From the author of The Power, winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017
Naomi Alderman’s The Lessons reflects the truth that the lessons life teaches often come too late.
Hidden away in an Oxford back street is a crumbling Georgian mansion, unknown to any but the few who possess a key to its unassuming front gate. Its owner is the mercurial, charismatic Mark Winters, whose rackety trust-fund upbringing has left him as troubled and unpredictable as he is wildly promiscuous.
Mark gathers around him an impressionable group of students: glamorous Emmanuella, who always has a new boyfriend in tow; Franny and Simon, best friends and occasional lovers; musician Jess, whose calm exterior hides passionate depths. And James, already damaged by Oxford and looking for a group to belong to.
For a time they live in a charmed world of learning and parties and love affairs. But university is no grounding for adult life, and when, years later, tragedy strikes they are entirely unprepared.
Julian Barnes - The Noise of Time
In May 1937 a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House ever return. So begins Julian Barnes’s first novel since his Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending. A story about the collision of Art and Power, about human compromise, human cowardice and human courage, it is the work of a true master.
Mary Stewart - This Rough Magic
When Lucy Waring came to Corfu to visit her sister Phyllida Forli, she was elated to discover that the castello above their villa had been rented to Sir Julian Gale. A very minor cog in the London theatre, Lucy not unnaturally felt something close to reverence for Sir Julian, one of the brilliant lights of England's theatrical world. But any hope of meeting him was quickly dashed by Phyl, who indicated, with uncharacteristic vagueness, that not all was well with the great man and that his composer son, Max, discouraged visitors, particularly strangers . . . Lucy encounted Max Gale the first morning of her arrival—and a tempestuous meeting it was. For Lucy had made friends with an enchanting dolphin by whom she had first been thoroughly frightened then completely captivated. It was when she was sunning on the rocks above the cove that the shots came, and the only person in view was Max Gale . . . Thus begins a series of mystifying and thoroughly frightening events which tinge the otherwise sparkling setting of Corfu with the dark hues of violence. In every way This Rough Magic measures up to its predecessors—in spirited characterization, vivid description, glowing romance and unrelenting excitement. This is storytelling at its best. —jacket William Morrow edition, 1964
Julian Barnes - Levels of Life
You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed... Julian Barnes's new book is about ballooning, photography, love and grief: about putting two things together, and about tearing them apart. One of the judges who awarded him the 2011 Man Booker Prize described him as 'an unparalleled magus of the heart'. This book confirms that opinion.
Julian Barnes - Death
When it comes to death, is there ever a best case scenario? In this disarmingly witty book, Julian Barnes confronts our unending obsession with the end. He reflects on what it means to miss God, whether death can be good for our careers and why we eventually turn into our parents. Barnes is the perfect guide to the weirdness of the only thing that binds us all. Selected from the book Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes
Ian Fleming - Casino Royale (angol)
In the first of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, 007 declares war on Le Chiffre, French communist and paymaster of the Soviet murder organization SMERSH. The battle begins with a fifty-million-franc game of baccarat, gains momentum during Bond's fiery love affair with a sensuous lady spy, and reaches a chilling climax with fiendish torture at the hands of a master sadist. For incredible suspense, unexpected thrills, and extraordinary danger, nothing can beat James Bond in his inaugural adventure.
Sally Green - The Smoke Thieves
Unforgiveable betrayals, devious motives, and forbidden love collide in the first installment of internationally bestselling author Sally Green’s epic new fantasy series, perfect for Game of Thrones fans. In a land tinged with magic and a bustling trade in an illicit supernatural substance, destiny will intertwine the fates of five players: A visionary princess determined to forge her own path. An idealistic solider whose heart is at odds with his duty. A streetwise hunter tracking the most dangerous prey. A charming thief with a powerful hidden identity. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his kingdom. All are driven by ambition, honor, and desperation on the cusp of war. But who will be left standing when the smoke clears?
Sally Green - The Demon World
The epic, magical saga of royalty, romance, and violence continues. A princess. A soldier. A servant. A demon hunter. A thief. When we last saw them, this unlikely group was heading into the Northern Territory of the kingdom of Pitoria, on the run from the sadistic and power-hungry King Aloysius of Brigant. The Smoke Thieves have discovered that demon smoke is not only an illegal drug used for pleasure, but in fact, when taken by children, demon smoke briefly gives its users super-human strength. Aloysius' plan is simple and brutal: kill the demons for their smoke, and use that smoke to build an unstoppable army of children to take over Pitoria, Calidor, and then the rest of the world. The Smoke Thieves are the only ones who understand this plan--but can they stop it? Catherine, Aloysius' daughter, is seen as a traitor from all sides; Tash is heartbroken after the loss of her one friend and sees nothing left for her in the human world; Edyon is wanted for murder; March is carrying the secret of his betrayal of his new love; Ambrose is out for revenge--and all the while, the demons have plans of their own...
J. G. Ballard - The Kindness of Women
_The Kindness of Women_ continues the story of Jim, the young boy whose experiences in Japanese-occupied Shaghai were described in _Empire of the Sun_ . It follows his return to post-war England and sets his childhood experiences in the context of a lifetime. Jim tries, and fails to find stability as a medical student at Cambridge and as a trainee with the RAF. Then, after settling happily into family life, his world is ripped apart by domestic tragedy. He plunges into the maelstrom of the 1960s, an instigator and subject of every aspect of cultural, social and sexual experimentation. Closely based on J G Ballard's own experiences, this is the memorable, honest and totally unique story of a bruised mind attempting to make sense of the upheaval around it.
J. G. Ballard - Rushing to Paradise
Dr Barbara Rafferty's obsessive crusade to save the albatross on the Pacific atoll of Saint-Esprit suddenly gains international support when millions of TV viewers witness the shooting of her young acolyte Neil Dempsey on a foolhardy rescue mission. Soon Dr Barbara turns the deserted island into a sanctuary - a remote paradise home for Neil, an odd team of eco-enthusiasts and idealists and a growing collection of the world's endangered species. In time they will discover that some species are in more danger than others.
J. G. Ballard - Millennium People
Violent rebellion comes to London's middle classes in the extraordinary new novel from the author of 'Cocaine Nights' and 'Super-Cannes'. When a bomb goes off at Heathrow it looks like just another random act of violence to psychologist David Markham. But then he discovers that his ex-wife Laura is among the victims. Acting on police suspicions, he starts to investigate London's fringe protest movements, falling in with a shadowy group based in the comfortable Thameside estate of Chelsea Marina. Led by a charismatic doctor, the group aims to rouse the docile middle classes to anger and violence, to free them from both the self-imposed burdens of civic responsibility and the trappings of a consumer society -- private schools, foreign nannies, health insurance and overpriced housing. Markham, seeking the truth behind Laura's death, is swept up in a campaign that spirals rapidly out of control. Every certainty in his life is questioned as the cornerstones of middle England become targets and growing panic grips the capital!
J. G. Ballard - Kingdom Come
A masterpiece of fiction from J. G. Ballard which asks, could consumerism turn into Facism? Richard Pearson, unemployed advertising executive and life-long rebel, is driving out to Brooklands, a motorway town on the M25. A few weeks earlier his father was fatally wounded at the Metro-Centre, a vast shopping mall in the centre of this apparently peaceful town, when a deranged mental patient opened fire on a crowd of shoppers. When the main suspect is released without charge thanks to the dubious testimony of self-styled pillars of the community - including Julia Goodwin, the doctor who treated his father on his deathbed - Richard suspects that there is more to his father's death than meets the eye, a more sinister element lurking behind the pristine facades of the labyrinthine mall. Determined to unravel the mystery, Richard soon realises that the Metro-Centre, with its round-the-clock cable channel and sports clubs, lies at the very heart of his father's death. Consumerism rules the lives of everyone in the motorway towns and feeds the cravings of this bored community with its desperate need for something new, whatever the cost. Riots frequently terrorise the streets, immigrant communities are set upon by roving bands of hooligans and sports events mushroom into jingoistic political rallies. Gradually, Richard finds himself drawn into this world, caught up in the workings of the mall, exposed to the insides of the consumer dream, and starts upon dismantling this wayward vision his advertising career helped to found... In this gripping, dystopian tour de force, J.G. Ballard holds up a mirror to middle England, reflecting an unsettling image of suburbia and revealing the darker forces at work beneath the gloss of consumerism and flag-waving patriotism.
J. G. Ballard - Concrete Island
A chilling novel about our modern world, from the author of ‘Empire of the Sun’ and ‘Crash’. Robert Maitland, a 35 year-old architect, is driving home from his London offices when a blow-out sends his speeding Jaguar hurtling out of control. Smashing through a temporary barrier he finds himself, dazed and disorientated, on a traffic island below three converging motorways. But when he tries to climb the embankment or flag-down a passing car for help it proves impossible - and he finds himself imprisoned on the concrete island. In this twisted version of ‘Robinson Crusoe’, Maitland must learn to survive - using only what he can find in his crashed car. As in all Ballard’s best work ‘Concrete Island’ provides an unnerving study of our modern lives and world. With his alienating, ‘Ballardian’ view of normal events, this is a unique novel from one of our finest writers.
J. G. Ballard - Cocaine Nights
Five people die in an unexplained house fire in the Spanish resort of Estrella de Mar, an exclusive enclave for the rich, retired British, centred around the thriving Club Nautico. The club manager, Frank Prentice, pleads guilty to charges of murder - yet not even the police believe him. When his brother Charles arrives to unravel the truth, he gradually discovers that behind the resort's civilized façade lurks a secret world of crime, drugs and illicit sex... Both an engrossing mystery and an unnerving vision of a society coming to terms with a life of almost unlimited leisure, Cocaine Nights is a stunningly original work from the bestselling author of Crash, Empire of the Sun and Super-Cannes.
Kate Mosse - The Taxidermist's Daughter
Sussex, 1912. In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to walk. Here, where the estuary leads out to the sea, superstitions still hold sway. Standing alone is the taxidermist's daughter. At twenty-two, Constantia Gifford lives with her father in a decaying house: it contains all that is left of Gifford's once world-famous museum of taxidermy. The stuffed birds that used to grace every parlour are out of fashion, leaving Gifford a disgraced and bitter man. The string of events that led to the museum's closure are never spoken of and an accident has robbed Connie of any memory of those days. The bell begins to toll and all eyes are fixed on the church. No one sees the gloved hands holding a garotte. As the last notes fade into the dark, a woman lies dead. While the village braces itself against rising waters and the highest tide of the season, Connie struggles to discover who is responsible - and why the incident is causing memories to surface from her own vanished years. Does she know the figure she sees watching from the marshes? Who is the mysterious caller that leaves a note without being seen? And what is the secret that lies at the heart of Blackthorn House, hidden among the bell jars of her father's workshop?
Kate Mosse - The Cave
It is March 1928. The Great War has been over for ten years, but Freddie still hasn't recovered from the loss of his brother. Even now, on holiday in south-west France, he cannot escape his grief. When his car crashes, Freddie stumbles down the hills to a village nearby. There he meets Marie, a beautiful young woman, who is also mourning a lost generation. Her story of the fate of her family moves him deeply. But it will also lead him to the caves above the village - and to the heart of a shocking secret.
Kate Mosse - The Burning Chambers
From the multi-million, number one bestselling author of Labyrinth and The Taxidermist's Daughter, comes The Burning Chambers: a gripping story of love and betrayal, mysteries and secrets, conspiracies and divided loyalties . . . Carcassonne 1562. Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE. But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to get out of La Cité alive . . . A thrilling adventure, and a heart-breaking love story, The Burning Chambers is a historical novel of excitement, conspiracy and danger like no other . . .
Paul Cornell - The Severed Streets
Summer in London: a city in turmoil. The vicious murder of a well-known MP is like a match to tinder but Detective Inspector James Quill and his team know that it's not a run-of-the-mill homicide. Still coming to terms with their new-found second sight, they soon discover that what is invisible to others - the killer - is visible to them. Even if they have no idea who it is. Then there are more deaths. The bodies of rich, white men are found in circumstances similar to those that set the streets of London awash with fear during the late 1800s: the Whitechapel murders. Even with their abilities to see the supernatural, accepting that Jack the Ripper is back from the dead is a tough ask for Quill's team. As they try to get to grips with their abilities and a case that's spiralling out of control, Quill realizes that they have to understand more about this shadowy London, a world of underground meetings, bizarre and fantastical auctions, and objects that are 'get out of hell free' cards. But the team's unlikely guide, a bestselling author, can't offer them much insight - and their other option, the Rat King, speaks only in riddles. Relying on old-fashioned police work and improvising with their new skills only lands them in deeper water, and they soon realize that the investigation is going to hell - literally. And if they're not careful, they may be going with it . . . The Severed Streets is the second urban fantasy by bestselling Doctor Who writer, Paul Cornell.
Paul Cornell - Chalk
"**This is what horror ought to be: primal, personal, and powerful." — Seanan McGuire** Paul Cornell plumbs the depths of magic and despair in Chalk, a brutal exploration of bullying in Margaret Thatcher's England. Andrew Waggoner has always hung around with his fellow losers at school, desperately hoping each day that the school bullies — led by Drake — will pass him by in search of other prey. But one day they force him into the woods, and the bullying escalates into something more; something unforgivable; something unthinkable. Broken, both physically and emotionally, something dies in Waggoner, and something else is born in its place. In the hills of the West Country a chalk horse stands vigil over a site of ancient power, and there Waggoner finds in himself a reflection of rage and vengeance, a power and persona to topple those who would bring him low.
M. J. Arlidge - Love Me Not
A desperate young woman runs through the storm. She hares up the path, hammering desperately on the front door, crying for help. The startled owner opens the door, ushers her inside, promising her whatever assistance she needs. This fateful decision will be his last. He should never have opened the door . . . A middle aged couple are found brutally murdered in their ransacked suburban house. Helen Grace, now back at Southampton Central following her release from prison, is first on the scene. The crime is baffling, hideous, cruel, but before Helen can process the evidence, another double murder is reported - identical in almost every way to the first. What follows is the darkest, most dangerous night of Helen's life as a sequence of brutal home invasions takes place. By sunrise eight people will be dead and Helen may well be the ninth as she finds herself locked on a collision course with a pair of rampaging spree killers. Is there method in their madness? Or are they selecting their victims at random? It falls to Helen to wrestle with these questions - only by answering them can she end the bloodshed. A break neck thriller which takes place in real time over 24 hours, this is the sharpest, most adrenliased Helen Grace thriller yet.
M. J. Arlidge - Hide and Seek
Detective Inspector Helen Grace has spent her whole life running. From the past. From herself. From everyone who's ever tried to get close to her. She's spent her whole life hiding. Behind the badge. Behind her reputation as one of the country's best detectives. Until - framed for murder - she became one of its most high-profile prisoners. Now there is nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Because HMP Holloway is a place of dark days and long nights with dangers at every turn. Despised by the inmates and reviled by the guards, Helen must face her nightmare alone. And then a carefully mutilated body is found in a locked cell. Now Helen must find a ruthless serial killer. Before the killer finds her. AFTER Little Boy Blue FIND OUT WHAT AWAITS DI HELEN GRACE IN THE SIXTH THRILLER BY BESTSELLING AUTHOR M. J. ARLIDGE: Hide and Seek PRAISE FOR M.J. ARLIDGE: 'Helen Grace is one of the greatest heroes to come along in years' JEFFERY DEAVER 'The new Jo Nesbo' JUDY FINNIGAN 'Fast paced and nailbitingly tense ... gripping' Sun 'DI Helen Grace is a genuinely fresh heroine ... MJ Arlidge weaves together a tapestry that chills to the bone' Daily Mail 'Chilling stuff' Fabulist 'A chilling read' My Weekly 'A grisly, gripping thriller' Sunday Mirror 'Gruesomely realistic, intriguing and relentless. Arlidge's fledgling army of fans is about to grow' Sunday Sport 'Eeny Meeny debuts one of the best new series detectives, Helen Grace. Determined, tough and damaged, she must unravel a terrifying riddle of a killer kidnapping victims in pairs. Mesmerizing!' Lisa Gardner 'Expertly pulled off. It has a devious premise. DI Helen Grace is fiendishly awesome. It's scary as all hell. And it has a full cast of realistically drawn, interesting characters that make the thing read like a bullet' Will Lavender 'A fast-paced, twisting police procedural and thriller that's sure to become another bestseller' Huffington Post