The occasion: high school reunion.
The place: an oil rig converted into a tourist resort.
The outcome: carnage.
Gavin is creating a unique ‘holiday experience’; every facility any tourist who hates abroad will ever want will all be available on a converted North Sea oil rig. To test the facilities he’s hosting a reunion for his old school (none of his ex-classmates can remember him, but what the heck, it’s free). He is so busy showing off that he doesn’t notice that another group have invited themselves along – a collection of terrorist mercenaries who are occasionally of more danger to themselves than to the public.
And they in turn are unaware that Inspector MacGregor has got wind of their activities. Within twenty-four hours Gavin’s dream has blown to the four winds, along with a lot of other things.
Dress Casual. Bring your own bullets.
Alexander McCall Smith - Bertie Plays the Blues
Even down to its well-set Georgian townhouses, Edinburgh is a hymn to measure and harmony. But on Scotland Street, domestic accord is in short supply. Matthew and Elspeth welcome three new arrivals, though the joys of multiple parenthood are somewhat lost due to sleep deprivation and the difficulties of telling their brood apart. Angus and Domenica are to marry, and Domenica has ambitious and disturbing plans for their living arrangements, especially when it appears that Antonia, in Italy recuperating from Stendhal Syndrome, may not return. And little Bertie, feeling blue, puts himself up for adoption on eBay. Can Edinburgh's most deliciously dysfunctional residents forsake discord and learn to dance to the same happy tune?
John Le Carré - A Most Wanted Man
New spies with new loyalties, old spies with old ones; terror as the new mantra; decent people wanting to do good but caught in the moral maze; all the sound, rational reasons for doing the inhuman thing; the recognition that we cannot safely love or pity and remain good "patriots" -- this is the fabric of John le Carré's fiercely compelling and current novel A Most Wanted Man. A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa. Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client's survival becomes more important to her than her own career -- or safety. In pursuit of Issa's mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg. Annabel, Issa and Brue form an unlikely alliance -- and a triangle of impossible loves is born. Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the "War on Terror," the rival spies of Germany, England and America converge upon the innocents. Thrilling, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times.
Alexander McCall Smith - The World According to Bertie
The latest completely charming installment in the bestselling 44 Scotland Street series. There is never a quiet moment on 44 Scotland Street. In The World According to Bertie, Pat deals with the reappearance of Bruce, which has her heart skipping—and not in a pleasant way. Angus Lordie's dog Cyril has been taken away by the authorities, accused of being a serial biter. Unexpectedly, Domenica has offered to help free him. As usual, Big Lou is still looking for love, and handing out coffee and advice to the always contemplative Matthew. And Bertie, the beleaguered Italian-speaking six year old prodigy, now has a little brother, Ulysses, who Bertie hopes will help distract his pushy mother Irene. Beautifully observed, cleverly detailed, The World According to Bertie is classic McCall Smith and a treat for his avid fans as well as his first time readers
Alexander McCall Smith - Sunshine on Scotland Street
With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another installment in this popular series, now running in its eighth season in 'The Scotsman'. Anything could happen to Bertie and the gang, especially with an invitation to one of Scotland's premier jazz festivals -
Iris Murdoch - The Black Prince
"The Black Prince" is both a remarkable thriller and a story about being in love. Bradley Pearson, narrator and hero, is an elderly writer with a 'block'. Finding himself surrounded by predatory friends and relations - his ex-wife, her delinquent brother, a younger, deplorably successful writer, Arnold Baffin, Baffin's restless wife and engaging daughter - Bradley attempts to escape. His failure to do so and its aftermath lead to a violent climax and a most unexpected conclusion.
Dan Brown - The Da Vinci Code
Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci - and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vault of history. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, a stunning historical truth will be lost forever...
Alexander McCall Smith - Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers
As summer blooms in Edinburgh’s gardens and Bertie Pollock’s birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce’s first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie’s birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie’s mother Irene to a warmer – if not a better – place, and once again in Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.
Mickey Zucker Reichert - Isaac Asimov's I, Robot - To Obey
2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. _2036: Robotic technology has evolved into the realm of self-aware, sentient mechanical entities. But even as humanity contends with the consequences of its most brilliant creation, there are those who have their own designs for the robots: enslavement…or annihilation._ Susan Calvin is about to enter her second year as a psych resident at the Manhattan Hasbro teaching hospital when a violent crime strikes her very close to home. When she was young, Susan lost her mother in a terrible car wreck that also badly injured her father. She now believes the accident was an attempted murder by government powers who wanted her parents dead. Susan has always known that there was a faction of the U.S. government that wanted to hijack her father’s work for military use. Now, it seems that faction is back. As she struggles to overcome her pain and confusion as well as deal with her studies, Susan finds herself hunted by violent anti-tech vigilantes who would revert mankind to the dark ages—and at the same time watched very closely by extremists who want high-tech genocide. Somehow she must find a way to stop them both.
Ian Rankin - Doors Open
For the right man, all doors are open... Mike Mackenzie is a self-made man with too much time on his hands and a bit of the devil in his soul. He is looking for something to liven up the days and perhaps give new meaning to his existence. A chance encounter at an art auction offers him the opportunity to do just that as he settles on a plot to commit a 'perfect crime'. He intends to rip-off one of the most high-profile targets in the capital - the National Gallery of Scotland. So, together with two close friends from the art world, he devises a plan to a lift some of the most valuable artwork around. But of course, the real trick is to rob the place for all its worth whilst persuading the world that no crime was ever committed. But soon after he enters the dark waters of the criminal underworld he realises that it's very easy to drown...
Ian Rankin - The Hanging Garden
Detective Inspector Rebus is buried under a pile of paperwork generated by his investigations into a suspected war criminal. But an escalating dispute between the upstart Tommy Telford and Big Ger Cafferty's gang gives Rebus an escape clause. Telford is known to have close links with a Newcastle gangster nicknamed Mr Pink Eyes - a Chechen bringing refugees into Britain as prostitutes. When Rebus takes under his wing a distraught Bosnian call girl, it gives him a personal reason to make sure Telford takes the high road back to Paisley and pronto. Then Rebus's daughter is the victim of an all too professional hit-and-run and Rebus knows that now there is nothing he wouldn't do to bring down prime suspect Tommy Telford - even if it means cutting a deal with the devil.
Iain Pears - The Bernini Bust
British art historian Jonathan Argyll has just sold a minor Titian to an American museum for a highly inflated price. But as he complacently awaits his cheque in the Californian sunshine, trouble erupts: the museum's billionaire owner is murdered, a dubious art dealer disappears, and a Bernini bust, apparently smuggled out of Italy, is missing. Things could hardly be worse, and the situation calls for assistance from his friends General Bottando and Flavia di Stefano of the Italian National Art Theft Squad, especially as things do get worse - the killer's attention turns to Jonathan himself. Cleverly mixing murder with art, _The Bernini Bust_ is a witty and intriguing mystery from the bestselling author of _An Instance of the Fingerpost._
M. C. Beaton - Death of a Gossip
When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joined the fishing class, she wasted no time in ruffling the feathers-or was it the fins-of those around her. Among the victims of her sharp tongue and unladylike manner was Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet not even Hamish thought someone would permanently silence Lady Jane's shrills-until her strangled body is fished out of the river. Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must angle through the choppy waters of the tattler's life to find the murderer. But with a school of suspects who aren't ready to talk and dead women telling no tales, Hamish may be in over his head, for he knows that secrets are dangerous, knowledge is power, and killers usually do strike again. Jane Winters--Lady Jane--was a noted gossip columnist enrolled in the Lachdubh School of Casting (fish casting, that is). She had something on everyone in class--and so, bobby Hamish Macbeth figured, any one of them could have killed her. Martin's.
Roberto Bolaño - Monsieur Pain
Paris, 1938. The Peruvian poet César Vallejo is in the hospital, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness, and unable to stop hiccuping. His wife calls on an acquaintance of her friend Madame Reynaud: the Mesmerist Pierre Pain. Pain, a timid bachelor, is in love with the widow Reynaud, and agrees to help. But two mysterious Spanish men follow Pain and bribe him not to treat Vallejo, and Pain takes the money. Ravaged by guilt and anxiety, however, he does not intend to abandon his new patient, but then Pain’s access to the hospital is barred and Madame Reynaud leaves Paris…. Another practioner of the occult sciences enters the story (working for Franco, using his Mesmeric expertise to interrogate prisoners)—as do Mme. Curie, tarot cards, an assassination, and nightmares. Meanwhile, Monsieur Pain, haunted and guilty, wanders the crepuscular, rainy streets of Paris...
Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders
There’s a serial killer on the loose, murdering his victims in alphabetical order. As a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim’s corpse the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. With the whole country in a state of panic, and growing more confident with each successful execution – Mrs Ascher in Andover, Betty Barnard in Bexhill, Carmichael Larke in Churston – the murderer’s trail of deliberate clues taunts the proud Poirot. Which might just be his first mistake… ‘A masterwork of carefully concealed artifice… most stunningly original.’ Julian Symons
Agatha Christie - The Big Four
Alone, each was formidable. Together, they were virtually invincible. A brilliant Chinese man, an American millionaire, a French scientist and an elusive master of disguise: the big four join together to plot a criminal conspiracy that shocks even Poirot. As he tracks them down it becomes ever more apparent that this could be his final, fatal case!
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Invalided home from the First World War, Lieutenant Hastings finds himself in a convalescent home very much to his disliking. Thankfully his old friend John Cavendish invites him to spend the rest of his sick leave at his family home. The beautiful Styles Court is home to John’s step mother Mrs Inglethorpe, and her new husband Alfred. Despite the tranquil surroundings Hastings begins to realise that all is not right. When Mrs Inglethorpe is found poisoned a murder investigation begins, and who better to investigate than war refugee Hercule Poirot, a retired Belgian detective.
J. A. Kerley - The Killing Game
_He’s coming to get you…_ After a humiliating encounter with a cop, Romanian immigrant Gregory Nieves launches a vendetta against the Mobile Police Department, Alabama. Nieves can’t fight a department, so he selects one man who symbolizes all men in blue: Carson Ryder, the MPD’s specialist in bizarre and twisted crimes. Carson has never seen a killing spree like this one: Nothing connects the victims, the murder weapon is always different, and the horrific crime scenes are devoid of evidence. It almost seems he’s being taunted. Even laughed at. Carson doesn’t know it yet, but he is caught up in a sadistic game of life and death. And there can only be one victor…
J. A. Kerley - In The Blood
TV evangelist Reverend Scaler made his fortune from firebrand rhetoric on the sins of modern America. But Scaler has preached his last sermon after being bound and beaten to death in an apparent S&M session. Detective Carson Ryder has his own problems. He's edgy and unpredictable, the crime scene barely seeming to affect him any more than finding an infant abandoned in a boat – nearby, a burnt-out shack, a body and signs of a struggle. Scaler's tangled personal life reveals bizarre connections between the cases. And it seems the baby fighting for its life in hospital has powerful enemies. Ryder can't seem to save himself – but can he save the life of an innocent child?
J. A. Kerley - Little Girls Lost
Children are disappearing in Mobile, Alabama, the latest snatched from her own bedroom. There are no clues – and, as yet, no bodies. Homicide Detective Carson Ryder is called in to investigate the abduction of little LaShelle Shearing only to find the case getting tangled up in murky departmental and civic politics. And with his partner Harry Nautilus fighting for his life after being viciously attacked, Carson is feeling increasingly isolated. Public rage is now reaching dangerous levels, and Ryder’s bosses turn for help to ex-Detective Conner Sandhill whose uncanny ability to spot connections and details missed by others is legendary – but who left the department under a cloud. Ryder and Sandhill form an uneasy alliance in the hunt for the missing children, a hunt which becomes all the more urgent for tragic personal reasons. But at the root of these disappearances is something truly evil… and its source is closer to home than either could have imagined.
J. A. Kerley - Her Last Scream
_They thought they were safe at last…_ Across the US, a secret network of crisis centres permanently relocates women in serious danger from domestic abuse. But now someone is killing them before they reach their destinations. Detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus are having trouble gaining the trust of the volunteers who run the scheme. The only way in is for an undercover police officer to pose as a threatened woman, making herself a target and drawing the killer out. Reinetta Early is the ideal candidate – but she also happens to be Harry’s niece. He always promised his sister that he would keep Reinetta safe from harm. Suddenly he’s unsure if he can even keep her alive…