A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man name Gutman, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett’s coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted three generations of readers.
Raymond Chandler - The Big Sleep
Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlowe's got his work cut out and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse.
John Sandford - Invisible Prey
Bestseller Sandford opts for a contemplative procedural rather than a high-octane nail-biter for his 17th novel to feature Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport (after 2005's Broken Prey). The brave and intelligent Davenport, one of contemporary crime fiction's more congenial sleuths, is working a politically sensitive case—state senator Burt Kline is on the edge of being arrested for having sex with a minor—when he's called in to investigate the beating death of wealthy widow Constance Bucher and her maid. Bucher lived in a mansion stuffed with antiques, though it's unclear if robbery was the motive for the murders. Several run-of-the-mill suspects are dealt with before the reader learns the identity of the two killers, who continue to murder a string of folks all variously connected to the Bucher slaying. Eventually, the Bucher and Kline cases come together in an unexpected way. Interesting and unusual supporting characters, good and bad guys alike, enhance an intriguing puzzle.
Philip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal -- the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life. Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were never that simple, and his assignment quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit -- and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted...
Jonathan Safran Foer - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer tells the story of a precocious 9-year old boy, Oskar Schell. Oskar is very intelligent and independent, writes letters to Stephen Hawking, designs jewelry, and wanders about New York City wearing only white while playing the tambourine. On 9/11, he discovers the family's answering machine contains 5 messages from his father trapped in the north tower before he dies, and he hides the messages from his mother. Oskar struggles to deal with this inconsolable loss, distancing himself from his mom who eventually finds another man, and dreaming of fanciful inventions that can protect people from harm. When he finds a key in his father's closet with the word "Black" on the envelope holding it. Oskar seaches the city for every family named Black in hopes they can tell him the secret of the key, in hopes of understanding his father better. Oskar's grandmother lives across the street from him, and she struggles with the loss of her son while remembering her own survival during the bombing of Dresden and the damage it did to her family. Jonathan Safran Foer explores the psychological fallout from 9/11 through an unlikely boy whose pain and ideas ring all too true. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has received high praise with the Rocky Mountain News saying, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a complex, hilarious, tear-jerking and terribly intimate story."
Cecelia Ahern - P.S. I Love You
Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry. They were childhood sweethearts - no one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other. Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry's death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms Holly discovers that Gerry has left her a bundle of notes, gently guiding her into her new life without him, each signed 'PS, I Love You'. With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing - and being braver than ever before. Life is for living, she realises - but it always helps if there's an angel watching over you.
Daniel Keyes - Flowers for Algernon
Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper, and the gentle butt of everyone's jokes, until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius. But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental tranformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.
Stephen King - The Shining
The Overlook Hotel is more than just a home-away-from-home for the Torrance family. For Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, it is a place where past horrors come to life. And where those gifted with the shining do battle with the darkest evils. Stephen King's classic thriller is one of the most powerfully imagined novels of our time.
William Goldman - The Princess Bride
Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. So, when she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts (no survivors) her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup. So starts a fairy tale like no other, of fencing, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.
Irvine Welsh - Filth
With the festive season almost upon him, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson is winding down at work and gearing up socially - kicking off Christmas with a week of sex and drugs in Amsterdam. There are irritating flies in the ointment, though, including a missing wife, a nagging cocaine habit, a dramatic deterioration in his genital health, a string of increasingly demanding extra-marital affairs. The last thing he needs is a messy murder to solve.Still it will mean plenty of overtime, a chance to stitch up some colleagues and finally clinch the promotion he craves. But as Bruce spirals through the lower reaches of degradation and evil, he encounters opposition - in the form of truth and ethical conscience - from the most unexpected quarter of all: his anus. In Bruce Robertson, Welsh has created one of the most corrupt, misanthropic characters in contemporary fiction , and has written a dark, disturbing and very funny novel about sleaze, power, and the abuse of everything. At last, a novel that lives up to its name.
Michael Connelly - Blood Work
'Blood Work' - that's what Terry McCaleb used to call his job at the FBI. Eight weeks ago he was a dead man, but now someone else's heart is keeping him alive. Then a newspaper report of his brush with death brings him an unwanted visitor. Graciela Rivers reveals to McCaleb that the anonymous donor of his heart was her murdered sister, and that the police investigation into the case is going nowhere. McCaleb feels he has no choice but to take on the investigation. Nothing about the seemingly random killing makes sense. McCaleb realises that someone is watching his every move - someone who has killed before and will kill again...
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...
Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.
Agatha Christie - Appointment With Death
Collins brings the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, to English language learners. Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time and in any language. Now Collins has adapted her famous detective novels for English language learners. These carefully adapted versions are shorter with the language targeted at upper-intermediate learners (CEF level B2). Each reader includes: * A CD with a reading of the adapted story * Helpful notes on characters * Cultural and historical notes relevant to the plot * A glossary of the more difficult words Mrs Boynton, a cruel and hated woman, is found dead in the ancient city of Petra. Was it just a weak heart and too much sun that killed her, or has one of Mrs Boynton's many victims found revenge? By chance, the great detective Hercule Poirot has some useful information, but is it enough to find the killer? He has 24 hours to solve the case.
Patricia Highsmith - Deep Water
The great revival of interest in Patricia Highsmith continues with this work that reveals the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life. In Deep Water, set in the small town of Little Wesley, Vic and Melinda Meller's loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda is allowed to take any number of lovers as long as she does not desert her family. Eventually, Vic tries to win her back by asserting himself through a tall tale of murder—one that soon comes true.
Agatha Christie - Mrs. McGinty's Dead
Mrs McGinty dies from a brutal blow to the back of her head. Suspicion immediately falls on her shifty lodger, James Bentley, whose clothes reveal traces of the victim's blood and hair. Yet something is amiss: Bentley just doesn't look like a murderer. Poirot believes he can save the man from the gallows - what he doesn't realise is that his own life is now in great danger...
Agatha Christie - Hallowe'en Party
At a Hallowe’en party, Joyce – a hostile thirteen-year-old – boasts she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. Within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the ‘evil presence’. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer … ‘A thundering success… a triumph for Hercule Poirot.’ Daily Mirror
Stephen King - Bag of Bones
Bag of Bones is partly inspired by Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca, but there's more than homage in this novel of horror and romance. Like du Maurier's Manderley, King's scary old place (on the shore of Maine's remote Dark Score Lake) is haunted by the late lady of the manor. There are many gory ghosts afoot, though: men, women, and wailing kids. The hero, a thriller novelist, stirs up hell's plenty of angry shades while investigating his wife's death. It turns out she either had a dark secret herself or was onto some dread scandal lurking in Dark Score Lake. As in King's previous book, Wizard and Glass, the fabric of reality is thin, and nosy narrators are in peril of plunging right out of this world and into a rather hostile otherworld.
Agatha Christie - Five Little Pigs
Amyas Crale's passion for painting and women made him famous. His murder made him infamous. Sixteen years earlier his jealous wife was tried, convicted and sentenced to life for a notorious slaying. Now their daughter Carla, a young woman convinced her mother is innocent, has presented Hercule Poirot with a brilliant challenge: to clear her mother's name by returning to the scene of the murder and finding the fatal flaw in the perfect crime.
Tom Rob Smith - Child 44
Child 44 is a thriller set in the terror of 1950s Stalinist Russia, a brutal regime that executed anyone who disagreed with its dogma. It proclaimed to be a perfect society. So, when a series of brutal murders take place, no one is permitted to say that these are the work of a serial killer. In a perfect society there can be no crime. One man, Leo Demidov, a State security agent, a man who has spent his entire career arresting innocent men and women, decides to redeem himself by catching this killer. To do so, he must buck the system, risking his life and the life of everyone he loves.
Stephen King - The Dead Zone
The two things that conjured up that horrible night, were his run of luck at the Wheel of Fortune, and the mask ...Meet Johnny Smith. A young man whose streak of luck ends dramatically in a major car crash. Followed by blackness. A long, long time in cold limbo.When he wakes up life has been turned upside down. His fiancee has met someone else. And Johnny is cursed with the power to perceive evil in men's souls. He's had these hunches since he had an ice-skating accident as a child. Now he has an ability to see into the future. An ability which will bring him into a terrifying confrontation with a charismatic, power-hungry and dangerous man ...