Related to: 'The Good Italian'

Hodder & Stoughton

The Reluctant Contact

Stephen Burke
Authors:
Stephen Burke

The Svalbard archipelago, 1977, Norwegian territory, yet closer to the north pole. Russian engineer Yuri arrives on the last boat to the Soviet mining outpost of Pyramiden, as the Arctic sun disappears for the winter. Yuri still plays by Stalin-era rules: Don't trust anyone; Keep your head down; Look after number one. Yet when a co-worker is found dead deep in the mine, the circumstances appear strange. Against his better judgement, Yuri breaks his own rules, and decides to investigate. At the same time, he begins a stormy love affair with the volatile, brooding Anya. She has come to Pyramiden to meet someone who has not shown himself in three months, if he exists at all. While the whole island is frozen in twenty-four-hour darkness, Yuri enters a dangerous world of secrets and conflicting agendas, where even the people closest to you are not always what they seem.

Alex Valente

ALEX VALENTE is a half-Tuscan, half-Yorkshire, all European freelance teacher and translator. He is the co-editor of online publication The Norwich Radical, has a penchant for comics, poetry, and speculative fiction, and can be found on Twitter as @DrFumetts.

Annabel Abbs

Annabel Abbs lives in London with her husband and four children. Her bestselling debut novel, The Joyce Girl, won the Impress Prize for New Writers and was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award, the Waverley Good Read Award and the Caledonia Novel Award.

Baroness Orczy

Baroness Orczy was the daughter of a musician. Educated in Paris and Brussels, she then studied art in London, where she exhibited some of her work at the Royal Academy. THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL was the first success in her long writing career which encompassed both plays and novels.

Chrissie Manby

Chrissie Manby is the author of twenty romantic comedies including A PROPER FAMILY HOLIDAY, THE MATCHBREAKER and SEVEN SUNNY DAYS. She has had several Sunday Times bestsellers and her novel about behaving badly after a break-up, GETTING OVER MR RIGHT, was nominated for the 2011 Melissa Nathan Award. Chrissie was raised in Gloucester, in the west of England, and now lives in London. Contrary to the popular conception of chick-lit writers, she is such a bad home-baker that her own father threatened to put her last creation on www.cakewrecks.com. She is, however, partial to white wine and shoes she can't walk in. You can follow her on Twitter @chrissiemanby, or visit her website www.chrissiemanby.co.uk to find out more.

Dominick Donald

Dominick Donald was brought up in Britain and the US before studying at Oxford University. Stints as a soldier, a lecturer, a UN official and an editorial writer, plus a War Studies PhD, led eventually to political risk analysis for a large London firm, which he left in 2016 as its Head of Geopolitics. He has written editorials for The Times and US business magazine Red Herring, and reviews for the Guardian and the TLS. Now a freelance writer and political risk advisor, he is married with three children and lives on the Oxfordshire-Wiltshire border.

Elena Varvello

ELENA VARVELLO was born in Turin, Italy, in 1971, and grew up in a small village in the woods not far from her birthplace.In 1996 she completed a Master Degree in Creative Writing at the Scuola Holden in Turin. Since 1999 she has been teaching Creative Writing at the same school.Elena has published two collections of poetry, Perseveranza è salutare and Atlanti, a collection of short stories, L'economia delle cose (nominated for the Premio Strega, the Italian equivalent of the Man Booker Prize, winner of the Settembrini Award and the Bagutta Opera Prima Award), and two novels, La luce perfetta del giorno and La vita felice, translated into English as Can you hear me?, published in UK (English PEN Award 2017), USA, France, Spain and Poland and soon to be published in Portugal and Greece.She still lives in that small village with her husband and their two sons.elenavarvello.com ALEX VALENTE is a half-Tuscan, half-Yorkshire, all European freelance teacher and translator. He is the co-editor of online publication The Norwich Radical, has a penchant for comics, poetry, and speculative fiction, and can be found on Twitter as @DrFumetts.

Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge was born on April 24th 1900 in Wells, Somerset, where her father was Principal of Wells Theological College. Although she had privately intended writing as a career, her parents insisted she taught handicrafts in Oxford. She began writing in her spare time and her first novel ISLAND MAGIC, set in Guernsey, was a great success here and in America. GREEN DOLPHIN COUNTRY (1944) projected her to fame, netting a Literary Guild Award and a special prize of £30,000 from Louis B. Mayer of MGM before being filmed.In her later years Elizabeth Goudge settled in Henley-on-Thames. She died on April 1st, 1984.

Fiona Mitchell

Fiona Mitchell is an award-winning writer and has worked as a journalist for many years. She spent almost three years living in Singapore and now lives in London with her husband and daughter. The Maid's Room is her first novel.

Janet Ellis

Janet Ellis trained as an actress at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is best known for presenting Blue Peter and contributes to numerous radio and TV programmes. A graduate of the Curtis Brown creative writing course, her debut novel, The Butcher's Hook, was longlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize. She is currently working on her second novel.In 2016 Janet was awarded an MBE for services to charities and theatre.janetellis.comtwitter.com/missjanetellisinstagram.com/missjanetellis

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four internationally bestselling novels, including My Sister's Keeper, The Storyteller and Small Great Things, and has also co-written two YA books with her daughter Samantha van Leer, Between the Lines and Off the Page. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children. Jodi's UK website is www.jodipicoult.co.uk and she can be found on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/JodiPicoultUK and twitter.com/jodipicoult, and on Instagram at instagram.com/jodipicoult.

Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Sunset and Sawdust, Rumble Tumble and The Bottoms. He has received the British Fantasy Award, the American Mystery Award, the Edgar Award, the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Literature, and seven Bram Stoker Awards. He lives with his family in Nacogdoches, Texas. Visit his website at www.joerlansdale.com, follow him on Twitter @joelansdale or find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JoeRLansdale.

John Grisham

John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade, specialising in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. One day, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987.His next novel, The Firm, spent 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and became the bestselling novel of 1991. Since then, he has written one novel a year, including The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker and The Runaway Jury.Today, Grisham has written a collection of stories, a work of non-fiction, three sports novels, five kids' books, and many legal thrillers. His work has been translated into 42 languages. He lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Juliet Grames

Juliet Grames was born outside of Hartford, Connecticut, into a tight-knit Italian-American family. She attended Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history from Columbia College. For the last fifteen years she has worked in book publishing, and is currently Associate Publisher at Soho Press, where she edits literary fiction, crime fiction, and literature in translation. She lives in Brooklyn.

Laura Carlin

Laura Carlin left school at 16 to work in retail banking and it was only after leaving her job to write full-time that she discovered her passion for storytelling and exploring pockets of history through fiction. She lives in a book-filled house in beautiful rural Derbyshire with her family (and a very naughty cat). When she's not writing she enjoys walking in the surrounding Peak District. The Wicked Cometh is her first novel.

Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart was one of the 20th century's bestselling and best-loved novelists. She was born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1916, but lived for most of her life in Scotland, a source of much inspiration for her writing. Her first novel, Madam, Will You Talk? was published in 1955 and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. In 1971 she was awarded the International PEN Association's Frederick Niven Prize for The Crystal Cave, and in 1974 the Scottish Arts Council Award for one of her children's books, Ludo and the Star Horse. She was married to the Scottish geologist Frederick Stewart, and died in 2014.

Paula Gooder

Dr Paula Gooder is a writer and lecturer in Biblical Studies. Her research areas focus on the writings of the apostle Paul, with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians and on Paul's understanding of the body. Her passion is to ignite people's enthusiasm for reading the Bible today, by presenting the best of biblical scholarship in an accessible and interesting way. Paula is Director for Mission Learning and Development in the Birmingham Diocese for the Church of England.

Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Pitchaya Sudbanthad grew up in Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the American South. He has received fellowships in fiction writing from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony, and currently splits time between Bangkok and Brooklyn.

Robert Weintraub

Robert Weintraub is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, a columnist for Slate, and the author of the acclaimed books The House That Ruth Built and The Victory Season.

Sadie Matthews

Sadie Matthews is the author of provocative, romantic novels that explore an intense and intimate side of life and relationships. The After Dark series was her first trilogy, and entranced readers with its sensual, engrossing story and unforgettable characters. The Seasons trilogy is her latest series, telling the story of the Hammond sisters.Sadie Matthews is married and lives in England. Find Sadie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sadie_matthews.