Espionage and Spy Thriller

Storm Rising

Storm Rising

Author: Chris Hauty Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2022

Nationally bestselling author Chris Hauty leads fans into the depths of a dangerous white supremacy conspiracy that threatens to tear the country apart in his propulsive new thriller. Former White House intern turned intelligence operative Hayley Chill is filling her time by training as an MMA fighter. When she's convinced to pursue the truth about her father's mysterious fate, she stumbles upon a ciphered document under the floorboards of her father's house. With permission from her handler to probe deeper, she is led into a terrifying subculture of white supremacy within the United States military. As her investigation intensifies, she uncovers an expansive conspiracy to bring about the secession of several states from the country. It's up to Hayley to stop a second Civil War before it starts, while also confronting the ultimate truth about her own father's role in this harrowing chapter of American history.

Dark Horse

Dark Horse

Author: Gregg Hurwitz Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/02/2022

Pre-order the electrifying new adventure in the Sunday Times bestselling series - in which Orphan X faces his most challenging mission ever . . . THE HERO Evan Smoak: former off-the-books assassin - code name Orphan X. His world is divided into those who deserve his help and those who've brought his singular brand of justice upon themselves. THE VICTIM A desperate father reaches out. His teenage daughter Anjelina has been kidnapped by a brutal criminal cartel and spirited over the border into Mexico. And while money is no object, Evan soon realises that his prospective client's past is as clouded and compromised as his own. THE MISSION If Evan is going to put his life on the line to rescue Anjelina, he must first decide whether he can act on behalf of a bad man. And even then, up against the men who are holding his daughter, there will be no guarantee of success ... Packed with edge-of-your-seat suspense, memorable characters, explosive action and razor-sharp plotting, Dark Horse confirms Gregg Hurwitz's place alongside Lee Child, David Baldacci, James Patterson and Harlan Coben as a master of the modern thriller.

The Heretic's Mark

The Heretic's Mark

Author: S. W. Perry Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

The Elizabethan world is in flux. Radical new ideas are challenging the old. But the quest for knowledge can lead down dangerous paths... London, 1594. The Queen's physician has been executed for treason, and conspiracy theories flood the streets. When Nicholas Shelby, unorthodox physician and unwilling associate of spymaster Robert Cecil, is accused of being part of the plot, he and his new wife Bianca must flee for their lives. With agents of the Crown on their tail, they make for Padua, following the ancient pilgrimage route, the Via Francigena. But the pursuing English aren't the only threat Nicholas and Bianca face. Hella, a strange and fervently religious young woman, has joined them on their journey. When the trio finally reach relative safety, they become embroiled in a radical and dangerous scheme to shatter the old world's limits of knowledge. But Hella's dire predictions of an impending apocalypse, and the brutal murder of a friend of Bianca's forces them to wonder: who is this troublingly pious woman? And what does she want?

Books of the Month
Betrayal

Betrayal

Author: David Gilman Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/01/2022

If you get your reading kicks diving into an espionage thriller full of heart-pounding action running alongside a wickedly intricate plot, then hello, THIS is your book. Former Foreign Legion operative Dan Raglan is called to support a Pentagon intelligence officer and ex-comrade. Joining the first novel The Englishman as a LoveReading Star Book, Betrayal continues The Englishman Series in fine style and cements these books as ones to follow. This is a series where you can just throw yourself in with abandon and trust in David Gilman. The main man Raglan is most definitely someone you would want on your side, however he operates within a murky field of grey obeying his own set of rules and conscience. The other characters support the energy that builds around Raglan, and highlight his essence and caliber. The highly volatile nature of work within the intelligence community is confirmed and trust is in very short supply. As with the first novel Raglan travels to different countries, and the fiery finale plays out in the Honduran rainforest. Charging around the world works so successfully as it not only adds to the intensity but also confirms Raglan’s skills and willingness to do whatever is needed. Allowing a much-needed escape from reality, Betrayal is an absolute corker of a read and as energising and satisfying as can be.

Star Books
Fire and Earth

Fire and Earth

Author: David West Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/11/2021

 ‘Fire and Earth’ by David West is an interesting mystery set in the 1600s, when heliocentricity (the idea that the earth orbited the sun) was considered heresy. When a number of priests are found dead on Saint’s days, burned and circled by a mound of earth, it is thought that the culprit may be one of these heretic, scientific thinkers. Employed to investigate is Sir Antony Standen, a retired spy with an open mind and a unique skill set. I enjoyed this story, I could tell that a great deal of research has been put into the story in order to ensure that the setting felt authentic, with historical events and figures interwoven into the plot. I found the lead characters, Sir Anthony Standen and his fellow detective Hugh, the exiled Early of Tyrone, were entertaining, although I did find Hugh’s Irish dialect to be from time to time, more akin to Yoda in phrasing than Irish “ With Francesca safe and sound you’ll be,” (p.19 as a small example). However, aside from bringing a bit of a smile to my face as I read, it didn’t detract from the story too much. The prologue did a very good job at drawing the reader in, being witness to one of the crimes we are about to see investigated raised lots of questions and naturally entices the reader to keep reading. In all I enjoyed the story, I can see the scope for more books connected to these characters and I would be interested in reading future books. I think fans of historical fiction, perhaps those that enjoyed ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and fans of mysteries more broadly would enjoy this book.

Indie Books We Love
The Spy who Sank the Armada

The Spy who Sank the Armada

Author: David West Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/11/2021

‘The Spy who Sank the Armada’ by David West is an exciting historical tale of espionage in a tumultuous time in European History. The start of a series that introduces us to Anthony Standen, whose interest in languages leads him to a career as a spy. After Anthony is trained he travels throughout the world to earn his fortune and prove to his parents that he can find success outside of a career in Law and return to provide for Francesca, a beautiful Italian girl he’s fallen for. An incredibly detailed and well-thought out book, the research into the historical events and characters throughout pays dividends as the reader is immersed in a fully fleshed out and authentic setting. Aside from the settings, it is clear that a great deal of research has gone into all aspects of this book including the languages that Anthony learns and the mathematics required for the ciphers. I enjoyed the plot, it has plenty of action and twists and turns as Anthony experiences both successes and hardships. A solid historical fiction, with plenty of intrigue I think that any fans of historical fiction would find this book entertaining. It’s been enjoyable getting to know all of the characters and the book sets up nicely for the instalment of the series, ‘Fire and Earth’.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Never

Never

Author: Ken Follett Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/11/2021

In Follett’s first contemporary thriller for more than a decade, he imagines the unimaginable, a cat and mouse game of brinkmanship between nuclear powers.  Expertly researched and brilliantly crafted, this 800 page epic is unputdownable. It’s a cover-to-cover action-packed mammoth tale of weaving multiple interrelated story lines, with captivating characters and intriguing plots with tension, terror, heartache, love, betrayal.  US President Pauline Green fights at home and abroad to prevent nuclear disaster as the book moves from Defcon 5, the lowest state of readiness, to Defcon 1, the brink of war. We follow the incredible work of Abdul Haddad, a spy working undercover with jihadis in Chad. Nearby, a beautiful young widow Kiah and her son Naji want to leave the shrinking shores of Lake Chad, escape their fate and travel illegally to Europe, no matter how terrifying the journey is with human traffickers. We fall for Tamara Levit a CIA operative attached to the American embassy in N’Djamena and her French counterpart Tab Sadoul, an attaché at the European Union Mission who are following the trail of a powerful group of drug-smuggling terrorists. In China, we support the machinations of Chinese spymaster Kai Chang, an ambitious senior government official battling against the old guard. Covert operations, terrorist activities, arms dealers, drug smugglers, human traffickers, government coups, military skirmishes – it has it all. And Ken Follett delivers it with aplomb. Hold on to your seats, it’s a bumpy rollercoaster ride!  

Audiobooks of the Month
Better Off Dead

Better Off Dead

Author: Lee Child, Andrew Child Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/10/2021

Reacher never backs down from a problem. And he's about to find a big one, on a deserted Arizona road, where a Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. Under the merciless desert sun, nothing is as it seems. Minutes later Reacher is heading into the nearby border town, a backwater that has seen better days. Next to him is Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent, who is trying to find her twin brother. He might have got mixed up with some dangerous people. And Reacher might just need to pay them a visit. Their leader has burrowed his influence deep into the town. Just to get in and meet the mysterious Dendoncker, Reacher is going to have to achieve the impossible. To get answers will be even harder. There are people in this hostile, empty place who would rather die than reveal their secrets. But then, if Reacher is coming after you, you might be better off dead.

Silverview

Silverview

Author: John le Carré Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/10/2021

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish emigre living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise. When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . . Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carre asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.

Silverview

Silverview

Author: John le Carré Format: Audiobook Release Date: 14/10/2021

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise. When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . . Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carré asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Final Twist

The Final Twist

Author: Jeffery Deaver Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/09/2021

The gripping new thriller from the No.1 Sunday Times bestseller Jeffery Deaver Twist left. Unique Investigator Colter Shaw is searching for the answer to his father's final, posthumous riddle. It will lead him to evidence that will topple the secretive espionage company, BlackBridge. Twist right. He believes BlackBridge to be responsible for his father's murder and brother's disappearance. They can outmanoeuvre anyone, as the long trail of bodies behind them can confirm. But they haven't yet met Colter Shaw. Don't slip up. This time the stakes are huge - the fate of a nation is in Colter's hands. He must find the solution as to why his father died - but to do that he needs to stay alive...

Audiobooks of the Month
Killing Queens

Killing Queens

Author: Raechel Sands Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/09/2021

Available in Hardback Paperback and Kindle. A pacy espionage thriller, with a science fiction twist and a whole squad of strong female characters. ‘Killing Queens’ by Raechel Sands introduces us to Nearby, an MI6 intelligence officer who tells the reader about her connections and experiences with other agents she calls, the Black Queen, the White Queen and the Red queen. In a world of MI6, spies and modification to make “purple blood” super-assassins, this is the first of the Killing Queens saga. The Irish dialect used by Nearby to tell this story seems authentic although it sometimes seems to seep into the perspectives of the other characters, which I found a little jarring. I loved the author’s use of imagery throughout, “stopped with the sound of snow coming to rest” was a particular favourite. The author certainly manages to pack a lot into the book, even creating and referencing a playlist that can be listened to in accompaniment. This is a detailed story that combines noir, espionage, adventure and satire; those that enjoy the irreverence of Villanelle in ‘Killing Eve’ will find similar characters here. The plot switches between past and present in order to include all three of the queens in the story, providing the reader with backstory while also continuing the action. The author has done well to structure the book so that you can follow the characters and the timelines without getting lost. One slight niggle I do have about the structure is the use of footnotes. I personally prefer any information that’s vital to the plot to be woven through it, not tagged on as a footnote, and would have preferred to not be pulled out of the action to read additional and potentially unnecessary explanations.  ‘Killing Queens’ is an interesting story with a cast of strong female characters. This is an entertaining book for someone looking for a slightly unconventional action and espionage thriller with a sci-fi/fantasy twist and filled with dark humour.