A Distant View of Everything
By Alexander McCall Smith
Recently distracted by the arrival of her and Jamie's second son, Magnus, Isabel Dalhousie - philanthropic editor of the Review of Applied Ethics - is anxious. The next issue of the Review is far from ready, her eldest, Charlie, is jealous, and their housekeeper, Grace, has an officious approach to childcare. With some relief, Isabel returns to helping out at her niece Cat's delicatessen, where surely the most taxing duty is the preparation of sandwiches.It's not long before Isabel's helpful, philosophical nature draws her into customers' problems, specifically that of ambitious, self-proclaimed matchmaker, Bea Shandon. Bea has staged a potentially dangerous liaison involving enigmatic plastic surgeon, Tony MacUspaig, who may not be quite who he claims to be - and Isabel's help is required in getting to the truth of the matter. Good-hearted Isabel proceeds with her usual thorough attention to task, and on Bea's advice talks to her friend Rob, a trustworthy regular on Bea's dinner party circuit, and known to have deep suspicions about MacUspaig. It becomes clear, however, that Rob has an agenda of his own and Isabel is now contending with that, along with a mysterious medical condition of Jamie's and some frustrating dead ends when it comes to Bea's predicament. When the truth finally reveals itself, Isabel must conclude that along with MacUspaig, Bea, Jamie - and even Cat - she herself is not immune to misunderstandings, or the neurotic fantasies that arise from keeping secrets . . .
Do I Make Myself Clear?
By Harold Evans
Harold Evans has edited everything from the urgent files of battlefield reporters to the complex thought processes of Henry Kissinger, and he has been knighted for his services to journalism. In Do I Make Myself Clear?, his definitive guide to writing well, Evans brings his indispensable insight to the art of clear communication.The right words are oxygen to our ideas, but the digital era, with all of its TTYL, LMK and WTF, has been cutting off that oxygen flow. The compulsion to be precise has vanished from our culture, and in writing of all kinds we see a trend towards more - more speed and more information, but far less clarity. Evans provides practical examples of how editing and rewriting can make for better communication, even in the digital age. Do I Make Myself Clear? is an essential text, and one that will provide every reader an editor at their shoulder.
By Jane Harper
'One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read...Read it!' David BaldacciWINNER OF THE CWA GOLD DAGGER AWARD 2017AMAZON.COM'S #1 PICK FOR BEST MYSTERY & THRILLER OF THE YEAR 2017The Gold Australian Book Industry Award for Book of the Year Australian Book Industry Award for Fiction Book of the Year WATERSTONES THRILLER OF THE MONTHTHE SIMON MAYO RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB CHOICESUNDAY TIMES CRIME THRILLER OF THE MONTH'Packed with sneaky moves and teasing possibilities that keep the reader guessing...The Dry is a breathless page-turner' Janet Maslin, New York TimesWHO REALLY KILLED THE HADLER FAMILY?I just can't understand how someone like him could do something like that.Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn't rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke's death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend's crime.And if you loved The Dry, don't miss Jane Harper's second novel Force of Nature, now available
By Thomas Mullen
'A brilliant blending of crime, mystery, and American history. Terrific entertainment'Stephen KingDarktown is a relentlessly gripping, highly intelligent crime novel set in Atlanta in 1948, following the city's first black police force investigating a brutal murder against all the odds.'Magnificent and shocking'Sunday TimesAtlanta, 1948. In this city, all crime is black and white.On one side of the tracks are the rich, white neighbourhoods; on the other, Darktown, the African-American area guarded by the city's first black police force of only eight men. These cops are kept near-powerless by the authorities: they can't arrest white suspects; they can't drive a squad car; they must operate out of a dingy basement.When a poor black woman is killed in Darktown having been last seen in a car with a rich white man, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust of their community and even their own lives to investigate her death.Their efforts bring them up against a brutal old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run Darktown as his own turf - but Dunlow's idealistic young partner, Rakestraw, is a young progressive who may be willing to make allies across colour lines . . .Soon to be a major TV series from Jamie Foxx and Sony Pictures Television.
Don't You Leave Me Here
By Wilko Johnson
'Man, there's nothing like being told you're dying to make you feel alive.' Wilko JohnsonIn 2013, Dr Feelgood founder, Blockheads member and musical legend Wilko Johnson was diagnosed with terminal cancer. With ten months to live, he decided to accept his imminent death and went on the road. His calm, philosophical response made him even more beloved and admired. And then the strangest thing happened: he didn't die. Don't You Leave Me Here is the story of his life in music, his life with cancer, and his life now - in the future he never thought he would see.
The Dog Who Dared to Dream
By Sun-mi Hwang
This is the story of a dog named Scraggly. Born an outsider because of her distinctive appearance, she spends most of her days in the sun-filled yard of her owner's house. Scraggly has dreams and aspirations just like the rest of us. But each winter, dark clouds descend and Scraggly is faced with challenges that she must overcome. Through the clouds and even beyond the gates of her owner's yard lies the possibility of friendship, motherhood and happiness - they are for the taking if Scraggly can just hold on to them, bring them home and build the life she so desperately desires. The Dog Who Dared to Dream is a wise tale of the relationship between dog and man, as well as a celebration of a life lived with courage. Translated into English for the first time, it is a classic from Sun-mi Hwang, an international bestselling author.
By Tom Holland
Rome was first ruled by kings, then became a republic. But in the end, after conquering the world, the Republic collapsed. Rome was drowned in blood. So terrible were the civil wars that the Roman people finally came to welcome the rule of an autocrat who could give them peace. 'Augustus,' their new master called himself: 'The Divinely Favoured One'.The lurid glamour of the dynasty founded by Augustus has never faded. No other family can compare for sheer unsettling fascination with its gallery of leading characters. Tiberius, the great general who ended up a bitter recluse, notorious for his perversions; Caligula, the master of cruelty and humiliation who rode his chariot across the sea; Agrippina, the mother of Nero, manoeuvering to bring to power the son who would end up having her murdered; Nero himself, racing in the Olympics, marrying a eunuch, and building a pleasure palace over the fire-gutted centre of his capital.Now, in the sequel to Rubicon, Tom Holland gives a dazzling portrait of Rome's first imperial dynasty. Dynasty traces the full astonishing story of its rule of the world: both the brilliance of its allure, and the blood-steeped shadows cast by its crimes. Ranging from the great capital rebuilt in marble by Augustus to the dank and barbarian-haunted forests of Germany, it is populated by a spectacular cast: murderers and metrosexuals, adulterers and druids, scheming grandmothers and reluctant gladiators. Dynasty is the portrait of a family that transformed and stupefied Rome.
Death Under a Tuscan Sun
By Michele Giuttari
In his dark and fetid prison cell, serial killer Daniele de Robertis plans his retribution. The betrayals he has suffered haunt his dreams until, one night, he escapes.In a small, beautiful village in the Tuscan countryside a prominent lawyer and his wife are murdered. As the police inspect the scene they find nine terrifying photographs: nine women, slaughtered.It is Florentine Police Chief Michele Ferrara's worst nightmare: a case involving the untouchable men and women at the top of Italian society, a dark and powerful cult which knows no bounds, and mounting victims. Amongst a web of obsession, manipulation and violence, Ferrara must face his demons.Death Under a Tuscan Sun is an incredibly gripping and atmospheric work of detective fiction, written with incomparable authenticity by former Florentine police chief Michele Giuttari.Originally published in Italian as Il Cuore Oscuro di Firenze.
Does Santa Exist?
By Eric Kaplan
Metaphysics isn't ordinarily much of a laughing matter. But in the hands of acclaimed comedy writer and scholar Eric Kaplan, a search for the truth about old St. Nick becomes a deeply insightful, laugh-out-loud discussion of the way some things exist but may not really be there. Just like Santa and his reindeer. Even after we outgrow the jolly fellow, the essential paradox persists: There are some things we dearly believe in that are not universally acknowledged as real. In Does Santa Exist? Kaplan shows how philosophy giants Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein strove to smooth over this uncomfortable meeting of the real and unreal - and failed. From there he turns to mysticism's attempts to resolve such paradoxes, surveying Buddhism, Taoism, early Christianity, Theosophy and even the philosophers at UC Berkeley under whom he studied. Finally, this brilliant comic writer alights on - surprise! - comedy as the ultimate resolution of the fundamental paradoxes of life, using examples from The Big Bang Theory, Monty Python's cheese shop and many other pop-culture sources. Kaplan delves deeper into what all this means, from how our physical brains work to his own personal confrontations with life's biggest questions: If we're all going to die, what's the point of anything? What is a perfect moment? What can you say about God? Or Santa?
Dead Girl Walking
By Chris Brookmyre
Life is dangerous when you have everything to lose.Famous, beautiful and talented, Heike Gunn has the world at her feet. Then, one day, she simply vanishes.Jack Parlabane has lost everything: his journalism career, his marriage, his self-respect. A call for help from an old friend offers a chance for redemption - but only if he can find out what happened to Heike.Pursued by those who would punish him for past crimes, Parlabane enters the world of Heike's band, Savage Earth Heart, a group at breaking point. Each of its members seems to be hiding something, not least its newest recruit Monica Halcrow, whose possible relationship with Heike has become a public obsession.Monica's own story, however, reveals a far darker truth. Fixated on Heike from day one, she has been engulfed by paranoia, jealousy and fear, as she discovers the hidden price of fame. From Berlin to Barcelona, from the streets of Milan to remote Scottish islands, Parlabane must find out what happened before it's too late, all while the walls are closing in on him...
Did She Kill Him?
By Kate Colquhoun
In the summer of 1889, young Southern belle Florence Maybrick stood trial for the alleged arsenic poisoning of her much older husband, Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick. 'The Maybrick Mystery' had all the makings of a sensation: a pretty, flirtatious young girl; resentful, gossiping servants; rumours of gambling and debt; and torrid mutual infidelity. The case cracked the varnish of Victorian respectability, shocking and exciting the public in equal measure as they clambered to read the latest revelations of Florence's past and glimpse her likeness in Madame Tussaud's. Florence's fate was fiercely debated in the courtroom, on the front pages of the newspapers and in parlours and backyards across the country. Did she poison her husband? Was her previous infidelity proof of murderous intentions? Was James' own habit of self-medicating to blame for his demise? Historian Kate Colquhoun recounts an utterly absorbing tale of addiction, deception and adultery that keeps you asking to the very last page, did she kill him?
By Dennis Lehane
The Drop follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a cover scheme of funelling cash to local gangsters -- 'money drops' -- in the underworld of Boston bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv, Bob finds himself at the centre of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighbourhood's past where friends, families and foes all work together to make a living -- no matter the cost.A moving, gripping thriller, from Dennie Lehane, acclaimed New York Times bestselling autor of Shutter Island, Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River, The Drop will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
The Discourtesy of Death
By William Brodrick
An anonymous letter sent to Larkwood's Prior accuses Peter Henderson, an academic celebrity renowned for daring ideas, of a grotesque murder: the calculated killing of Jenny, his disabled partner, believed by everyone to have died peacefully two years previously from a sudden attack of cancer.But for this letter there is no evidence, no suspect and no crime. Time has moved on. Lives have been rebuilt. Grief and loss are tempered by a comforting thought: a paralysed woman, once an acclaimed dancer, had died quickly and painlessly, spared a drawn out illness; a life marked by agonising misfortune had come to a merciful end.But now Anselm has been told the truth behind the soothing lie. He must move cautiously to expose the killer and the killing. He must think of young Timothy, Jenny and Peter's son. A boy who is still learning to live without his mother.And so Anselm begins his most delicate investigation yet, unaware that Jenny's adoring father is also thinking of Timothy's future; that this urbane former army officer is haunted by the memory of torture and shoot-to-kill operations in Northern Ireland; that he remains capable of anything, if he thinks it's for the best; that he has set out to execute Peter Henderson.Death, dying and killing, however, were never so complicated.
By Russell Shorto
Sixteen years after René Descartes' death in Stockholm in 1650, a pious French ambassador exhumed the remains of the controversial philosopher to transport them back to Paris. Thus began a 350-year saga that saw Descartes' bones traverse a continent, passing between kings, philosophers, poets, and painters. But as Russell Shorto shows in this deeply engaging book, Descartes' bones also played a role in some of the most momentous episodes in history, which are also part of the philosopher's metaphorical remains: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, and the earliest debates between reason and faith. Descartes' Bones is a flesh-and-blood story about the battle between religion and rationalism that rages to this day.
The Dark Heart of Florence
By Michele Giuttari
'It was a night that would be long remembered. The Florence police would come to call it a night of horror, the start of a new nightmare . . .'After enduring years at the mercy of an infamous serial killer, the people of Florence rejoice at news of his death - until a senator is found brutally murdered.To Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara the case is very much alive. But, with a powerful adversary conspiring against him, he is trapped in a spiral of corruption and deadly speculation. As the truth comes to light, Ferrara is left standing face-to-face with something truly rotten at the heart of the city . . .The Dark Heart of Florence is an evocative, gripping work of detective fiction, and a major bestseller across Europe.Originally published in Italian as I Sogni Cattivi di Firenze.'A crime author with impeccable credentials: Giuttari is no less than the former head of the Florence police force, where he was on the case of the notorious serial killer The Monster of Florence. Who better to write about the dark undercurrents beneath the surface of the city?' Booklist
By Tony Peake
Taken decade by decade, Derek Jarman's life is a virtual encapsulation of the social and cultural history of the latter half of the twentieth century, from post-war austerity through the liberated sixties and the perplexing seventies to the eighties of Aids and Thatcherism.Always influential in artistic and film-making terms, and within the gay community, Jarman had attained before his death a figurehead status that is now very generally recognised, and can only increase with time. His extraordinary garden in Dungeness in Kent has become a major tourist attraction and his films still compel massive critical attention. Tony Peake was Derek Jarman's literary agent, and knew him well. His authorised biography is based on first-hand interviews and primary research and does immense justice to a brilliant - and singular - subject.
The Drowned And The Saved
By Primo Levi
Shortly after completing The Drowned and the Saved, Primo Levi committed suicide. The manner of his death was sudden, violent and unpremeditated, and there are some who argue that he kiled himself because he was tormented by guilt - guilt that he had survived the horrors of Auschwitz while others, better than he, had gone to the wall.'The Drowned and the Saved dispels the myth that Primo Levi forgave the Germans for what they did to his people. He didn't, and couldn't forgive. He refused, however, to indulge in what he called "the bestial vice of hatred" which is an entirely different matter. The voice that sounds in his writing is that of a reasonable man . . . it warns and reminds us that the unimaginable can happen again. A would-be tyrant is waiting in the wings, with "beautiful words" on his lips. The book is constantly impressing on us the need to learn from the past, to make sense of the senseless' - Paul Bailey
The Decisive Duel
By David Isby
London, 15 September 1940. The air battle over Britain on that day saw two of the most advanced fighter planes, the British Supermarine Spitfire and the German Messerschmitt Bf 109, battle for supremacy of the skies. The Decisive Duel tells the stories of these iconic, classic aircraft and the people that created them: Willy Messerschmitt, the German designer with a love for gliders and admiration for Hitler; R.J. Mitchell, his brilliant British counterpart, who struggled against illness to complete the design of the Spitfire. In fascinating detail, David Isby describes the crucial role the two opposed planes played, from the drawing boards to Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain to the final battles over Germany.
By Iain Banks
Iain Banks' daring new novel opens in a loft apartment in the East End, in a former factory due to be knocked down in a few days. Ken Nott is a devoutly contrarian vaguely left wing radio shock-jock living in London. After a wedding breakfast people start dropping fruits from a balcony on to a deserted carpark ten storeys below, then they start dropping other things; an old TV that doesn't work, a blown loudspeaker, beanbags, other unwanted furniture...Then they get carried away and start dropping things that are still working, while wrecking the rest of the apartment. But mobile phones start ringing and they're told to turn on a TV, because a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Centre...At ease with the volatility of modernity, Iain Banks is also our most accomplished literary writer of narrative-driven adventure stories that never ignore the injustices and moral conundrums of the real world. His new novel, displays his trademark dark wit, buoyancy and momentum.
The Day Of Battle
By Rick Atkinson
In An Army at Dawn - winner of the Pulitzer Prize - Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of the Battle, he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north.The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, Roosevelt, Churchill and their military advisors engaged in heated debate about whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even a good idea. But once underway, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizingly high price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, and Monte Cassino were particularly difficult and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to push the Germans up the Italian peninsula. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable.Drawing on an astonishing array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, this is narrative history of the first rank.