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A sparkling exploration of the role of the 'other woman' throughout history. She has been known as the 'kept woman', the 'fancy woman' and the 'other woman'. She exists as both a fictional character and flesh-and-blood human being. But who is she, really? What do Madame de Pompedour, Heloise, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Eyre and Camilla Parker-Bowles have in common? Why do women become mistresses, and what is it like to have a private life that is usually also a secret life? Is a mistress merely a wife-in-waiting, or is she the very definition of the emancipated, independent female? In MISTRESSES Elizabeth Abbott intelligently examines the motives of some of history's most infamous and fascinating women. Drawing intimate portraits of those who have -either by chance, coercion or choice - assumed this complex role, from Chinese concubines and European royal mistresses to mobster molls and trophy dolls, Mistresses offers a rich blend of history, personal biography and cultural insight.
Stan Green is a New York City Homicide Detective who has seen better days. As his family life threatens to disintegrate and his work partner disappears, he is assigned to the most shocking case of his career-a strange and remarkably violent murder. Stan must look into the crime alone. He finds just one witness, a neurologically disabled recluse who sees through the souls of others as demonic hallucinations. As more murders occur, and he drifts further from his family and friends, Stan's suspicion and rage escalate. Soon he realizes that the deaths fall into the pattern of a serial killer--and starts to believe that his witness is not at all insane, but terrifyingly perceptive . . . .
AD 260 - Betrayed by his most trusted adviser, the Roman Emperor Valerian has been captured by the Sassanid barbarians. Ballista looks on helplessly, but vows to avenge those who have brought the empire to the brink of destruction with their treachery. First he must decide what price he will pay for his own freedom. Only the fearless and those whom the gods will spare from hell can now save the empire from a catastrophic ending. Ballista, the Warrior of Rome, faces his greatest challenge yet.
Mervyn Peake¹s Gormenghast trilogy is widely acknowledged to be, as Robertson Davies pronounced, ³a classic of our age. ² In these extraordinary novels, Peake created a world where all is like a dream--lush, fantastical, and vivid. Yet it was incomplete. Parkinson¹s disease took Peake¹s life in 1968, depriving his fans of the fourth and final volume of the series, Titus Awakes except for a few tantalizing pages, after which his writing became indecipherable. Or so it seemed. In January of 2010, Peake¹s granddaughter found four composition books in her attic. They contained the fabled Titus Awakes in its entirety. Peake had outlined the novel for his wife, Maeve Gilmore, who had at last finished Peake¹s masterpiece. It starts with Titus leaving Castle Gormenghast. Peake wrote: ³With every pace he drew away from Gormenghast mountain, and from everything that belonged to his home. That night, as Titus lay asleep in the tall barn, a nightmare held him. ³Fans of Peake will delight in this new, wonderful novel, published one hundred years after his birth, every bit as thrilling and masterfully written as his famed trilogy. .
The Emperor's Tomb - the last novel Joseph Roth wrote - is a haunting elegy to the vanished world of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a magically evocative paean to the passing of time and the loss of hope. The Emperor's Tomb runs from 1913 to 1938, from the eve of one world war to the eve of the next, from disaster to disaster. Striped with beauty and written in short propulsive chapters - full of upheavals, reversals and abrupt twists of plot - the novel powerfully sketches a time of change and loss. Prophetic and regretful, intuitive and exact, Roth tells of one man's foppish, sleepwalking, spoiled youth and then his struggle to come to terms with the uncongenial society of post-First World War Vienna, financial ruin, and the first intimations of Nazi barbarities.
'The Radetzky March can fairly claim to be one of the great novels of the last century. Its theme, beautifully articulated, is the end of an era. Roth's anthem for a vanished world has the intense, fleeting beauty of a sunset' - Sunday Telegraph. The Radetzky March is a meditation on the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the prism of three generations of the Trotta family. The novel opens in 1859 at the Battle of Solferino, when the young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor and is ennobled. He owes the Empire everything, and his son also becomes a conscientious servant of the great multinational state even as it enters into its period of chaos, with competing nationalisms and ideologies tearing it apart. The final generation of Trottas cannot comprehend or survive the collapse of the Empire, which no longer has any purchase on reality. Beginning at the moment when the Habsburg dominions began to crumble, and ending at the moment when the old Emperor's body is finally entombed in the vault of Capuchins in Vienna, the narrative arc of Roth's novel is perfectly judged. However, it is Roth's intelligent compassion and ironic sense of history that confer on The Radetzky March its greatness.
An engrossing, multigenerational, wickedly nostalgic yet utterly entertaining and candid saga, bringing to life through a host of characters - historical and imagined - nearly fifty years of this secretive and powerful organization. Intelligent and ironic, Littell tells it like it was: CIA agents fighting not only the 'good fight' against foreign enemies, but sometimes the bad fight too. The ends justify such means as CIA-organized assassinations, covert wars, kidnappings, and the toppling of legitimate governments. Behind every manoeuvre and counter-manoeuvre, however, one question remains, which spans the length of the book . . . Who is the mole within the CIA? An astonishing novel that captures the life-and-death struggle of an entire generation of CIA operatives during a long Cold War. 'The best American spy writer currently at work' Daily Telegraph
Robert Littell is today widely considered one of the true grand masters of American spy fiction, hailed for his profound grasp of the ambiguous world of international espionage, grippingly displayed in his thirteen novels. His most recent international bestseller, The Company, was praised as being "popular fiction at its finest" by the Washington Post Book World and as "one of the best spy novels ever written" by the Chicago Tribune. Now delving into one agent's labyrinth of memories and past identities--"legends," in CIA parlance--Legends again displays Littell's unparalleled prowess as a seductive storyteller exploring the clandestine but always very human world of secret agents. .
An Israeli government minister is assassinated in the home of his mistress, and in repsonse, Elihu, an ageing Mossad officer, leads his final raid, killing a Hamas leader in his bed. Out of this familiarly cyclical scenario emerges what is perhaps Robert Littell's most heartfelt and suspenseful novel. While the global community, united under the leadership of a visionary female US president, brokers a major compromise between Israel and the Palestinian authority, Isaac Apfulbaum, a well-known fundamentalist Rabbi, is taken hostage by Dr. al-Saath, a legendary Palestinian terrorist, who demands the release of several Palestinian prisoners. As Israel coaxes Elihu out of retirement to hunt down the terrorist who motivated his final mission, al-Saath and Apfulbaum fund themselves building an extraordinary relationship between hostage taker and hostage: parallels between these two battle-hardened partisans become the bonds that could lead to reconciliation. But with the Mossad strike team closing in, has the vicious circle already been closed?
- AD256 - The spectre of treachery hangs ominously over the Roman world. The sparks of Christian fervour have spread through the empire like wildfire, and the imperium is alive with the machinations of dangerous and powerful men. All the while, Sassanid forces press forward relentlessly along the eastern frontier. The battle-bloodied general Ballista returns to the imperial court from the fallen city of Arete - only to find that there are those who would rather see him dead than alive. Ballista is soon caught in a sinister web of intrigue and religious fanaticism . . . his courage and loyalty will be put to the ultimate test in the service of Rome and the emperor. The Warrior of Rome is back . . .
A mysterious depiction of masked revellers at the Venice carnival hangs in the college rooms of Oliver's old professor in Cambridge. On this cold winter's night, its eerie secret is revealed by the ageing don. The dark art of the Venetian scene, instead of imitating life, has the power to entrap it. To stare into the painting is to play dangerously with the unseen demons it hides, and become the victim of its macabre beauty . . .
Simon Serrailler has just wrapped up a particularly exhausting and difficult case for SIFT - Special Incident Flying Taskforce - and is on a sabbatical on a far flung Scottish island when he is called back by the Chief Constable before his leave is due to end. Two local prostitutes have gone missing and are subsequently found strangled. By the time he gets back, another girl has disappeared. Is this a vendetta against prostitutes by someone with a warped mind ? Or a series of killings by an angry punter? But then the wife of the new Dean of St Michael's Cathedral goes missing, followed by another respectable young married woman, on her way to the early shift at work. Is this all the work of one serial killer? Serailler follows lead after lead, all of which become dead-ends. The fear is that more women will be killed, and that the murderer is right under their noses; meanwhile the public grow more angry and afraid. It is only through a piece of luck, a chance meeting and a life put in grave danger that he finally gets a result. Susan Hill has a genius for evoking atmosphere and suspense, and her characters are so real that the reader is caught up not only in the mystery but in the drama of their lives, in this her most electrifying crime novel yet.
The Pure in Heart continues the story of Simon Serrailler, the Detective Chief Inspector to whom readers were introduced in THE VARIOUS HAUNTS OF MEN. In the opening pages, Simon is on a painting holiday in Venice, trying to come to terms with the brutal murder of a young woman who had been in love with him. But soon a telephone call summons him home. He has family problems to face - and the stress and daily grind of running a busy police station. In Lafferton, an English cathedral town, Susan Hill has brilliantly created an ordinary community with detail so sharp and true to life readers feel that these people are their own neighbours and friends. And that terror and evil are in their very midst. . . A little boy is snatched as he stands with his satchel at the gate of his home, waiting for his lift to school. A severely handicapped young woman hovers between life and death. An ex-con finds it impossible to go straight . . . THE PURE IN HEART is neither a thriller nor a whodunnit, but a crime novel arising out of character and circumstances. 'Its the psychology of crime that absorbs me' says Susan Hill. At the centre of THE PURE IN HEART is horror. Will the police ever solve this dark mystery? Here is a magnificent novel which grips, convinces and entertains.
A woman vanishes in the fog up on 'the Hill', an area locally known for its tranquillity and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man and even a dog disappear no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet cathedral town. Young policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case, she's new to the job, compassionate, inquisitive, dedicated and needs to know - perhaps too much. She and the enigmatic detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler have the task of unravelling the mystery behind this gruesome sequence of events. From the passages revealing the killer's mind to the final heart-stopping twist, The Various Haunts of Men is an astounding and masterly crime debut and is the first in a magnificent series featuring Simon Serrailler.
Twenty years ago John Costello's life, as he knew it, ended. He and his beautiful girlfriend, Nadia, became victims of the deranged 'Hammer of God' killer who terrorised New Jersey City throughout the summer of 1984. This murderer went after young courting couples in an attempt to 'save their souls'. Nadia was killed by the first blow of the hammer. John survived, but was physically and psychologically scarred to an extent that few people could comprehend. He withdrew from society, hid in his apartment and now only emerges to work as a crime researcher for a major newspaper. Damaged he may be, but no one in New Jersey knows more about serial killers than John Costello. So, when a new spate of murders starts - all seemingly random and unrelated - John is the only one who can discern the complex pattern that lies behind them. But could this dark knowledge be about to threaten his life?
Brilliant Orangeis a book about Dutch soccer that's not really about Dutch soccer. It's more about an enigmatic way of thinking peculiar to a people whose landscape is unrelentingly flat, mostly below sea level, and who owe their salvation to a boy who plugged a fractured dike with his little finger. If any one thing, Brilliant Orangeis about Dutch space, and a people whose unique conception of it has led to some of the most enduring art, the weirdest architecture, and a bizarrely cerebral form of soccer-Total Football-that led in 1974 to a World Cup finals match with arch-rival Germany, and continues with its intricacy and oddity to mystify and delight observers around the world. "In the hot summer of 1975 Wim van Hanegem was offered the chance to leave his beloved Feyenoord and join the French club Olympique Marseilles. . . He couldn't decide what to do. . . So he turned to his dog: 'We can't decide. It's up to you now. If you want to go to Marseilles, bark or show me. ' For several minutes the dog and Van Hanegem stared at each other. The dog didn't move. 'OK' said Wim, 'he doesn't want to go. We're staying. " The cast stretches from anarchists and church painters to rabbis and skinheads, and of course, to Holland's beloved soccer players, whose eccentricities are wryly detailed by David Winner through hilarious anecdotes that call to mind Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. As idiosyncratic as its subject, quirky and provocative, Brilliant Orangereaches out to the reader from an unsuspected place and never lets go. "Occasionally a book comes along that you fall in or out of love with on the basis of nothing more than the contents page . . . Brilliant Orangeis one of those strangely informative books that will even entertain those who have little interest in either soccer or the Netherlands. " (The Economist)
"The Lytton family past is full of secrets. Only one person knows them all and that is Lady Celia Lytton, the family matriarch. Some are more dangerous than others, some entirely her own, others shared with her family, all absolutely safe in her keeping. Until something happens that threatens to reveal them all. " "The difficult, dark past of Adele, one of her twin daughters; the dreadful cruelty of a truth that had to be confronted by Celia's son Kit; the shadows of Celia's own past and that of Barty Miller, the child she rescued from the slums in babyhood and who now owns more than half of the Lytton publishing house - all these secrets and many more. "--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
With more than 3. 5 million copies sold, Penny Vincenzi is one of the world's preeminent writers of popular fiction-and American readers no longer have to miss out on the fun. With the publication of No Angel, a novel introducing the engaging cast of characters in the Lytton family, Overlook opens a thrilling new dimension to this author's already illustrious career. No Angelis an irresistibly sweeping saga of power, family politics, and passion-a riveting drama and a fervent love story. Celia Lytton is the beautiful and strong-willed daughter of wealthy aristocrats and she is used to getting her way. She moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions that affect herself and others-her husband, Oliver, and their children; the destitute Sylvia Miller, whose life is transformed by Celia's intrusion; as well as Oliver's daunting elder sister, who is not all she appears to be; and Sebastian Brooke, for whom Celia makes the most dangerous decision of all. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of London and New York in the First World War, No Angelis, as British Good Housekeepingwrote, "an absorbing page-turner, packed with believable characters and satisfyingly extreme villains, eccentrics, and manipulators. " Readers of Maeve Binchy, Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Anita Shreve will fall in love with this epic, un-put-downable novel.
Penny Vincenzi is one of the world's preeminent writers of popular fiction and her U. S. debut No Angel was praised by critics and readers alike. In Something Dangerous Celia Lytton's stunning twin daughters take the stage and the result is a riveting drama about an embattled dynasty, and a passionate, multilayered tale of love and politics. The dazzling Lytton twins, Adele and Venetia, grow up with the world at their feet. Born into the great Lytton publishing empire, they are rich and admired, with a confidence verging on arrogance. At eighteen, in 1928, their future seems assured. . . but the specter of Nazi Germany is growing and, gradually, the twins' lives darken in unimaginable ways as they-and their friends and family, including those in New York-struggle to cope with circumstances for which their privileged world has not prepared them.
Willa wants to do something special and begins to think she is in love with the father of the ordinary boy next door
A thrilling novel from Sunday Times Number One bestseller Penny Vincenzi: 'Cleverly plotted twists and revelations' Daily Mail All Francesca Channing had to do in order to keep her marriage alive, her children safe, her life intact, was to tell a lie. One simple, straightforward lie. But it wasn't that simple or straightforward at all. Her life, as Bard Channing's third wife, was very far from easy. He was charismatic, powerful and rich - and he adored her. He was also manipulative and scheming, with a family as large and complex as his business. But it was an emotional crisis of her own which finally put Francesca's dilemma into perspective, and made her wonder if she loved Bard enough to lie for him. . .
The latest dramatic bestseller by Overlook?s most popular author Penny Vincenzi?there are over 500,000 copies of Penny?s books in print in the U. S. , and millions more worldwide! A mysterious, tragic accident in the 1950s. An inexplicable suicide twenty years later. What was the strange link between the two?and Caroline Hunterton?s long-buried past? A secret which could not be kept forever, especially from her two daughters, Chloe and Fleur. Fate had separated the sisters in time and distance?but bound them in mutual hatred?until journalist Magnus Phillips decided to tell the story that would tear their lives apart. Moving from wartime Suffolk to 1950s Hollywood, from glitzy Madison Avenue to London?s theatrical aristocracy and the machinations of checkbook publishing, An Outrageous Affair explores the extraordinary, sometimes fatal, consequences of truth?sure to please Penny?s legions of readers. .
Cassia Fallon has been married to her doctor husband for seven years when her godmother leaves her a vast fortune beyond her wildest dreams. She's determined to be sensible, to stay happy and in control - but suddenly, for the first time in her life, she is able to do exactly as she likes. She starts to question her marriage, her past, present and future. The money gives her confidence, and her husband Edward can only look on resentfully as she resumes her medical career, sheds some of her domestic burdens, reforms old relationships. And then more sinister questions arise. A chance convesation sheds doubt on the source of her legacy. Where did it really come from, how, and why? But by now the legacy, part benign influence, part brutal force, is an absolutely powerful entity all of its own - one that Cassia cannot resist.
The adult fiction debut by internationally bestselling writer Colfer is gritty, whiplash-inducing, utterly compelling, and may surprise with its "extreme raunchiness" (Kirkus Reviews). In the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Donald Westlake, Plugged tells the story of Daniel McEvoy, the Irish bouncer of a seedy New Jersey club. Dan has a problem. Well, he has several, but for him the worst is that the girl he loves was just murdered. Until more people around him start dying, and not of natural causes. Suddenly Dan's got the mob, cops, and an unstable lovesick neighbor after him, and the only clue points toward the crooked doctor who gave Dan hair implants before vanishing into thin air. Luckily-or perhaps not so much-he has the dubious help of a volatile detective, a permanently hungover army psychologist, and a mischievous ghost. In Dan's brilliantly unique voice, Colfer, beloved by millions for his Artemis Fowl series, has written a hilarious and very exciting tour de force thriller of head-spinning plot twists, compulsive in the tradition of Carl Hiaasen's best work-a "pitch-perfect comic noir" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Complete with the best banter this side of Elmore Leonard's Detroit, Plugged will leave you shocked, awed, and wanting more.
Deadlier than the Mafia, the Camorra never forget, and never forgive. She is an Italian accountancy student in London, and her boyfriend Eddie teaches at a language school. But the prime reason Immacolata Borelli came to Britain was to look after her gangster brother, wanted for multiple murders back home in Naples. For the Borelli clan are major players in the Camorra, a crime network more close-knit and ruthless than the Sicilian Mafia. Mario Castrolami is a senior Carabinieri investigator of the Camorra, his career dedicated to destroying the corruption and violence of the clans. When Immacolata calls from London to say she is prepared to collaborate with justice - to betray her own family - he knows she is setting in motion a terrifying and unpredictable series of events. The Borellis will not lose their criminal empire without a vicious fight. They will use anything and anyone to prevent her from giving evidence against them. Even Eddie, and Eddie's life.