By Philip Norman
Eric Clapton is acknowledged to be rock's greatest virtuoso, the unrivalled master of its most essential tool, the solid-body electric guitar. Clapton transfigured three of the 1960s' most iconic bands, the Yardbirds, Cream and Blind Faith, walking away from each when it failed to measure up to his exacting standards. He was the only outsider be an honorary member of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and the studio musician of choice for solo superstars from Bob Dylan to Aretha Franklin.Yet even as a rock god in excelsis, his true passion was always the blues. Even his own blues heroes, the likes of Muddy Waters, B. B. King and Buddy Guy, would recognise the supremacy of this wispy white boy from the English county of Surrey.No life has been more rock 'n' roll than Clapton's in his epic consumption of drugs and alcohol, his insatiable appetite for expensive cars, clothes, and women - most famously revealed when he fell in love with Pattie Boyd, the wife of his best friend, George Harrison, and the inspiration for 'Layla'.With the benefit of unrestricted access to family members, close friends and fellow musicians, and his encyclopedic knowledge of sixties music and culture, Philip Norman has written the definitive portrait of the insecure, often pain-racked man.
The Story of NOW That's What I Call Music in 100 Artists
By Michael Mulligan
Everyone remembers their first NOW album. Since NOW That's What I Call Music Volume 1 was released in 1983 on double vinyl and double cassette, NOW has become synonymous with pop music and has featured some of the most iconic artists of the last three decades. To celebrate the release of the 100th NOW album, The Story of NOW That's What I Call Music in 100 Artists looks back at some of the most memorable - and occasionally regrettable - hits of the last 35 years! Jam packed with amazing facts and 'Well I never!' moments about the 4,000+ artists to have graced the NOW track listings - from Phil Collins to Pharrell, Bananarama to Lady Gaga and Peter Andre to Pet Shop Boys - The Story of NOW is a celebration of pop music through the decades. So plug in your earphones and pump up the volume, because this party is just getting started!
Some Fantastic Place
By Chris Difford
Longlisted for the Penderyn Music Book PrizeOver the course of a thirteen-album and multi-award-winning career with Squeeze, it was clear from the very beginning that Chris Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. In Some Fantastic Place, he charts his life from his childhood in south London to becoming a member of one of Britain's greatest bands and beyond. Along the way Chris reveals the inspiration and stories behind Squeeze's best-known songs, and his greatest highs and lows from over four decades of making music.
By Peter Guralnick
Rock 'n' roll was born in rural Alabama, 1923, in the form of Sam Phillips, the youngest son of a large family living in a remote colony called the Lovelace Community. His father had a gift for farming, which was brought to an end by the Depression. His mother picked guitar and showed the kind of forbearance that allowed her to name her son after the doctor who delivered him drunk and then had to be put to bed himself. And yet from these unprepossessing origins, in 1951 Phillips made what is widely considered to be the first rock 'n' roll record, Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston's 'Rocket 88'. Just two years later a shy eighteen-year-old kid with sideburns, fresh out of high school, wandered into his recording studio to make a record 'for his mother', secretly hoping that it might somehow get him noticed. His name was Elvis Presley. Elvis's success, and the subsequent triumph of rock 'n' roll, was initially propelled to an almost astonishing degree by a limited number of releases by Carl 'Blue Suede Shoes' Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis - all from this tiny, one-man label. An engaging mix of biography and anecdote, Peter Guralnick's book brilliantly recreates one shining moment in the history of popular culture. And Sam Phillips was the man who brought it all about.
The So Blue Marble
By Dorothy B. Hughes
By Harlan Coben
The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream - a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corrine, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corrine's deception, and realises that if he doesn't make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he's stumbled into will not only ruin lives - it will end them.The Sunday Times number one bestselling author delivers a shocking thriller that proves that a well-placed lie can help build a comfortable life - and a secret has the same explosive power to destroy it.
She Faded into Air
By Ethel Lina White
At four o'clock on a misty October afternoon in London, Evelyn Cross, blonde, nineteen and fashionably dressed, vanishes into thin air. Evelyn is the daughter of wealthy Raphael Cross. She has been seen going into the flat of Madame Goya, a fortune teller in Mayfair, but in response to Mr Cross's distracted enquiries, Madame Goya swears that his daughter never entered her flat. Then another millionaire's daughter goes missing in the same block of flats, and Cross decides to employ the services of Alan Foam, Private Investigator.But if Foam thinks this is a straightforward case of find the victim, he'll need to think again ...
Step in the Dark
By Ethel Lina White
On what trivialities the big things in life hang. From the moment when, dining alone in her Brussels hotel, Georgia Yeo, celebrated writer of detective thrillers, opens her cigarette case and the Count comes into her life with the polite offer of a light, she realises that here is fate. In that moment too begins the strange and inimitable spell of Georgia's story. It is an enthralling story, of a woman successful in her career, yet timid and hesitant in making a decision which might have a far-reaching effect on her private life.It's truly a step in the dark ...
The Spearhead Death
By Maurice Procter
It looks like a trivial enough incident: a would-be petty thief makes his escape before he has stolen anything. But when the beat constable arrives to look for damage, he finds something he hasn't been expecting - a dead man, with a wound in his back made by a broad blade ... possibly a spearhead.Scotland Yard get to work, following what turns out to be a very complicated business, especially when they find they are on the trail of smuggled diamonds leading all the way to South Africa ...
By Margaret Yorke
It's August Bank Holiday, and the great Bramsbourne Fete and Flower Show. But this one is going to be particularly memorable.Everyone takes part in the preparations, and families gather from far and near. Brigadier and Mrs Trent welcome their daughter Susan, her husband and two children, and their daughter-in-law Elizabeth. Only their son Victor is absent, a sorrow they silently agree not to mention.Into this carefree scene comes a man on the run. His efforts to evade the tightening police net affect, one after another, everyone in the village. But Brigadier Trent and his wife, and the war-disabled vicar, are more concerned than anyone ...
The Scent of Fear
By Margaret Yorke
Mrs Anderson is starting to forget where she has put things, what she has bought, or even eaten. Living alone in a rambling mansion, she is isolated from the town.But Mrs Anderson has a visitor. A young man comes every night, through the dining room window. He helps himself to food and money, and has even made himself comfortable in the attic. A young man who enjoys power, he might take over the whole house and make it his. It's a place where no one will think to look for him, where no one will find him - no matter what he's done.
Shills Can't Cash Chips
By Erle Stanley Gardner
Money in the bank had always been a persuasive factor in Bertha Cool's life - and Lamont Hawley represented a lot of it. He also represented an insurance company that smelled a rat about a traffic-accident claim. The trouble was the claimant had drifted away - a beautiful blonde who had been co-operative and level-headed. In fact, too level-headed ... she sounded almost professional.Donald Lam didn't like it. Why should a large insurance company need an outside investigator? But Bertha's eyes see $$$ so Donald gets cracking, and within no time he is the prime suspect. For what on earth is a body doing in the trunk of Donald's car?
Sins of the Father
By Graham Hurley
DS Jimmy Suttle investigates a murder in a house haunted by the past in the latest from 'one of the UK's finest crime novelists' (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)A rich old man, Rupert Moncrieff, is beaten to death in the silence of his West Country waterside mansion, his head hooded and his throat cut. His extended family are still living beneath his roof, each with their own room, their own story, their own ghosts, and their own motives for murder. And in this world of darkness and dysfunction are the artefacts and memories of colonial atrocities that are returning to haunt them all.At the heart of the murder investigation is DS Jimmy Suttle who, along with his estranged journalist wife Lizzie, is fighting his own demons after the abduction and death of their young daughter, Grace.But who killed Rupert Moncrieff? And what secrets is the house holding onto that could unravel this whole investigation? The enquiry takes Suttle to Africa and beyond as he slowly begins to understand the damage that human beings can inflict upon one another. Not simply on the battlefield. Not simply in the torture camps in the Kenyan bush. But much, much closer to home.
She Walks Alone
By Helen McCloy
A woman dies by violence aboard the Santa Cristina. A radio flash from the West Indies brings word of an apparently related death. A man's body turns up, and in his hand is a suicide note written in one woman's handwriting but signed with another woman's name.But what part does the jar of blood play - and why is everyone so interested in the contents of a certain package wrapped in cherub-bedecked paper? That's the puzzle Captain Urizar has to solve in a case with a startling showdown.
By John D. MacDonald
A choice collection of seven short stories by one of America's foremost storytellers and the author of the best-selling Travis McGee series.Featuring 'Dear Old Friend', 'The Annex', Quarrel', 'Double Hannenframis', 'The Random Noise of Love', The Willow Pool and 'Woodchuck', this collection displays MacDonald at his classic best. Starring a cast of immoral broads, hedonistic thrill-seekers, naïve victims and profligate playboys, these seven short stories showcase the writing that propelled John D MacDonald to success.
By Charlie Huston
A high-concept spy thriller that pushes the genre into the 21st century.Skinner wasn't like other boys. He appeared to have no emotions, powered by reason and logic alone. And to the CIA, he's the perfect asset. An assassin they can programme and control.But now Skinner has been tasked with a new mission. One that will place him at the heart of a deadly conspiracy. Even for an operative with Skinner's off-the-wall skillset, it's a suicide mission. And Skinner begins to wonder if he's become too good at his job for his employers to keep around.For the first time, Skinner has to decide whose side he's really on. And if the price of his own survival is worth paying.
Slam the Big Door
By John D. MacDonald
When Mike Rodenska, a former journalist and recent widower, visits his old friend Troy Jamison in Florida, he's shocked at what he finds. For despite the parties, the shapely women, the devil-may-care air that surrounds Troy and his friends, Mike can see a life slowly coming apart. The only question is: why?Putting together the pieces of his friend's life - and downfall - turns an ordinary visit into a mystery that Mike Rodenska is compelled to solve ...
Seeing is Believing
By Elizabeth Ferrars
Retired headmaster Malcolm Chance and his wife, Frances, have settled down in the quiet village of Ravenswood, where the greatest excitement revolves around the newest production of the local dramatic society. Until, that is, the Chances' next-door neighbour is murdered. When another murder takes place and the investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that there are many secrets in this small village - infidelity, blackmail, unrequited love, even sexual perversion - and many reasons to kill.
Skeleton in Search of a Cupboard
By Elizabeth Ferrars
Henrietta Cosgrove's eightieth birthday luncheon had gone very well, her five stepchildren all gathered to celebrate in her lovely old thatched house. But then Henrietta dropped a bombshell. To shore up her dwindling income, she proposed to sell two landscapes by a painter whose work had recently appreciated. That night the house burned down. When the pictures were found to be missing it looked as though the fire was intended to cover the theft. But what the fire uncovered was far more dramatic . . .
The Swaying Pillars
By Elizabeth Ferrars
Helena Sebright is given a three-month job in the newly independent African state of Uyowa. She is to escort a seven-year-old girl to stay with her grandparents there, and to bring her back to her parents, in England, at the end. It seems a lucky break. But Helena is not to know she will become involved in a dangerous criminal enterprise. Against the background of a disintegrating state and imminent bloody revolution, Helena finds herself caught up in a series of mysteries, catastrophes - and gruesome deaths . . .