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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!
THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER John Grisham's first and most shocking novel, adapted as a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the violent racists who raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of the small town of Clanton, Mississippi see it as justice done, and call for his acquittal. But when extremists outside Clanton - including the KKK - hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice. A national media circus descends on Clanton. As tensions mount, Hailey hires the inexperienced Jake Brigance to defend him. It's the kind of case that could make a young lawyer's career. But it's also the kind of case that could get a young lawyer killed.
Set at the heart of political power in Washington DC, Absolute Power was the book which launched David Baldacci's career as a worldwide bestseller of thrilling fiction. The movie, starring Clint Eastwood, was a major box office success across the world. In a heavily guarded mansion in the Virginian countryside, professional burglar and break-in artist, Luther Whitney, is trapped behind a one-way mirror. What he witnesses destroys his faith not only in justice, but all he holds dear. What follows is an unthinkable abuse of power and a criminal conspiracy, as a breathtaking cover-up is set in motion by those appointed to work for one of the most important people in the world - the President of the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
I was excited (of the jumping up and down variety) when Forever and a Day appeared in my letterbox, I am a HUGE 007 fan and can announce that this novel perfectly slots into place. The Ian Fleming Estate and Ian Fleming Publications asked Anthony Horowitz to continue the Bond series in 2015 with Trigger Mortis, after he had so successfully stepped into the world of Sherlock Holmes. Now comes Bond as the new boy on the block, Forever and A Day is the prequel to Casino Royale and original Ian Fleming material appears. This is how James Bond came into being as an agent and he does so in spectacular style. The first sentence is a humdinger, I was immediately on board and continued to read with pure enjoyment. Anthony Horowitz skilfully sets up the world of Bond, balancing the established with his own style quite beautifully. If you are a lover of the original series, I can vouch for this book, if you have only watched the films, I can vouch for this book. Forever and a Day is an exciting action-packed adventure of a read, it exceeded my (already high) expectations, earning it one of my picks of the month.
REVISED AND UPDATED WITH BRAND NEW MATERIAL The acclaimed political thriller that first introduced the unforgettable Francis Urquhart MP and launched Michael Dobbs' No 1 bestselling career - now updated with brand new material. Michael Dobbs' entertaining tale of skulduggery and intrigue within the Palace of Westminster has been a huge hit with the public. Its scheming hero, Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, who uses fair means and foul to become Prime Minister, is one of the best-known characters of the last decade - the politician we all love to hate. Acclaimed for its authenticity and insights into a secret world - the result of many years working behind the scenes for the Conservative Party - it became a highly popular, award-winning BBC TV series, with Francis Urquhart memorably portrayed by Ian Richardson, and was followed by two further sequels, `To Play the King' and `The Final Cut', which also became top-rating TV series.
Winner of the Crime/Thriller Book of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards 2014. Shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger - Thriller of the Year 2014. A smashing first novel from the screenwriter of DEAD CALM and the MAD MAX movies, this has been hyped as in the footsteps of Day of the Jackal, Silence of the Lambs, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and other recognised landmark classics of the thriller genre and, for once, this is no exaggeration! The gripping tale of the cat and mouse and high octane chase of a terrorist by one of the most alluring and enigmatic loner sleuths since Jack Reacher, this is an unputdownable thriller for the 21st Century that will have you sweating and gasping all the way to its explosive conclusion. Memorable characters, always the unexpected, non-stop action, this is a first class excursion behind the often murky scenes of international spying and all its ambiguities, with a villain whose evil knows no bounds but whose motives are none the less understandable and stem from human error and a hero whose talents are dazzling but somehow retains his humanity. Add the scariest of female serial killers, the bad lands of Afghanistan, biological warfare and forensic minutiae and you get what could become the thriller of the year, let alone the month. The Lovereading view... A wonder of a debut thriller, a must read. The author is a film scriptwriter and you really can see the film developing here frame by frame or, at least, short chapter by short chapter. It concerns a dedicated and very clever terrorist who from the day, as a teenager, he watched his father’s execution to a father himself he swore to seriously hurt America. He is persuaded by a wonderful undercover agent, a man “who doesn’t exist”. Running alongside this is the investigation into the murder of a girl in New York just post 9/11. This is the best thriller I have read since The Day of the Jackal. It is a seminal work, a remarkable book where you care as much for the villain as you do his pursuer.
May 2014 Guest Editor Daisy Goodwin on I, Claudius... Discovered this in my early teens and was completely hooked by the story of the rise to power of the most unlikely Roman Emperor. Graves was a classical scholar, but he never forgets that his primary role as a novelist is to tell a story. He inhabits Ancient Rome, as surely as Hilary Mantel breathes the air of the Tudor Court. Great historical novels are the ones that show us the past rather than tell us about it.