Sunday, 12 June 2011

Forthcoming books to look forward to from Penguin and Michael Joseph

Isaac Bell is back in another nerve-shredding historical thriller from the international bestselling author Clive Cussler and Justin Scott. Intrepid detective Isaac Bell engages in his most dangerous case yet. It is the early years of the twentieth century, air travel is in its infancy, and newspaper publisher Preston Whiteway is offering $50,000 for the first flier to cross America in less than fifty days. He is even sponsoring one of the candidates a barnstorming woman flier named Josephine Frost and that's where Isaac Bell comes in. Frost's violent tempered business magnate husband, Harry, has just killed her lover and tried to kill her and now he's on the run but Whiteway is sure he'll try again. Not that that's news to Bell. He tangled with Harry Frost ten years before, and lost badly. He knows that Frost has access to thieves, murderers and thugs in every city in the country. He knows Frost won't just be coming after his wife, but after Whiteway. And Bell knows that if he takes the case, Frost will be after him, too. Yes, Bell knows all that . . . but he still has no idea what he has just gotten himself into. Things are not quite what they seem to him and that will prove to be a very fatal mistake indeed. The Race is due to be published in October 2011.

Gamble is the latest novel by Dick and Felix Francis. It is due to be published in September 2011. As one of the youngest ever winners of the Grand National, Nick 'Foxy' Foxton's career as a world-class jockey is on perfect track until a near fatal accident cuts his dream brutally short. But when he returns to Aintree as a spectator years later, nothing can prepare him for what unfolds. Minutes before the biggest event on the racing calendar, Nick's affable American colleague Herb Kovak is shot at point-blank range, the gunman disappearing among the stunned crowd. Along with the police, Nick is left baffled as to why anyone would want to kill such an apparently gentle soul. With the press speculating about links to gangland crime and a crumpled note containing a threatening message found in the dead man's coat, Nick begins to doubt how well he really knew Herb. And on discovering Herb had named him as the benefactor of his will, Nick questions why he has been entrusted with the legacy. Is this a generous gift from a friend or is it, in fact, a poisoned chalice?

AD 262 and the Imperium is in turmoil after the struggle for the throne. Furthermore, Ephesus, Asia's metropolis, lies in ruins, shattered by a mighty earthquake. Its citizens live in fear as the mob overwhelms the city, baying for blood to avenge the gods who have punished them. Yet an even greater threat to the Empire advances from the North. The barbaric Goth tribes sail towards Ephesus, determined to pillage the city. Only Ballista, Warrior of Rome, knows the ways of the barbarians, and only he can defeat them. The Goths' appetite for brutality and destruction is limitless and before long Ballista is locked into a deadly blood feud, with an enemy that has sworn to destroy him and the Imperium at all costs. The Caspian Gates is the latest novel in the Warrior of Rome series by Harry Sidebottom and it is due to be published in July 2011.

Disgrace is the latest novel by Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen and is due to be published in January 2012. It is 1987. A brother and sister are brutally killed in a summer house in the north of Denmark. The police investigation suggests that the murderer is to be found within a group of young boarding school students who are known for their addiction to gang violence. But the evidence is not strong enough to prove this theory, and the case is shelved. Twenty years later, Carl Moerck and his assistant Assad stumble over the file documenting the murders. No one really knows why it has reappeared, but someone seems to be interested in revisiting the events surrounding the case. When Moerck's bosses strictly forbid the Department Q team to reopen the file, both he and Assad know there is something terribly wrong and get hooked on the story. The first lead they uncover takes them to the very top of Danish high society the world of stockbrokers, businessmen and plastic surgeons. But it also takes them to the very bottom: to Kimmie, a young homeless woman who lives on the streets of Copenhagen and who seems to know a secret that could seriously threaten three incredibly powerful men.

The Death Relic is the new action-adventure thriller set amidst Mexico's ancient Mayan ruins by Chris Kuzneski. The New World, 1545 . . . Vanquished by the Spanish Empire, little remains of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. From the ashes of their cities, a unified legend emerges: the Christians who conquered them possessed a mysterious object, an artefact so powerful so deadly that it was known throughout the Americas as 'the death relic'. Yucatan Peninsula, present day . . . When Maria Pelati's research team disappears in Mexico, Jonathon Payne and David Jones embark on a perilous mission to find the missing archaeologists. The duo quickly finds a link between the group's work and its recent disappearance. Following the clues left behind, the pair try to solve one of the darkest mysteries of the New World, but their quest for the relic might cost them their lives. The Death Relic is due to be published in September 2011.

It’s 1640, and the pall of war hangs over France . . . The young Chevalier de Roland has scarcely set foot in the city before he crosses swords with a cruel nobleman to defend a young woman's honour. Too late he learns he has stumbled on a conspiracy within the King's own household to seize power by secret alliance with Spain. Accused of treason and forced to flee into hiding, André must fight on alone, staking both his life and his honour in the battle to save France. Blood and Steel is an epic swashbuckling page turner that sweeps from the political intrigues of Cardinal Richelieu to the great battlefields of the Thirty Years War. Blood and Steel is by A L Berridge and is due to be published in August 2011.

The Chill of Night is by James Hyman and is due to be published in October 2011. It is the second book in the series to feature Detective Michael McCabe. Lainie Goff thinks she has it all. A glamorous young Portland attorney with the brains and looks to match her ambitions, she's on the fast track to a partnership. Until one cold winter night she discovers that her belief in her ability to handle any situation was misplaced. Now she's just a frozen corpse in the boot of a car at the end of Portland Fish Pier. And a problem for homicide detective Michael McCabe. Luckily for McCabe, there's a witness. A mentally disturbed young woman named Abby Quinn saw what happened to Lainie. Unfortunately, Abby mysteriously goes missing the very same night. With a victim who'd known more than her share of bad guys, a list of suspects that seems to get longer and longer and his only witness missing, McCabe has got his work cut out. But it's only a matter of time before the killer strikes again . . .

Every Serial Killer Knows
. . . The vicious burns scarring the victims' flesh reveal the agony of their last moments. Each woman was branded with a star, then stabbed through the heart. With every death, a vengeful killer finds a brief, blissful moment of calm . . . The Perfect Time . . . Ten years ago, Eva Rayburn and her sorority sisters were celebrating the end of the school year. That party turned into a nightmare Eva can't forget. Now she's trying to start over in her Virginia hometown, but a new nightmare has begun. Every victim is linked to her. And Detective Deacon Garrison isn't sure whether this mysterious woman needs investigating or protecting . . . To Make His Mark Only Eva's death will bring peace. Only her tortured screams will silence the rage that has been building for ten long years. Because what started that night at the sorority can never be stopped not until the last victim has been marked for death . . . Senseless is by Mary Burton and is due to be published in September 2011.

The Templar's Quest is by C M Palov and is due to be published in November 2011. The Montségur Medallion points the way to the most coveted relic, the Holy Grail. In the wrong hands it could destroy civilization . . . Finn McGuire finds himself framed for a string of murders moments after he uncovers the legendary Medallion in an ancient Syrian chapel. The culprits are a group of Nazi SS descendants known as The Seven who will stop at nothing to possess the pendant . . . and the Holy Grail. Their wish? To resurrect the Third Reich. Former MI5 operative Caedmon Aisquith is an expert in the Knights Templar and the Grail; he knows the Seven can only desire it for evil and when Finn approaches him, the two join forces in a quest to find the deadly relic and halt the bloodshed. Their race takes them from the Louvre to a medieval citadel in the Pyrenees. But the stakes are high, for the fate of mankind hangs in the balance if they fail . . .

The Thousand by Kevin Guilfoile is due to be published in September 2011. Long ago, a thousand men and women abandoned their lives to follow a stranger. Now their legacy threatens modern existence . . . Long ago, a thousand men and women abandoned their lives to follow a stranger. Now their legacy threatens modern existence . . . In 530 BC a mysterious ship appeared off the rainy shores of Croton in what is now Italy. After three days, a man disembarked to address the curious and frightened crowd that had gathered. He called himself Pythagoras. Exactly what he said that day is unknown, but afterwards a thousand men and women abandoned their lives and families to follow him. Over the centuries they became a secret society of powerful individuals safeguarding the teachings of one of history's most brilliant mathematicians. But now, triggered by a brutal murder in Chicago, the brotherhood erupts into civil war, and a young woman finds herself at the centre of ancient revelations that could not only become instruments of terror but could jeopardize civilization itself . . .

The Rembrandt Affair is by Daniel Silva and sees the return of Gabriel Allon. Glastonbury, an art restorer, has been brutally murdered, and the newly discovered Rembrandt he was working on has disappeared. Spy turned art restorer Gabriel Allon has only one thing in mind: recovery. But this unspeakable act of violence once again draws Allon into a world of danger he thought he had left behind forever. Allon is persuaded to use his unique skills to trace the painting and those responsible for the crimes. As he investigates, he discovers there are terrible secrets connected to the painting, and terrible men behind them. Before he is done, he will have undertaken a journey through some of the twentieth century's darkest history - and come face to face with some of the same darkness within himself. The Rembrandt Affair is due to be published in August 2011.

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