Joe is pushed to periphery of their lives. So much so that when he vanishes, Dilys is neither surprised nor concerned. Then Joe's identical twin brother Neville arrives from Jamaica. Despite what Dilys tells him, he refuses to believe that Joe simply walked out on his family. And so he begins a painstaking investigation into Joe's disappearance. What he discovers changes him forever.
By Tim Gautreaux
Louisiana is the setting for this riveting tale of a kidnapped child and the man on her trail - Sam Simoneaux, who feels honour-bound to help find her. Leaving his stalwart wife behind, he works his passage on a pleasure steamer up the Mississippi, entering a wild world of jazz, moonshine and lawlessness. It is a journey that will lead Sam to confront not only violent criminals but his own past, and to make some hard decisions about the value of vengeance.
The Mission Song
By John Le Carré
Bruno Salvador, known to friends and enemies alike as Salvo, is the ever-innocent, twenty-nine-year-old orphaned love-child of a Catholic Irish missionary and a Congolese headman's daughter. Educated first at mission school in the East Congolese province of Kivu, and later at a discreet sanctuary for the secret sons of Rome, Salvo is inspired by his mentor Brother Michael to train as a professional interpreter in the minority African languages of which, almost from birth, he has been an obsessive collector. Soon a rising star in his profession, he is courted by City corporations, hospitals, law courts, the Immigration services and - inevitably - the mushrooming overworld of British Intelligence. He is also courted - and won - by the all-white, Surrey-born Penelope, star reporter on one of our great national newspapers, whom with typical impulsiveness he promptly marries. Yet even as the story opens, a contrary and irresistible love is dawning in him. Despatched to a no-name island in the North Sea to attend a top-secret meeting between Western financiers and East Congolese warlords, Salvo is obliged to interpret matters never intended for his re-awoken African conscience.
By Alexei Sayle
Above a small village in Spain, an English costume designer sees a bright shining star lurch abruptly across the sky.On Christmas Day a strong, silent man with blank eyes enters Bar Noche Azul. Only a thirteen year old boy could have guessed that there was any connection between the two.Wonderfully inventive, darkly funny and thoughtful, MISTER ROBERTS is both an original coming-of-age story and an unusual take on the corrupting influence of power.