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If you LOVE a political thriller, you always want for more! All of these books are recommended reads, usually set against the backdrop of a political power struggle. Whether that’s national or international scenarios, corruption, terrorism or warfare, these all have one thing in common: they are high impact and you won’t want to put them down!
Written by former Labour MP and leading Anti-Apartheid and Anti-Nazi League campaigner Peter Hain, The Rhino Conspiracy is a true page-turner. A thriller that resonates with conscience, timeliness and deep knowledge of South African politics and wildlife. The book’s backdrop is a political landscape in which a corrupt South African government has chosen to overlook lucrative rhino poaching. In the words of Mkhize, a young ranger, “It’s war out there. Those bastards have AK-47 assault rifles. They don’t mess about. To get those rhino horns they will murder anybody, destroy anything.” But he recognizes deep complexities too: “Wildlife is seen as something for rich whites, so poachers can be seen as sort of Robin Hoods. Kill a poacher and you can turn these communities against wildlife protection.” This corruption has led a veteran freedom fighter to break his lifelong ties with the ANC. He wants to bring about change: “The Veteran had a responsibility – no, a duty – to act.” But he needs “help from a younger protégé. Someone to do the legwork, to be out there reporting back to him.” Enter Thandi, a young woman who was “Born Free but not a Born Forget’”. Unlike most of her peers, she knows history, and is inspired by Mandela and his ANC comrades, stirred by their “courage, determination and passionate commitment to democracy, to human rights, to social justice.” Having recently been on safari with Mkhize and struck up a bond with him, they both attend the Veteran’s political event and sign-up to his cause. The work is highly risky, and becomes riskier still as they uncover corruption on an international scale, with multiple individuals embroiled. The narratives move smoothly between different characters and perspectives, making for a tensely enthralling ride. Passionate and pacey throughout, The Rhino Conspiracy is also underpinned by a vital commentary on the nature of bringing about change. In the words of the Veteran, “Big change never came solely from within the system, but from external force as well.”
Blood Ties is a nuanced story that addresses issues of power, corruption and modern slavery. Ritchie Morlan is an experienced advertising executive. His children work as activists against people-trafficking and modern slavery. Ritchie’s aim to use his knowledge to support his children’s cause massively backfire, leading him to make modern slavery not only more widespread but acceptable to the general public. This book manages to intertwine a lot of different themes. There’s family drama as you watch Ritchie work to become closer to his children and find out more about their relationship and past. The storyline also covers corruption and money in politics, protest, anti-immigration policies and advertising and the media. I think that this was an interesting and well-written story that seemed to take a lot of inspiration from modern current affairs and twisted them into a convincing political, almost dystopian thriller. This book manages to deal with the microcosm of Ritchie’s well-meaning efforts to help amplify his children’s work, while also dealing with the bigger picture view of a dark outcome to anti-immigration feeling and political messages that is visible online and in the news today. Blood Ties had me intrigued from the early pages and my interest was held throughout. A worryingly believable plot that I would recommend it for readers who enjoy political thrillers.
Hold on to your breath as this bang up-to-date riveting thriller dives head first into a murky sinister world and doesn’t come up for air. London journalist Lydia is sent a video clip of a possible murder taking place on a train. Dealer in information Michael has links to the male being attacked, but both the victim and witness have disappeared. What a fascinating pair of main characters Rod Reynolds has created. They and the storyline feel so entirely real, I wouldn’t have been surprised to read an update of this story in the papers. Power and cold hard money act as motivating factors, with information the hook that connects Lydia and Michael. The tension rises with each chapter and while an electrifying ride, there is a sharp thoughtful edge that penetrates the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Red City, astute and dynamic, the ending arrives with a punch. Chosen as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month as I really want to fly the flag for this book.
On the snow-covered slopes of Utah, the President of the United States is kidnapped and his Secret Service detail massacred. Only one agent survives-ex-Navy SEAL Scot Harvath. He doesn't believe the official line that Middle Eastern terrorists are behind the attack and begins his own campaign to find the truth and exact revenge. But now, framed for murder, Harvath takes his fight to the towering mountains of Switzerland and joins forces with the beautiful Claudia Mueller of the Swiss Federal Attorney's Office. Together they must brave the subzero temperatures and overwhelming heights of treacherous Mount Pilatus-where their only chance for survival lies inside the den of the most lethal team of professional killers the world has ever known.
From the bestselling author of Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow's The Last Trial recounts the final case of Kindle County's most revered courtroom advocate, Sandy Stern. Already eighty-five years old, and in precarious health, Sandy Stern has been persuaded to defend an old friend, Kiril Pafko. A former Nobel Prize-winner in Medicine, Pafko, shockingly, has been charged in a federal racketeering indictment with fraud, insider trading and murder. As the trial progresses, Stern will question everything he thought he knew about his friend. Despite Pafko's many failings, is he innocent of the terrible charges laid against him? How far will Stern go to save his friend, and - no matter the trial's outcome - will he ever know the truth? Stern's duty to defend his client and his belief in the power of the judicial system both face a final, terrible test in the courtroom, where the evidence and reality are sometimes worlds apart. Full of the deep insights into the spaces where the fragility of human nature and the justice system collide, Scott Turow's The Last Trial is a masterful legal thriller that unfolds in page-turning suspense - and questions how we measure a life.
SOME CRIMES LIGHT A FIRE THAT NEVER GOES OUT... A JUDGE MURDERED IN A CITY PARK Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, defends the man accused. A HOMELESS PERSON BURNED ALIVE Detective Renee Ballard catches the case on the LAPD's notorious graveyard shift. AN UNSOLVED HOMICIDE FROM A LIFETIME AGO Harry Bosch is left a missing case file by his mentor who passed away. He was the man who taught Bosch that everybody counts, or nobody counts. Why did he keep the case all these years? To find the truth - or bury it? IN L.A. CRIME NEVER SLEEPS But in Ballard, Bosch and Haller: the fire always burns. Will it light the way - or leave their lives in ashes?
A deadly collision puts Dirk Pitt on the trail of an ancient mystery stretching back thousands of years . . . When a rogue cargo freighter strikes an oil tanker in the Detroit River, the oil spill is the worst marine disaster in years. Dirk Pitt's NUMA team lead the clean-up operation, with the help of new green tech firm, BioRem. But when one of NUMA's best divers dies suspiciously while working on the wreck, Pitt fears there's more to BioRem than simply saving the environment. Discovering a trail of unexplained deaths which appear to be linked to BioRem's sites around the world, Pitt unravels a mystery from our past that could jeopardise mankind's future. But someone is determined to make sure Pitt and his associates don't survive to learn the truth...
A captivating, intricate and thoroughly satisfying thriller. Reporter Rebecca Connolly returns to investigate the murders of two men, one found at the site of the Battle of Culloden in Highland dress, the other in a graveyard in Redcoat uniform. If you haven’t yet read the first in the Rebecca Connolly Thriller series Thunder Bay, please do, as it fully sets the scene for Rebecca. More characters are introduced, most noticeable among them a prominent Inverness crime family and a far-right group, adding to the intrigue and creating some seriously fascinating layers. Douglas Skelton set my mind ticking over in the background as the story weaved its magic and gathered me in. An unknown child speaks on occasion, the voice creating a discordant and unsettling note that grows in intensity. Looking back after finishing, it felt as though the ending was inevitable, and yet I had absolutely no idea where it was heading as I read and that is down to the skill of the writer. With an artful plot and crammed full of captivating characters, The Blood Is Still is a compelling and cracking read.
A booky health warning should be stamped on this cover… once you start you won’t want to stop! I read right through to 03:30am, until I had devoured every single and absolutely wonderful last drop. Hayley Chill, ex-military and champion boxer, is a new West Wing intern in the White House. When she finds the body of the Chief of Staff, she also finds a clue that it wasn’t the reported heart attack, and everything now points to an assassination plot on the president. The first few pages really sum up Hayley Chill, she is courageous, honourable, and can kick some serious ass. In other words, she is someone you would most definitely want on your side. Chris Hauty has the ability to highlight a life in just a few sentences, adding to the vivid overall picture in my mind. Deep State is a fast-moving, full-on adrenaline hit. Please, please tell me that this is the start of a new series, because I want more! Chosen as a Liz Robinson pick of the month and LoveReading Star Book, because Deep State really is that addictive. Find out more in our Q&A with Chris Hauty!
A Sunday Times top 10 bestseller, Secret Service is a fresh-from-the-headlines thriller for fans of Homeland, Crisis and The Bodyguard. The world is on the brink of crisis. The Cold War is playing out once more on the global stage. The Worlds' governments will do whatever it takes to stay at the top... To those who don't really know her, Kate Henderson's life must seem perfectly ordinary. But she is in fact a senior MI6 officer, who right now is nursing the political equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Kate's most recent mission has yielded the startling intelligence that the British Prime Minister has cancer - and that one of the leading candidates to replace him may be a Russian agent of influence. Up against the clock to uncover the Russian mole, Kate risks everything to get to the truth. But with her reputation to uphold, her family hanging by a thread and a leadership election looming, she is quickly running out of options, and out of time.
Nat, a 47 year-old veteran of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, believes his years as an agent runner are over. He is back in London with his wife, the long-suffering Prue. But with the growing threat from Moscow Centre, the office has one more job for him. Nat is to take over The Haven, a defunct substation of London General with a rag-tag band of spies. The only bright light on the team is young Florence, who has her eye on Russia Department and a Ukrainian oligarch with a finger in the Russia pie. Nat is not only a spy, he is a passionate badminton player. His regular Monday evening opponent is half his age: the introspective and solitary Ed. Ed hates Brexit, hates Trump and hates his job at some soulless media agency. And it is Ed, of all unlikely people, who will take Prue, Florence and Nat himself down the path of political anger that will ensnare them all. Agent Running in the Field is a chilling portrait of our time, now heartbreaking, now darkly humorous, told to us with unflagging tension by the greatest chronicler of our age.
1961. Hidden deep within the forests of central Soviet Russia is a place that doesn't appear on any map: a city called Arzamas-16. Here a community of dedicated scientists, technicians and engineers are building the most powerful nuclear device the world will ever see - three thousand times more powerful than Hiroshima. But ten days before the bomb is to be tested, a young physicist is found dead. His body contains enough radioactive poison to kill thousands. The Arzamas authorities believe it is suicide - they want the corpse disposed of and the incident forgotten. But someone in Moscow is alarmed by what's going on in this strange, isolated place. And so Major Alexander Vasin - a mostly good KGB officer - is despatched to Arzamas to investigate. What he finds there is unlike anything he's experienced before. His wits will be tested against some of the most brilliant minds in the Soviet Union - eccentrics, patriots and dissidents who, because their work is considered to be of such vital national importance, have been granted the freedom to think and act, live and love as they wish. In Arzamas, nothing can be allowed to get in the way of the project. Not even murder . . . Intricately researched, cunningly plotted and brilliantly told, Black Sun is a fast-paced and timely thriller set at the height - and in the heart - of Soviet power.