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Looking for your next literary adrenaline rush? Or to live vicariously through a thrill-seeking hero/heroine? Have a look at the titles in our Action/Adventure/Spy section for the latest danger and intrigue-filled novels.
EGYPT IS UNDER ATTACK. Pharaoh Tamose lies mortally wounded. The ancient city of Luxor is surrounded, All seems lost. Taita prepares for the enemy's final, fatal push. The ex-slave, now general of Tamose's armies, is never more ingenious than when all hope is dashed. And this is Egypt's most desperate hour. With the timely arrival of an old ally, the tide is turned and the Egyptian army feasts upon its retreating foe. But upon his victorious return to Luxor, Taita is seized and branded a traitor. Tamose is dead and a poisonous new era has begun. The new Pharaoh has risen. Pharaoh Utteric is young, weak and cruel, and threatened by Taita's influence within the palace - especially his friendship with Utteric's younger and worthier brother, Ramases. With Taita's imprisonment, Ramases is forced to make a choice: help Taita escape and forsake his brother, or remain silent and condone Utteric's tyranny. To a good man like Ramases, there is no choice. Taita must be set free, Utteric must be stopped and Egypt must be reclaimed.
In a Nutshell: School life, suspense, and stepping from the shadows of grief and guilt An emotionally-charged, edge-of-your-seat thriller in which a young woman experiences a rollercoaster ride of guilt, grief and complex friendships. Twin sisters Harper and Jenna had always wanted to go to boarding school like the St Clare’s twins, and Harper gets to do just that when her dad wins big on a work lottery syndicate. But, far from fulfilling a lifelong dream, Harper wants to go to Duncraggan Academy to escape the guilt she feels for her sister’s anorexia-related death. While secretly grappling with this, she makes great friends, and then new girl Kirsty is invited into their peer group. She and Harper bond when Kirsty confides that she’s also lost a sister, but things get way out of control when Kirsty becomes Harper-obsessed and claustrophobically clingy. Tension builds to a jaw-dropping crescendo as truths are revealed, loyalties are tested, and a whole lot of understanding is needed. Gripping and gratifyingly multi-layered, fans of thrillers with emotional depth will find much to love here. ~ Joanne Owen
Fresh from fighting death in Ghost Flight, Will Jaeger - The Hunter - returns for his second high-octane adventure.1942, and SS Lieutenant Herman Wirth uncovers an ancient body in a Greenland glacier. But, considering its monstrous state, Wirth concludes that it’s as if her body “had been at war with itself; as if it had rejected its own innards”. She’s the archetypal ice maiden “ancestor goddess” turned “devil woman”, and Wirth wonders what the hell killed her. Meanwhile, skip forward to the present day, and our hero Will is en route to a remote tropical island off the Cuban mainland, set on rescuing a kidnapped member of his expedition team, and soon a fresh feast of thrills unfurls at pulse-quickening speed.Alongside the exhilarating intertwining of four journeys, an extraordinary variety of landscapes are vividly evoked, from the jungle island with its “shoulder-high elephant grass”, to the spider-infested, crystal-stippled Burning Angel cave in Africa. Inspired by the “true life exploits” of Bear's Grandpa Ted, AKA Brigadier William Edward Harvey Grylls OBE, this is peak action-adventure, a real a read-in-one sitting romp. ~ Joanne Owen
May 2017 Debut of the Month. Sharp, clever Australian crime thriller constructed around the compelling set-up of Detective Ted Conkaffey being accused - but not convicted - of the abduction, rape and strangulation of a thirteen year-old girl. Now estranged from his family, Ted has moved to Crimson Lake, hoping to escape the constant harassment that comes with being tried for such a crime, but very aware that he could be rearrested at any moment. Ted lives a hermit’s life until he meets straight-talking, effervescent Amanda Pharrell. Being a convicted murderer who’s now working as a private investigator, she also knows a thing or two about being a pariah. She and Ted spark up a joshing, bickering, brilliantly evoked sibling-like relationship as they investigate the disappearance of a local bestselling author, Jake Scully. While forensic evidence confirms that Jake was eaten by a crocodile, how and why this happened is as clear as Crimson Lake’s murky waters. The intense investigation uncovers a veritable viper's nest of secrets and, along the way, both Ted and Amanda discover some revelatory truths about each other’s cases, and the very final twist is a stroke of gasp-inducing genius. Menacing, absorbing and edgily entertaining, it’s no wonder Candice Fox is being celebrated as a new star of crime fiction. ~ Joanne Owen
From the day it was stolen from me I had dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg. The great fort was built on a rock that was almost an island, it was massive, it could only be approached on land by a single narrow track - and it was mine. Britain is in a state of uneasy peace. Northumbria's Viking ruler, Sigtryggr, and Mercia's Saxon Queen Aethelflaed have agreed a truce. And so England's greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home his traitorous uncle stole from him so many years ago - and which his scheming cousin still occupies. But fate is inexorable and the enemies Uhtred has made and the oaths he has sworn combine to distract him from his dream of recapturing Bebbanburg. New enemies enter into the fight for England's kingdoms: the redoubtable Constantin of Scotland seizes an opportunity for conquest and leads his armies south.
SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER. Unputdownable. (Guardian). Gripping. (Sunday Times). The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
Something of a departure for erstwhile James Patterson collaborator Andrew Gross, and a powerful, breathless thriller with a difference. It's 1944 and the American nuclear programme is stalling and the presence of a brilliant scientist imprisoned in Auschwitz sees Nathan Blume, a Polish exile in America most reluctantly agreeing to return to his place of birth and infiltrate the concentration camp to extricate the man. Add to this that his own family was exterminated by the Nazis and he makes a surprise, unsettling encounter once smuggled into Auschwitz and doesn't even know if the scientist he is seeking is even still alive and the task appears impossible, not counting on a Nazi investigator who gets a whiff of the plan. Harrowing camp scenes handled with care, an edge of the seat plot with a bittersweet ending, all in all a thriller with a courageous difference that will not leave the reader indifferent. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
Still set against Furst's familiar background of the dark years of WW2, this new offering full of treachery and intrigue for once eschews the tropes of espionage and restricts itself to a sober chronicle of the early years of the German occupation of Paris. It's 1941 and a man known as Mathieu works for the fledgling resistance and is instrumental in assisting downed British airmen to flee the clutches of the Nazis and return to England to continue the war effort. His helpers include shopkeepers, nightclub owners, lovers, students and barmen working in the shadows and dodging retribution with every perilous step. Furst, as ever, meticulously brings the grey years of the shadow war to life and his attention to details is worthy of the best of historical writing. Everyday heroism and patriotism is evoked with delegant and spare prose and the sum of the pieces feels altogether more epic than the individual incidents: the true mark of a writer in full control of his craft.
Somewhere in the North African desert, a man with no memory tries to evade his armed pursuers. Who are they? What do they want from him? If he could just recall his own identity he might have a chance of working it out. Elsewhere, four westerners are murdered in a hippy commune and a suitcase full of worthless currency goes missing. Enter a pair of very unenthusiastic detectives, a paranoid spy whose sanity has baked away in the sun, and a beautiful blonde American with a talent for being underestimated. Sand is a gripping thriller - part Pynchon, part Le Carre, part Coen brothers - an unsettling, caustically funny tale of pursuit and madness. A gripping and brilliantly funny thriller Focus His was an extraordinary mind Guardian A great writer. A smiling, friendly, sympathetic nihilism shines through his prose Frankfurter Rundschau Enigmatic and moving Die Zeit
The year is 1911. Chief Investigator Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency has had many extraordinary cases before. But none quite like this. Hired to find a young woman named Anna Pape who ran away from home to become an actress, Bell gets a shock when her murdered body turns up instead. Vowing to bring the killer to justice, he begins a manhunt which leads him into increasingly more alarming territory. Anna Pape was not alone in her fate - petite young blonde women like Anna are being murdered in cities across America. And the pattern goes beyond the physical resemblance of the victims - there are disturbing familiarities about the killings themselves that send a chill through even a man as experienced with evil as Bell. If he is right about his fears, then he is on the trail of one of the greatest monsters of his time.
Saffron grows up on a sprawling Kenyan estate, under the watchful eye of her father, prominent businessman and distinguished war veteran Leon Courtney. Her childhood is idyllic, until a family tragedy forces her to grow up much faster than necessary. As she grows into a spirited teenager, her thirst for knowledge and adventure leads her to England, where she finds herself inevitably drawn into the heart of the gathering storm in the lead up to World War II. Gerhard von Meerbach is the privileged and idealistic younger brother of Konrad von Meerbach, heir to an industrial fortune, and vocal supporter of the Nazi Party. Gerhard struggles to stay true to his principles in an increasingly cruel world. His friendship with a Jewish man places him in danger, and forces him to take a stand against the forces of evil that have overtaken his country and his family. But, unknown to him, he is caught in a trap that could cost him everything he holds dear. As the Second World War looms over them all, Saffron and Gerhard's worlds will collide - but will there be more to unite them than tear them apart?
In the aftermath of 1066, a Norman army marches through the North of England: burning, killing and laying waste to everything in its path. The Harrowing has begun. As towns and villages fall to the invaders, five travellers fleeing the slaughter are forced to band together for survival. Refugees in their own country, they journey through the wasteland, hoping to find sanctuary with the last stand of the Saxon rebellion. But are they fleeing the Normans or their own troubles?
Let Bernard Cornwell sweep you back to Arthurian times, or into the heat of battle with Richard Sharpe. Sail the high seas with Patrick O'Brian. Raise your pulse-rate with Michael Crichton. Experience the adrenaline of combat with Andy McNab. Feel the clear and present danger of Tom Clancy's thrilling Jack Ryan stories... Live on the edge with Lee Child's itinerant hero Jack Reacher? Navigating your way through all the twists and turns of this roller-coaster genre can be an adventure in itself.
So, let us help you find your next fuel-injected foray into the fields of battle, espionage, danger,heroism and even history rewritten. From Dan Brown, Tom Clancy and Ken Follett to Wilbur Smith, David Gibbins and Stieg Larsson, you’ll be over the waves, under the radar, up mountains, outside the law, beyond help, dicing with danger, battling monsters, rescuing the stricken, flying through flack, laying mines, playing political parlour-games, conning Congress, kidnapping commandos clashing with conquistadors and crossing swords with Crusaders … and all from the safety of your favourite chair.