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Alcibiades - mercurial soldier and charismatic commander without peer on land and sea, a man whom fortune always favoured. Raised as a ward of Pericles, later a protégé of Socrates, and compared to Achilles by the adoring Athenian masses, he was to become the key figure in the Peloponnesian War - the tumultuous 27-year civil war between Athens and Sparta that would devastate Greece in the last quarter of the 5th century BC.
At the outset, for all his Spartan upbringing, Alcibiades remained loyal to Athens. But his popularity - and his arrogance - fuelled the bitter resentment of rivals who secured his death warrant on a charge of treason. Encouraged to flee for his life (and showing masterful pragmatism for which he joined the enemy, the Spartans, and went on to lead their legendary scarlet-cloaked ranks from one military triumph to the next. What became clear to the opposing states was that whoever had Alcibiades at the head of their army would control Greece. It was Aristophanes once wrote that Athenians 'love, hate and cannot do without him' and to the end, their glory and downfall were shared.
Recounted by one Polemides, a seasoned soldier accused of assassinating the great leader, Tides of War is an epic, thrilling retelling of ancient, near-forgotten history. From devastating battles on land and sea to the vicious political infighting and back-stabbing in the city of Athena herself, Steven Pressfield again succeeds in bringing historical precision and human scale to those dark, dangerous times, and paints an extraordinary portrait of this remarkable man whose fortunes were to mirror the ebb and flow of the tides of war...
The Devil Delivered: In the breakaway Lakota Nation, in the heart of a land blistered beneath an ozone hole the size of the Great Plains of North America, a lone anthropologist wanders the deadlands, recording observations that threaten to bring the world’s powers to their knees.
Revolvo: In the fictitious country of Canada, the arts scene is ruled by technocrats who thrive in a secret, nepotistic society of granting agencies, bursaries, and peer review boards, all designed to permit self-proclaimed artists to survive without an audience.
Fishing with Grandma Matchie: A children’s story of a boy tasked with a writing assignment becomes a stunning fantastical journey with his tale-spinning grandmother.
Britannia, AD 60: The tribes of Britannia are ready to seek bloody vengeance. Twenty thousand warriors are poised to reclaim their land from their captors.
Now is their chance: the Roman governor has marched his legions west, leaving his capital and a vital port undefended.There is no going back.
But to crush her enemies for all time, the Boudica must do more than lead her army in the greatest rebellion Britain has ever known. She must find healing for herself, for the land - and for Graine, her eight-year-old daughter.
Colchester is burning. London has been destroyed. Amidst fire and bloody revolution, the Boudica and those around her must fight to keep what matters most - now and for all time.
‘I don’t like killing, but I’m good at it. Murder isn’t so bad from a distance, just shapes popping up in my scope. Close-up work though – a garrotte around a target’s neck or a knife in their heart – it’s not for me. Too much empathy, that’s my problem. Usually. But not today. Today is different . . . ‘
The year is 1955 and something is very wrong with the world. It is fourteen years since Churchill died and the Second World War ended. In occupied Europe, Britain fights a cold war against a nuclear-armed Nazi Germany.
In Berlin the Gestapo is on the trail of a beautiful young resistance fighter, and the head of the SS is plotting to dispose of an ailing Adolf Hitler and restart the war against Britain and her empire. Meanwhile, in a secret bunker hidden deep beneath the German countryside, scientists are experimenting with a force far beyond their understanding.
Into this arena steps a nameless British assassin, on the run from a sinister cabal within his own government, and planning a private war against the Nazis. And now the fate of the world rests on a single kill in the morning . . .
When the decomposed body of a young woman is found near railway tracks just outside Bristol one morning, all indications are that she's committed suicide. That's how the police want it too; all neatly squared and tidied away.
But DI Jack Caffery is not so sure. He is on the trail of someone predatory, someone who hides in the shadows and can slip into houses unseen. And for the first time in a very long time, he feels scared.
Police Diver Flea Marley is working alongside Caffery. With the traumas of her past safely behind her, she's beginning to wonder whether their relationship could go beyond the professional. But then she finds something that changes everything. Not only is it far too close to home for comfort - it's so horrifying that she knows that nothing will ever be the same again.
And this time, no one - not even Caffery - can help her ...
July 1806. Commanding a prison hulk full of French captives, Lieutenant Martin Jerrold thinks his war can't get much better. He's far away from the more life threatening aspects of naval service and he can keep his mistress close to hand. It all seems too good to last.
And so it proves. When one of the prisoners goes missing, Jerrold's comfortable world is suddenly turned upside down. Ordered by the First Lord of the Admiralty to recapture the Frenchman at any cost, he finds himself racing across England: from the stinking marshes of Chatham to the wilds of Dartmoor and the fashionable resort of Brighton.
But what makes this prisoner so damned important? At the Post Office, Jerrold's old friend Mr Nevell is curious; so too are politicians from either side, including the cunning Tory leader Spencer Perceval. Even the seductive Princess Caroline takes an unexpected interest.
As Jerrold - dogged by his usual bad timing, bad luck and bad behaviour - closes in on his elusive quarry, he uncovers a devilish web of treachery and deceit stretching back twenty years and ensnaring the most exalted members of society. And in hot pursuit are those who will stop at nothing to stop him...
'The newspapers referred to it as the case of the seventy-seven clocks. There was quite a fuss at the time. We got into terrible trouble. Dear fellow, it was one of our most truly peculiar cases. I remember as if it was yesterday.' In fact, Arthur Bryant remembers very little about yesterday, but he does remember the oddest investigation of his career...
It was late in 1973. As strikes and blackouts ravaged the country during Edward Heath's 'Winter of Discontent', sundry members of a wealthy, aristocratic family were being disposed of in a variety of grotesque ways - by reptile, by bomb, by haircut. As the hours of daylight diminish towards Christmas, Bryant & May, the irascible detectives of London's controversial Peculiar Crimes Unit, know that time is the key - and time is running out for both the family and the police. Their investigations lead them into a hidden world of class conflict, craftsmanship and the secret loyalties of big business. But what have seventy seven ticking clocks to do with it?
Now the full story can at last be revealed, in this most eerie of adventures that features Arthur Bryant at his rudest, John May at his most exasperated and a gallery of colourful, bizarre characters who could only make their home in a city like London...
Emi and Polly Leto are identical twins with a shared life until Emi vanishes and Polly is left searching. Now one becomes two, and twindom becomes duplicity as myth and memory merge, forcing Emi and Polly to confront what they thought they knew about themselves, one another and the parents who made them. Behind the twins there is the creator of their souls, a woman called Sarah, a mother without whom there would be no story to be told.
From the edgy heart of London to a remote idyll on the Stockholm archipelago, this is a journey into the power of love, the damage wreaked by emotional depression and the agony of sexual deceit. It is a story of the genetic impact of nature wrestling with the heady demands of nurture, of patterns of behaviour and the cruel turns of fate.
Written between 700 and 1000AD, the original 3,000 line poem is sometimes called 'England's national epic'. It recounts the story of a Scandinavian warrior, Beowulf, who pledges to save King Hrothgar's people from the monstrous creature Grendel that has been terrorising his kingdom. In the ensuing fight, Beowulf rips off Grendel's arm and the now-mortally wounded monster flees back to his lair beneath a mysterious lake. But Beowulf's work is not yet done: an even greater threat emerges from beneath the waters - Grendel's mother, bent on avenging the death of her son...
One of the great works of English literature, this classic tale of heroism and sacrifice has been transformed into a remarkable film. Directed by Robert Zemeckis from a screenplay by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, Warner Bros.' Beowulf boasts a phenomenal cast, including Ray Winstone, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie. Employing cutting-edge technologies and dazzling special effects, this ambitious, dark, exciting film reimagines the story for the 21st century and a new generation. Opening in the UK on 16th Nov, the film will do for the story of Beowulf what '300' did for the Battle of Thermopylae. Award-winning dark fantasist Caitlin R. Kiernan's novelisation - with an introduction by Neil Gaiman - is both the perfect companion to the film and a compelling read in its own right.
Published: 21 Jun 2011
Edward Bell’s mother had left the Soviet Union thirty years before – a political firebrand, a troublemaker. She worked as an interpreter, and to begin with she’d tried hard to be English. She’d kept her accent in check, been friendly with other mothers at Edward’s school. But gradually she returned to being a foreigner, she went to foreign shops, communicated only with foreign people. To her, England was nothing more than the view for the front window.
She and Edward appear to have lived quietly enough until one day, the war over, a Russian businessman is found dead in London. Suddenly they are hunted by security agents from the major powers, unleashing a cycle of killing right across Europe and into Russia. For Edward Bell it is a nightmare journey – his past is colliding frighteningly with the present and he must extract his family from the ruins of a cold war that is still threatening their lives.
The world through which he travels divides husband and wife, mother and son, twisting their destiny in violence and betrayal. In making his move, Bell must ultimately choose between the death of a principle and the life of a human being. He must struggle to break the political stranglehold on him and on those he loves – struggle for his last rights.
Published: 4 Feb 2013
Spring 1916, and three great armies - French, British and, on the other side of the wire, German - are locked in a stalemate of mud and blood on Europe's Western Front. On the ground, young British soldiers lose their innocence in the hell that is No Man's Land, while in the skies above the trenches a new breed of warrior, armed with a devastating new weapon, comes of age.
As the conflict stretches into its third year, a neutral but woefully unprepared and ill-equipped America is slowly goaded into war. It falls to General John Pershing to galvanise his country's army into readiness and as the first American troops reach the front in 1917, the world waits to see if the tide of a war that has already cost millions of lives can at last be turned.
Combining an historian's eye for detail with a novelist's understanding of man's hopes and fears, Shaara carries the reader into the hearts and minds of some of the war's most memorable characters, from the heroic to the infamous, and vividly brings to life one of the greatest conflagrations in human history.
Ella Nesbit is young, good-looking and has a wicked way with the violin. She also has a great job working in a Dublin recording studio. So why isn't life more fun? Could Julian, the trainee from hell, have something to do with it? Or is it really due to Ella's unreciprocated passion for her boss?
When Ella's granny wins a holiday for two in Jamaica, things start to look up. Intrepid Ella dons a wetsuit, discovers scuba, and learns something about life from Rastafarian Raphael. But closer to home, a dark horse is coming up on the outside...
In this brilliant, bubbly and sexy tale from the bestselling author of More Mischief, Ella eventually discovers what she really, really wants - and finds a sensational way to get it.
Published: 28 Jan 2013
Someone murdered Nick Neumann's father.Now, seventeen years later, new evidence emerges implicating his father's employer, Zurich's venerable United Swiss Bank.
Nick is willing to do whatever it takes to find his father's killer - even if it means abandoning a glittering career on Wall Street and a beautiful fiancee.And when he infiltrates the bank in his search for the truth, he finds himself plunged into a world where everything - gold, power, even life and death - has its price. Sinking ever deeper into this clandestine world of unbridled greed and treachery, Nick turns to an alluring but dangerous woman with an agenda of her own, and soon learns that in order to catch his father's murderer he, too, must become a criminal.
As the bank comes under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Nick finds himself protecting the one man who may hold the key to the truth - the key to his father's murder. And as his search intensifies, as Nick gets closer to the answers, he must face the fact that his own life could be the final sacrifice he has to make.
Published: 31 Aug 2012
1073 – under the merciless sun of the east, a dark force has risen - a Norman adventurer who could rival the feared King William for bloody ambition. He has conquered his land, he has built his fortress and he has amassed his army. And now he has taken Constantinople's ruler as his prisoner…
It falls to Hereward to rescue this precious captive. For this great English warrior-in-exile and his spear-brothers, it will mean mounting a raid that could prove the most dangerous and deadliest of their lives. Assisting them in their task will be an elite and legendary band of fighters, the Immortals – so-called because they believe they cannot die in battle. But it will not be enough - for enemies hide within the jewelled heart of Byzantium: vipers who spread their poison, who want to see the English dead at any cost and who are to transform a mission that was at best dangerous into an adventure that is now suicidal. . .
With this rousing adventure full of brutal sword play, treachery, camaraderie and honour, James Wilde continues his bestselling account of the action-packed life and times of England's great and now, thanks to his his fiction, perhaps not-so-forgotten hero - Hereward the Wake.
The patients at Beechway High Secure Unit are terrified. Unexplained power cuts have lead to a series of horrifying incidents. And now fear has spread from the inmates to the staff.
DI Jack Caffery is called to investigate, whilst working the most impossible case of his life. Will he be able to stare pure evil in the eye, and survive?
A journalist is murdered in Jerusalem’s Armenian Cathedral and Detective Arieh Ben-Roi is spoilt for leads. But one seems out of place – an apparent link to a decades-old missing persons case in Egypt. Baffled, Ben-Roi turns for help to his old friend and sparring partner, Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police.
Although struggling with personal tragedy and immersed in a case of his own – mysterious well poisonings in the Eastern Desert – Khalifa agrees to do some digging. What he discovers will change both men’s lives for ever.
As their investigations intertwine, the detectives are drawn ever deeper into a sinister web of violence, abuse, corporate malpractice and international terrorism. And at its heart lies a three thousand year-old mystery that has already taken two lives, and will soon be claiming more…
A teenage girl has been brutally murdered on her way home from school. The cryptic message 'all like her' is crudely written on her body.
The dead girl's friends are deeply shocked and upset, but they all refuse to reveal anything about her last movements. Who are they protecting? And what more do they know?
Headstrong Detective Inspector Zoë Benedict knows exactly how she wants to work this case. But Zoë's own dark past, if exposed, may jeopardize the search for justice . . . and destroy her too.
Tense, thrilling and brilliantly original, Hanging Hill reveals the evil side of human nature and the terrible things normal people can do...
On hearing of this momentous discovery, King Henry II demands evidence that the legendary Arthur is dead.
So he calls upon his Mistress of the Art of Death, anatomist Adelia Aguilar, to examine the bones.
But someone doesn't want the skeletons identified - and is prepared to kill in order to prevent it...
Tessa Kent, a precocious fourteen year old, gives birth to an illegitimate daughter. Her parents, devout Catholics, raise the infant, Maggie, as their own child. As Tessa becomes a great movie star, Maggie lives for her glorious "sister's" infrequent whirlwind visits. Only when Maggie is eighteen does she learn the truth about her mother. Mortally wounded, she breaks all ties with Tessa and starts work at the Manhattan auction house of Scott & Scott.
Five years later, a life-altering crisis makes Tessa determined to end their estrangement. Tessa can find only one way to reach her daughter - she decides to auction her immensely valuable collection of spectacular jewels with Scott & Scott, on the condition that she and Maggie work closely on the sale. For Tessa, her future now hangs on the desperate hope of an almost impossible reconciliation.
Published: 31 Aug 2012
For more than forty years, Isaac Asimov thrilled millions of readers with his bestselling Foundation series, a spellbinding tale of the future that spans thousands of years and dozens of worlds. Completed just weeks before his death in April 1992, Forward the Foundation is the seventh and concluding volume of this masterwork, which was awarded a Hugo for the 'Best All-Time Science Fiction Series'.
In the earlier Foundation novels, Hari Seldon, the guiding genius of the Foundation, was a figure of history. By going back to the great mathmatician's life, in Forward the Foundation, Asimov fills in the remaining gaps in his epic story. Asimov acknowledged that he always regarded Seldon as his alter ego, and this novel is all the more poignant for the fact that he himself died only weeks after writing about Seldon's death.
A resounding tour de force, Forward the Foundation offers the dramatic climax to the Foundation series, and perhaps the greatest moment in science fiction to date.
Published: 1 Sep 1994