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All engrossing, pure escapist, nail-biting anxiety, mind bending terror and psychological twists. We’re not sure why it’s so appealing. Good though, isn’t it! You might also like to browse our Crime and Mystery category.
March 2013 Guest Editor Charles Cumming on The Ipcress File... I love Deighton’s witty, ironic style, particularly in the Harry Palmer books, and wanted to capture some of that atmosphere in the early part of A Foreign Country. The chapter in which the reader first encounters Thomas Kell was heavily influenced by Ipcress, now of course better known as the classic 60s spy thriller starring Michael Caine.
I had spent three years at Oxford studying to join the clergy. Three years of rising at dawn to pray, daily seminars in classics, divinity and logic … before rushing back to church for evening prayers and finally to bed. Unfortunately, it was in that gap between evening prayers and bed where I was tested; and failed magnificently. If only God had put fewer hours in the day. And not invented twins. It’s 1727. Tom Hawkins is damned if he’s going to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a country parson. Not for him a quiet life of prayer and propriety. His preference is for wine, women and cards. But there’s a sense of honour there too, and Tom won’t pull family strings to get himself out of debt - not even when faced with the appalling horrors of London’s notorious debtors’ prison: The Marshalsea Gaol. Offered the opportunity to free himself by solving a murder, Tom finds his principles tested to the limit. He is forced to navigate a new world of hitherto unimaginable corruption and violence.
One perfect family. Too many perfect lies. In every glossy picture of the American society pages, there's an Ev Winslow. Disarmingly beautiful, and - naturally - tall, athletic, with a smile that's perfect. Small-town Mabel Dagmar has never known anyone like Ev, and now she's sharing her college dorm - even if she is completely ignored. But suddenly they're friends and Mabel can hardly believe her luck when she finds herself summering at the Winslow family's luxurious estate, Winloch, in Vermont. Winloch is like a small village, with each of the perfect Winslow children inhabiting a pretty white cottage. Days spent swimming in watery coves evaporate into nights at glamorous cocktail parties where Mabel sits alongside the scions and the fountainhead of this prestigious family. And as the formality melts away with one particular Winslow brother, Mabel is left to think that her summer has all but become a golden dream. But when Mabel meets a disgruntled member of the family, she can't help looking a little closer at the Winslows, probing beneath their glossy exterior. And what she uncovers in their past is almost as shocking as what she finds out about their present. Beneath the beauty is a rotten core. And not everyone is quite as they seem.
Picture it. You’re going on holiday. The bags are packed and the family is ready, you’re at the gate, the plane is boarding, you’ve decided to start your brand new, especially purchased thriller right away. Suddenly, you’re immersed into the corridors of intrigue, conspiracy, murder, espionage and you don’t know who to trust. The plane has left without you. So has the family. You haven’t even noticed. At least you have a good book … and the whole house to yourself for a week!
This section is crammed with dangerously compelling adventures that will have your nails bitten and nervous system tested to the full. From Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson and James Patterson to Fred Vargas, Bernard Minier and C.J Sansom, there’s enough here to keep you ‘head-down and out-of-it’ for years. There’s certainly time to read one more before the family gets back from Torremolinos … and that’s where we come in!