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Life as a data entry temp is great. Your job satisfaction is through the roof. What could be better than entering data for an hourly wage? If you time it right, you even get paid for going to the toilet. Result! The only cloud on your horizon is the blood gathering under your chair. You are shocked to discover that the company you work for is using your blood to power a portal to another world - they are literally bleeding you dry. There's no other option, you must set out on your own adventure and ultimately face The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain!
The Fighting Fantasy series of books captured the minds of a generation. These second-person adventure books were driven the choices the reader made - fabulous adversaries like orcs and wizards were to be fought by the reader as they chose their route through the book. Sadly, all of these young adventurers have grown up to find that the real word is a rather a dull place to be. The only dragons they face now are their uppity line managers and they curse their fellow commuters rather than forest-dwelling crones. But help is at hand, however, as The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain, a hilarious parody of the fantasy adventure genre, opens an office door back into the mystical world of our imaginations.
On one hand a skillful comic account of the drudgery of modern life, and on the other a thrilling adventure populated by creatures of myth and legend, this book is the perfect present for the masses of twenty- and thirtysomethings who look back on the world of choose your own adventure with such affection.
Published: 12 Sep 2008
Published: 15 Jul 2013
In the brave new Japan of the 1870s, Taka and Nobu meet as children and fall in love; but their relationship will test the limits of society.
Unified after a bitter civil war, Japan is rapidly turning into a modern country with rickshaws, railways and schools for girls. Commoners can marry their children into any class, and the old hatred between north and south is over - or so it seems.
Taka is from the powerful southern Satsuma clan which now dominates the country, and her father, General Kitaoka, is a leader of the new government. Nobu, however, is from the northern Aizu clan, massacred by the Satsuma in the civil war. Defeated and reduced to poverty, his family has sworn revenge on the Satsuma.
Taka and Nobu's love is unacceptable to both their families and must be kept secret, but what they cannot foresee is how quickly the tables will turn. Many southern samurai become disillusioned with the new regime, which has deprived them of their swords, status and honour. Taka's father abruptly leaves Tokyo and returns to the southern island of Kyushu, where trouble is brewing.
When he and his clansmen rise in rebellion, the government sends its newly-created army to put them down. Nobu and his brothers have joined this army, and his brothers now see their chance of revenge on the Satsuma. But Nobu will have to fight and maybe kill Taka's father and brother, while Taka now has to make a terrible choice - between her family and the man she loves ...
Published: 7 Jun 2012
It seems that renowned zombie expert Dr Stanley Blum kept a detailed record of the vital work that he and his crack medical team conducted in their desperate bid to find a cure for the epidemic that is devastating the world. This is his notebook and it doesn't make comfortable reading.
Here he documents the unique biology of zombie organisms for the first time, Notes taken during his dissection of immobilized but still functioning zombies include graphic depictions of the internal workings of these once-humans, and reveal in grim detail the zombie anatomy and offer shocking insights into how these creatures function. This is not a book for the fainthearted. And what soon becomes tragically clear is that Blum and his staff were caught up in a race against time...for they too start to succumb to the zombie plague.
We can only guess at the fate of Dr. Blum. But now that his notebook has been made available to the UN, the WHO and the wider world, we can only pray that Blum's scientific discoveries offer some hope for humankind on earth against the plague of the living dead...
2041, and for all the advances science and technology have brought, our world is under attack from rampant climate change, uncontrollable mass migration, cyber-terrorism, fragmenting societies and insidious governmental secrecy and paranoia. And then the unthinkable happens - the Earth, our planet, seems to be turning against itself - it would appear that the magnetic field, which protects life on Earth from deadly radiation from space, is failing . . .
Fearful of the mass hysteria that would follow if the truth were to become known, world governments have concealed this rapidly emerging Armageddon. But a young Iranian computer genius stumbles across what is really going on, the secret is out, and it's a race against time to put in place an outrageous, desperate last ditch plan to save the world: to reactivate the earth's core using beams of dark matter. As a small team of brave and brilliant scientists - each a maverick in his or her own way - battle to find a way of transforming the theory into practice, they face a fanatical group intent on pursuing their own endgame agenda: for they believe mankind to be a plague upon this earth and will do anything, commit any crime, to ensure that the project fails - and so bring about humanity's end...
Set in a brilliantly-imagined near future world of dazzling technologies, AIs and augmented realities, eminent scientist and broadcaster Professor Jim Al-Khalili's thrilling debut novel draws on cutting edge science to tell a nail-biting story of what might be . . .
Summer, 1572 and England is vulnerable.
Fear of plague and insurrection taint the air, and heresy, fanaticism and religious unrest seethe beneath the surface of society. Rumour and mistrust lead to imprisonment, torture and sometimes murder. To the young lawyer Christopher Radcliff and his patron and employer, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the prospects for peace are poor.
As Leicester's chief intelligencer, Radcliff is charged with investigating both rumours of rebellion at home and invasion from abroad. That the queen's own cousin, the Duke of Norfolk, is found guilty of treason is a sign of just how deep the dissent goes. Supporters of the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots foment revolt, but the papist threat doesn't just come from within. Across the channel, France is being swept up in a frenzy of brutal and bloody religious persecution while England's other enemy of old, Spain, makes preparations to invade. Christopher's own life is far from orderly. His relationship with the widow Katherine Allington is somewhat turbulent and he knows full well that the cut-throat world of court politics leaves no room for indiscretions.
So England is a powder-keg, waiting for a spark to ignite it. And then a whisper of a plot that could provide that spark reaches Christopher. All he has to go on is a single word - 'incendium'.
But what does it mean and who lies behind it? He must find the answers before it is too late . . .
Published: 23 Feb 2017
1081. And so the bloody battle for the crown of the Holy Roman Empire begins.
Within the city of Constantinople itself, three venal factions will go to any lengths - will, it seems, kill any who might stand in their way - to seize the throne.
And outside the city's walls, twin powers threaten a siege that will crush the once-mighty empire forever.
To the west, the voracious forces of the most feared Norman warlord are gathering. While in the east, the Turkish hordes are massing - theirs is a lust for slaughter.
And in the midst of this maelstrom of brutality and betrayal, Hereward and his English spear-brothers prepare to make what could be their final stand . . .
Introducing Luke Carlton - ex-Special Boat Service commando, and now under contract to MI6 for some of its most dangerous missions.
Sent into the steaming Colombian jungle to investigate the murder of a British intelligence officer, Luke finds himself caught up in the coils of a plot that has terrifying international dimensions. Hunted down, captured, tortured and on the run from one of South America's most powerful and ruthless drugs cartels and its psychotic leader thirsting for revenge, Luke is in a life-or-death race against time to prevent a disaster on a truly terrifying scale: London is the target, the weapon is diabolical and the means of delivery is ingenious.
Drawing on his years of experience reporting on security matters, CRISIS is Frank Gardner’s debut novel. Combining insider knowledge, up-to-the-minute hardware, fly on the wall insights with heart-in-mouth excitement, CRISIS boasts an irresistible, visceral frisson of authenticity: smart, fast-paced and furiously entertaining, here is a thriller for the 21st century.
TO DO LIST
1) Buy hummus
2) Pay Pilates teacher
3) Find prostitute for son...
When it comes to sex, even the best laid plans come unstuck – in the stickiest way possible
As a crossword-addicted English teacher, Lucy never expected to be arrested for kerb-crawling. But her autistic twenty-year-old son Merlin is desperate to lose his virginity, and a prostitute seems like the only option . . . only Lucy picks up an undercover policewoman instead.
Let off with a suspended sentence, Lucy resigns herself to the fact that her son will never have sex, let alone find love… until the morning she miraculously discovers Merlin in bed with a girl.
But is tough, tattooed Kayleigh just taking Merlin for a ride? If so, why? And what has brought Lucy’s snake of an ex-husband wriggling back into their lives?
As all her best laid plans for Merlin’s happiness chaotically unravel, will Lucy ever be able to cut her son’s psychological umbilical cord and start to live her own life? And will the funny, quirky and marvellously magical Merlin ever find real love?
With plenty of comic twists and emotional turns, Kathy Lette’s riotous yet heartrending novel tackles the taboo subject of sex for the ‘differently abled’ – and shows us that when it comes to sex, we all have special needs …
Lovers, colleagues, family - Tilly has always been brilliant at pushing people in and out of her life exactly as it suits her. Then along comes Geoffrey, gentle, compassionate, generous to a fault, with his miserable little children and his manipulative ex-wife.
Tilly's own expertise in the arts of deception and avoidance should be enough to make sure she's always one step ahead of Geoffrey's disastrous, crumbling family. But time and again she finds herself staying, brought down by their cowardly backsliding and their barefaced lies.
How has she managed to stay so long in a relationship she knows perfectly well has to be doomed? More importantly, how can Tilly plan her permanent escape?
Anne Fine's sixth novel is a coruscating comedy written with her trademark wit, insight and grimly dark humour about the ties that bind more savagely than any other - those of families.
'A fitting end to a trilogy that fans of Bernard Cornwell should devour. The big set-piece battle that completes the book is one of the best that I have ever read.' Antonia Senior, THE TIMES
Fighting in Sweden for an ambitious warlord, Sigurd Haraldarson and his small but loyal band of oathsworn warriors are winning fame and reputation. But Sigurd knows that to take on his hated enemy, the oath-breaker King Gorm - the man who betrayed his father, a man Sigurd has vowed to kill - he must earn riches enough to build an army.
Many believe Sigurd to be Óðin-favoured, but his exploits have drawn the eye of another god, too: Loki the Trickster, and when a daring assassination attempt goes wrong, Sigurd finds himself a prisoner of the powerful Jarl Guthrum. Bound like a slave, his luck having seemingly deserted him, Sigurd is taken to the sacred temple at Ubsola, a place where the blood of human sacrifice flows to appease the gods.
It is at Ubsola that Sigurd will face the sacrificial knife. And it is here that he will find a powerful relic, the great spear that was said to have once belonged to Óðin himself. With such a spear in his possession Sigurd might now assemble a host strong enough to challenge King Gorm and wreak the revenge he craves.
For, like Óðin, Sigurd will be the Wild Huntsman tearing through the sky on his fearsome steed, and the rage of his passing will be the sound of wings of the storm.
With Wings of the Storm, one of our finest young historical novelists brings his extraordinary Viking saga - an adventure to that is sure to satisfy any 'Game of Thrones' fan - to a triumphant close
THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER, PICKED FOR THE ZOE BALL TV BOOK CLUB
‘Ruth Jones is excellent on human nature and why we make the mistakes we do. I felt for every character. Unputdownable.’ Jojo Moyes
In her unmissable debut, actress and screenwriter Ruth Jones shows us the dangers of trying to recapture that which was once lost and failing to realise the beauty of what we already have.
‘We spend most of our lives wishing we were somewhere else or someone else, or looking forward or harping back. Always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. But it never is. It’s still grass. Just a different patch of it, that’s all.’
The past has a habit of tracking us down. And tripping us up.
When Kate was twenty-two, she had an intense and passionate affair with a married man, Callum, which ended in heartbreak. Kate thought she’d never get over it.
Seventeen years later, life has moved on – Kate, now a successful actress, is living in London, married to Matt and mother to little Tallulah. Meanwhile Callum and his wife Belinda are happy together, living in Edinburgh and watching their kids grow up. The past, it would seem, is well and truly behind them all.
But then Kate meets Callum again.
And they are faced with a choice: to walk away from each other . . . or to risk finding out what might have been.
Second chances are a rare gift in life. But that doesn’t mean they should always be taken . . .
'I love books about gnarly, messy relationships and this one kept me gripped from the beginning. A great read.’ Jane Fallon
‘Heart-rending, provocative and astutely written, Never Greener is a love story about getting what you want and losing everything you need. Ruth’s characters will stay with me for a long time.’ Cathy Bramley
The master storyteller is back with a classic race-against-time thriller with a modern edge.
Most weapons do what you tell them. Most weapons you can control.
But what if the most dangerous weapon in the world isn’t a smart missile or a stealth submarine or even an AI computer programme?What if it’s a 17-year-old boy with a blisteringly brilliant mind, who can run rings around the most sophisticated security services across the globe, who can manipulate that weaponry and turn it against the superpowers themselves?How valuable would he be? And what wouldn’t you do to get hold of him?
The Fox is a race-against-time thriller across continents to find and capture, or protect and save, an asset with the means to change the balance of world power. Whatever happens he must not fall into the wrong hands. Because what follows after that is unthinkable…
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER: 2 million copies sold worldwide! A charming, feel-good and universal story of one woman’s journey from boredom and dissatisfaction to happiness and fulfilment - if you liked The Happiness Project, The Little Paris Bookshop or Eat, Pray, Love, you'll love this.
At thirty-eight and a quarter years old, Camille has everything she needs to be happy, or so it seems: a good job, a loving husband, a wonderful son. Why then does she feel as if happiness has slipped through her fingers? All she wants is to find the path to joy.
When Claude, a French Sean Connery lookalike and routinologist, offers his unique advice to help get her there, she seizes the opportunity with both hands. Camille’s journey is full of surprising adventures, creative capers and deep meaning, as she sets out to transform her life and realize her dreams one step at a time . . .
REAL READERS LOVE IT:
'Feel good book! Would definitely recommend!'
'Great book for 40-somethings wanting a change of direction'
'I'm loving it. Instead of just being a self-help book on well-being or mindfulness, you're actually seeing life through Camille's eyes, learning practical lessons alongside her.'
The fourth prequel to R. D. Wingfield's A TOUCH OF FROST, for anyone who loved watching David Jason as Jack Frost, and readers of sharply plotted detective crime novels.
August, 1983. Denton is preparing for a wedding. Detective Sergeant Waters should be on top of the world with less than a week to go until he marries Kim Myles. But the Sunday before the big day, instead of a run-through with his best man, the church is sealed off. The body of a young woman has been found in the churchyard, and their idyllic wedding venue has become a crime scene.
Detective Inspector Jack Frost has been homeless for the past three months, ever since his wife’s family sold the matrimonial house. He’s been staying with Detective Constable Sue Clarke but with a baby to take care of and the imminent arrival of her mother, she’s given him his marching orders.
But as best man to Waters, he’s got a responsibility to solve the mystery of the dead girl in the churchyard. Can he put his own troubles aside and be the detective they need him to be? All in all, August looks set to be a wicked month in Denton…
The inspiring, life-enhancing and evocative new novel from the bestselling author of Where the Light Gets in and A Hundred Pieces of Me and All I Ever Wanted. 'No one tugs at the heartstrings quite like Lucy Dillon' Red magazine
Praise for Lucy Dillon:
'Bittersweet, lovely and ultimately redemptive; the kind of book that makes you want to live your own life better' Jojo Moyes
'This vibrant and uplifting novel has not only entertained me hugely, but made me change the way I look at life.' Katie Fforde
'Satisfying and clever and deeply moving' Sophie Kinsella
The new must-read thriller from the author of Sunday Times bestseller, THE WIDOW, and the Richard & Judy No. 1 bestseller, THE CHILD.
'Fiona Barton is perceptive, empathetic and a talented writer' Daily Express
‘The police belonged to another world – the world they saw on the television or in the papers. Not theirs.’
When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.
Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.
And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . .
Praise for Fiona Barton:
'Clever and compelling' Clare Mackintosh, author of LET ME LIE
'An engrossing, irresistible story' Shari Lapena, author of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR
'A gripping book you won't be able to put down' Sun
'Engrossing. Suspenseful' Stephen King
'A skilful, tautly written thriller' Red
It is 1868, and a 22-year-old Bram Stoker has locked himself inside an abbey's tower to face off against a vile and ungodly beast. He is armed with mirrors and crucifixes and holy water and a gun - and is kept company by a bottle of plum brandy. His fervent prayer is that he will survive this one night - a night that will prove to be the longest of his life. Desperate to leave a record of what he has witnessed, the young man scribbles out the events that brought him to this point - and tells an extraordinary tale of childhood illness, a mysterious nanny, and stories once thought to be fables now proven true.
A riveting, heart-stoppingly scary novel of Gothic suspense, Dracul reveals not only the true origins of Dracula himself, but also of his creator, Bram Stoker . . . and of the elusive, enigmatic woman who connects them.