Saturday, 22 January 2011

Books to look forward to from Corvus

Mozart’s Last Aria is by Matt Rees. It is 1791 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is enlightenment Vienna’s brightest star. Master of the city’s music halls and devoted member of the Austrian Freemason’s guild, he stands at the heart of an electric mix of art and music, philosophy and science, politics and intrigue. But, six weeks ago, the great composer told his wife he had been poisoned. yesterday, he died. The city is buzzing with rumours of infidelity, bankruptcy and murder. But Wolfgang’s sister Nannerl will not believe base gossip. Who but a madman would poison such genius? yet as she looks closely at the objects that her brother left behind, Nannerl finds traces of something sinister: a masonic secret that might just be connected to his death. And as she listens to Wolfgang’s bewitching last opera, The Magic Flute, she realizes that the arias might contain more than just the music. Mozart’s Last Aria will be published in May 2011.

July 1805. The armies of France have only to sail to England to complete Napoleon’s domination over Europe. Britain is militarily weak, politically divided, unsettled by her rioting poor. Into this feverish environment comes a dead man. Pulled half-drowned from a shipwreck, his past erased, Tom Roscarrock is put to work for the Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey, a shadowy Government bureau. He is thrown into a bewildering world of political intrigue and violence. In France, a plan is underway to shatter the last of England’s stability. In England, the man who recruited Roscarrock has disappeared, his agents keep turning up dead, and reports of a secret French fleet are panicking the authorities. Roscarrock begins to realize that his mission is a deliberate device to reveal the British spy net- work in France... and his own opaque past is the key to the conspiracy. For Tom Roscarrock, the battle of the Empires is his chance for private vengeance. Will he prove nemesis or saviour? The Emperor’s Gold is by Robert Wilton and is due to be published in June 2011.


1934: Two boys playing in the lava fields surrounding their isolated farmsteads see something they shouldn’t. The consequences will haunt them and their families for generations. Iceland 2009: The credit crunch bites. Currency is devalued, banks nationalized, savings annihilated, lives ruined. Grassroots revolution is in the air, as is the feeling that someone ought to pay... ought to pay the blood price. And in a country with a population of just 300,000 souls, in a country where everyone knows everybody, it isn’t hard to draw up a list of exactly who is responsible. And then,

one-by-one, to cross them off. Iceland 2010: As bankers and politicians start to die, at home and abroad, it is up to Magnus Jonson to unravel the web of conspirators before they strike again. But while Magnus investigates the crimes of the present, the crimes of the past are catching up with him. 66° North is by Michael Ridpath and is due to be published in May 2011.

The Killing Way by Anthony Hays is due to be published in April 2011. Welcome to fifth century Britain: the Romans have left, the Saxons have invaded, the towns are decaying and the countryside is dangerous. A young leader has forged a reputation as both a warrior and a diplomat and supreme power is within his grasp. But this is not the Arthur of legend: Camelot does not exist; chivalry is nonexistent; betrayal and treachery are endemic. And neither is this Arthur’s story. This tale belongs to its grim narrator, Malgwyn ap Cuneglas, a man whose broken life mirrors the broken Roman roads that divide the landscape. Once a feared warrior, he should have lost his life when he lost his swordhand on the battlefield. Arthur saved him, condemning Malgwyn to a half-life as a meagre scribe. But when a young woman is murdered and Arthur’s reputation is threatened, Malgwyn is tasked with solving the mystery and safeguarding the stability of Arthur’s newborn realm.

Resolution by the late Robert B Parker is the second instalment of a new series. The dust has yet to settle in the new frontier town of Resolution. It’s barely even a town: a general store, a handful of saloons and a run-down brothel for the workers at a nearby copper mine. No sheriff has been appointed, and gunslingers have taken control. Amid the chaos, itinerant lawman Everett Hitch has created a small haven of order at the Blackfoot Saloon.

Charged with protecting the girls who work the back room, Hitch has seen off passing cowboys and violent punters – though it’s his scheming boss, Amos Woolfson, who stirs up the most trouble. When a greedy mine owner threatens the local ranchers, Woolfson ends up at the centre of a makeshift war. Hitch knows only too well how to protect himself, but with the bloodshed mounting, he’s relieved when his friend Virgil Cole rides into town. In a place where justice and order don’t yet exist, Cole and Hitch must lay down the law – without violating their codes of honour, duty and friendship. Resolution is due to be published in March 2011.

Smart, tough Los Angeles FBI agents Jack Harper and Oscar Hidalgo breathe sighs of relief after violent diamond smuggler Karl Steinbach is finally arrested in a complex sting. Vowing vengeance on the agents who brought him down, Steinbach is imprisoned only to be offered a release with total immunity in a dodgy deal with Homeland Security. As Jack and Oscar's team of agents start to die, it becomes clear that Steinbach's is no idle threat. But when the pair investigate their slain comrade's lives, they discover that what looked like retribution is

actually tied to a web of deceit that stretches to the highest echelons of the FBI. Navigating car chases, shootouts, and even venomous reptiles, Jack and Oscar furiously pursue clues scattered throughout the underbelly of Los Angeles, in a desperate attempt to find the killer - before he finds them. Total Immunity is by Robert Ward and is due to be published in March 2011.

In Daddy’s Girl by Margie Orford It is Friday evening on deserted street below Table Mountain where a six-year-old ballerina waits alone for her mother to fetch her. Then an unmarked car approaches, and she is gone. With no trace of where, or why she's been abducted, suspicion falls on her divorced father, Captain Riedwaan. The boss of Cape Town's gang unit, Riedwaan is tough and ruthless, a man accustomed to being in control. But now he is powerless. Suspended from the squad for wasting police time, Riedwaan watches helplessly as the search for his daughter is called off. In desperation, Riedwaan turns to investigative journalist and police profiler Dr Clare Hart, whose brutal TV documentary about Cape Town's missing young girls has made her something of a local celebrity. Clare has seen how aspiring gangsters in the Cape Flats ghetto prove their worth by tormenting children. She knows that the odds of a victim's survival worsen with each passing minute. She understands that finding the child without police involvement will be difficult, dangerous, and probably illegal. But she also knows she'll do anything to help this heartbroken father - even if it puts all their lives at risk. Daddy’s Girl is due to be published in March 2011.

Glasgow, 1946: The last time Brodie came home he was a proud young man in a paratrooper’s uniform. Now, the war is over but victory’s wine has soured, and Brodie’s back to try and save

his childhood friend Hugh Donovan from the gallows. Donovan returned from war burned, mutilated, unrecognizable. It’s no surprise that he keeps his own company, venturing out only to score heroin. And it’s no surprise that when a local boy is found raped and murdered, there is only one suspect. A mountain of evidence says he’s guilty. But Donovan denies it, and ex-policeman Brodie feels compelled to help him. Working with advocate Samantha Campbell, Brodie trawls the mean streets of the Gorbals and confronts an unholy alliance of troublesome priests, corrupt coppers and Glasgow’s deadliest razor gang. As time runs out for the condemned man, and the murder tally of innocents starts to climb, Brodie reverts to his wartime role as a trained killer. It’s them or him. The Hanging Shed is due to be published in March 2011 and is by Gordon Ferris.

Marc Lucas had it all, and lost it all. He is only slowly putting his life back together after the car crash that killed his pregnant wife, when things start to go strangely wrong for him. Nothing too sinister to begin with: his credit cards stop working. But then his key no longer fits his door, and he discovers someone else working in his office. Much worse is to come: he returns home to find himself face to face with his once-dead wife, and she doesn’t have a clue who he is. The next day, there is no trace of her. Could this have anything to do with the clinic? They wanted to test their ability to remove traumatic memories from live subjects. Marc had met them, just once, but declined their experimental technology. He now fears they may have begun their tests illicitly... Can he discover what is happening to him before the waking nightmare he finds himself living overwhelms his sanity? Splinter is a psychological novel by Sebastian Fitzek and s due to be published in April 2011.

Con men and killers, aliens and zombies, priests and soldiers - just some of the characters that kill and thrill in this compelling collection of gun-toting, double-crossing, back-stabbing, pulse

-pounding stories. Jeffrey Deaver investigates the suspicious death of a crime-writer in 'The Plot'; Karin Slaughter's grieving widow takes revenge on her dying ex-husband in 'Cold, Cold Heart'; Stephen Coonts discovers a flying saucer in the depths of the ocean in 'Savage Planet' and John Lescroat's secret field agent finds himself caught up in a complex game of cat-and-mouse in 'The Gate Conundrum'. Handpicked by world number one Lee Child, celebrity authors and stars of the future are brought together, writing brand-new stories, especially commissioned for this must-have collection. First Thrills is edited by Lee Child and is due to be published in February 2011.

End Game is by Matthew Glass and is due to be published in February 2011. July 5 2018, Masini, Uganda: 218 people are massacred when the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attack a hospital. Amongst the dead are 32 American medical volunteers. September 12, UN Security Council: The US announces its plan to eradicate the LRA once and for all. But it will mean intervening in China’s African sphere of influence. The message from the Chinese is keep out. October 17, Wall Street: Stock prices tumble as a wave of uncertainty sweeps US markets. Washington will do what it takes to prop up America’s banks but their fear is that someone is deliberately undermining them. unrelated incidents, or the opening moves in a deadly confrontation between superpowers? With hardliners on both sides keen to provoke conflict, US ambassador Marion Ellman must defuse the situation before it is too late, but with American and Chinese carrier groups massing off the Horn of Africa, her time is running out.

The elite warriors of the Hereford-based SAS know all about pain and the enduring of it. Syd Spicer, ex-SAS trooper, has found himself back in the Regiment – this time as its chaplain, responsible for the spiritual welfare of the hardest men in or out of uniform. Faced with a case, which would normally be passed discreetly to diocesan exorcist Merrily Watkins, Spicer is forced, for security reasons, to try and handle it himself and is coming close to a breakdown. Meanwhile, the scattered communities along the Welsh border face their own crisis. With recession biting deep, urban crime has spilled into the countryside and old barbaric evils are revived. When a wealthy landowner is hacked to death in his own farmyard, DI Frannie Bliss, the senior investigating officer, is caught in the backlash, his private life in danger of exposure. Merrily Watkins is going to have to venture into areas where neither priest nor woman is welcome, to unearth secrets linked to the pagan past. Secrets which she knows can never be disclosed. The Secrets of Pain is by Phil Rickman and is due to be published in February 2011.

Hollywood Hills is by Joseph Wambaugh and is due to be published in January 2011. For the streetwise cops of Hollywood Station, dealing with the panhandlers, prostitutes and costumed crackheads of the boulevard is all in a day's work. If they're lucky, surf-mad partners Flotsam and Jetsam can spend the morning calming the crazies and the afternoon policing the babes on the beach. But beyond the lights and the crowds on the Walk of Fame, the real Los Angeles simmers dangerously. And when things heat up, even veterans like Viv Daley will see

things that they'll wish they could forget. In the hills above town, it's a different world, where sports-car-studded driveways lead to sprawling villas stuffed with clothes and jewels. Up here, pickings are easy for the Bling Ring - a group of photogenic young addicts who knock off celebrity cribs to fund their next fix. Evenexperienced cop and wannabe filmstar Nate HollywoodA" Weiss has struck gold in the hills. Leona Bruger, wife of an Industry Mover and Shaker, has taken a fancy to him. Although he knows the Hollywood maxim - you don't pet the cougars, especially if they belong to the boss - Nate reckons that a leg-over might be just the leg-up he needs. What Weiss doesn't realise is that his new flame's crooked art-dealer is about to pull a forgery scam right under his nose. And when a pair of desperate junkies hit on a foolproof plan to pay their drug debts with a stolen painting, things get very complicated indeed.

Cassandra Brooks is a single mother-of-two, schoolteacher and water diviner. Deep in the woods as she dowses the land for a property developer, she is confronted by the body of a young girl, swinging from a tree, hanged. When she returns with the authorities, the body has vanished. Already regarded as an eccentric, her story is disbelieved- until a girl turns up in the woods, alive, mute and identical to the girl in Cassandra's vision. In the days that follow, Cassandra's visions become darker and more frequent as they begin to take on a tangible form. Forced to confront a past she has tried to forget, Cassandra finds herself locked in a game of cat-and-mouse with a real life killer who has haunted her for longer than she can remember. At once an ingeniously plotted mystery and a magical love story, The Diviner’s Tale is by Bradford Morrow and is due to be published in January 2011.

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