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King of Swords

Nick Stone (Author)

Miami, 1981. When Detective Max Mingus and his partner Joe are called to the scene of a death at Miami's Primate Park, it looks like another routine — if slightly bizarre — investigation. Until two things turn up: the victim's family, slaughtered; and a partly digested tarot card in the dead man's stomach. The King of Swords.

An increasingly bloody trail leads Max and Joe first to a sinister fortune-teller and her scheming pimp son, then to the infamous Solomon Boukman. Few have ever met the most feared criminal in Miami, but rumours abound of a forked tongue, voodoo ceremonies and friends in very high places.

Against a backdrop of black magic and police corruption, Max and Joe must distinguish the good guys from the bad - and track down some answers. What is the significance of the King of Swords? What makes those who have swallowed the card go on a killing spree just before they die? And can Max find out the truth about Solomon Boukman, before death's shadow reaches his own front door...?

Mr Clarinet

Nick Stone (Author)

Penguin Picks are stories you'll want to read again and again. Beautifully and stylishly designed by a modern artist, they are not only stories you'll keep coming back to but also books whose looks will never go out of fashion . . .

'Ten million dollars if he performed a miracle and brought the boy back alive, five million dollars if he came back with just the body, and another five million if he dragged the killers in with it. Those were the terms, and, if he chose to accept them, that was the deal'

Ex-cop, ex-PI and now ex-con Max Mingus doesn't want to take the case. It means going to Haiti, a lawless island of voodoo and black magic and home to a monster they call Mr Clarinet. In searching for the missing boy - alive or dead - Max could lose his life or suffer a fate far worse. But a man who has nothing will risk a lot for ten million dollars . . .

'Triumphant' Observer

'Terrifying, exhilarating, breathlessly compelling' Daily Express

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Popular Penguins perfectly designed


Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, the International Thriller Writers Award and the Mcavity Award for Best First Novel

Rockers and Rollers

Brian Johnson (Author)

By night, Brian Johnson sings in the biggest rock 'n' roll band on the planet.But by day, AC/DC's charismatic, flat-capped frontman gets to indulge his passion for all things automotive.Cars and rock 'n'roll, they were made for each other.

Car racer, car collector and all-round car enthusiast, Johnson is an incurable, certifiable petrolhead who can't remember a time when four wheels didn't feature as large in his life as music.

Starting, as a young boy growing up in Tyneside, with an old steering wheel and his imagination, a lifelong passion took root early.And through cramped teenage fumbles in an old mini and clapped-out, hygienically challenged tour vans, to chauffeur-driven, leather-trimmed limos and a sideline as a successful racing driver, it's been there ever since.

By turns, surprising, joyful, poignant and usually laugh-out-loud funny, Rockers and Rollers is the story of man with an insatiable appetite for life and a glimpse into the extraordinary world of AC/DC, set soon to overtake the Beatles as the biggest selling-band in history.

Packed with hair-raising anecdotes and revealing a God-given talent for comic writing on every page, Brian Johnson has written the most unique, entertaining autobiography of the year.And essential reading for car nuts and rock fans.

Well that'll be most of us then ...

The Teeth of the Tiger

Tom Clancy (Author)

INSPIRATION FOR THE THRILLING AMAZON PRIME SERIES JACK RYAN . . .

The Teeth of the Tiger is the first Jack Ryan Jr novel by Tom Clancy.

Just before Jack Ryan stepped down as US President, he created a secret organisation designed to operate in areas where the CIA and FBI couldn't go - able to use any and all means to neutralise terrorists who threatened America. Now his son, Jack Ryan, Jr, is part of that organisation and he's on the front line when a group of Islamic terrorists backed up by Colombian drug smuggles strike at the heart of American society. With no conventional way to hit back at the shadowy ringleaders, it's left to Jack Ryan Jr to take on the terrorists the only way he knows how . . .

Internationally bestselling author Tom Clancy first introduced Jack Ryan Jr in The Teeth of the Tiger, returning to his story in Dead or Alive and Locked On. Threat Vector, the fourth thriller in the gripping series, will be available from Penguin in December 2012.

Praise for Tom Clancy:
'Incredibly addictive . . . 400 tightly woven, adrenalin-fuelled pages' Daily Mail
'Truly riveting, a dazzling read' Sunday Express
'Heart-stopping action . . . entertaining and eminently topical' Washington Post
'Classic Clancy . . . well-constructed tension and realistic action' Short List

Tom Clancy's True Faith and Allegiance

Mark Greaney (Author)

INSPIRATION FOR THE THRILLING AMAZON PRIME SERIES JACK RYAN . . .

The clock is ticking - and President Jack Ryan is running out of time...

A US Navy Commander is attacked while having dinner with his wife by an unidentified Russian man.

A CIA operative travelling on a Canadian passport is intercepted and interrogated at Tehran Airport.

A team of FBI officers are arrested by Indonesian police for travelling under fake passports in Jakarta.

These apparently unrelated incidents point to a compromise in US government security, and Jack Ryan and his team must find out where it is coming from. From Maryland to Macedonia, they frantically battle shadowy forces who are looking to drag the US president into a ground war with ISIS.

Tom Clancy's Under Fire

Grant Blackwood (Author)

INSPIRATION FOR THE THRILLING AMAZON PRIME SERIES JACK RYAN . . .

Tom Clancy's Under Fire is the latest breakneck Jack Ryan Jr. adventure novel from one of Clancy's most successful collaborators: Grant Blackwood.

***
Campus operative Jack Ryan Jr is in Tehran, when he meets an old friend, Seth.

As they part, Seth passes Jack a key, gives him a cryptic message - and vanishes.

Now MI6 and the CIA are after Jack. They're desperate to find Seth. Jack tells them he knows nothing - but perhaps he knows enough to find his friend on his own . . .

In a dangerous foreign country, chased by agents from all sides, unsure who - if anyone - he can trust, Jack has few clues and no space for mistakes.

He's risking everything for Seth. But whose side is his old friend on?

And what if it's not Jack's?

Red Rabbit

Tom Clancy (Author)

INSPIRATION FOR THE THRILLING AMAZON PRIME SERIES JACK RYAN . . .

In Red Rabbit Tom Clancy gives Jack Ryan fans an insight into his greatest hero's first years fighting terrorism.

Jack Ryan. The early CIA days . . .

When young Jack Ryan joins the CIA as an analyst he is thrust into a world of political intrigue and conspiracy. Stationed in England, he quickly finds himself debriefing a Soviet defector with an extraordinary story to tell: senior Russian officials are plotting to assassinate Pope John Paul II. The CIA novice must forget his inexperience and rely on all his wits to firstly discover the details of the plot - and then prevent its execution. For it is not just the Pope's life that is at stake, but also the stability of the Western World.

Red Rabbit is the thrilling eighth novel featuring Jack Ryan, following The Sum of All Fears and Debt of Honour. Published after Executive Orders, the novel charts Jack Ryan's earliest mission for the CIA, and is the stunning prequel to The Hunt For Red October.

Praise for Tom Clancy:

'Truly riveting, a dazzling read' Sunday Express
'A brilliantly constructed thriller' Daily Mail

Rainbow Six

Tom Clancy (Author)

INSPIRATION FOR THE THRILLING AMAZON PRIME SERIES JACK RYAN . . .

Rainbow Six is a nerve-shredding thriller from international bestseller, Tom Clancy.

Newly named head of an elite multinational task force, John Clark faces the world's greatest fear: international terrorism. And following each terrifying new outbreak - the ghosts from his own past.

The challenge of a new mission is just what Clark needs, but the opportunities come faster than he expected. Hostage-taking at a Swiss bank. The kidnapping of an international trader. Carnage at a theme park in Spain. Each incident seems separate, yet the timing disturbs Clark.

Is there a connection? Is he being tested? Or is there a bigger threat out there, from terrorists so extreme that no government is ready to admit their existence.

Rainbow Six is Tom Clancy at his thrilling best, and is the second John Clark novel. Clancy is also the author of international bestsellers Against All Enemies, Dead or Alive and Locked On.

Praise for Tom Clancy:
'The action scenes are superlative, and the complex, multi-stranded narrative is orchestrated with Bach-like precision' Evening Standard
'The action comes thick and fast' The Times
'Action packed and full of guns and suspense . . . a skilfully crafted plot and high readability' Express

The Bear and the Dragon

Tom Clancy (Author)

INSPIRATION FOR THE THRILLING AMAZON PRIME SERIES JACK RYAN . . .

A truly brilliant thriller by Tom Clancy, The Bear and the Dragon is a Jack Ryan novel.

Newly elected in his own right, Jack Ryan has found that being President has gotten no easier: domestic pitfalls await him at every turn; the Asian economy is going down the tubes; and now, in Moscow, someone may have tried to take out the chairman of the SVR - the former KGB - with a rocket-propelled grenade. Things are unstable enough in Russia without high-level assassination, but even more disturbing may be the identities of the potential assassins. Were they political enemies, the Russian Mafia, disaffected former KGB? Or, Ryan wonders, is something far more dangerous at work here?

Ryan is right to wonder. For even while Russian investigators pursue the case, and some of his most trusted eyes and ears, including antiterrorism specialist John Clark, head to Moscow, forces in China are moving forward with a plan of truly audacious proportions. Tired of what they view as the presumption of the West, eager to fulfill their destiny, they are taking matters into their own hands. If they succeed, the world as we know it will never look the same. If they fail. . . the consequences may be unspeakable.

The Bear and the Dragon is Tom Clancy at his best - and there is none better. This is the third Jack Ryan thriller, following Without Remorse and Rainbow Six.

Praise for Tom Clancy:
'A brilliantly constructed thriller' Daily Mail
'Truly riveting, a dazzling read' Sunday Express

Watch You Bleed

Stephen Davis (Author)

With 90 million of the band's records sold worldwide since 1987, Guns N' Roses prolonged rock music past its sell-by date with controversial albums and immense, often riotous, world tours. But the band's complete story has never been fully told - until now.

In his sixth major rock biography, Stephen Davis - author of the legendary Hammer of the Gods - details the riveting story of a band that originated in the gutters of Sunset Strip and went on to become the biggest, baddest band on the planet.

Davis brilliantly captures the birth of Guns' raw power, which - despite rape charges, drug-induced rampages and a general appetite for destruction - launched the band into the pantheon of rock gods such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. With a wealth of detail, Davis looks at Axl's unrelenting quest to release the long-awaited, mystery-shrouded Chinese Democracy album, as well as the further adventures of some of the Gunners under the banner of the hard-rocking band Velvet Revolver.

In Watch You Bleed, for the first time, millions of Guns N' Roses fans will learn the whole truth - sometimes funny, sometimes tragic - about the last of the great rock bands.

Short Stories in Japanese

Michael Emmerich (Edited by), Michael Emmerich (Author)

Here is the perfect introduction to contemporary Japanese fiction. Featuring many stories appearing in English for the first time, this collection, with parallel translations, offers students at all levels the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of contemporary literature without having to constantly consult a dictionary. Richly diverse in themes and styles, the stories are by well-known writers-like Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto-as well as by emerging voices. Complete with notes, these selections make excellent reading in either language.

An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter

César Aira (Author) , Chris Andrews (Translator)

Cesar Aira's An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter captures a moment in the life of the German artist Johann Moritz Rugendas.

Greatly admired as a master landscape painter, he was advised by Alexander von Humboldt to record the spectacular landscapes of Chile, Argentina and Mexico. Rugendas did in fact become one of the best nineteenth-century European painters to venture into Latin America. However, this is not a biography of Rugendas, but rather a work of fiction which weaves an almost surreal history around Rugendas' trips to Argentina where he strived to achieve in art the 'physiognomic totality' of Humboldt's scientific vision of the whole. A brief and dramatic visit to the pampas gives him the chance to fulfill his ambition but a strange episode that he cannot avoid absorbing savagely into his own body interrupts the trip and irreversibly marks him for life . . .

Praise for Cesar Aira:

'Once you've started reading Aira, you don't want to stop' Roberto Bolaño

'Aira is firmly in the tradition of Jorge Luis Borges and W. G. Sebald' Los Angeles Times

Cesar Aira was born in Coronel Pringles, Argentina, in 1949, and has lived in Buenos Aires since 1967. One of the most prolific writers in Argentina, Aira has published more than seventy books.

Altered States

Anita Brookner (Author)

'I was foolish enough to think that I was strong enough, and cheerful enough by nature, to avoid unhappiness. I was not yet old enough to see that I was in error.'

Alan Sherwood is a cautious, solitary London solicitor who finds himself obsessed by his glamorous cousin Sarah. But Sarah is self-seeking and predatory and their short-lived affair leaves Alan desolate. He finds distraction in Angela, a homely, needy acquaintance of Sarah and they drift into marriage.

Alan, however, is haunted by his memories of Sarah, and, attempting to recapture the wordless passion of their time together, he arranges a final meeting. It is an act of betrayal that changes his life for ever.

An Ice-cream War

William Boyd (Author)

An Ice-Cream War is William Boyd's sparkling debut novel on the grimly comic side of conflict, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

'What do you think would happen if I shot an elephant in the balls?'
'I think it would hurt a great deal.'

Millions die on the Western Front but in East Africa a quite different war is being waged - one with little point and which is so ignored that it will carry on after the Armistice because no one bothers to tell both sides to stop.

As the conflict sweeps up natives and colonials, so those left at home and those fighting abroad find themselves unable to escape the tide of history bearing down on them.

Brief Lives

Anita Brookner (Author)

'I never liked her, nor did she like me; strange, then, how we managed to keep up a sort of friendship for so long.'

Fay Langdon has relinquished her singing career to marry Owen, a highly successful solicitor. At one of their dinner parties Fay meets the glamorous, self-obsessed Julia and is destined to join the handful of acolytes who provide Julia with ammunition for her merciless scorn and disapprobation.

As the years pass and Fay and Julia's lives grow empty of purpose, they are drawn together by their fear of age and isolation. Yet a mutual mistrust continues to exist between them until Fay is driven to one last heroic act.

A Family Romance

Anita Brookner (Author)

'Literature for me was a magnificent destiny for which I was not yet fully prepared.'

Paul and Henrietta Manning and their solitary, academic daughter Jane have nothing in common with Dolly, widow of Henrietta's brother. Corseted and painted, Dolly is a frivolous, superficial woman, who has little time for those without that inestimable quality - charm.

Jane, in particular, falls into this category, especially after the death of her parents. But Jane has money - and a conscience - and these bind her to Dolly. Through disagreements, disappointments and disapprovals, Jane and Dolly are enmeshed in an uneasy alliance in which history and family create closer ties than friendship ever could.

A Start in Life

Anita Brookner (Author)

Anita Brookner's first novel, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

'Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.'

Ruth Weiss, an academic, is beautiful, intelligent and lonely. Studying the heroines of Balzac in order to discover where her own childhood and adult life has gone awry, she seeks not salvation but enlightenment.

Yet in revisiting her London upbringing, her friendships and doomed Parisian love affairs, she wonders if perhaps there might not be a chance for a new start in life . . .

A Kestrel for a Knave

Barry Hines (Author)

The classic book that inspired Kes, the famous film, now published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

Barry Hines's A Kestrel for a Knave was published in 1968, and was made into one of the key British films of the sixties. Billy Casper is beaten by his drunken brother, ignored by his mother and failing at school. He seems destined for a hard, miserable life down the pits, but for a brief time, he finds one pleasure in life: a wild kestrel that he has raised and tamed himself.

A Closed Eye

Anita Brookner (Author)

'Without warning, it seemed, she had become a married woman.'

Naive and undemanding, Harriet Lytton expects very little of life and that is what she recieves. Married to a respectable man old enough to be her father, Harriet's only taste of passion comes when she meets Jack Peckham, the unruly, attractive husband of her friend Tessa.

Tessa and Harriet have for many years been bound together by their childhood friendship and the imposed alliance of their two daughters, Imogen and Lizzie. But events conspire to shatter the gentle rhythm of Harriet's life. Tragically restrained by her own cautious choices, she faces the cruellest losses of all: those of hope and desire.

All That I Am

Anna Funder (Author)

Anna Funder, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize and author of Stasiland, offers a thrilling tale and powerful love story that tells the heroic and tragic true story of the German resistance in World War II in All That I Am.

When Hitler comes to power in 1933, a tight-knit group of friends and lovers become hunted outlaws overnight. United in their resistance to the madness and tyranny of Nazism, they must flee the country.

Dora, passionate and fearless, her lover, the great playwright Ernst Toller, her younger cousin Ruth and Ruth's husband Hans find refuge in London. Here they take breath-taking risks in order to continue their work in secret.

But England is not the safe-haven they think it to be, and a single, chilling act of betrayal will tear them apart...

'The strengths of Funder's writing are emotional and imaginative. In what she has to say about love, loss and betrayal there is profound truth' The Times

'An often pacy and exciting read ... Funder captures perfectly the sense of her characters' deprived and dangerous lives' Daily Mail

'A superb novel that transcends its setting. This book is a wonder. Do, please, read it' Spectator

Anna Funder is the author of the international bestseller Stasiland, which won the 2004 Samuel Johnson Prize and was published in 20 countries and translated into 16 languages. She is the recipient of numerous awards, and a former DAAD and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. Anna Funder grew up in Melbourne and Paris and lives in Sydney with her husband and family.

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