When a blackened skeleton is unearthed on a building site in the City of London, no one can have the slightest idea of its extraordinary link to a plot to assassinate the Queen of Englandover 500 years ago. But there is one very conspicuous clue. On the index finger of the body’s right hand is a gold ring topped with a brilliant, round emerald. DCI Jack Pendragon has just transferred from Oxford to Brick Lane Police Station – in part to escape his own past. Immediately, he finds himself investigating three particularly gruesome murders. And he will need all the experience he has acquired from two decades on the force to track down a killer for whom an eerie obsession has become total madness. A killer who draws his murderous inspiration from a Renaissance family whose power and cruelty remain a living legend.
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
Jodi Picoult - Salem Falls
When Jack St. Bride arrives in the small town of Salem Falls, all he wants is to escape his past. He's spent the last eight months in jail, after being falsely accused of having an affair with an underage student at the school where he taught. In Salem Falls, he gets a job as a dishwasher at a local diner and tentatively begins a romance with the diner's owner, Addie, who is still mourning the death of her young daughter, born after Addie was raped in high school by three drunk boys. As she and Jack fall in love, they both see hope for the future. But their newfound love is threatened when the residents of Salem Falls learn of Jack's conviction and begin harassing him. When, predictably, a teenage girl accuses Jack of raping her, he finds himself back in jail, fighting a serious charge and the town's prejudice. Addie wrestles with her doubts and memories of her own rape, but she believes in Jack and goes on a quest of her own to find out the truth about Jack's initial conviction, even as the Salem Falls trial opens.
Ali McNamara - From Notting Hill with Love… Actually
Scarlett O’Brien is in love . . . with the movies. Utterly hooked on Hugh Grant, crazy about Richard Curtis, dying with lust for Johnny Depp, Scarlett spends her days with her head in the clouds and her nights with her hand in a huge tub of popcorn. Which is not exactly what her sensible, DIY-obsessed fiancé David has in mind for their future. So when Scarlett has the chance to house-sit an impossibly grand mansion in Notting Hill – the setting of one of her all-time favourite movies – she jumps at the chance to live out her film fantasies one last time. It’s just a shame that her new neighbour Sean is so irritating – and so irritatingly handsome, too. As a chaotic comedy of her very own erupts around Scarlett, she begins to realise there’s more to life than seating plans and putting up shelves. What sort of happy ending does she really want? Will it be a case of Runaway Bride or Happily Ever After? The big white wedding looms, and Scarlett is running out of time to decide . . .
Patrick Süskind - Perfume
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion-his sense of smell-leads to murder. In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"-the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
Piers Anthony - Var the Stick
Sol controlled the mountain, and Sos the Empire. No one could calculate the destruction which would follow if they went to war. Var - half animal, half man - rescued from the badlands was the chosen one. Exiled from his own legion, supported only by his courage and skill, he wandered the Earth, fleeing certain death for him and for Soli, the valiant companion he loved more than life itself.
Piers Anthony - Sos the Rope
They call him Sos - a man mightier in strength and spirit than the greatest warriors of post-Blast legend. His past is shrouded in enigma, but now he wanders the Earth, writing a heritage in blood and bravery. To some, he is savior; to others, agent of cataclysm. One man alone bears the terrible curse of his friendship. Two mortal women share his doom-driven love. Yet only Sos knows the ultimate purpose of his strange, violent mission on Earth: save mankind - or destroy it forever.
Karen Rose - Nothing to Fear
After kidnapping 12-year-old Alec Vaughn, Sue Conway poses as an abused mother at a shelter for battered women. However, the more shelter director Dana Dupinsky gets to know Sue, the more alarmed she becomes. The only hope may be security expert Ethan Buchanan, who has joined the search for the missing Alec--his godson.
Piers Anthony - Unicorn Point
The combined magic and technology between the parallel worlds of Phaze and Proton is not enough to save the planets from a conquering invasion. Only Mach and Bane - robot and wizard, linked between worlds - have any chance of stopping this threat.
Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
The most anticipated publication of the decade, The Lost Symbol is the stunning new thriller featuring Robert Langdon. Six years in the writing, it is Dan Brown's extraordinary sequel to his internationally bestselling Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Nothing is ever what it first appears in a Dan Brown novel. Set over a breathtaking 12 hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action.
Robert Ludlum - The Parsifal Mosaic
Michael Havelock's world died on a moonlit beach on the Costa Brava. He watched as his partner and lover, Jenna Karats, double agent, was efficiently gunned down by his own agency. There was nothing left for him but to quit the game, get out. Until, in one frantic moment on a crowded railroad platform in Rome, Havelock saw his Jenna alive. From then on, he was marked for death by both U.S. and Russian assassins, racing around the globe after his beautiful betrayer, trapped in a massive mosaic of treachery created by a top-level mole with the world in his fist—Parsifal.
Ngaio Marsh - Off With His Head
WHEN THE versatile Mrs. Bunz arrived at Mardian she said: "I am a student of the folk-dance. ... My little monographs on the Abram Circle Bush and the symbolic tea-pawt have been praised ". She was determined to investigate the rare survival of folk-dancing that was believed to continue to this day at Mardian. No one in the village, from Dame Alice Mardian (" a character out of Surtees") to the five sons of the smith, William Andersen, considered their strange annual ritual—the Dance of The Five Sons—to be any business of the rest of the world, or of Mrs. Biinz. They did not foresee the macabre tragedy that was to take place on " Sword Wednesday" of the winter solstice, amidst the disguises, the dancing, and the torches that lit the ruins of Mardian Castle for the ancient ceremony. Superintendent Roderick AUeyn found himself faced with a case of great complexity—and also with a flat impossibility. He made many surprising discoveries in his investigations, which required that he should understand the movements of the dancers in their prehistoric rites. At a gruesome reconstruction of the night of Sword Wednesday the impossibility is explained and the murderer revealed in an astonishing climax. This successor to Scales of Justice and Ngaio Marsh's other fine detective stories will again delight her many readers.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón - The Shadow of the Wind
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.
Piers Anthony - Out of Phaze
Two worlds - the scientific Proton and the magical Phaze - exist side by side. Now, Mach has crossed from Proton to Phaze, switching places with his counterpart Bane. And both must learn to survive in environments alien to their own nature.