By Mick Herron
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA GOLDSBORO GOLD DAGGER AND THE IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER SHORTLISTED FOR THE THEAKSTON OLD PECULIAR CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR'If you read one spy novel this year, read Real Tigers' The Spectator'The finest new crime series this millennium' Mail on SundayCatherine Standish knows that chance encounters never happen to spooks.She's worked in the Intelligence Service long enough to understand treachery, double-dealing and stabbing in the back.What she doesn't know is why anyone would target her: a recovering drunk pushing paper with the other lost causes in Jackson Lamb's kingdom of exiles at Slough House.Whoever it is holding her hostage, it can't be personal. It must be about Slough House. Most likely, it is about Jackson Lamb.And say what you like about Lamb, he'll never leave a joe in the lurch.He might even be someone you could trust with your life . . .
By Rory Gleeson
'Rockadoon Shore is terrific' Roddy Doyle'One of the most exciting Irish storytellers to have emerged in years' Gavin CorbettCath is worried about her friends. DanDan is struggling with the death of his ex, Lucy is drinking way too much and Steph has become closed off. A weekend away is just what they need so they travel out to Rockadoon Lodge, to the wilds in the west of Ireland. But the weekend doesn't go to plan. JJ is more concerned with getting high than spending time with them, while Merc is humiliated and seeks revenge. And with long-ignored tensions now out in the open, their elderly neighbour Malachy arrives on their doorstep with a gun in his hands . . .Honest, moving and human, Rockadoon Shore is a novel about friendship and youth, about missed opportunities and lost love, and about the realities of growing up and growing old in modern-day Ireland. Highly energetic and tensely humorous, it heralds a new and exciting voice in contemporary Irish fiction.
Remembered for a While
By Nick Drake, Gabrielle Drake, Cally Callomon
'Probably the most ambitious, generous and thorough volume about a musician to see publication' Mouth MagazineThe authorised companion to the music of Nick Drake, compiled, composed and edited by Cally Callomon and Gabrielle Drake, with contributions from Nick's friends, critics, adherents, family and from Nick Drake himself.Remembered For A While is not a biography. It is, rather, an attempt to cast a few shards of light on Nick Drake the poet, the musician, the singer, the friend, son and brother, who was also more than all of these. We hope it will accompany all those in search of an elusive artist, whose haunting presence defies analysis.The book contains:* In-depth interviews with many of Nick's friends, most notably Paul Wheeler, Nick's close friend from Cambridge days, a singer-songwriter who, of all Nick's friends, perhaps best understood, from personal experience, Nick's journey through musical creation to despair and back again.* A selection of photos from all eras - some never seen before - with reproductions of documents such as the scrapbook Molly Drake kept of her son's press cuttings, and the original and rejected album covers.* Images of Nick's handwritten and typed lyrics, including the lyrics of some songs for which the music has never been found.* Newly commissioned pieces by Nick's friends Jeremy Harmer, Brian Wells, Robin Frederick and the poet Will Stone. Contributions also from the sleeve designer Michael Trevithick, Island Records's Ann Sullivan and the photographer and artist Nigel Waymouth.*Extracts from Nick's letters - part of an extensive correspondence that exists between Nick and his parents, which charts their relationship from the time he first went to boarding school until the time he came home, when his depression had settled upon him and he felt he had nowhere else to go. From this point, Nick's life was documented by his father, Rodney Drake, who kept a detailed diary, as he and his wife Molly struggled to understand their son's state of mind and how to help him. Passages from this poignant record are included.* A short musical guide to each song's key and tuning to accompany the lyrics, together with an explanatory interpretation of Nick's guitar performance, the result of several years close study by singer-songwriter Chris Healey.* A comprehensive guide to all of Nick's live performances. * And a lengthy essay by noted music critic Pete Paphides, which includes interviews with Nick's musical collaborators and friends - his producer Joe Boyd, his recording engineer John Wood and his orchestrator, the late Robert Kirby - as well as descriptions of the recording process of each album.
By Giles Milton
'It reads like fiction, but it is, astonishingly, history' The TimesIn 1917, an eccentric band of British spies is smuggled into newly-Soviet Russia. Their goal? To defeat Lenin's plan to destroy British India and bring down the democracies of the West. These extraordinary spies, led by Mansfield Cumming, proved brilliantly successful. They found a wholly new way to deal with enemies, one that relied on espionage and dirty tricks rather than warfare. They were the unsung founders of today's modern, highly professional secret services. They were also the inspiration for fictional heroes to follow, from James Bond to Jason Bourne.
By Walter De La Mare
How would your wife react if you came home with the face of someone else? How would you continue to look at your own life? What would you do?Considered one of Walter de la Mare's finest occult stories, this darkly thrilling tale tells the story of Lawford, a dull suburban man who accidentally falls asleep on a grave and wakes up possessed by the spirit - and face - of somebody else. Denounced by his family and friends as an impostor, Lawford's struggle to free himself of this possession leaves him a thoroughly changed man. Gripping and poignant, THE RETURN encompasses domestic trauma, unrequited love and philosophical reflection.
River of Smoke
By Amitav Ghosh
'As hypnotic as an opium dream and pretty unputdownable' Daily MailIn September 1838 a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, a ship carrying a consignment of convicts and indentured laborers from Calcutta to Mauritius, is caught up in the whirlwind. When the seas settle, five men have disappeared - two lascars, two convicts and one of the passengers. Did the same storm upend the fortunes of those aboard the Anahita, an opium carrier heading towards Canton? And what fate befell those aboard the Redruth, a sturdy two-masted brig heading East out of Cornwall? Was it the storm that altered their course or were the destinies of these passengers at the mercy of even more powerful forces?On the grand scale of an historical epic, River of Smoke follows its storm-tossed characters to the crowded harbors of China. There, despite efforts of the emperor to stop them, ships from Europe and India exchange their cargoes of opium for boxes of tea, silk, porcelain and silver. Among them are Bahram Modi, a wealthy Parsi opium merchant out of Bombay, his estranged half-Chinese son Ah Fatt, the orphaned Paulette and a motley collection of others whose pursuit of romance, riches and a legendary rare flower have thrown together. All struggle to cope with their losses - and for some, unimaginable freedoms - in the alleys and crowded waterways of 19th century Canton. As transporting and mesmerizing as an opiate induced dream, River of Smoke will soon be heralded as a masterpiece of twenty-first century literature.
By Tom Egeland
A golden relic, containing an ancient manuscript that could change the course of history, has been hidden in a monastery. But nobody knows where.One determined man sets out to find this sensational artefact and to trace its origins. His quest takes him via a scientific intelligence organization in London, a Middle Eastern outpost and a Crusaders' castle, as layer by layer he reveals the religious mysteries inside the Shrine of Sacred Secrets. Coined by critics as 'the Norwegian Da Vinci Code', Relic is a masterful concoction of history and intrigue.
By Michael Jones
The thrilling history of the turning point of the Second World War, when Hitler's armies were halted on the Eastern FrontAt the moment of crisis in 1941 on the Eastern front, with the forces of Hitler massing on the outskirts of Moscow, the miraculous occurred: Moscow was saved. Yet this turning point was followed by a long retreat, in which Russian forces, inspired by old beliefs in the sacred motherland, pushed back German forces steeled by the vision of the ubermensch, the iron-willed fighter. Many of Russia's 27 million military and civilian deaths occurred in this desperate struggle.In THE RETREAT, Michael Jones, acclaimed author of LENINGRAD, draws upon a mass of new eye-witness testimony from both sides of the conflict to tell, with matchless vividness and comprehensiveness, of the crucial turning point of the Second World War - the moment when the armies of Hitler could go no further - and of the titanic and cruel struggle of two mighty empires.
The Reluctant Bride
By Lucy Mangan
Will Lucy make it down the aisle? It's going to be an uphill struggle . . . The bride: A late starter in life, Lucy always swore she'd never get married. But now she has to find a caterer who doesn't charge a fortune for a cupcake, a dressmaker who doesn't make her cry and a way to bring Great-Auntie Betty down from Dundee for the sixpence she is willing to spend - isn't it meant to be HER special day?The groom: Christopher has spent twenty minutes compiling his guest list and checking his suit fits before returning to his newspaper - this wedding business isn't so hard after all. The mother of the bride: Armed with colour-coded wedding planning folders she is all set. However, twice-daily conversations with her daughter don't seem to be shortening the 'to-do' list she's drawn up.The father of the bride: A wedding? My daughter? Who's she marrying?The best friend: Gillian has stood by Lucy through thick and thin, but she is refusing to be a bridesmaid and wear a daft dress.
By Craig Nelson
On 20 July 1969, man set foot on the moon. Motivated by politics, faith, science and wonder, the Apollo 11 mission was the greatest technical achievement of all time. It was the culmination of over a decade's worth of money and effort from more than 400,000 staff and crew.Rocket Men follows the astounding story of the lunar project, beginning at its inception at the start of the Cold War and tracing it through to its finest hour with the first moon landing and the astronauts' safe return. Through extensive interviews with astronauts, NASA staff and their families and never-before published documents, Craig Nelson presents an awe-inspiring human account of the voyage that changed the course of history. He takes us behind the scenes at Mission Control to describe every detail of the mission, from the astronauts' moon excursion suits, which had five hundred parts and weighed no less than fifty pounds, to terrifying revelations, such as how Armstrong and Aldrin could have been left stranded on the moon when a vital switch snapped on the landing craft.Rocket Men is the inside story of one of the most perilous and rewarding undertakings in history.
The Right Hand of the Sun
By Anita Mason
'This is the fifth world.' The emperor opens his fingers. The feather drifts to the floor. 'Every day we are afraid that it will end.'1519. Shipwrecked on an unnamed coast a Spaniard, who in ten years has learned to live like the natives and worship their gods, is suddenly faced with a choice. Mysterious ships have come. A message is brought to him. Does he want to - can he - go back to the world he left?Gerónimo has no idea, yet, what purpose is forming in the mind of the expedition's commander. Hernán Cortés will stop at nothing to achieve his ambitions and thwart his enemies - and he has heard rumours of an empire of gold.
Running for the Hills
By Horatio Clare
When Jenny and Robert fall in love in the late 1960s they decide to build a new future together, away from the city. They escape to an isolated sheep farm nestled on a mountainside. It has no running water but it is beautiful and rugged. Their young sons can roam wild. As their flock struggles, money runs low and rain drives in horizontally across the fields, inside the ancient house their marriage begins to unravel. Wilful and romantic, Jenny refuses to abandon her farm. She will bring her boys up single-handedly on the mountain. Together they embark on a perilous adventure. Running for the Hills is astonishing family memoir - Horatio Clare vividly recreates his mother's extraordinary way of life and his own bewitching childhood in a magical story of love and struggle.
By Philip Longworth
Through the centuries, Russia has swung between successful expansionism, catastrophic collapse and spectacular recovery. This illuminating history traces these cycles from the late Neolithic age to Ivan the Terrible and Catherine the Great, and from the height of Communism to the truncated Russian Federation of today. The narrative takes in the magnificent cities of Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg, and stretches to Alaska in the east, to the Black Sea and the Ottoman Empire in the south, to the Baltic in the west and to the Arctic Ocean in the north, asking what the future holds for Russia and her neighbours.
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
Patrick Leigh Fermor's Mani compellingly revealed a hidden world of Southern Greece and its past. Its northern counterpart takes the reader among Sarakatsan shepherds, the monasteries of Meteora and the villages of Krakora, among itinerant pedlars and beggars, and even tracks down at Missolonghi a pair of Byron's slippers.Roumeli is not on modern maps: it is the ancient name for the lands from the Bosphorus to the Adriatic and from Macedonia to the Gulf of Corinth. But it is the perfect, evocative name for the Greece that Fermor captures in writing that carries throughout his trademark vividness of description. But what is more, the pictures of people, traditions and landscapes that he creates on the page are imbued with an intimate understanding of Greece and its history.
By Peter Hessler
When Peter Hessler went to China in the late 1990s, he expected to spend a couple of peaceful years teaching English in the town of Fuling on the Yangtze River. But what he experienced - the natural beauty, cultural tension, and complex process of understanding that takes place when one is thrust into a radically different society - surpassed anything he could have imagined. Hessler observes firsthand how major events such as the death of Deng Xiaoping, the return of Hong Kong to the mainland, and the controversial consturction of the Three Gorges Dam have affected even the people of a remote town like Fuling.Poignant, thoughtful and utterly compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a place caught mid-river in time, much like China itself - a country seeking to understand both what it was and what it will one day become.
The Riddle and the Knight
By Giles Milton
In 1322 Sir John Mandeville left England on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Thirty-four years later, he returned, claiming to have visited not only Jerusalem, but India, China, Java, Sumatra and Borneo as well.His book about that voyage, THE TRAVELS, was heralded as the most important book of the Middle Ages as Mandeville claimed his voyage proved it was possible to circumnavigate the globe.In the nineteenth century sceptics questioned his voyage, and even doubted he had left England.THE RIDDLE AND THE KNIGHT sets out to discover whether Mandeville really could have made his voyage or whether, as is claimed, THE TRAVELS was a work of imaginative fiction. Bestselling historian Giles Milton unearths clues about the journey and reveals that THE TRAVELS is built upon a series of riddles which have, until now, remained unsolved.