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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.
A stark, fierce, and fascinating start to what promises to be a rewarding trilogy. The Swords of Silence is set in Japan during 1626 as the Shogun slams shut the door to outside influences. If Father Joaquim Martinez and the village he tends, fail to renounce their religion, they face a hideous death. It took a little time for me to settle into the names, the time, the land, however I was soon gripped by the story on offer. The dedication at the beginning states that between 1614 and 1643 the Shogun executed almost 5,000 Christians. Shaun Curry writes with a simplicity that to be quite honest, feels necessary in the bloodshed that follows. He doesn’t revel in the gore, instead quite matter-of-factly describes incidents that somehow feel all the more real. I have to say that I have rather fallen for Master Watanabe and do hope that he makes a reappearance in the trilogy! Exploring a time and place from long ago, The Swords of Silence took me with picture sharp clarity into a compelling story.
Oomph, my stomach went into free-fall as I read this clever, on-point, and absolutely thrilling tale. Manhattan’s elevators have been taken over, as the death toll rises and Manhattan comes to a stop, a journalist and two New York Detectives investigate. The prologue sets a chilling scene, I knew what was coming, it was peek through fingers time! Linwood Barclay adds new characters to the boiling pot without missing a beat. Layers of intrigue coupled with heart pounding action ensured I was on high alert at all times. As the tale slid forward, chimes and occasionally towering bells of realisation rang out. I adore Linwood Barclay’s books, I always throw myself in with abandon and know I can just enjoy a stunningly good read. Elevator Pitch is a flaming humdinger of a novel, it’s one of those, where at the end and I thought back, I slapped my hand to my head and exclaimed “of course!”. Dynamic and because it is just so readable, I’ve added Elevator Pitch as one of my Liz Robinson picks of the month.
The Priest of Santa Maria is a fast-paced thriller. An entertaining read, it had me gripped to the end. In the prologue, we discover the origin of a locked box from Babylon and are introduced to a man and his daughter, the current custodians, living in Switzerland, and a woman named Angelica living in a convent in Italy. What is the connection that brings them together? And what does it have to do with a young priest named Christiano who is employed as a temporary minister at the convent? Although reluctant at first, the feeling he has towards Angelica is unlike anything he has come across. He is taken aback by the urge he has to protect her even though he may lose his vocation by doing so. This is a vivid portrayal of characters we want to engage with and an unputdownable story we don't want to end. I was pleased to discover it is part of a series and I, for one, will be looking forward to the next book from this talented storyteller. Lynn Johnson, A LoveReading Ambassador
Twenty-year-old Jane Beacon is one of life’s mavericks - a young sea-woman who navigates her own life-course against convention, against the odds, against expectation. The setting is 1940 Dunkirk and Jane has risen from joining the Wren Cadets in 1939 to single-handedly skippering a naval cutter to rescue injured soldiers. From the opening pages Jane’s formidable spirit and wit is brought to the fore, as are the prejudices of the time: “Very largely the Navy has accepted us and they know that we Wren have done a huge amount of good work, But there is always a limit to male tolerance and if you cross it, as I have done frequently, the barriers can suddenly be very high.” Readers will no doubt be swept along by Jane’s rip-roaringly reckless exploits, her unwavering commitment to the war effort, and her disregard for doing things by the book (she’s a loveable rogue, of sorts, described by her female superintendent as having “the most lurid disciplinary record in the service…she doesn’t give a damn about authority”). Fascinating research and Jane’s intense personal coming-of-age story are interwoven into the adventure, making this a tightly-packed parcel of passion, action, humour and history.
Get five times the action with the only official guide to the biggest Grand Theft Auto game ever! BradyGames has teamed up with Rockstar Games to bring you Grand Theft Auto V Signature Series Guide, a comprehensive guide to the biggest and most anticipated game of the year. Provides a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire single-player story and strategy for every action-packed mission, enabling you to get the most out of GTA and complete the game faster than your friends! Get complete coverage of all off-mission activities and sophisticated mini-games. Maps identify key objectives, specify targets, and chart the fastest path to success in this enormous world that's bigger than Red Dead Redemption, GTA IV, and GTA: San Andreas combined. Plus, get the inside story on the three playable characters and learn about their personalities, motivations, and skill-sets. Set in the sprawling, sun-soaked metropolis of Los Santos, Grand Theft Auto V centres around three very different criminals all plotting and scheming for their own chance of survival and success. Running out of options, Franklin, Michael, and Trevor risk everything in a series of daring and dangerous heists that could set them up for life or send them straight to the slammer. GTA V is available for XBox360 and PS3 and perfect for fans of this record-breaking game series. Take your game further with Grand Theft Auto Signature Series Guide and BradyGames.
Second in this superbly written thriller series, set in backwoods Mississippi finds, ex-army ranger and now sheriff Quinn Colson battling Mexican drug cartels and a shocking bootleg baby racket. Crime Noir and Western are expertly blended with sharp, sparse prose and dark, expertly drawn characters. One of the best thrillers we have read this year. Click here to see the first book in the Quinn Colson series, The Ranger.
The Ranger, first in a new series featuring Quinn Colson an ex-army Ranger adjusting to life in a rugged and corrupt Mississippi town, is a contemporary book with a dash of classic western and noir. This exciting thriller was shortlisted for the prestigious Edgar Best Novel Award in 2012 and is highly recommended. The author, Ace Atkins, is much admired by other crime authors such as Michael Connelly and Elmore Leonard and it is easy to see why once you start reading. Click here to view Ace Atkins' new book, The Lost Ones.
Ex-mercenary Leo Tillman and ambitious cop Heather Kennedy investigate a series of baffling deaths, the trail leads them to the Dead Sea Scrolls - and the deadly gospel hidden within them. But soon Tillman and Kennedy are running for their lives from a band of sinister assassins who weep tears of blood and believe themselves descended from Judas. These 'fallen angels' will stop at nothing to expose the world-changing secret of the Scrolls ...the secret of who really died on Christ's cross. Rocketing from a spectacular plane crash in the American desert to a brutal murder at a London university to a phantom city in Mexico, The Dead Sea Deception is the most gripping, revelatory thriller since The Da Vinci Code.
A splendid debut spy thriller about a British journalist in Peking who unwittingly becomes involved in a huge conspiracy plot when he is approached by a local dissident and labour camp fugitive with bones to pick with the Chinese authorities. We've all read countless thrillers about spying in Russia and Eastern European countries, pre and post Cold War but Brookes' insights into China, where he worked as a correspondent for the BBC, make this a fascinating exploration of a brand new murky world with a chilling touch of realism and a fascinating read with twists and turns on every shadowy corner. The thin line between journalism and actual involvement in the shadow life is clearly drawn and feels so true to life. And who can resist a novel where one of the protagonists is called Peanut?
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A splendid debut spy thriller about a British journalist in Peking who unwittingly becomes involved in a huge conspiracy plot when he is approached by a local dissident and labour camp fugitive with bones to pick with the Chinese authorities. We've all read countless thrillers about spying in Russia and Eastern European countries, pre and post Cold War but Brookes' insights into China, where he worked as a correspondent for the BBC, make this a fascinating exploration of a brand new murky world with a chilling touch of realism and a fascinating read with twists and turns on every shadowy corner. The thin line between journalism and actual involvement in the shadow life is clearly drawn and feels so true to life. And who can resist a novel where one of the protagonists is called Peanut?
The sequel to SHOVEL READY, featuring kill-for-hire antihero Spademan. Perfect for fans of INCEPTION, LOOPER and Hugh Howie. 'Anyone who still lives in Manhattan and has anything of real value to protect does it with a shotgun, not a deadbolt. So the problem isn't getting in, it's getting out.' When New York was hit by a dirty bomb, the city became a burnt-out shell and only the wealthy were able to escape, to a virtual reality quite different from the world around them. Former garbage man, Spademan, lost his wife and his livelihood - in a city comprised entirely of garbage, there's little one man can do. So he became a hit man, clearing up in a whole new way. But now the virtual world is under threat from elite terrorists operating from somewhere in New York and Spademan is tasked with tracking them down. He's not used to having enemies - his foes usually end up dead pretty quickly - but he's about to find out just how close they are, and how dangerous they can be...
The third novel in the series sees new challenges for the men of the 106th Foot, as the British army attempts to recover from the disaster of Corunna and establish a foothold in the Peninsula. Featuring the battles of Medellin and Talavera, the 106th will have their mettle severely tested on the battlefield. But if Napoleon is to be ejected from Spain, war must also be waged in more covert ways. For Hanley, the former artist who is a more natural observer than fighter, the opportunity to become an 'exploring officer' leads him into even more dangerous territory, the murky world of politics and partisans. And while Ensign Williams seeks to uncover the identity of the mysterious 'Heroine of Saragossa', a conspiracy of revenge within the regiment itself threatens to destroy him before he's even faced a shot from the French.
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.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. 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.
Barry Forshaw on Alan Furst and Anthony Price... Today, the espionage genre is firmly back in the limelight – and Alan Furst (author of Spies of the Balkans) is one of the genre’s most highly regarded authors, with the kind of solidity of characterisation and narrative reach that distinguished the best writers of the past. Such writers, in fact, as the British giant Anthony Price, who many consider is comparable to more famous spy novelists such as John le Carré. If you haven't tried Price’s cleverly written, complex and sophisticated espionage thrillers (for example Our Man in Camelot), you owe it to yourself to do so. Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 20 Mar 2011. With a remarkable cast of operatives, SPIES OF THE BALKANS is a brilliant new espionage novel from Alan Furst featuring Salonika's dashing chief detective, Costa Zannis. It's 1940 and Germany are determined to get their hands on the region just as Zannis becomes involved in an audacious plot with the Resitance to smuggle Jews to Istanbul. All is fine until a reckless love affair jeopardises just about everything.
May 2009 Book of the Month. This is a great novel of spies and espionage in Warsaw just before the start of World War II. With Furst doing what he does best there is plenty of action, betrayal and intrigue along with the inevitable romance thrown in to the mix too. A gripping and suspense-filled story that we can easily imagine being made in to a film.
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.