Related to: 'George Craig'

John Murray Learning

How to Own the World

Andrew Craig
Authors:
Andrew Craig

Everyone needs to take charge of their financial affairs and this audiobook tells you how.It is time to get your money working for you. HOW TO OWN THE WORLD explains why you can, and must, learn about investment, and highlights the significant advantages you have over many finance professionals. This is both a personal finance book and a personal development book; by safeguarding your future wealth you are safeguarding your long-term health and happiness.Successful investment can turn hundreds into millions over time thanks to the power of compound interest, something Einstein described as "The Eighth Wonder of the World". There has never been a greater need for you to take charge of your financial affairs. Fortunately the tools available have never been more powerful or inexpensive. HOW TO OWN THE WORLD explains why this is, and what you can do to make the most of your money.(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Leading from Purpose

Nick Craig
Authors:
Nick Craig

LEADING FROM PURPOSE IS TRANSFORMING LEADERSHIP AT THE WORLD'S TOP COMPANIES'I can't imagine leading Ben & Jerry's without it' Jostein Solheim, CEO of Ben & Jerry's 'Makes lives deeper, organisations stronger and society more cohesive.' Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever'Purpose has really enhanced my impact as a leader.' Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING Bank'My purpose has acted as a guiding light to help me centre and ground myself to lead effectively when it's needed most.' Loren Shuster, Chief People Officer at LEGO Drawing on ten years of experience working with more than 10,000 executives from companies around the world, Nick Craig takes you on a revelatory journey to understand your purpose, find clarity and focus and lead with inspiration.When uncovered, purpose becomes our most fundamental guiding principle. Explaining where true purpose lies and demystifying where it doesn't, Craig offers the methods through which anyone can find their purpose. He identifies three pathways that will assess where you are going with your purpose and where you should be going.In Leading from Purpose, Craig shares unique stories to show how top leaders are energized by their purpose, finding in it the confidence they need to properly evaluate high-stakes decisions and take the optimal action. Accessible, methodical and eminently practical, this book offers the comprehensive toolbox with which everyone - whether a c-suite executive or a behind-the-scenes office worker - can live out their purpose and achieve success on their own terms.With a foreword by Daring Greatly author Brené Brown.

John Murray

London Rules

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron

SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA GOLD DAGGER AND IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER'The UK's new spy master' Sunday TimesLondon Rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one.Cover your arse.Regent's Park's First Desk, Claude Whelan, is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions himself: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote, and now has his sights set on Number Ten; from the showboat's wife, a tabloid columnist, who's crucifying Whelan in print; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who's alert for Claude's every stumble.Meanwhile, the country's being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks, and someone's trying to kill Roddy Ho.Over at Slough House, the crew are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. But collectively, they're about to rediscover their greatest strength - that of making a bad situation much, much worse.It's a good job Jackson Lamb knows the rules. Because those things aren't going to break themselves.******Praise for Mick Herron'The new spy master' Evening Standard'Herron is spy fiction's great humorist, mixing absurd situations with sparklingly funny dialogue and elegant, witty prose' The Times'Herron draws his readers so fully into the world of Slough House that the incautious might find themselves slipping between the pages and transformed from reader to spook' Irish Times

Hodder & Stoughton

Shadowheart

Tad Williams
Authors:
Tad Williams

Barrick Eddon, prince of Southmarch, is no longer entirely human. He has vowed to safeguard the legacy of the dark Qar race, and must now decide where his loyalties lie. His twin sister Briony has a difficult choice of her own. Her father, King Olin, is held captive by the Autarch, a mad god-king who plans to use Olin's blood to gain unlimited power. And the castle of Southmarch still remains in the possession of Hendon Tolly, Briony's murderous relative. As time runs out, will Briony decide to save her father's kingdom . . . or her father? As the foretold Great Defeat draws near, history is stripped of its costume of lies. Poets and players, mortals and fairies, warriors and gods - all will have their roles to play as the fate of the known world hangs in the balance.

Hodder & Stoughton

Terry & George - Feeding Friends

Terry Edwards, George Craig
Authors:
Terry Edwards, George Craig
Nicholas Brealey International

The Cult of the Luxury Brand

Paul Husband, Radha Chadha
Authors:
Paul Husband, Radha Chadha

The Cult of the Luxury Brand is the first book to explore how and why an amazing "luxeplosion" is rocking Asia, sweeping up not just the glitzy upper crust, but secretaries toting their Burberry bags, junior executives sporting Rolex watches, and university students in Ferragamo shoes. Hong Kong boasts more Gucci and Hermes stores than New York or Paris. China's luxury market is growing with such gusto that it will single-handedly be the biggest by 2014. Even India, the new kid on the luxury block, has three-month waiting lists for hot items, while in Tokyo, the epicenter of the cult, 94 per cent of women in their 20s own a Louis Vuitton bag. The cult of the luxury brand is so powerful that Asian consumers account for as much as half of the $80 billion global luxe industry. Radha Chadha and Paul Husband explain the paradox of simultaneously pumping up your product's status while pumping it out to the masses. They crack the code of the cult, offering a tried-and-tested approach to creating an explosive following for your brand. They outline a powerful model that explains the spread of luxury in developed markets such as Japan and Hong Kong, while predicting the future course for emerging markets such as China and India. They also examine the phenomenon of "geniune fakes", impossible to tell from the real thing but detracting from its sales.Written by world-leading experts in a highly accessible style, the book draws on over 150 interviews with industry experts, market studies in 10 countries, and the authors' collective experience across Asia. It offers a glimpse of the thriving retail scene, from glorious flagship stores in Tokyo to bustling local markets in Seoul, and compares the various consumer segments to understand the inner motives for their obsession. It demonstrates how the continent's massive economic and social transformation is dismantling centuries-old ways of defining your place in society, and how your spot on today's social totem pole is marked by your Chanel suit and your Cartier watch. Whether you are a business professional targeting the Asian consumer, a marketer interested in trend spotting, or a shopper fascinated by luxury brands, this book opens the door to success.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Reunion

Claire Lorrimer
Authors:
Claire Lorrimer

Sally, Lee, Clare, inseparable companions through their school days, had made a vow at fifteen to meet up with each other in ten years time. Now at twenty-five, and as young women, they remember their younger selves.Lee, just beginning to make a name for herself in the artistic world. Entirely self-supporting since the death of her parents a few years previously, Lee had thrown herself heart and soul into her work.Clare has blossomed into an attractive and independent woman. By nature calm, placid, outwardly cool. It takes a good deal to shake her poise. But somewhere deep within her, Clare feels the warning note telling her that when one day she falls in love, everything would be different.Sally is vivacious but also headstrong and selfish, and is now engaged to Mark. They reunite for Sally's engagement party, but complications arise when Clare suddenly finds herself in love with her schoolfriend's fiancee ...

John Murray

Russian Roulette

Giles Milton
Authors:
Giles Milton

'It reads like fiction, but it is, astonishingly, history' The TimesRussian Roulette tells the story of the first global plot and the British spies who were sent to thwart it. The Soviet plot was breathtaking in scale: its aim was to destroy British rule in India, as a precursor to toppling the democracies of the West. It was to bring together two deadly forces - Soviet revolutionaries and Islamic jihadis - to form a highly toxic threat.Unbeknownst to Moscow, a small band of British spies had been secretly smuggled into Russia in the aftermath of the 1917 revolution. They were an unlikely group of men: self taught and highly educated. Their boss was endearingly eccentric. Mansfield Cumming was a monocled, one-legged sea captain with a passion for secret inks and homemade explosives. Cumming gave his agents free range to do whatever they wanted once they were inside Soviet Russia: 'Just don't get yourself killed,' was his only injunction. Over the course of the next three years, his spies would be involved in murder, deception and duplicity on a grand scale. Living in disguise - and constantly switching identities - they would infiltrate Soviet commissariats, the Red Army and Cheka (secret police), and would come within a whisker of assassinating Lenin. The pinnacle of their achievement was to unmask Lenin's plan for global revolution. It would reach its denouement in the Central Asian city of Tashkent. Lenin's global plot would be spectacularly unravelled. Britain's spies proved brilliantly successful in saving the Western world from catastrophe. They found a wholly new way in which to deal with enemies, one that relied on espionage and dirty tricks rather than warfare. As such, they were the unsung founders of today's modern, highly professional secret services and, in their way, inspiration for fictional heroes to follow, from James Bond to Jason Bourne.Russian Roulette draws on little known records from India Political Intelligence that have only recently been released into the public domain, including rare duplicated copies of reports from MI6's closed archives.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Mortal Sickness

Andrew Taylor
Authors:
Andrew Taylor

'Andrew Taylor is a master story-teller' Daily Telegraph From the No.1 bestselling author of The Ashes of London and The Fire Court, this is the second instalment in the acclaimed Lydmouth seriesWhen a spinster of the parish is found bludgeoned to death in St John's, and the church's most valuable possession, the Lydmouth chalice, is missing, the finger of suspicion points at the new vicar, who is already beset with problems.The glare of the police investigation reveals shabby secrets and private griefs. Jill Francis, struggling to find her feet in her new life, stumbles into the case at the beginning. But even a journalist cannot always watch from the sidelines. Soon she is inextricably involved in the Suttons' affairs. Despite the electric antagonism between her and Inspector Richard Thornhill, she has instincts that she can't ignore . . .'An excellent writer. He plots with care and intelligence and the solution to the mystery is satisfyingly chilling' The Times'The most under-rated crime writer in Britain today' Val McDermid 'There is no denying Taylor's talent, his prose exudes a quality uncommon among his contemporaries' Time Out

Hodder Paperbacks

And the Band Played On: The enthralling account of what happened after the Titanic sank

Christopher Ward
Authors:
Christopher Ward

On 14th April 1912 the Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sank. Fifteen hundred passengers and crew lost their lives. As the order to abandon ship was given, the orchestra took their instruments on deck and continued to play. They were still playing when the ship went down.The violinist, 21 year-old Jock Hume, knew that his fiancée, Mary, was expecting their first child, the author's mother.One hundred years later, Christopher Ward reveals a dramatic story of love, loss and betrayal, and the catastrophic impact of Jock's death on two very different Scottish families. He paints a vivid portrait of an age in which class determined the way you lived - and died. An outstanding piece of historical detective work, AND THE BAND PLAYED ON is also a moving account of how the author's quest to learn more about his grandfather revealed the shocking truth about a family he thought he knew, a truth that had been hidden for nearly a hundred years.

Nicholas Brealey International

Optimizing the Power of Action Learning

Michael J. Marquardt, Shannon Banks, Peter Cauwelier, Choon Seng Ng
Authors:
Michael J. Marquardt, Shannon Banks, Peter Cauwelier, Choon Seng Ng

This newly revised edition demonstrates how action learning can be used to address today's increasingly complex organizational challenges. Profiling such global leaders as LG, Sony, and Boeing, Marquardt shows how these and other organizations have flourished by discovering how to optimize the power of action learning. Packed with extensive enhancements, including new international case studies, and more strategies to introduce and maintain action learning programs within an organization, Optimizing the Power of Action Learning delivers an innovative and fresh perspective - making it a must-have for any organization looking to heighten competitive advantage and sustain success.

Hodder Paperbacks

Forget Me Not

Mandasue Heller
Authors:
Mandasue Heller

A serial killer is hunting for women on Manchester's Westy Lane.Every time there is a murder, a tiny blue flower is found on the torn body of the victim.Lisa Noone, twelve years old and wise beyond her years, lives too close for comfort to Westy Lane. Not only that, but her mother is a member of the oldest profession in the book. Their lives are far from perfect, but they will always have each other. Or will they? One night Benny arrives in Lisa's life. Tall dark, the most gorgeous man she's ever seen, Benny is not all he seems. While Lisa savours true love, Benny wants more from her than she will ever know.

Hodder & Stoughton

Regatta

Libby Purves, Libby Purves
Authors:
Libby Purves, Libby Purves

Sheila Harrison always looks forward to the descent of the summer visitors onto 'Seafret', her tall brick house right on the front at Blythney, in East Anglia. She loves the way her spare bedrooms are full, from June to September, with successive waves of children - schoolfriends of her own three and the waifs and strays sent by the Country Hosts' Association.But Sheila is not prepared for the upheaval caused by one young girl, Anansi, who arrives from a background that Sheila can only guess at. Urban, streetwise, knowing beyond her years, Anansi refuses to be patronised by Sheila's well-meaning attempts to make her feel at home. She looks at Sheila, her family and friends, with eyes unclouded by familiarity - and drops a bombshell. Even when the dust has settled, summers will never be the same again.

A short story by the author of The Saint series, Leslie Charteris

The Uncritical Publisher

Even the strongest men have their weak moments. Peter Quentin once wrote a book. Many young men do, but usually with more disastrous results. Moreover he did it without saying a word to anyone, which is perhaps even more uncommon; and even the Saint did not hear about it until after the crime had been committed. ‘Next time you’re thinking of being rude to me,’ said Peter Quentin, on that night of revelation, ‘please remember that you’re talking to a budding novelist whose work has been compared to Dumas, Tolstoy, Conan Doyle and others.’ Simon Templar choked over his highball. ‘Only pansies bud,’ he said severely. ‘Novelists fester. Of course, it’s possible to be both.’ ‘I mean it,’ insisted Peter seriously. ‘I was keeping it quiet until I heard the verdict, and I had a letter from the publishers today.’ There was no mistaking his earnestness; and the Saint regarded him with affectionate gloom. His vision of the future filled him with overwhelming pessimism. He had seen the fate of other young men – healthy, upright young men who had had a book published. He had seen them tread the downhill path of pink shirts, velvet coats, long hair, quill pens, cocktail parties and beards, until finally they sank into the awful limbos of Bloomsbury and were no longer visible to the naked eye. The prospect of such a doom for anyone like Peter Quentin, who had been with him in so many bigger and better crimes, cast a shadow of great melancholy across his spirits. ‘Didn’t Kathleen try to stop you?’ he asked. ‘Of course not,’ said Peter proudly. ‘She helped me. I owe—’ ‘—it all to her,’ said the Saint cynically. ‘All right. I know the line. But if you ever come out with “My Work” within my hearing, I shall throw you under a bus... You’d better let me see this letter. And order me some more Old Curio while I’m reading it – I need strength.’ He took the document with his fingertips, as if it were unclean, and opened it out on the bar. But after his first glance at the letter-head his twinkling blue eyes steadied abruptly, and he read the epistle through with more than ordinary interest. Dear Sir, We have now gone into your novel THE GAY ADVENTURER, and our readers report that it is very entertaining and ably written, with the verve of Dumas, the dramatic power of Tolstoy, and ingenuity of Conan Doyle. We shall therefore be delighted to set up same in best small pica type to form a volume of about 320 p.p., machine on good antique paper, bind in red cloth with title in gold lettering, and put up in specially designed artistic wrapper, at cost to yourself of only £600 (Six Hundred Pounds) and to publish same at our own expense in the United Kingdom at a net price of 15/ (Fifteen Shillings); and believe it will form a most acceptable and popular volume which should command a wide sale. We will further agree to send you on date of publication twelve presentation copies and to send copies for review to all principal magazines and newspapers; and further to pay you a royalty of 25% (twenty-five per cent) on all copies sold of this Work. The work can be put in hand immediately on receipt of your acceptance of these terms. Trusting to hear from you at your earliest convenience, We beg to remain, dear Sir, Faithfully yours, for HERBERT G. PARSTONE & Co. Herbert G. Parstone, Managing Director Simon folded the letter and handed it back with a sigh of relief. ‘Okay, Peter,’ he said cheerfully. ‘I bought that one. What’s the swindle, and can I come in on it?’ ‘I don’t know of any swindle,’ said Peter puzzledly. ‘What do you mean?’ The Saint frowned. ‘D’you mean to tell me you sent your book to Parstone in all seriousness?’ ‘Of course I did. I saw an advertisement of his in some literary paper, and I don’t know much about publishers—’ ‘You’ve never heard of him before?’ ‘No.’ Simon picked up his glass and strengthened himself with a deep draught. ‘Herbert G. Parstone,’ he said, ‘is England’s premier exponent of the publishing racket. Since you don’t seem to know it, Peter, let me tell you that no reputable publisher in this or any other country publishes books at the author’s expense, except an occasional highly technical work which goes out for posterity rather than profit. I gather that your book is by no means technical. Therefore you don’t pay the publisher: he pays you – and if he’s any use he stands you expensive lunches as well.’ ‘But Parstone offers to pay—’ ‘A twenty-five per cent royalty. I know. Well, if you were something like a bestseller you might get that; but on a first novel no publisher would give you more than ten, and then he’d probably lose money. After six months Parstone would probably send you a statement showing a sale of two hundred copies, you’d get a cheque from him for thirty-seven pounds ten, and that’s the last trace you’d see of your six hundred quid. He’s simply trading on the fact that one out of every three people you meet thinks he could write a book if he tried, one out of every three of ’em try it, and one out of every three of those tries to get it published. ‘The very fact that a manuscript is sent to him tells him that the author is a potential sucker, because anyone who goes into the writing business seriously takes the trouble to find out a bit about publishers before he starts slinging his stuff around. The rest of his game is just playing on the vanity of mugs. And the mugs – mugs like yourself, Peter – old gents with political theories, hideous women with ghastly poems, schoolgirls with nauseating love stories – rush up to pour their money into his lap for the joy of seeing their repulsive tripe in print. I’ve known about Herbert for many years, old lad, but I never thought you’d be the sap to fall for him.’ ‘I don’t believe you,’ said Peter glumly. An elderly mouse-like man who was drinking at the bar beside him coughed apologetically and edged bashfully nearer. ‘Excuse me, sir,’ he said diffidently, ‘but your friend’s telling the truth.’ ‘How do you know?’ asked Peter suspiciously. ‘I can usually guess when he’s telling the truth – he makes a face as if it hurt him.’ ‘He isn’t pulling your leg this time, sir,’ said the man. ‘I happen to be a proof-reader at Parstone’s.’ The surprising thing about coincidences is that they so often happen. The mouse-like man was one of those amazing accidents on which the fate of nations may hinge, but there was no logical reason why he should not have been drinking at that bar as probably as at any other hostel in the district. And yet there is no doubt that if Mr Herbert Parstone could have foreseen the accident he would have bought that particular public house for the simple pleasure of closing it down lest any such coincidence should happen; but unhappily for him Mr Herbert Parstone was not a clairvoyant. This proof-reader – the term, by the way, refers to the occupation and not necessarily to the alcoholic content of the man –had been with Parstone for twelve years, and he was ready for a change. ‘I was with Parstone when he was just a small jobbing printer,’ he said, ‘before he took up this publishing game. That’s all he is now, really – a printer. But he’s going to have to get along without me. In the last three years I’ve taken one cut after another, till I don’t earn enough money to feed myself properly; and I can’t stand it any longer. I’ve got four more months on my contract, but after that I’m going to take another job.’ ‘Did you read my book?’ asked Peter. The man shook his head. ‘Nobody read your book, sir – if you’ll excuse my telling you. It was just put on a shelf for three weeks, and after that Parstone sent you his usual letter. That’s what happens to everything that’s sent in to him. If he gets his money, the book goes straight into the shop, and the proof-reader’s the first man who has to wade through it. Parstone doesn’t care whether it’s written in Hindustani.’ ‘But surely,’ protested Peter half-heartedly, ‘he couldn’t carry on a racket like that in broad daylight and get away with it?’ The reader looked at him with a rather tired smile on his mouse-like features. ‘It’s perfectly legal, sir. Parstone publishes the book. He prints copies and sends them around. It isn’t his fault if the reviewers won’t review it and the booksellers won’t buy it. He carries out his legal undertaking. But it’s a dirty business.’ After a considerably longer conversation, in the course of which a good deal more Scotch was consumed, Peter Quentin was convinced. He was so crestfallen on the way home that Simon took pity on him. ‘Let me read this opus,’ he said, ‘if you’ve got a spare copy. Maybe it isn’t so lousy, and if there’s anything in it we’ll send it along to some other place.’ He had the book the next day; and after ploughing through the first dozen pages his worst fears were realised. Peter Quentin was not destined to take his place in the genealogy of literature with Dumas, Tolstoy and Conan Doyle. The art of writing was not in him. His spelling had a grand simplicity that would have delighted the more progressive orthographists, his grammatical constructions followed in the footsteps of Gertrude Stein, and his punctuation marks seemed to have more connection with intervals for thought and opening beer-bottles than with the requirements of syntax. Moreover, like most first novels, it was embarrassingly personal. It was this fact which made Simon follow it to the bitter end, for the hero of the story was one ‘Ivan Grail, the Robbin Hood of modern crime,’ who could without difficulty be identified with the Saint himself, his ‘beutiful wife’, and ‘Frank Morris his acomplis whos hard-bitten featurs consealed a very clever brain and witt’. Simon Templar swallowed all the flattering evidences of hero-worship that adorned the untidy pages, and actually blushed. But after he had reached the conclusion – inscribed ‘FINNIS’ in triumphant capitals – he did some heavy thinking. Later on he saw Peter again. ‘What was it that bit your features so hard?’ he asked. ‘Did you try to kiss an alligator?’ Peter turned pink. ‘I had to describe them somehow,’ he said defensively. ‘You’re too modest,’ said the Saint, after inspecting him again. ‘They were not merely bitten – they were thoroughly chewed.’ ‘Well, what about the book?’ said Peter hopefully. ‘Was it any good?’ ‘It was lousy,’ Simon informed him, with the privileged candour of friendship. ‘It would have made Dumas turn in his grave. All the same, it may be more readable after I’ve revised it for you. And perhaps we will let Comrade Parstone publish it after all.’ Peter blinked. ‘But I thought—’ ‘I have an idea,’ said the Saint. ‘Parstone has published dud books too long. It’s time he had a good one. Will you get your manuscript back from him, Peter – tell him you want to make a few corrections, and that you’ll send him his money and let him print it. For anyone who so successfully conceals a very clever brain and wit,’ he added cruelly, ‘there are much more profitable ways of employing them than writing books, as you ought to know.’ For two weeks after that the Saint sat at his typewriter for seven hours a day, hammering out page after page of neat manuscript at astonishing speed. He did not merely revise Peter Quentin’s story – he re-wrote it from cover to cover, and the result would certainly not have been recognised by its original creator. The book was sent in again from his own address, and consequently Peter did not see the proofs. Simon Templar read them himself; and his ribs were aching long before he had finished. The Gay Adventurer, by Peter Quentin, was formally pushed out upon a callous world about two months later. The Times did not notice it, the library buyers did not refill their fountain pens to sign the order forms, the lynx-eyed scouts of Hollywood did not rush in with open contracts; but nevertheless it was possible for a man with vast patience and dogged determination to procure a copy, by which achievement Mr Parstone had fulfilled the letter of his contract. Simon Templar did not need to exercise patience and determination to obtain his copy, because the author’s presentation dozen came to his apartment; and it happened that Peter Quentin came there on the same morning. Peter noticed the open parcel of books, and fell on them at once, whinnying like an eager stallion. But he had scarcely glanced over the first page when he turned to the Saint with wrathful eyes. ‘This isn’t my book at all,’ he shouted indignantly. ‘We’ll call it a collaboration if you like,’ said the Saint generously. ‘But I thought you might as well have the credit. My name is so famous already—’ Peter had been turning the pages frantically. ‘But this – this is awful!’ he expostulated. ‘It’s – it’s—’ ‘Of course it is,’ agreed the Saint. ‘And that’s why you must never tell anyone that I had anything to do with it. When the case comes to court, I shall expect you to perjure yourself blue in the face on that subject.’ After the revelations that have been made in the early stages of this story, no one will imagine that on the same morning Mr Herbert Parstone was pacing feverishly up and down his office, quivering with anxiety and parental pride, stopping every now and then to peer at the latest circulation figures rushed in by scurrying office-boys and bawling frantic orders to an excited staff of secretaries, salesmen, shippers, clerks, exporters and truck drivers. As a matter of fact, even the most important and reputable publishers do not behave like that. They are usually too busy concentrating on mastering that loose shoulder and smooth follow-through which carries the ball well over that nasty bunker on the way to the fourteenth. Mr Herbert Parstone was not playing golf, because he had a bad cold; and he was in his office when the Saint called. The name on the card that was sent in to him was unfamiliar, but Mr Parstone never refused to see anyone who was kind enough to walk into his parlour. He was a short ginger-haired man with the kind of stomach without which no morning coat and gold watch-chain can be seen to their best advantage; and the redness of his prominent nose was not entirely due to his temporary affliction. ‘Mr Teblar?’ he said, with great but obstructed geniality. ‘Please sit dowd. I dode thig I’ve had the pleasure of beetig you before, have I?’ ‘I don’t think so,’ said the Saint pleasantly. ‘But any real pleasure is worth waiting for.’ He took the precious volume which he was carrying from under his arm, and held it up. ‘Did you publish this?’ Mr Parstone looked at it. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘that is one of our publicashuds. A bost excelledd ad ibportad book, if I bay perbid byself to say so. A book, I bight say, which answers problebs which are dear to every wud of us today.’ ‘It will certainly have some problems to answer,’ said the Saint; ‘and I expect they’ll be dear enough. Do you know the name of the principal character in this book? Do you know who this biography is alleged to be about?’ ‘Biography?’ stammered Mr Parstone, blinking at the cover. ‘The book is a dovel. A work of fickshud. It is clearly explaid—’ ‘The book is supposed to be a biography,’ said the Saint. ‘And do you know the name of the principal character?’ Mr Parstone’s brow creased with thought. ‘Pridcipal character?’ he repeated. ‘Led be see, led be see. I ought to dough, oughtud I?’ He blew his nose several times, sniffed, sighed, and spread out his hand uncertainly. ‘Iddn it abazing?’ he said. ‘The dabe was od the tip of by tug, but dow I cadd rebember id.’ ‘The name is Simon Templar,’ said the Saint grimly; and Mr Parstone sat up. ‘What?’ he ejaculated. Simon opened the book and showed him the name in plain print. Then he took it away to a chair and lighted a cigarette. ‘Rather rude of you, wasn’t it?’ he murmured. ‘Well, by dear Bister Teblar,’ said Parstone winningly. ‘I trust you are dot thinkig that any uncomblibendary referedds was intended. Far frob id. These rebarkable coidcidedces will happud. Ad yet it is dot every yug bad of your age who fides his dabe preserved for posterity id such a work as that. The hero of that book, as I rebember him, was a fellow of outstaddig charb—’ ‘He was a low criminal,’ said the Saint virtuously. ‘Your memory is failing you, Herbert. Let me read you some of the best passages.’ He turned to a page he had marked. ‘Listen to this, Herbert,’ he said. ‘“Simon Templar was never particular about how he made money, so long as he made it. The drug traffic was only one of his many sources of income, and his conscience was never touched by the thought of the hundreds of lives he ruined by his insatiable avarice. Once, in a night club, he pointed out to me a fine and beautiful girl on whose lovely face the ravages of dope were already beginning to make their mark. ‘I’ve had two thousand pounds from her since I started her on the stuff,’ he said gloatingly, ‘and I’ll have five thousand more before it kills her.’ I could multiply instances of that kind by the score, and refrain only from fear of nauseating my readers. Sufficient, at least, has already been said to show what an unspeakable ruffian was this man who called himself the Saint.”’ However hard it might have been for Mr Parstone to place the name of Simon Templar, he was by no means ignorant of the Saint. His watery eyes popped halfway out of their sockets, and his jaw hardened at the same time. ‘So you’re the Saind?’ he said. ‘Of course,’ murmured Simon. ‘Id your own words, a low cribidal—’ Simon shook his head. ‘Oh, no, Herbert,’ he said. ‘By no means as low as that. My reputation may be bad, but it’s only rumour. You may whisper it to your friends, but the law doesn’t allow you to put it in writing. That’s libel. And you couldn’t even get Chief Inspector Teal to testify that my record would justify anything like the language this book of yours has used about me. ‘My sins were always fairly idealistic, and devoted to the squashing of beetles like yourself – not to trading in drugs and grinding the faces of the poor. But you haven’t heard anything like the whole of it. Listen to some more.’ He turned to another selected passage. ‘“The Saint”,’ he read, ‘“always seemed to derive a peculiar malicious pleasure from robbing and swindling those who could least afford to lose. To my dying day, I shall be haunted by the memory of the fiendish glee which distorted his face when he told me that he had stolen five pounds from a woman with seven children, who had scraped and saved for months to get the money together. He accepted the money from her as a fee for trying to trace the grave of her father, who had been reported ‘missing’ in 1943. Of course he never made any attempt to carry out his share of the bargain. He played this cruel trick on several occasions, and always with the same sadistic pleasure, which I believe meant far more to him than the actual cash which he derived from it.”’ ‘Is that id the book too?’ asked Parstone hoarsely. ‘Naturally,’ said the Saint. ‘That’s what I’m reading it from. And there are lots more interesting things. Look here. “The bogus companies floated by Templar, in which thousands upon thousands of widows and orphans were deprived—”’ ‘Wait!’ interrupted Parstone tremblingly. ‘This is terrible – a terrible coidcideds. The book will be withdrawd at wuds. Hardly eddywud will have had tibe to read it. Ad if eddy sball cobbensation I cad give—’ Simon closed his book with a smile and laid it on Mr Parstone’s desk. ‘Shall we say fifty thousand pounds?’ he suggested affably. Mr Parstone’s face reddened to the verge of an apoplectic stroke, and he brought up his handkerchief with shaking hands. ‘How buch?’ he whispered. ‘Fifty thousand pounds,’ repeated the Saint. ‘After all, that’s a very small amount of damages to ask for a libel like this. If the case has to go to court, I think it will be admitted that never in the whole history of modern law has such a colossal libel been put on paper. If there is any crime under the sun of which I’m not accused in that book, I’ll sit down right now and eat it. And there are three hundred and twenty pages of it – eighty thousand words of continuous and unbridled insult. For a thing like that, Herbert, I think fifty thousand pounds is pretty cheap.’ ‘You could’n get it,’ said Parstone harshly. ‘It’s the author’s liability—’ ‘I know that clause,’ answered the Saint coolly, ‘and you may be interested to know that it has no legal value whatever. In a successful libel action, the author, printer and publisher are joint tortfeasors, and none of them can indemnify the other. Ask your solicitor. As a matter of fact,’ he added prophetically, ‘I don’t expect I shall be able to recover anything from the author, anyway. Authors are usually broke. But you are both the printer and the publisher, and I’m sure I can collect from you.’ Mr Parstone stared at him with blanched lips. ‘But fifty thousad pouds is ibpossible,’ he whined. ‘It would ruid be!’ ‘That’s what I mean to do, dear old bird,’ said the Saint gently. ‘You’ve gone on swindling a lot of harmless idiots for too long already, and now I want you to see what it feels like when it happens to you.’ He stood up, and collected his hat. ‘I’ll leave you the book,’ he said, ‘in case you want to entertain yourself some more. But I’ve got another copy; and if I don’t receive your cheque by the first post on Friday morning it will go straight to my solicitors. And you can’t kid yourself about what that will mean.’ For a long time after he had gone Mr Herbert Parstone sat quivering in his chair. And then he reached out for the book and began to skim through its pages. And with every page his livid face went greyer. There was no doubt about it. Simon Templar had spoken the truth. The book was the most monumental libel that could ever have found its way into print. Parstone’s brain reeled before the accumulation of calumnies which it unfolded. His furious ringing of the bell brought his secretary running. ‘Fide me that proof-reader!’ he howled. ‘Fide be the dab fool who passed this book!’ He flung the volume on to the floor at her feet. ‘Sed hib to be at wuds! I’ll show hib. I’ll bake hib suffer. By God, I’ll—’ The other things that Mr Parstone said he would do cannot be recorded in such a respectable publication as this. His secretary picked up the book and looked at the title. ‘Mr Timmins left yesterday – he was the man you fired four months ago,’ she said; but even then Mr Parstone was no wiser.

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Stephen King

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Sleeping Beauties (co-written with his son Owen King), the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, the Bill Hodges trilogy End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel, and shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award). Many of King's books have been turned into celebrated films, television series and streamed events including The Shawshank Redemption, Gerald's Game and It.King is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.