By Ed Nash
What makes an ordinary but highly educated Englishman, with no previous military training, decide to travel and fight in one of the most brutal conflicts on the planet?Desert Sniper is an extraordinary, true account of one man's journey from well-meaning volunteer to battle-scarred combat sniper, placing himself daily in the line of fire to fight one of the greatest evils of this new century. Ed Nash has travelled across the globe, and is working with refugees in Burma, when he first becomes aware of the terrible atrocities being committed under ISIS's newly established 'Caliphate', covering vast tracts of Iraq and Syria. In June 2015, he chooses to undertake the hazardous journey, via Northern Iraq, to Syria, to join ill-equipped and poorly trained but battle-hardened Kurdish forces as they attempt to halt Daesh's relentless advance. Nash is an articulate, insightful and refreshingly honest companion as he unpacks the shifting complexities of the political and military situation in which he finds himself. As one of a motley band of foreign volunteer fighters - veterans of other conflicts, adventurers and misfits, from many different countries - we follow him through his rudimentary training and early combat operations as he and his companions slowly gain the trust and respect of their Kurdish colleagues.Nash shows us the realities of the war on the ground in Syria in fascinating detail; the privations of the ordinary Kurdish soldiers, the terrible price paid by civilians caught in the cross-fire, the ever-present danger of lethal suicide bombers and occasional moments of striking beauty in amongst the carnage. A modern classic in the making, Desert Sniper will prove to be one of the most unforgettable accounts to emerge from the war against ISIS.
David Sedaris Diaries: A Visual Compendium
By David Sedaris
By Linda Fairstein
A wild heart beats within New York City. Amid concrete and skyscrapers, the Wildlife Conservation Society works to preserve and protect the animal kingdom both within and beyond the borders of the five boroughs. But dangerous creatures don't always have claws and fangs, as Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper and NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace know all too well. Predators lurk close to home, and in the aftermath of the shocking drive-by murder of an important city employee - someone Alex has worked with for years - the trio must discover who the bigger snake is: the killer or the victim.Investigations into the death provide more questions than answers, as a tangled mess of secrets slowly comes to light. From bribes to secret societies, from big-game hunting to the illegal animal trade, from New York City zoos to behind closed doors in government buildings, Alex will have her work cut out for her if she wants to uncover the truth - and uphold the integrity of the office she has so proudly served.Deadfall proves once again why Linda Fairstein is hailed as "a champion teller of detective tales."* *USA Today
Do I Make Myself Clear?
By Harold Evans
Harry 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.
A Distant View of Everything
By Alexander McCall Smith
Isabel Dalhousie now has a second child - another boy, Magnus. He comes home with her at the beginning of the book and she discovers that Charlie is far from thrilled. He sees no need for a new baby.In Cat's delicatessen, Isabel meets a woman with whom she had been at school. This woman, Bea Shand, is known as an enthusiastic match-maker. She is very worried, though, as she has introduced a woman she knows to a plastic surgeon who is now described by another friend as a gold-digger. This other friend reveals that the surgeon has a bad track record: he has been involved with a series of well-off women and has succeeded in separating a number of then from their money. Bea asks Isabel to investigate; she herself tried to warn her friend of the danger she was in but was rebuffed badly.Isabel starts to make enquiries. At first the pattern that emerges confirms her friend's dire diagnosis, but as things develop it emerges that not only is the surgeon innocent, but he himself is the one in danger!In the meantime, as a sub-plot, Isabel finds that the man who warned her of the surgeon's proclivities, is taking an interest in her (Isabel). He appears to be smitten by her; she tries to get away from him but discovers that she has inadvertently given Jamie grounds to believe that she (Isabel) is having an affair. This is awkward, but is resolved satisfactorily.Her final conclusion: match-make at one's peril. Never tell people half-truths for paternalistic reasons. Mind your own business (a lesson that Isabel never seems to learn).
By Thomas Mullen
Darktown 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.
Die of Shame
By Mark Billingham
Full of betrayal, deceit and suspense, Die of Shame is the spectacular new book from number one bestseller Mark Billingham - author of Time of Death and In the Dark, both soon to be major BBC series.Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about addiction. There they share their deepest secrets: stories of lies, regret, and above all, shame.Then one of them is killed - and it's clear one of the circle was responsible.Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner quickly finds her investigation hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these people and their therapist together. So what could be shameful enough to cost someone their life?And how do you find the truth when denial and deception are second nature to all of your suspects?
By Gerald Scarfe
This is a truly exceptional collection of drawings from one of our most revered cultural commentators. Gerald Scarfe began his career in the 60s working for PUNCH and PRIVATE EYE before taking a job as a political cartoonist for the DAILY MAIL. He then worked for TIME Magazine in New York before starting his long association with the SUNDAY TIMES that still exists today in the form of his weekly drawings. His varied career has seen him work with Pink Floyd (The Wall, Wish You Were Here), Roger Waters and Eric Clapton (The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking), Disney (Hercules), English National Ballet (The Nutcracker), Los Angeles Opera (Fantastic Mr Fox) as well as produce such iconic images as those for the titles of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. His work has featured in the New Yorker and various BBC TV films such as Scarfe on Sex and Scarfe on Class. Exhibitions of his paintings and drawings have appeared in the Tate Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. He is viewed by many as both a national treasure and a genius and this is the first collection of his work to appear for 20 years.
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.
By Linda Fairstein
The Manhattan waterfront is one of New York City's most magnificent vistas, boasting both the majestic Statue of Liberty and the busy George Washington Bridge. But Detective Mike Chapman is about to become far too well acquainted with the dangerous side of the Hudson river and its islands when he takes on his most personal case yet: the disappearance of Alex Cooper.Coop is missing - but there are so many leads and terrifying complications: scores of enemies she has made after a decade of putting criminals behind bars; a recent security breach with dangerous repercussions; and a new intimacy in her relationship with Mike, causing the Police Commissioner himself to be wary of the methods Mike will use to get Coop back... if he can.
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.
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...
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?
By Christopher Matthew
The perfect Christmas present for dog lovers.'Delights on every page . . . the man knows what he's barking at' Lady'Christopher Matthew is a comic genius' Sandi ToksvigFrom Ozymandias the Steve McQueen of Springers whose acrobatic sex life rivals Errol Flynn's, to terrier Ted, whose Falstaffian appetites (and over-indulgence following the loyal toast) lead to a shameful bender followed by a spell in rehab, man's best friend comes in many guises, not all of them benign. In his latest collection of sly verse, Christopher Matthew celebrates the canine world in all its glorious diversity - and takes a sidelong glance at the human one along the way. Travelling from Camp Bastion to West Wittering via a sunlit Greek island, Matthew's compendium embraces comedy, tragedy and personalities great and small. There are exuberant, rear-fixated puppies and neglected latchkey dogs, there are dignified mongrel strays, war-heroes, a psychotic Great Dane called Cher Bebe and a top-drawer spaniel of theatrical lineage with Uggie-envy. And then there is man, with his cowardice, his commitment issues, his short attention span and his propensity for very silly names. . . The great question Matthew circles in this gloriously entertaining gallop through one of the world's great auld alliances, therefore, is not so much who is the master in this relationship, as who is the mutt. Touching, wicked, clever and kind, Dog Treats will bring delight and recognition to dog-lovers everywhere.
By Patricia Cornwell
After working on one of the worst mass killings in US history, Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta returns home to recover, but an unsettling call drives her straight back to work. The body of a young woman has been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT, draped in an unusual cloth and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer's first strike. A preliminary examination reveals that the body is covered in a fine dust that under ultra-violet light fluoresces blood-red, emerald-green and sapphire-blue, and physical evidence links this to another series of disturbing homicides in Washington, DC. As she pieces together the fragments of evidence, Scarpetta discovers that the cases connect, yet also seem to conflict, drawing herself and her team deeper into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organised crime, and shocking corruption at the highest level. Dust is a thrilling, addictive novel featuring one of the most iconic, original and compelling characters in crime fiction today.
By Linda Fairstein
In New York's Central Park, Assistant DA Alex Cooper and Detective Mike Chapman race to track down a serial killer before yet another young woman is found dead. Is the body found in the Ramble the first victim of a deranged psychopath, or could other missing women be connected to this savage attack?The enormous urban park, a sanctuary in the middle of the city for thousands of New Yorkers and tourists who fill it every day, may very well become a hunting ground at night for a killer with a twisted mind...Once again, Linda Fairstein thrills with an explosive page-turner filled with a shocking realism that only she can deliver.
The Day of the Lie
By William Brodrick
They came for me in November nineteen fifty-one and took me to Mokotow prison.Cambridge, the present day. And out of the past, a cry for help: Father Anselm, the brilliant Benedictine, receives a visit from an old friend with a dangerous story to tell - the story of a woman betrayed by time, fate, and someone close to her . . . someone still unknown.As a young woman, Roza Mojeska was part of an underground resistance group in Communist Poland. But after her arrest, an agent of the secret police makes her a devil's bargain - and in the dark of a government prison, a terrible choice is made.Now, fifty years later, Anselm is called upon to investigate both Roza's story and a mystery dating back to the early 1980s, in the icy grip of the Cold War. And as he peels back years of history, decades of secrets, a half-century of lies, he exposes a truth that victim and torturer would keep hidden...
The Double Comfort Safari Club
By Alexander McCall Smith
Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are called to a safari lodge in Botswana's Okavango Delta to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest. The Okavango makes Precious appreciate once again the beauty of her homeland: it is a paradise of teeming wildlife, majestic grasslands and sparkling water. However, it is also home to rival safari operators, fearsome crocodiles and disgruntled hippopotamuses. What's more, Mma Makutsi still does not have a date for her wedding to Phuti Radiphuti and is feeling rather tetchy herself. But Precious knows that with a little patience, just as the wide river will gently make its way round any obstacle, so will everything work out for the best in the end . . .
Dogs In Vogue
By Judith Watt
The next best thing to having the world at your feet is to have a dog at your heels,' observed Vogue in 1930. Since 1909, dogs have had a role to play in the glamorous story of Vogue, as companions to style icons and royalty, society leaders, artists and models. Portrayed here are dogs in their own right and dogs with their people. Here are stout-hearted wire-haired terriers; elegant sighthounds; diminutive pugs and Pekinese; poodles, the epitome of French chic; and gentle spaniels and retrievers. The dogs that have appeared in VOGUE have inspired brilliant articles by writers such as Dorothy Parker and Lesley Blanch. Dogs have been painted by many of VOGUE's greatest artists, from Douglas Pollard to René Bouët-Willaumez. This stunning book features dazzling, rarely seen photographs by Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Lord Snowdon, David Bailey, Mario Testino and more.