Related to: 'Carolyn Parkhurst'

Two Roads

All the Water in the World

Karen Raney
Authors:
Karen Raney
John Murray

The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt

Andrea Wulf, Lilian Melcher
Authors:
Andrea Wulf, Lilian Melcher

Meet Alexander von Humboldt: the great lost scientist, visionary, thinker and daring explorer; the man who first predicted climate change, who has more things named after him than anyone else (including a sea on the moon), and who has inspired generations of writers, thinkers and revolutionaries . . . In The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, 88-year-old Humboldt takes us on a fantastic voyage, back through his life, tracing his footsteps around the rainforests, mountains and crocodile-infested rivers of South America when he was a young man. Travel with him to Venezuela, to Lake Valencia, the Llanos and the Orinocco, and follow him during his time in Cuba, Cartagena, Bogota and his one-year trek across the Andes, as he climbs the volcano Chimborazo, explores Inca monuments, and visits Washington D.C. to meet Thomas Jefferson and campaign for the abolition of slavery. With encounters with indigenous peoples, missionaries, colonists and jaguars, and incorporating Humboldt's own sketches, drawings and manuscripts, this is a thrilling adventure story of history's most daring scientist.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Bishop's Pawn

Steve Berry
Authors:
Steve Berry
Sceptre

Harmless Like You

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Authors:
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

WINNER OF THE 2017 AUTHOR'S CLUB FIRST NOVEL AWARDWINNER OF A BETTY TRASK AWARDSHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE'Announces a startling talent' Guardian'Stylishly written . . . exceptional' Literary Review 'This brilliant debut novel is cause for celebration' Lorrie Moore'A refreshing, bold book' Sunday TelegraphWritten in startlingly beautiful prose, HARMLESS LIKE YOU is set across New York, Berlin and Connecticut, following the stories of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki's son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront his mother who abandoned him when he was only two years old.An unforgettable novel about the complexities of identity, art, adolescent friendships and familial bonds, offering a unique exploration of love, loneliness and reconciliation.LONGLISTED FOR THE 2016 JHALAK PRIZESHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 BOOKS ARE MY BAG BREAKTHROUGH AUTHOR AWARD'Slick and intelligent' Stylist

Sceptre

Harmony

Carolyn Parkhurst
Authors:
Carolyn Parkhurst
Hodder & Stoughton

The 14th Colony

Steve Berry
Authors:
Steve Berry

The electrifying new Cotton Malone thriller by international bestseller Steve Berry.People say the Cold War is coming back.For some, it never went away.Shot down over Siberia in what was to be a simple meet-and-greet mission, ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is forced into a fight for survival against Aleksandr Zorin, whose loyalty to the former Soviet Union has festered for decades into an intense hatred of the United States.Before escaping, Malone learns that Zorin is headed for North America to join another long-term sleeper embedded in the West. Armed with a Soviet weapon long thought to be just a myth, Zorin is aided by a shocking secret hidden in the archives of America's oldest fraternal organization, the Society of Cincinnati. Past presidents used this group's military offensive - including advice on the invasion of what was to be America's 14th Colony - Canada.Inauguration Day for a new President of the U.S.A. is only hours away. Zorin's deadly plan is timed to bring about political chaos.In a race against the clock from Russia to the White House itself, Malone must not only battle Zorin, he must also confront his deepest fear, a crippling weakness that he's long denied but one that now jeopardizes everything. Steve Berry's trademark mix of fact, fiction, history and speculation is all here in this fast-paced and utterly compelling new thriller.

Sceptre

Stork Mountain

Miroslav Penkov
Authors:
Miroslav Penkov

In his mesmerising first novel, the internationally celebrated short-story writer Miroslav Penkov spins the intriguing tale of an American student who returns to Bulgaria, the country he left as a child. His mission is to track down his grandfather and to find out why he suddenly cut off all contact with the family three years before.The trail leads him to a remote village on the border with Turkey, a stone's throw away from Greece, high up in the Strandja Mountains - a place of pagan mysteries and black storks nesting in giant oaks; a place where every spring, possessed by Christian saints, men and women dance barefoot across live coals in search of rebirth. Here in the mountains, he is drawn by his grandfather into a maze of half-truths. And here, he falls in love with an unobtainable Muslim girl. Old ghosts come back to life and forgotten conflicts blaze anew, until the past finally yields up its plangent secrets.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Lincoln Myth

Steve Berry
Authors:
Steve Berry
Coronet

Alan Stoob: Nazi Hunter

Saul Wordsworth
Authors:
Saul Wordsworth

'A creation of comic genius.' Jon Ronson'Alan Stoob is to Nazis what Inspector Clouseau is to jewel thieves. He's a marvellous comic creation, and deserves his own series of movies.' - Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat. 'The human story at the heart of the diaries...is tragically comic amid the increasingly surreal plot.' - The TimesAlan Stoob, hero of this hilarious novel has been described as a new member of the great pantheon of British comic characters - genus awkward old bastard - that already includes Mr Micawber, Mr Pooter and Captain Mainwairing.Originally a Twitter sensation, whose fans include India Knight and Dara O'Brien, he now walks the pages of this book finding Nazi conspirators in the most mundane surroundings. Into a very ordinary, domestic setting comes world famous Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who invites Alan to take on responsibilities for hunting Nazis in hiding in the county of Bedfordshire.Alan agrees and finds that wherever he looks he sees evidence of Nazi conspiracy and he begins to follow a trail of evidence that leads him to members of the UK Cabinet and even the President of the United States.

Sceptre

Lorelei's Secret

Carolyn Parkhurst
Authors:
Carolyn Parkhurst
Hodder Paperbacks

Theodore Boone

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham
Sceptre

The Nobodies Album

Carolyn Parkhurst
Authors:
Carolyn Parkhurst

Octavia Frost is no stranger to life's twists of fate. She has mourned a husband and a daughter. She has watched her son become a rock star, following his progress through gossip magazines: they have not spoken in four years. And in her own, less spectacular way, she has built a name for herself as a writer. But the news she receives today will make her rethink everything. And though the situation seems bleak, it could give her a chance to redeem the mistakes she's made in the past. She may still have time to bring her own story to a different ending.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Amateur Spy

Dan Fesperman
Authors:
Dan Fesperman

Freeman Lockhart is working for his old friend Omar in Amman, Jordan. And spying on him too. Hoping to prevent his own secrets from ever coming to light, Freeman has agreed to report back on his friend to a clandestine agency interested in Omar's finances. In Washington DC, meanwhile, Aliyah Rahim is spying on her husband Abbas. A brilliant doctor, Abbas is crushed by the death of their daughter, which he blames on the post-9/11 mood of hostility towards Arab-Americans, and Aliyah fears he may be planning a terrifying act of revenge. Freeman and Aliyah are pitched into the same deadly game, in which the only rules are violence and deceit.

Chapter One

THE NOBODIES ALBUM, by Carolyn Parkhurst

Read the first chapter of Carolyn Parkhurst's THE NOBODIES ALBUM.

An excerpt from the Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing

CLOUD ATLAS, by David Mitchell

Read an excerpt of David Mitchell's international bestseller, CLOUD ATLAS, now also releasing as a film.

Chapter One: The House of Punk Sleep

WIDE AWAKE, by Patricia Morrisroe

Read an excerpt of the first chapter of Patricia Morrisroe's brilliant memoir about insomnia, WIDE AWAKE.

Chapter One: The Old Long Since

RULES OF CIVILITY, by Amor Towles

Read the first chapter of Amor Towles' RULES OF CIVILITY.

Chapter One

A MOST WANTED MAN, by John le Carré

Read the first chapter of John le Carré's A MOST WANTED MAN.

Chapter One

XO by Jeffery Deaver

Read the first chapter of Jeffery Deaver's newest Kathryn Dance thriller, XO.

Leslie Charteris's The Saint Steps In

Peter Robinson's introduction for

‘Sanctity does have its rewards.’ Whenever I think of the Saint, I can’t help but remember those magical Saturday mornings of my adolescence. In the early sixties, one of the highlights of my week was a Saturday morning visit to Stringers Book Exchange, in the bustling Kirkgate Market in Leeds. I would wander down the aisles listening to the stall holders shouting out their sales pitches for housewares and bolts of cloth, assailed on all sides by the smells of slightly rotten fruit and vegetables, perhaps stopping to pick up the latest Record Song Book or Melody Maker at the news stand, then I would wander on past the glistening slabs of marbled red meat displayed on the butchers’ stalls, and finally get to Stringers, where box after box of paperback books lay spread out on the trestle tables. The system was simple: Whatever you bought, you could bring back when you had finished it and get half the price you paid for it against a new purchase. Even back then, I liked to hang on to most of the books I bought, so I don’t think I took full advantage of the exchange feature. I was usually on the lookout for anything exciting – horror stories, spy stories, science fiction and crime thrillers, mostly. One of my favourites was the Saint. My eagle eye was always scanning the stacks for the stick figure with the halo, and I’m quite certain that The Saint Steps In was among one of the many Leslie Charteris books I bought there and didn’t take back to exchange. For me, the Saint beats his countless competitors – the Toff, the Baron, Sexton Blake, Bulldog Drummond et al –hands down, and he has remained one of the most enduring and best loved figures in popular culture. I wish I still had my tattered old Saint paperback collection today, but after so many years and so many moves, covering two continents, it’s a wonder I have anything left from those days at all. But now, after so many years out of print, when they were available only in obscure omnibus editions, and practically impossible to find at even the most accommodating of second-handbook shops, it’s good to have the whole series coming back in handsome and accessible paperback editions. At last, the Saint receives his due. Many people will remember the TV series, starring Roger Moore, which aired from 1962 to 1969. Good as the series was, and terrific as Sir Roger was in the title role, which fit him far more comfortably than did James Bond, there remains a huge difference between the TV Saint and the character in the books. Though most of the early black and white episodes were based on Charteris’ stories, they were adapted by a number of different screen writers and, as happens in the world of TV, often ended up being changed beyond recognition. The later, colour episodes were almost all based on original scripts, and though the Saint remained elegantly roguish and debonair throughout, he lacked some of the rougher and more foolhardy edges his character demonstrated in the books. The Saint in the books is much more violent, for example. In The Saint Steps In, Simon Templar is quite happy to keep on beating a man to a pulp, and perhaps even to pour boiling water and nitric acid over his feet, to get information, but we are given to believe that he only does that to people he knows would do the same to him! And he swears like a trooper. Charteris never gives us the actual words, of course, but his description of the string of expletives Templar unleashes when he loses a suspect is unmistakable. There was definitely a whiff of the London underworld about Simon Templar when he first emerged in the late 1920s, along with that ‘faint hint of mockery behind his clear blue eyes,’ and it stays with him throughout the series, despite the veneer of civilisation and the expensive tastes. Though he is on the side of the law, he isn’t above bending it to suit his own particular sense of justice, and while he might have played Robin Hood on occasion, his lifestyle is certainly lavish, to say the least! Though television may capture some of the witty banter of Charteris’ dialogue, it cannot reproduce the energy and playfulness of his use of language in general. He clearly loved words, loved puns, alliteration and metaphors, and his books are peppered with them. A lunch at the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar, for example, becomes, ‘He was driven by pangs of purely prosaic hunger to the Oyster Bar, where he took his time over the massacre of several inoffensive molluscs.’ As teenagers, we used to repeat these phrases to one another, and they never failed to provoke howls of laughter. Leslie Charteris moved to the USA in 1932. His first book to be set there was The Saint in New York (1935), which was followed by a number of European adventures before he returned to the USA for The Saint in Miami (1940), then The Saint Goes West (1942), which immediately precedes The Saint Steps In, which finds him moving between Washington DC, New York and Stamford, Connecticut. The book was originally serialised in Liberty Magazine in 1942, and published in volume form a year later by Hodder in the UK. The plot, such as it is, wouldn’t be out of place in an Alfred Hitchcock movie: North by Northwest, for example. A beautiful but straitlaced and enigmatic young woman called Madeline Gray comes to ask for Simon Templar’s help when she receives a threatening note. It appears that her father has invented a form of synthetic rubber that would be useful for the war effort – not to mention immensely profitable to whoever possesses it after the war – and she wants to make sure it ends up in the right hands. The formula becomes what Hitchcock called the ‘McGuffin,’ the highly sought after documents or plans that set the events of the plot in motion. Everybody wants them, but we don’t always know why, or even what they are. Soon, Templar gets a threatening note too, and then there is a scuffle in the street when it appears that someone is trying to abduct Madeline. When Templar and Madeline get to Stamford, they find that her father is missing, and then the plot thickens . . . In contrast to Madeline Gray, we also meet the rather less wholesome Andrea Quennel, who has ‘the build and beauty and colouring that Wagner was probably dreaming of before the divas took over.’ Charteris clearly enjoyed writing his descriptions of Andrea, especially her clothes, and this is where he gets to show off his love of metaphor to best advantage. ‘She wore a soft creamy sweater that clung like suds to every curve of her upper sculpture, and her lips were full and inviting.’ Charteris also has an eye for the nuances. Later in the book, Andrea wears a kind of dress that ‘would get by anywhere between a ballroom and a boudoir and still always have a faint air of belonging somewhere else.’ Throughout the book, Andrea offers the Saint anything he wants, and Madeline withholds herself. By the time of the events recounted in The Saint Steps In (1943), Simon Templar is ruing the fact that he is now far more widely known than he used to be. This he blames on the war. Instead of donning a military uniform in order to serve the Allies against the Axis powers, he has so far worked mostly behind the scenes, and has had to forge working relationships with government departments and security agencies he would once have shied away from. His new-found fame doesn’t seem to do him much harm, although he laments being ‘almost legal,’ as he still manages to carry on much as he likes. The only difference is that now he does it with the cooperation of the authorities. In The Saint Steps In, he even works with the F.B.I. How ironic Inspector Teal would find that! The presence of the war permeates The Saint Steps In, even from a distance, holding it together and providing some of its more serious moments, as when Templar contrasts the peace and beauty of New England with the distant horrors of war, the slaughter going on in Europe and the Far East. As he puts it, with characteristic understatement, ‘all that the paranoia of an unsuccessful house-painter was trying to destroy.’ Templar also becomes quite eloquent in an argument towards the end of the book, when he argues that most Americans only perceive the war as a distant event that doesn’t impinge too much on their daily lives because they haven’t felt its effects at first hand, as London did in the blitz. One wonders here where Charteris’ voice ends and Templar’s begins. Like most of the Saint stories, The Saint Steps In is a novel of adventure, mixing mystery and suspense with a fair amount of action and snappy dialogue in the vein of Raymond Chandler, whose The Lady in the Lake came out the same year. Also around the same time, RKO Pictures had more or less plagiarised the Saint for the movies and rechristened him the Falcon, with George Sanders (an ex-movie Saint) in the title role. Oddly enough, the third Falcon film, The Falcon Takes Over (1942), was based on Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely – so, in a strange way, the Saint became Philip Marlowe, however briefly! Unlike Marlowe, though, Simon Templar doesn’t have the dubious respectability of a private detective’s licence; he does, however, have the same sense of himself as an adventurer, a sort of knight errant, as a man who, in Chandler’s words, is ‘a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it . . . The best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.’ He is, after all, the Saint.