In this month’s parcel, Matthew exalts us to, “forget the grey skies as we head into May and enjoy these great titles”. I have to agree, all the fiction books this month tick the right reading boxes for me, so I’m even more delighted than usual. The only slight cloud was the non inclusion of the much-anticipated Spanish Crossings by John Simmons, so hoping to see that in next month’s delivery. As a reminder the book club cost £99.99 for a year, beginning the day you join – full details here.
Here’s what this month had to offer:-
The Poisoned Rock by Robert Daws
In London, the British Government has declassified a large number of top secret files regarding British Military Intelligence operations during World War Two. One file, concerning espionage operations on Gibraltar, has been smuggled out of the U.K. to Spain. It contains information that will draw Sullivan and Broderick into the dark and treacherous world of wartime Gibraltar. A place where saboteurs and espionage plots abounded. Where double and triple agents from Britain, Germany and Spain were at war in a treacherous and deadly game of undercover operations. It is only a matter of time before past and present collide and a dangerous battle begins to conceal the truth about the Rock’s poisonous wartime history. Detectives Sullivan and Broderick become caught in a tangled web of intrigue and murder that will once again test their skills and working relationship to the very limit.
The Rock by Robert Daws
The Rock. Gibraltar. 1966. In a fading colonial house the dead body of a beautiful woman lays dripping in blood. The Rock. Present day. Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan arrives on The Rock on a three-month secondment from the London Metropolitan Police Service. Her reasons for being here are not happy ones, and she braces herself for a tedious twelve weeks in the sun. After all, murders are rare on the small, prosperous and sun-kissed Rock of Gibraltar and catching murderers is what Sullivan does best. It is a talent Sullivan shares with her new boss, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick of the Royal
The Scarlet Coven by Stuart Davies
New York 1936. Leading New York detective Simon Finch has received an unexpected inheritance and left the force to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. But a true detective is never far from finding trouble…or trouble finding him… A stranger approaches Finch in the Algonquin Hotel, asking him to help find his sister who has disappeared. When he later visits the man’s hotel room he discovers that he has been murdered – stabbed with a dagger decorated with strange markings. As Finch investigates further he discovers recently acquitted crime boss Fats Molloy is mixed up with the man’s murder and the missing sister. The trail leads him to an occult bookshop …has the missing woman been kidnapped by a group of Satanists, The Scarlet Coven? Joining forces with a black private eye, Patrick Murphy, who is also investigating the cult, they endure a series of wild adventures and close calls with demonic forces as they seek the truth about the mysterious leader of the Coven…and the nefarious plans for death and mayhem…
The Prague Ultimatum by James Silvester
Fear stalks the newly reunified Czechoslovakia, the terror wrought by international terrorism and violent extremists overshadowing the forthcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Prague Spring, and threatening to burn the country in its wake. Into this arena steps Captain Lincoln Stone, a disgraced British officer, humiliatingly scapegoated by his government for his role in the disastrous on-going Syrian Conflict. Plucked from his purgatory, Stone is teased with exoneration by British Foreign Secretary Jonathan Greyson, in return for his ‘off the books’ aid of Czechoslovak Prime Minister, Miroslava Svobodova. Stone, resentful of his treatment and determined to prove himself, is driven by deeper motives than the casual platitudes of his superiors, and finds himself at the epicentre as the country descends into chaos. Cut off from the international community and isolated in the face of an expansionist Russia, and with the sinister Institute for European Harmony ever present behind the scenes, Czechoslovakia’s fate, and that of the world, hangs on the outcome to the Prague Ultimatum.
Burning Secrets by Clio Gray
Burning Secrets is book 2 in the Scottish Mysteries series Strontian, a village on Ardnamurchan Peninsula, is inhabited by mining folk and crofters, eking out a living from the unforgiving land and turning a blind eye to the smugglers who plague the coast. A bag of bones is pulled out of the water; the assistant to Gustav Wengler, eccentric owner of the lead mines, is brutally murdered; what is the connection? And what do either have to do with the sundial in Ockle churchyard and the collection of monuments on Wengler’s island known locally as the White Cathedral? Sholto McKay and Brogar Finn of the Pan-European Mining Company – in pursuit of a potentially valuable mineral from the Strontian mines – begin their own investigations, unaware their discoveries will tear more than one life apart.
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The Melting Point by Dr. Christian Marcolli
The Melting Point of the title refers to a critical psychological threshold that all of us face when under massive stress and pressure the point at which we cannot control our thinking, emotions, and behaviors in an impactful way anymore. We start to internally derail, show dysfunctional behaviors, and perhaps even walk away. Dr. Marcolli discusses how leaders can achieve sustainable top performance by raising their Melting Point so they can successfully handle the enormous pressures of todays demanding commercial environment. This, in turn, enables them to maintain a winning edge in their career, lead their team effectively, and deliver tangible long-term benefits to their organization, especially in highly competitive times. Dr. Marcolli was himself an elite athlete (a professional soccer player) before studying
Anticipated May releases hopefully coming in next month’s delivery
I’m particularly looking forward to the third installment in the Charles Holborne series, The Lighterman by Simon Michael. As I’ve still to read book 2 there will be no fighting between me and the OH who is eager to get his hands on this one.
Gangland leader Ronnie Kray is not a man to forgive or forget. Holborne has ‘taken liberties’ and revenge will follow. But how to get at a tough and resourceful Brief with his own history of criminality and a penchant for violence? The answer: find a man who can’t be hanged twice.
Now Holborne must dig up the secrets of the past to save two lives…one of them his own.
I’m also keen to read the humorous debut offering from Gina Kirkham based on her experiences as a police officer, Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong. For anyone in striking distance of Liverpool, this is being launched at Waterstones on 18th May at 18:30pm and I’ve already got my ticket!
Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong? Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America. Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.
Of course being Urbane there are lots of other good-looking titles forthcoming including:-
Death’s Silent Judgement is the thrilling sequel to Dancers in the Wind, and continues the gripping series starring London-based investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge. The series is very much in the best traditions of British women crime writers such as Lynda La Plante and Martina Cole. Following the deadly events of Dancers in the Wind, freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is thrown into the heart of a horrific murder investigation when a friend, Liz Rayman, is found with her throat slashed at her dental practice. With few clues to the apparently motiveless crime Hannah throws herself into discovering the reason for her friend s brutal murder, and is determined to unmask the killer. But before long Hannah’s investigations place her in mortal danger, her hunt for the truth placing her in the path of a remorseless killer…
The near future. Climate change and geopolitical tension have given rise to a new international threat – a world war for water. This most vital of resources has become a precious commodity and some will stop at nothing to control its flow. When a satellite disappears over Iceland, Sim Atkins thinks he knows why. He is given the chance to join the hallowed Overseas Division and hunt for the terrorists responsible. But his new partner Freda Brightwell is aggrieved to be stuck with a rookie on such a deadly mission. Freda’s misgivings are well founded when their first assignment ends in disaster – a bomb destroys a valuable airship and those responsible evade capture. Seeking redemption, the British agents follow the trail to a billionaires’ tax haven in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and uncover a web of deceit that threatens global war. Whom can they trust? As the world edges ever closer to destruction Sim and Freda must put their lives on the line to prevent Armageddon – and protect the future of ‘blue gold’.
Two women. One man. A buried secret. They were reunited at his funeral, school friends with a shared past. A past that is anything but straightforward. A past that harbours secrets and untruths. Karen has a seemingly perfect life. An adoring husband, two wonderful children and a beautiful home. She has all she has ever wanted, living the dream. She also has a secret. Sandra’s once perfect life is rapidly unravelling. The man who meant everything to her had a dark side and her business is failing. To get her life back on track she needs to reclaim what is rightfully hers. She knows the secret. As the past meets the present, truths are revealed – and both women understand the true cost of betrayal.
Mining engineer John Spargo is distraught when his mother is attacked in her home and later dies from her injuries. Her home has been ransacked. Determined to track down her killer and discover the truth behind her death, John finds a connection between his late father’s wartime mine and the wreck of a U-Boat. The connection deepens when he discovers the diaries of the U-Boat captain and a wartime mission to spirit Göring to safety along with a fortune in stolen art. When John’s daughter Jez is kidnapped, he is contacted by a mysterious consortium her life hangs in the balance unless he can find the stolen art. What is the link with his father’s abandoned mine? Who was the U-Boat captain? Did he survive and hide Göring’s treasures? John races against time to discover the truth…and in doing so may unearth secrets that were better left buried…
So until next month, whatever you’re reading Happy Reading!!