Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Forthcoming books to look forward to from Corvus

Warlord is the latest novel by David Rollins featuring his protagonist Vin Cooper and is due to be published in June 2012. Special Agent Vin Cooper has just returned from an off-books mission in the Congo. Now he's caught up in something even more dangerous. An ex-air force colleague has been kidnapped. His severed hand, buried in a KFC bucket with a demand for five million dollars, has found its way to Cooper's door - and he has just 21 days to pay. Tracking the missing man's movements from a topless revue in Vegas, to the shark-infested Pacific, the favelas of Brazil and finally to the pirate-patrolled waters off Somalia, Cooper discovers his ex-colleague is now an undercover agent working with a vicious Colombian arms dealer. Meanwhile, the CIA are searching for a stolen thermonuclear device. Suddenly, Cooper's quest to find his friend becomes a journey to the heart of a chilling conspiracy. A journey that Cooper might not survive…

Taklimakan desert, 1890: A storm uncovers a city buried deep beneath the shifting sands that lie beyond the roof of the world. A new Pompeii has come to light, and with it two remarkable artefacts, found in a hidden burial chamber. A metal ankh and star - covered in strange hieroglyphs.

Arctic Circle, 1897: On the skerried islands of Svalbard, Swedish aeronaut S A AndrĂ©e begins an expedition untried by any other navigator – a polar voyage by hydrogen dirigible. The entire company will disappear without trace, and with them the metal ankh and star.

Sweden, present day: Miles under the earth in a long-flooded mineshaft, a diver’s torch-beam plays over an ancient corpse, uncannily preserved. A coin-sized hole in its forehead suggests a violent death. Skeletal arms clutch a metal ankh to the remains of the body. On the wall of the submerged cavern, one word – NIFLHEIM: the Norse kingdom of the dead. Strindberg’s Star is the debut novel by Jan Wallentin and is due to be published in June 2012

FreeFlow is a group of internet activists dedicated to the freedom of information. They have video evidence of a military atrocity in the Middle East and are preparing to unleash it on the world’s media in from their Iceland HQ. On the glacial rim of an erupting volcano, they christen their endeavour Operation Meltwater. Minutes later one of them is murdered. The list of people FreeFlow have antagonised is long – the Chinese government, the Israeli military, Italian politicians, and even American Fraternities. Magnus Jonson has a long list of suspects but he is getting little help from FreeFlow – for a group dedicated to transparency, they’re a secretive bunch.

But they are not the only ones with secrets. Asta, a newly qualified priest, has contacted FreeFlow with damming information about the former Bishop of Iceland. And with the return of Magnus’s brother Ollie to Iceland, the feud that haunted their family for three generations is about to reignite. Meltwater is the third in the Fire & Ice Quartet by Michael Ridpath and it is due to be published in June 2012.

Vespasian: Rome's Execution is the sequel to Robert Fabbri's debut novel Vespasian: Tribune of Rome. Thracia, 30 AD: Even at the edge of the Roman world, Vespasian can't escape the tumultuous politics of an empire on the brink of disintergration. His patrons in Rome have charged him with the clandestine extraction of an old enemy from a fortress on the banks of the Danube before it falls to the Roman legion besieging it. Vespasian's mission is the key move in a deadly struggle for the right to rule the Roman Empire. The man he has been ordered to seize could be the witness that will destroy Sejanus, commander of the Praetorian Guard and ruler of the empre in all but name. Before he completes his task, Vespasian will face ambush in snowbound mountains, pirates on the high seas and Sejanus's spies all around him. But he will also face a far greater terror: he will have to travel to the island of Capri, there to confront the nightmarish court of an insane emperor. Vespasian: Rome's Executioner is due to be published in May 2012.

For journalist Douglas Brodie, Glasgow's out-break of murder and mayhem begins simply enough. A typical Staurday night brawl adds a splash of colour to the morning edition of the Gazette. But Brodie's piece receives a hot-blooded reply - the declaration of a new war upon pettey crime signed by a group of vigilantes: The Glasgow Marshalls. After his own stint at the Front, Brodie counts himself lucky to be back in his home town, paying his way as the local crime reporter. And although the frustrated, demobbed men of Glasgow are taking an ee for an eye. Brodie has some sympathy for their cause. When a man is killed suspicion automatically falls on the Marshalls. But for Brodie, this crime is all wrong. The Marshalls stand for justice, not murder. Amid the heated clash of populace and police, a calculated crime has been ignored. Enlisting the help of advocate Samantha Campbell, Brodie begins to investigate the death himself. Bitter Water is by Gordon Ferris and is due to be published in April 2012.

Joe Pickett's outlaw falconer companion, Nate Romanowski, faces the battle of his life and one he may very likely lose. His mysterious past comes back in the form of his former special forces colleague, an utterly ruthless soldier/homeland security official who knows his rise through the military and intelligence community will be derailed if Nate ever tells what he knows about their time together in Afghanistan in 1995. After years of dispatching fellow special forces team members to take him out, Nate's nemesis decides the time has come to end the threat to him once and for all. And he does it by incorporating many of the same tactics that served their unique and secret unit well in the Middle East: by recruiting locals. Nate can trust no one except Joe Pickett, who is constrained by his oath and duty to the law and the state. But Nate must involve Joe because he knows his enemy will strike at his friends in order to draw him out and the entire Pickett family will be a target. Because of Nate's fugitive status he can only fight back outside the law, and Joe must make a choice: help his friend or adhere to his principles? Force of Nature is by C J Box and is due to be published in March 2012.

The Dead Season is the latest novel by Christobel Kent and is due to be published in May 2012. Every August, Florence shimmers in the summer heat. But this year the heatwave is fiercer than usual, and the city's inhabitants have fled to the cool of the hills and beaches of the surrounding countryside. But former policeman turned private detective Sandro Cellini will not be joining them, and nor will the manager of a branch of a small, failing provincial bank. Sandro has a case: a man who seems to have vanished into thin air leaving his pregnant wife behind him. But the bank manager lies amidst the shrubbery of a busy roundabout, his corpse bloating in the humid air. Meanwhile, bank-teller Roxana Delfino is both worried by her mother's state of mind - is her memory failing? Has she imagined an intruder onto their property? - and puzzled by the disappearance of one her regular clients. And just what does the old porn cinema near Roxana's bank have to do with these three separate mysteries? as all Florence sweats it out, Sandro, his assistant Guili, wife Luisa and former police partner Pietro attempt as best they can to grapple with the case and the complications it throws up along the way. And when the weather finally breaks, it brings with it a shocking revelation...

An American Spy is the latest novel by the award winning author Olen Steinhauer and is due to be published in March 2012. Milo Weaver is still haunted by his last job. As an expert assassin for the Department of Tourism, an ultra-secret group of super-spooks buried deep in the corridors of the CIA, he fought to keep himself sane in a paranoid and amoral profession. Now, the Department has been destroyed, and with it Weaver's livelihood. Finally he can spend time with his family - without constantly looking over his shoulder and fixing one eye on the exits. Weaver's former boss is not so settled. For Alan Drummond, Tourism was everything. Now, all he wants is to take revenge on the Chinese spymaster that exploded their operations from within. Weaver tries to persuade him to leave sleeping cells lie, but when Drummond disappears from a London hotel room after a serpentine journey through the world's cities, Weaver is sucked back down into his old life. Investigating Drummond's intentions in London throws up more questions than answers. Why was an ex-Tourist in his hotel room that night? Why is homeland security suddenly asking questions? And how are the Chinese connected? Soon, Weaver is sifting through what secrets, lies and misinformation he can extract from the sources he still has on the ground. If his time as a Tourist has taught him anything, it's that nothing and no-one can be trusted - even within the CIA itself...

A Name in Blood is by Matt Rees and is due to be published in May 2012. Italy, 1605: For the ruling Borgia family, Rome is a place of grand palazzos and the frescoed cathedrals. For the lowly artist Caravaggio, it is a place of rough bars, knife fights, and grubby whores. Until he is commisioned to paint the pope... Soon, Caravagio has gained entry into the inner circle of Rome's power-brokers, and becomes the most celebrated artist in Italy. But when he falls for Lena, a low-born fruit seller, and paints her as the Madonna, Italian society is outraged. Discredited as an artist, but desperate to defend the honour of the woman he loves, Carravagio is forced into a duel - and murders a nobel man. Even his powerful patrons cannot protect him from a death sentence. So Carravagio flees to Malta, where in oredr to be pardoned, he must undergo the rigorous training of the Knights of Malta. His paintings continue to speak of his love for Lena. But before he can return to her, as a knight and a noble, Carravagio, the most famous artist in Italy simply disappears....

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. With a storyline crackling with action, a dazzling cast of thugs, traitors, killers and creeps, and a cinematic portrait of a seamy Los Angeles clogged with corruption and greed, Robert Ward's turbulent new thriller is clever, contemporary and cool as ice. Total Immunity is due to be published in January 2012.

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