By Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins
For over three and a half years, from 1779 to 1783, the tiny territory of Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history, and the obsession with saving Gibraltar was blamed for the loss of the American colonies in the War of Independence. Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, on the very edge of Europe, Gibraltar was a place of varied nationalities, languages, religions and social classes. During the siege, thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation and diseases. Very ordinary people lived through extraordinary events, from shipwrecks and naval battles to an attempted invasion of England and a daring sortie out of Gibraltar into Spain. Deadly innovations included red-hot shot, shrapnel shells and a barrage from immense floating batteries.This is military and social history at its best, a story of soldiers, sailors and civilians, with royalty and rank-and-file, workmen and engineers, priests, prisoners-of-war, spies and surgeons, all caught up in a struggle for a fortress located on little more than two square miles of awe-inspiring rock. Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History is an epic page-turner, rich in dramatic human detail - a tale of courage, endurance, intrigue, desperation, greed and humanity. The everyday experiences of all those involved are brought vividly to life with eyewitness accounts and expert research.
A Gift from Darkness
By Patience Ibrahim, Andrea C Hoffmann
When Patience Ibrahim's husband died, she feared that her life was over. She had prayed every night for a baby to complete her family, and suddenly she found herself a nineteen-year-old widow, alone in the world. But when she fell in love again, a happy future seemed possible. Patience married once more , and was overjoyed to discover that she was pregnant.A few days later, everything fell apart. Men from Boko Haram arrived at her door, killing Patience's new husband and kidnapping her. This is the incredible true story of her and her baby daughter's survival, against all the odds.
The Girl in the Fog
By Donato Carrisi
Sunday Times Crime Book Club Pick*Mail on Sunday Thriller of the Week'A coldly brilliant exposé of the depths of human nature' SUNDAY TIMES'Compelling, beautifully constructed and atmospheric' DAILY MAIL Sixty-two days after the disappearance . . .A man is arrested in the small town of Avechot. His shirt is covered in blood. Could this have anything to do with a missing girl called Anna Lou?What really happened to the girl? Detective Vogel will do anything to solve the mystery surrounding Anna Lou's disappearance. When a media storm hits the quiet town, Vogel is sure that the suspect will be flushed out. Yet the clues are confusing, perhaps false, and following them may be a far cry from discovering the truth at the heart of a dark town. FOR FANS OF DONNA LEON AND MICHELE GIUTTARI, GET READY FOR THE CRIME THRILLER OF THE YEAR. 'Carrisi is an expert at misdirection . . . this is a thoroughly disconcerting, addictive thriller guaranteed to freeze your soul' METRO
The Gorse Trilogy
By Patrick Hamilton
Ernest Ralph Gorse's heartlessness and lack of scruple are matched only by the inventiveness and panache with which he swindles his victims. With great deftness and precision Hamilton exposes how his dupes' own naivete, snobbery or greed make them perfect targets. These three novels are shot through with the brooding menace and sense of bleak inevitability so characteristic of the author. There is also vivid satire and caustic humour. Gorse is thought to be based on the real-life murderer Neville Heath, hanged in 1946.
By Douglas Coupland
Andy, Dag and Claire have been handed a society beyond their means. Twentysomethings, brought up with divorce, Watergate and Three Mile Island, and scarred by the 80s fallout of yuppies, recession, crack and Ronald Reagan, they represent the new generation - Generation X.Fiercely suspicious of being lumped together as an advertiser's target market, they have quit dreary careers and cut themselves adrift in the California desert. Unsure of their futures, they immerse themselves in a regime of heavy drinking and working in no future McJobs in the service industry.Underemployed, overeducated and intensely private and unpredicatable, they have nowhere to direct their anger, no one to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie. So they tell stories: disturbingly funny tales that reveal their barricaded inner world. A world populated with dead TV shows, 'Elvis moments' and semi-disposible Swedish furniture.
Girls on Fire
By Robin Wasserman
'Captivating' Sunday Times 'Will utterly terrify you - in the best way possible' Buzzfeed 'While it is a mystery, the true strength of the novel comes from the honesty of the girls' portrayal' Guardian'A hypnotic debut' Elle 'We couldn't put this one down' Marie Claire This is not a story of bad things happening to bad girls. I say this because I know you, Dex, and I know how you think. I'm going to tell you a story, and this time, it will be the truth. Hannah Dexter is a nobody, ridiculed and isolated at school by golden girl Nikki Drummond. But in their junior year of high school, Nikki's boyfriend walks into the woods and shoots himself. In the wake of the suicide, Hannah befriends new girl Lacey and soon the pair are inseparable, bonded by their shared hatred of Nikki. Lacey transforms good girl Hannah into Dex who is up for any challenge Lacey throws at her. The two girls bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live and think they are invulnerable.But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it's a secret that will change everything . . .
By Colour-Sergeant Kailash Limbu
'I was completely bowled over by Kailash's book and read it with a beating heart and dry mouth. I felt as though I was at his side, hearing the shells and bullets, enjoying the jokes and listening in the scary dead of night. The skill with which he has included his childhood and training is immense, always discovered with ease in the narrative: it actually felt as though I was watching, was IN a film with him. It brought me nearer than I have ever been not only to the mind of the universal soldier but to a hill boy of Nepal and a hugely impressive Gurkha. I raced through it and couldn't put it down: it reads like a thriller. If you want to know anything about the Gurkhas, read this book, and be prepared for a thrilling and dangerous trip' Joanna LumleyIn the summer of 2006, Colour-Sargeant Kailash Limbu's platoon was sent to relieve and occupy a police compound in the town of Now Zad in Helmand. He was told to prepare for a forty-eight hour operation. In the end, he and his men were under siege for thirty-one days - one of the longest such sieges in the whole of the Afghan campaign. Kailash Limbu recalls the terrifying and exciting details of those thirty-one days - in which they killed an estimated one hundred Taliban fighters - and intersperses them with the story of his own life as a villager from the Himalayas. He grew up in a place without roads or electricity and didn't see a car until he was fifteen. Kailash's descriptions of Gurkha training and rituals - including how to use the lethal Kukri knife - are eye-opening and fascinating. They combine with the story of his time in Helmand to create a unique account of one man's life as a Gurkha.
Girl at War
By Sara Novic
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016Growing up in Zagreb in the summer of 1991, 10-year-old Ana Juric is a carefree tomboy; she runs the streets with her best friend, Luka, helps take care of her baby sister, Rahela, and idolizes her father. But when civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, football games and school lessons are supplanted by sniper fire and air raid drills. The brutal ethnic cleansing of Croats and Bosnians tragically changes Ana's life, and she is lost to a world of genocide and child soldiers; a daring escape plan to America becomes her only chance for survival. Ten years later she returns to Croatia, a young woman struggling to belong to either country, forced to confront the trauma of her past and rediscover the place that was once her home.
The Girl Who Wasn't There
By Ferdinand von Schirach
Sebastian von Eschburg, scion of a wealthy, self-destructive family, survived his disastrous childhood to become a celebrated if controversial artist. He casts a provocative shadow over the Berlin scene; his disturbing photographs and installations show that truth and reality are two distinct things.When Sebastian is accused of murdering a young woman and the police investigation takes a sinister turn, seasoned lawyer Konrad Biegler agrees to represent him - and hopes to help himself in the process. But Biegler soon learns that nothing about the case, or the suspect, is what it appears. The new thriller from the acclaimed author of The Collini Case, THE GIRL WHO WASN'T THERE is dark, ingenious and irresistibly gripping.
The Guns at Last Light
By Rick Atkinson
In the first two volumes of his bestselling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted how the American-led coalition fought through North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now he tells the most dramatic story of all - the titanic battle for Western Europe. D-Day marked the commencement of the European war's final campaign, and Atkinson's riveting account of that bold gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows. The brutal fight in Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the disaster that was Market Garden, the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and finally the thrust to the heart of the Third Reich - all these historic events and more come alive with a wealth of new material and a mesmerizing cast of characters. With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Rick Atkinson's remarkable accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West.
The Great Race
By David Hill
On the afternoon of 8 April 1802, in the remote southern ocean, two explorers had a remarkable chance encounter. Englishman Matthew Flinders and Frenchman Nicolas Baudin had been sent by their governments on the same quest: to explore the uncharted coast of the great south land and find out whether the west and east coasts, four thousand kilometres apart, were part of the same island. And so began the race to compile the definitive map of Australia. These men's journeys were the culmination of two hundred years of exploration of the region by the Dutch - most famously Abel Tasman - the Portuguese, the Spanish and by Englishmen such as the colourful pirate William Dampier and, of course, James Cook. The three-year voyages of Baudin and Flinders would see them endure terrible hardships in the spirit of discovery. They suffered scurvy and heat exhaustion, and Flinders was shipwrecked and imprisoned - always knowing he was competing with the French to produce the first map of this mysterious continent. Written from diaries and other first-hand accounts, this is the thrilling story of men whose drawings recorded countless previously unknown species and turned mythical creatures into real ones, and whose skill and determination enabled Terra Australis Incognita to become Australia.
By Donna Tartt
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.
The Girl Who Fell From The Sky
By Simon Mawer
Marian Sutro is an outsider: the daughter of a diplomat, brought up on the shores of Lake Geneva and in England, half French, half British, naive yet too clever for her own good. But when she is recruited from her desk job by SOE to go undercover in wartime France, it seems her hybrid status - and fluent French - will be of service to a greater, more dangerous cause.Trained in sabotage, dead-drops, how to perform under interrogation and how to kill, Marian parachutes into south-west France, her official mission to act as a Resistance courier. But her real destination is Paris, where she must seek out family friend Clément Pelletier, once the focus of her adolescent desires. A nuclear physicist engaged in the race for a new and terrifying weapon, he is of urgent significance to her superiors. As she struggles through the strange, lethal landscape of the Occupation towards this reunion, what completes her training is the understanding that war changes everything, and neither love nor fatherland may be trusted.The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is both a gripping adventure story and a moving meditation on patriotism, betrayal and the limits of love.
The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress
By Beryl Bainbridge
In the summer of 1968, Rose sets off for the United States from Kentish Town; in her suitcase a polka-dot dress and a one-way ticket. Together with the sinister man known only as Washington Harold, she goes in search of the charismatic and elusive Dr Wheeler - the man Rose credits with rescuing her from a terrible childhood, and against whom Harold nurses a silent grudge.As the odd couple journey across an America on the brink of paranoid disintegration, their journey mirrors that of Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. As they draw ever closer to the elusive Dr Wheeler, one hot day in June at the Ambassador Hotel in LA, their search finally reaches its terrible climax.
The Good Psychologist
By Noam Shpancer
The good psychologist teaches the principles of control and objectivity, strategies by which we evade pain, memory and lies. Meanwhile in the Center for Anxiety Disorders he dispenses wisdom, and coaxes truth from one patient in particular: a vulnerable, frightened nightclub dancer whose life is haunted by secrets. But as he treats and guides and teaches, the good psychologist becomes increasingly disturbed by his own private torments: unrequited love, an unacknowledged child, growing loneliness and despair. Soon he is adrift as, softly, he leads the reader into the dangerous yet seductive territory of the human heart.
The Given Day
By Dennis Lehane
Boston, 1918. A city in turmoil as soldiers return home from World War One.Danny Coughlin is the son of one of Boston's most powerful police captains. An undercover cop, he is hunting for revolutionaries and anarchists who are pledged to overthrow the city's ruling classes. But Danny's about to find out that doing his duty may also mean betraying those who are closest to him. Luther Lawrence is on the run. Having survived a murderous confrontation with a crime boss, he lands a job in the Coughlin household. Desperate to find a way home for his pregnant wife, Luther is determined to avoid trouble. But it isn't long before his dangerous past and his tenuous present collide - with life threatening consequences. As the city goes into meltdown, Danny and Luther must confront the storm of violence that threatens to engulf them if each is to survive...
Gone, Baby, Gone
By Dennis Lehane
Boston private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find four-year-old Amanda McCready.Despite extensive news coverage and dogged investigation into her abduction, the police have uncovered nothing. The case is rife with oddities: Amanda's indifferent mother, a couple with a history of paedophilia and a shadowy police unit. As the Indian summer fades, Amanda McCready stays gone - vanished so completely that she seems never to have existed. When a second child disappears, Kenzie and Gennaro face a local media more interested in sensationalizing the abductions than helping to solve them, a local police force seething with lethal secrets, and a faceless power determined to obstruct their efforts. Caught in a deadly tangle of lies, and determined to unravel the riddle that is anything but child's play, they soon discover that those who go looking for the missing may not come back alive.
The Glass Room
By Simon Mawer
Cool. Balanced. Modern. The precisions of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession and the fear of failure - these are things that happen in the Glass Room.High on a Czechoslovak hill, the Landauer House shines as a wonder of steel and glass and onyx built specially for newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer, a Jew married to a gentile. But the radiant honesty of 1930 that the house, with its unique Glass Room, seems to engender quickly tarnishes as the storm clouds of WW2 gather, and eventually the family must flee, accompanied by Viktor's lover and her child. But the house's story is far from over, and as it passes from hand to hand, from Czech to Russian, both the best and the worst of the history of Eastern Europe becomes somehow embodied and perhaps emboldened within the beautiful and austere surfaces and planes so carefully designed, until events become full-circle.
A Good Likeness
By Paul Arnott
Paul Arnott has two very early memories. One is as a two-year-old having a bath in a hotel sink in Tenby; the other, a Bromley afternoon, when Mr and Mrs Arnott told Paul that 'his real Mummy and Daddy couldn't keep him' - & that they had adopted him. Then, for 30 years, he barely gave his adoption a moment's thought - until the observation of the likeness between his son & himself provoked a quest to find his own biological parents ... What he discovered was a near-complete family in Ireland - his parents had later married & had four other children, lighting a candle in his name every day for 33 years.A GOOD LIKENESS weaves historical, political, religious & psychological thought into a personal narrative of the hopes, 'what-ifs' & discoveries of the author's quest. He talks to those of his parent's generation who did not yield to the pressure to abandon the illegitimate & to the children with very different stories to tell, as well as priests & politicians, newfound families & the supportive or unreconciled adoptive relatives.
Getting Rid Of Mister Kitchen
By Charlie Higson
A man kills a prospective buyer for his car. On the verge of becoming a name in the interior design world, he can't afford a scandal and must discreetly dispose of the body-- not an easy job when the whole of London seems to be conspiring against him.