The Maker of Swans
By Paraic O’Donnell
'Compulsive reading . . . rich, strange, beautiful' Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk'A strange, new and captivating look at a magical realm . . . Lavishly entertaining' Independent'Enthralling . . . a literary feast' StylistThe world had forgotten Mr Crowe and his mysterious gifts. Until he killed the poet. He lived a secluded life in the fading grandeur of his country estate. His companions were his faithful manservant and his ward, Clara, a silent, bookish girl who has gifts of her own. Now Dr Chastern, the leader of a secret society, arrives at the estate to call Crowe to account and keep his powers in check. But it is Clara's even greater gifts that he comes to covet most. She must learn to use them quickly, if she is to save them all.
By Michael Moorcock
Shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, MOTHER LONDON is a dazzling journey through the heart of a city that the author loved. Spanning generations of characters across a variety of boroughs from the Blitz to the mid-eighties, this is a book about the real London that tourists will never find, a London which is being erased by the spread of high-rise flats and shining skyscrapers.Following a group of released mental patients across the years and streets of London, Moorcock creates a vivid impressionistic portrait of the city, from its downtrodden pubs to its green parks. All of the lead characters hear voices - but are they the murmurings of their damaged minds, or the true voice of the city?
Midnight in Europe
By Alan Furst
Paris, 1938. Democratic forces are locked in struggle as the shadow of war edges over Europe. Cristián Ferrar, a handsome Spanish lawyer in Paris, is approached to help a clandestine agency supply weapons to beleaguered Republican forces. He agrees, putting his life on the line.Joining Ferrar in his mission is an unlikely group of allies: idealists and gangsters, arms dealers, aristocrats and spies. From libertine nightclubs in Paris to shady bars by the docks in Gdansk, Furst paints a spell-binding portrait of a continent marching into a nightmare - and the heroes and heroines who fought back.
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
'Fifteen years on, the remembrance of that day has returned to me. I have seen that boy wandering through the mist of the railway station, and the name of Marina has flared up again like a fresh wound. We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine...'In May 1980, 15-year-old Óscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts... His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father German Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Óscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings. When Óscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets. Carlos Ruiz Zafón was born in Barcelona and is the author of seven novels including THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. He is one of the world's most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than 40 languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
'Fifteen years on, the remembrance of that day has returned to me. I have seen that boy wandering through the mist of the railway station, and the name of Marina has flared up again like a fresh wound. We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine...'In May 1980, 15-year-old ?scar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts... His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father German Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes ?scar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings. When ?scar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets. Carlos Ruiz Zaf?n was born in Barcelona and is the author of seven novels including THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. He is one of the world's most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than 40 languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.
The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales
By Kate Mosse
The perfect winter ghost short story collection from the No.1 bestselling author of LABYRINTH and THE WINTER GHOSTS.I hear someone coming. It has happened before. I pause and listen but no longer hear anything. I sigh. As always, hope is snatched away before it can take root. And so then, as always, I am carried back to that first December so very long ago...Rooted in the elemental landscapes of Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc, here are tales of ghosts and spirits seeking revenge, grief-stricken women and haunted men coming to terms with their destiny.
By Anthony Horowitz
Sherlock Holmes is dead. Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place.Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes's methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace. Author of the global bestseller The House of Silk, Anthony Horowitz once more breathes life into the world created by Arthur Conan Doyle. With pitch-perfect characterisation and breath-taking pace, Horowitz weaves a relentlessly thrilling tale which teases and delights by the turn of each page. The game is afoot...
Mrs Griffin Sends Her Love
By Miss Read
A nostalgic collection on rural schools, childhood and English country life from the much-loved author of VILLAGE SCHOOL.From organising the school summer fete...'Because of our inability to recognise our climatic shortcomings from the outset, arrangements for outdoor jollities get completely out of hand'....to the sometimes rather odd passions of childhood:'I collect stones with holes in them'.Miss Read captures the essence of rural life, and in particular of village schools, as only she can. This collection also includes extracts from her letters:'Michael Joseph wrote after the Observer thing and is throwing out feelers for a book. I shall know if he still feels like it - me too! - after we've met'.It will also include an Introduction on how 'Miss Read' was first created: 'Miss Read was born fully clothed in sensible garments and aged about forty. She was born, in fact, when I was struggling to write my first book and needed a village schoolmistress as the narrator.'
By J. Meade Falkner
A classic story of high adventure, treasure and smuggling set in a small Dorset village of Moonfleet. Soon to be a major Sky TV series starring Ray Winstone.When young John Trenchard finds a secret passage, he's sure it will lead him to Blackbeard's infamous lost treasure - a huge diamond of incredible value. But what John finds among the coffins beneath Moonfleet church is a smuggler's lair. And a coded message from Blackbeard himself . . . John is inadvertently caught up in the dangerous world of the smugglers and is forced to run for his life. While he hides from the authorities, he decodes Blackbeard's message. He now knows where the diamond is.But there are unknown perils between John and the diamond and his boyish dreams of great riches soon turn into very real nightmares . . .
Maria and the Admiral
By Rachel Billington
A sweeping historical drama, based on the true and enduring love of Thomas Cochrane and Maria Graham.Chile, June 1822. Maria Graham, a young British widow, watches as her compatriot Admiral Lord Cochrane sails triumphantly into the Valparaiso Bay, fresh from leading the Chilean fleet to victory over the country's Spanish rulers.Cochrane, a popular yet outspoken hero of the Napoleonic wars, is drawn to Maria, a woman whose intelligence and spirit of adventure rival his own. Yet their intense and extraordinary relationship must contend with a climate of uncertainty, political turmoil and civil war.Inspired by Maria Graham's own journals, MARIA AND THE ADMIRAL vividly brings to life the story of one woman who tested the limits of society, and of her enduring love for one of the most colourful figures of her age.
Mission to Paris
By Alan Furst
The author of TV Book Club's SPIES OF THE BALKANS returns with a hugely evocative thriller set in wartime Paris.Frederic Stahl, born of Viennese intelligentsia, ran away to sea at the age of seventeen. Embarking in America, his matinee idol looks and Old-World charm took him to Hollywood, and a life of movies and women. But by autumn 1939, the unease in Europe has spread even to Stahl's glamorous enclave. War has been declared, and though bullets and bombs are yet to fly, his decision to shoot a film in Paris seems ill-advised. The Parisians know this is their last spring and a time to be passionate. Soon after his arrival, Stahl is drawn into a clandestine world of foreign correspondents, exiled Spanish republicans and, of course, spies of every sort. For as a celebrity from neutral America - who can travel across the continent freely - Stahl could be very useful indeed ... Returning to the Brasserie Heiniger, and some of the colourful cast from THE WORLD AT NIGHT, this is a headily atmospheric portrait of a continent in the grip of The Phony War.
The Manual of Darkness
By Enrique de Heriz
The world's best magician is going blind, but is there a story in his past that can save him? Victor Losa has spent his life studying magic. His mentor, Mario Galvan, taught him not only the practical aspects of the art, but also its history and the lives of famous Victorian magicians such as Hoffman, Maskelyne, and Cooke, and the most enigmatic historical figure of all, Peter Grouse, a pickpocket who decided to challenge the best magicians of the day. But suddenly things change for Victor Losa, just as he is proclaimed the world's best magician. A light appears in his eye, but this is no magic trick - he is diagnosed with a rare degenerative condition of the optical nerve. In short, he is rapidly going blind. As he loses his sight, Victor finds that there are new ways to conjure the world through stories of the past, present and future. And finally he learns the secret behind his mentor's teachings.
More Than You Can Say
By Paul Torday
The bestselling author of SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN returns with a Buchan-esque thriller.Traumatised by a tour of duty in Iraq, Richard Gaunt returns home to his girlfriend with very little of a plan in mind. Finding it difficult to settle into civilian life, he turns to drink and gambling - and is challenged to a bet he cannot resist. All he has to do is walk from London to Oxford in under twelve hours. But what starts as a harmless venture turns into something altogether different when Richard recklessly accepts an unusual request from a stranger ...
The Man Who Killed His Brother
By Stephen Donaldson
An alcoholic former private investigator; his missing niece; a police force unable to find her; and a horrifying race against time...Mick 'Brew' Axbrewder has plenty to think about. A once capable private investigator, he is now an alcoholic after having lost his license following the accidental shooting of a police officer - his own brother.When not drinking, Brew helps out Ginny Fistoulari, a tough, capable P.I. who he used to work with and with whom he's always shared a connection. But Brew and Ginny have an arrangement that she will never drag him out of a bar - so when she does just that, Brew knows it must be something serious. And it is. Brew's thirteen-year-old niece - his dead brother's daughter - has gone missing. The police are doing nothing and suspect she is a runaway. Until Brew's investigation uncovers a link with several other girls who all went missing, sent a letter home, then turned up dead, full of heroin. Desperately fighting the latest drinking binge and determined to stay off the bottle, Brew needs to find his niece before it is too late...
Midnight in a Perfect Life
By Michael Collins
From the BOOKER-shortlisted author of THE KEEPERS OF TRUTH. A writer's journey towards fatherhood throws up shadows from his past.Karl is a troubled writer standing on the precipice of forty. After a degree of success in his early career he is now battling with what he terms his 'opus', his legacy to the world. But his partner Lori, the main breadwinner, is also thinking about her destiny and wants a child. As they embark on fertility treatment, Karl is forced to confront his deepest fear - that he will turn out to be like his father, a travelling salesman who was found dead after apparently committing murder when Karl was just thirteen. Unbeknown to Lori, Karl has already taken loans out against their house to pay for his mother's care home, and his freelance work, ghosting for a crime writer called Perry Fennimore, has dried up. As the fertility treatment progresses, Karl feels increasingly distanced from his relationship and the safety of home, and attracted to the shadowlands of Chicago's backstreets. When Fennimore re-emerges with a proposal, Karl begins to tap this new source of creativity - but just how far will he go in his pursuit of the ultimate story?
The Missing Boy
By Rachel Billington
The disappearance of a teenage boy tears a family apart in this poignant, highly topical and searching story.Thirteen-year-old Dan hasn't returned home and his parents don't know whether he's run away, been kidnapped - or something worse. For one family the world as they know it is about to fall apart. At first Dan is sleeping rough, revelling in his independence. But with every passing day, his world is becoming darker and more frightening. A hundred thousand children run away each year. Most come back. But will Dan?Dan's mother, Eve, a drama teacher, can't focus; his father, Max, only knows how to flee his own demons; and his aunt, Martha, while trained to control difficult situations as a prison officer, struggles to hold it all together. Dan's story is told against a grown-up drama of love and shifting loyalties and two sisters who were best friends until Max came between them. Gradually, all three begin to recognise just how badly they have failed the missing boy.Rachel Billington has written a tense and emotional novel about the day-to-day existence of a contemporary family living through their worst nightmare. Anguish and hope move across the pages until the final breath-taking denouement.
By Maureen Lee
A powerful First World War story of a woman's quest for justice, from the bestselling author of NOTHING LASTS FOREVER and THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL.Liverpool 1915. Martha Rossi lives in a tenement with her husband and their five children. Despite working all the hours she can, the family don't have much to get by on. When Martha's fourteen-year-old son, Joe, proudly enlists to fight for his country just to earn his mother an extra shilling, Martha is horrified. She realises the government is turning a blind eye to the scores of young boys who are joining the army. Despite her pleas and protests, Joe is dispatched to France within weeks.Unbeknown to them all, Joe's act of selfless heroism will have huge implications for Martha and all the family. As the dreaded telegrams begin to arrive from the front in France, mothers' hearts are broken across the country. Spurred on by grief of her own, Martha Rossi begins a quest that will take her right to the doors of No. 10 Downing Street. Martha's journey there will be a tough one, but with courage and the support of her friends and family, it will be the most important undertaking of her life.
The Mother's Tale
By Camilla Noli
An extraordinary, powerful and controversial debut about a mother's dark story.From the warm light of her sleeping baby's nursery, the curve of her husband's arm, the soft embrace of an old friend, the anonymous narrator of THE MOTHER'S TALE whispers to you her intimate fears, her deepest held desires.In the suburbs, a young mother is looking after her two children. She used to be a successful career woman in control of her life and with her husband's undivided attention. But now her control is slipping away. Motherhood is devouring her life. She is desperate to reclaim her sense of self, even if that means thinking the unthinkable.From its softly lit beginning to its explosive, emotional conclusion THE MOTHER'S TALE takes the reader on a journey to the dark recesses of one woman's heart and mind; right to the truths that are never spoken, the thoughts that are not written about. THE MOTHER'S TALE is a taut, beautifully constructed book which, once begun, cannot be put down, told by a narrator who will not be easily forgotten. It engages and confronts, and will provoke discussion for a long time to come.
The Man In The Yellow Doublet
By Arturo Perez-Reverte
Captain Alatriste returns in a swashbuckling tale of intrigue, romance and regicide.Captain Alatriste's affair with the beautiful actress Maria de Castro is rankling not only his long-term mistress but also the King of Spain. With loyal companion Inigo distracted by the affections of Angelica, Alatriste becomes embroiled in a series of tussles outside his lover's house. Ambushed by arch-nemesis Malatesta, a skirmish ensues that leads to the death of Maria's other lover - the monarch himself. But behind this tale of sexual jealousy lurks a darker truth. As it becomes clear that both Alatriste and Inigo have been cunningly honey trapped - and that the dead man was an impostor. With a puppet king waiting dutifully in the wings, Alatriste must use all his cunning and swordsmanly guile to prevent the murder of the real king - and his implication in a crime for which he has been perfectly framed.
Mother Of Pearl
By Maureen Lee
A tragedy tears a family apart - a superb novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL.Pretty Amy Curran was just eighteen years old when she met Barney Patterson, the love of her life, on Southport Pier in 1939. Their romantic, passionate marriage was made in heaven - but with the outbreak of war, Barney volunteered to fight, and the couple were separated for five long years. When he returned to Liverpool after VE Day, he wasn't the same person - and neither was Amy.How could things have become so twisted that one day Amy would kill the husband she once so adored? And what happened to their little girl, Pearl, just five years old at the time?In 1971 Amy is released from prison - although her freedom will change the lives of others, not least that of her daughter. But Pearl has her own demons to exorcise in her quest for happiness. And the greatest question she must ask herself is this: can she ever love her mother after what she did?