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'Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come round again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes.'
For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of bloody revolution.
For Commander Sam Vimes, it all feels horribly familiar. He’s back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck. Living in the past is hard. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down the murderer and change the outcome of the rebellion.
The problem is: if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future...
A Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen and other children of the revolution.
Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a Hard-boiled Egg!
Hospital Babylon is an in-depth, amusing and highly insightful expose of the extraordinary world of modern medicine. It will take the reader on a journey through the various departments and wards where babies are made, thighs are reduced, noses straightened and spare kidneys are flown in from the Indian subcontinent.
We will meet doctors who sleep with nurses. Doctors who sleep with patients. Doctors who fiddle their insurance forms. Doctors who suck fat, pump up breasts, plump lips and lengthen penises. The doctor who specialises in flatulence. The doctor who shoots up before he operates. Doctor Feelgood who will give you anything and everything you need. As well as the doctor who makes a fortune doing buttock enlargements in the Caribbean. En route, we will discover what touches them, what amuses them and quite how obsessively insane you have to be to make it to the top.
Why does a private room cost over £1000 a night? Who are the people changing your bedpan? Holding your hand as you go to sleep? What do they do to you while you're out cold? Why are drugs so expensive? How easy is it for the pharmaceutical companies to grease the good doctor's palm? Who exactly is profiting from your illness, embarrassing affliction or brand new nose? And, of course, what happens when it all goes wrong?
Packed with true stories, anecdotes and revelations, Hospital Babylon is a riveting, entertaining and shocking look at 24 hours in the life of a hospital. Both amusing and appalling, it will make you question whether you should sign that consent form after all...
Nick Stone has always kept his job as ex-SAS trouble shooter at arms’ length from his home life. But when his son falls dangerously ill and the doctor who saves him comes under threat from an old adversary, it is no longer possible. Life just got very personal.
To stop his cover being terminally blown, he must follow a trail that begins in Triad-controlled Hong Kong. He is propelled back into the brutal world he thought he'd left behind. The forces ranged against him have guns, helicopters, private armies and a terrified population in their vice-like grip. Nick Stone has two decades of operational skills – but this time, that may not be enough…
'Happy fifty-third birthday, Doctor. Welcome to the first day of your death. You ruined my life. And now I fully intend to ruin yours.
'You have exactly one fortnight, starting tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., to discover who I am. When you succeed you must purchase one of those tiny ads at the bottom of the New York Times front page, and print my name there.
'If you do not succeed, then . . . you will take note that the second sheet of this letter contains the names of fifty-two of your relatives. If you are unable to purchase the ad as described, then you will have this choice: kill yourself immediately or I will destroy one of these innocent people.'
Until the moment he opens the letter, New York psychologist Dr Frederick Starks has led a quiet and, so he believes, blameless life. He has no idea why he's being judged by this unknown tormentor a former patient - who then lethally begins to demonstrate the potential of his, or her, threats. As the layers of Starks's carefully constructed life are stripped from him, he quickly finds himself a powerless pawn in a psychopath's devious game of vengeance.
Published: 1 Jul 2003
In Let Me Make Myself Plain Catherine Cookson may be said to break new ground as an author. The title echoes her first surprised reaction to a television producer's suggestion that she undertake a series of late-night Epilogues. She accepted the challenge with results so successful that many who heard the talks wrote asking for their publication.
Here they form the core of a remarkable collection of essays and the poems she modestly dscribes as "prose on short lines", into which she has distilled over the years a deeply personal and hard-won philosophy. Uncompromisingly honest and free of illusion, but with an ultimate message of hope and encouragement, the book is imbued with characteristic down-to-earth common sense and humour.
Whether writing of priests or doctors, or looking back to episodes in her Tyneside childhood, she constantly displays all the qualities that have made her one of the world's most widely-read and best-loved novelists.
Published: 5 Oct 2015
When Matthew's beloved wife Molly died, long before her time, her son Mark grieved as much as anyone. He had always known that his parents were completely devoted to each other, and sometimes he had felt excluded from this close partnership. Since he was a small boy his mother had been sickening with the illness that eventually carried her off, and now at the age of sixteen Mark longed to earn his father's respect by assisting with the family business, a prosperous antiques shop. But his father, in grief, seemed beyond help.
Tilly Povey, famous for her whiplash tongue and her copious ironing, watched the boy's lonely existence with a heavy heart. Stella, Molly's sister, had done well for herself - now a doctor, she had always loved Matthew, and wondered whether he might, perhaps, turn to her in his hour of need. Matthew, obsessed with his loss, was gradually falling apart and none of those who were closest to him could, it seemed, do anything to help. But Tilly, whose uncompromising exterior hid a warm heart, was determined to help this troubled family.
Mark Ormrod was a 'gravel belly', a 'bootneck' marine who loved being in the heart of the action when things kicked off, and he relished the prospect of a tour of duty in Afghanistan. And then the unthinkable happened.
In one heartstopping moment Mark's life was brutally shattered when a landmine tore off both his legs and his right arm. The catastrophic injuries he sustained and the shocking truth behind the doctors' battle to save him are all described in graphic detail in this remarkable memoir. So too is the story of how, on the brink of despair, Mark began the greatest battle of his life - to walk again and, using state-of-the-art 'bionic' legs, to stand shoulder to shoulder with his comrades to receive his campaign medal. It was a battle he had to win if he was to rebuild his life.
Told with brutal honesty, Man Down is a moving, action-packed account of courage and comradeship, of life on the frontline and the terrible legacy of war. It is a story of true grit you will never forget.
Set largely on the Essex coast before the war, Matt, Guy, and their young cousin Lizzie meet up for holidays and bum around in an old boat. Guy is the eldest, handsome, skilled at everything, a tad selfish. Matt is quieter and has a crippled right arm. Lizzie adores them both, to the extent of putting up with being sea-sick everytime they go out in the old boat and continually getting bashed on the head by the sail. These are idyllic days of sun, and sea, the golden era of the thirties.
Lizzie's father is a doctor and, as the thirties progress, they take the daughter of a Viennese colleague into their home, a Jewish girl called Anna, who is miserable and hates England, and misses her Jewish family and friends. The fifth child to join them is Otto, son of a German diplomat, reared in the best traditions of the Hitler doctrine and destined for the army. These five have a tense and highly involved relationship as they grow up. Anna is resented by the English boys but one of them eventually comes to love her. Otto's relationship with her is more complicated. She is, after all, a Jew. They have one wonderful day together when somehow their rivalries are forgotten as they fight the sea in the little ship, and when they all write their names on the mast. Then the world explodes into war and they all go their separate ways. They all meet again at Dunkirk. Anna getting out from France at the last moment with the help of Guy, Otto as part of the victorious Reich, and Lizzie and Matt taking the little ship over to save them from the beaches.
It is strong, wonderful, atmospheric, romantic with intriguing characters, all involved with each other in love/hate relationships.
Mary, Tanya and Zoe had been inseparable in college. But in the twenty years or more that followed, the three had moved on with their lives, settled in different cities, and found successful careers and new roles as mothers and wives. At a sprawling ranch in Wyoming the three women, each by chance finding themselves alone for a few weeks one summer, come together and find courage, healing and truth, and reach out to each other again.
Once they shared everything, but now pretence between them runs high. Mary, married for twenty-two years to a Manhattan lawyer, masks the guilt and fear that her husband will never forgive her for their son's death. Tanya, a singer and rock star, enjoys all the trappings of fame and success - a mansion in Bel Air, legions of fans, and a broken heart - for the children she wanted but never had, and the men who have takehn advantage of her. Zoe has her hands full as single mother to an adopted two-year-old, and as a doctor at an AIDS clinic in San Francisco, until unexpected news forces her to re-evaluate both her future, and her current life.
But their friendship is still a bond they all treasure and share. For each of the women, a few weeks at the ranch bring healing and release. In The Ranch, bestselling author Danielle Steel brings reality to the meaning of friendship, with dramas whose truths we all share.