Saturday, 7 December 2013

Books to Look Forward to From Orion Books

Was it possible that the book he had before him was an original document, squirreled away for sixteen years?  Or was it simply another hoax, the desperate ploy of a poor, ambitious young writer, just as he had been who schemed, just as he had schemed, to captivate the fickle attention of the public by tying a painter to the taffrail of a famous mystery ship?  A ghost ship appears in the mist.  To a struggling author called Arthur Conan Doyle, it is an inspiration.  To Violet Petra, the most infamous mystic of her age, it is a reminder.  To the death-obsessed Victorian public, it is a preoccupation.  And to one family, tied to the sea for generations, it is a tragedy.  In salons and rough seas, séances and the mind of a genius, Valerie Martin looks behind the myth and brings an extraordinary story to life.  The Ghost of the Mary Celeste is due to be published in February 2014.

The Call is by Steve Mosby and is due to be published in May 2015.  A monster is talking the city.  Young women are being assaulted in their own homes, and DI Zoe Dolan knows it’s only a matter of time before the attacks escalate and someone is killed.  An elderly widow is mourning her lost husband and treating from the increasingly terrifying world around her.  Her only support comes from her great-nephew, an odd young man, but the only one who seems to care.  Jane Webster, a shy woman in her twenties, volunteers at a helpline.  When she receives a call from a man claiming to be the attacker, she is forced to confront her fears and make a decision.  It is a choice that will set all three women on a collision course with an evil far darker than they could have ever imagined.

It's a profile, like all the others on the online dating site.  But as NYPD Detective Kat
Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she's ignored for decades come crashing down on her.  Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart eighteen years ago.  Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her.  But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.  As Kat's hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved - her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained.  With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.  Missing You is by Harlan Coben and is due to be published in April 2014.

Hell’s Gate is by Richard Compton and is due to be published in March 2014.  It must have been someone's idea of a joke.  Too many offended egos back at headquarters, too many influential people unhappy with him in Nairobi.  And yet, with his record, almost impossible to dismiss.  So where had they sent Mollel?  Straight to Hell.  When Mollel, a former Maasai warrior turned detective, ends up in a small, fly-blown town on the edge of a national park, it looks as if his career has taken a nose-dive.  His colleagues are a close-knit group and they have not taken kindly to a stranger in their midst.  Mollel suspects they are guilty of the extortion and bribery that plague the force, but when the body of a flower worker turns up in the local lake, he wonders if they might be involved in something more disturbing...For all is not as it seems in Hell's Gate.  Amid rumours of a local death squad, disappearances and blackmail, Mollel is forced not only to confront his Maasai heritage, but also to ask himself where justice truly lies.  In upholding the law, is he doing what is right?

Bourne's friend Eli Yadin, head of Mossad, learns that Ouyang Jidan, a senior member of China's Politburo, and a major Mexican drug lord may have been trafficking in something far more deadly than drugs.  Yadin convinces Bourne to investigate.  Bourne agrees, but only because he has a personal agenda: Ouyang Jidan is the man who ordered Rebeka - one of the only people Bourne has ever truly cared about - murdered.  Bourne is determined to avenge her death, but in the process, he becomes enmeshed in a monstrous worldwide scheme involving the Chinese, Mexicans, and Russians.  Bourne's increasingly desperate search for Ouyang takes him from Tel Aviv, to Shanghai, Mexico City, and, ultimately, a village on China's coast where a clever trap has been laid for him.  Bourne finds himself pursued on all sides and unsure whom he can trust.  As he moves closer to Ouyang, closer to avenging the woman he loved, he also moves ever-closer to his own death...  Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Retribution is by Eric Van Lustbader and is due to be published in January 2014.

Charlotte Alton has put her old life behind her.  The life where she bought and sold information, unearthing secrets buried too deep for anyone else to find, or fabricating new identities for people who need their histories erased.  But now she has been offered one more job.  To get a hit man into an experimental new prison and take out someone who according to the records isn't there at all.  It's impossible.  A suicide mission.  And quite possibly a set-up.  So why can't she say no?  The Distance is by Helen Giltrow and is due to be published in May 2014

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths is by Harry Bingham and is due to be published in March 2014.  When DC Fiona Griffiths says 'yes' to her policeman boyfriend, it's an affirmation that she wants finally to put her psychological breakdown behind her, and become a resident of 'Planet Normal' like everybody else.  But she still can't resist the challenge of an undercover policing course, and finding it remarkably easy to assume a new identity; she comes top of the class.  So when an ingenious payroll fraud starts to look like the tip of a huge criminal iceberg, Fiona is selected to infiltrate the fraudsters' operation.  Posing as a meek former payroll clerk now forced to work as a cleaner, Fiona Griffiths becomes Fiona Grey, hoping the criminals will try and recruit her - knowing that if they discover her real identity, she's dead meat.  But as Fiona penetrates deeper into their operation, coming closer to identifying the mastermind behind it, she faces another, even more frightening danger - that her always-fragile grip on her sense of self has now been lost and she may never find her way back.

The first thing you should know about me is that my name is not Carter Blake.  That name no more belongs to me than the hotel room I was occupying when the call came in.  When Caleb Wardell, the infamous 'Chicago Sniper', escapes from death row two weeks before his execution, the FBI calls on the services of Carter Blake, a man with certain specialised talents whose skills lie in finding those who don't want to be found.  A man to whom Wardell is no stranger.  Along with Elaine Banner, an ambitious special agent juggling life as a single mother with her increasingly high-flying career, Blake must track Wardell down as he cuts a swathe across America, apparently killing at random.  But Blake and Banner soon find themselves sidelined from the case.  And as they try desperately to second-guess a man who kills purely for the thrill of it, they uncover a hornets' nest of lies and corruption.  Now Blake must break the rules and go head to head with the FBI if he is to stop Wardell and expose a deadly conspiracy that will rock the country.  Slick, fast-paced and assured, The Killing Season is by Mason Cross and is the first novel in the gripping new Carter Blake series.  It is due to be published on April 2014.

The Tournament is by Matthew Reilly and is due to be published in January 2014.  England, 1546: A young Princess Elizabeth is surrounded by uncertainty.  The Black Death stalks the land and with it deadly conspiracies against her.  She is not currently in line for the throne, but she remains a threat to her older sister and brother.  In the midst of this fevered atmosphere comes an unprecedented invitation from the Sultan in Constantinople.  He seeks to assemble the finest players of chess from the whole civilised world and pit them against each other.  The prize?  Fabulous wealth but also the honour of Christendom.  Roger Ascham, Elizabeth's teacher and mentor, is determined to keep her out of harm's way and continue her education in the art of power and politics.  Ascham resolves to take Elizabeth with him when he accompanies the English chess champion to the Ottoman capital.  But once there, the two find more danger than they left behind.  There's a grotesque killer on the loose and a Catholic cardinal has already been found mutilated in the grounds of the palace.  Ascham is asked by the Sultan to use his razor-sharp mind to investigate the crime.  But as he and Elizabeth delve deeper into the murky world of the court and the glittering chess tournament, they find dark secrets, horrible crimes and unheard-of depravity.  Things that mark the young princess for life and define the queen that she will become...

Charlie Boxer messed up his family life.  First, the army, then the police, then high-stakes kidnap and recovery, his ex-wife and daughter learnt to live without him as his work took him places no man can come back from unscarred.  Trying to rebuild a relationship with Amy, his teenage daughter hasn't been easy.  But Charlie only realises just how wrong things have gone when he finds her empty room and a note: You will never find me.  Having spent years working to track down kidnap victims, Charlie knows that sometimes, the missing don't want to be found.  And he knows the hell it brings for families - the vanished are neither dead nor alive, but simply gone.  Worse still, Charlie Boxer knows how quickly a life can fall apart once you're living under the radar.  For Charlie, danger has finally come to his front door and to crack the hardest case he's ever worked, it's time to face up to the true meaning of the sins of the father.  You Will Never Find Me is the second book in the Charlie Boxer series by Robert Wilson and is due to be published in February 2014.

God and the Devil is by Dan Smith and is due to be published in July 2014.  ‘There were times I felt I would always be death’s passenger….’  So begins God and the Devil, inviting you on a terrifying journey into the dark heart of South America, where the lines between good and evil are blurred in the battle to stay alive.  And for one man, the choice is stark: if you want to escape this place, kill the only good thing you’ve ever know.

A Carnival of Shadows is by R J Ellory and is due to be published in May 2014.  When Special Agent Michael Travis is posted to the small town of Seneca Falls, Kansas, to investigate the mysterious death of a man at a travelling show, he is plunged into the weird and wonderful world of the Carnival Diablo.  Led by the elusive Edgar Doyle, the carnival folk range from the enigmatic to the bizarre, but none of them will give Travis a straight answer to his questions.  As Doyle and his companions challenge Travis's unshakeable faith in solid facts and hard evidence, it emerges that this case is not as straightforward as it at first appeared.  Can Michael open his mind to a truth that is beyond comprehension?  And will he be able to set his own beliefs aside to solve a mystery that threatens to overthrow everything he has ever had trust in?

The Dead in their Vaulted Arches is by Alan Bradley and is due to be published in March 2014.  The presumed death of Harriet de Luce in a mysterious mountaineering accident in Tibet while Flavia was only a baby cast a sombre shadow over the family, leaving Colonel de Luce a broken man and Flavia herself with no memories of her mother.  But now, astonishingly, a specially commissioned train is bringing Harriet back to Buckshaw.  But rather than putting the past finally to rest, Harriet's return is set to trigger a further series of bizarre and deadly events, as a most curious group of individuals converge on Buckshaw to pay their respects.  For Flavia, a gruesome new crime to solve is only one of the mysteries confronting her, as she begins to unravel the shocking revelations of Harriet's past and in doing so discovers an extraordinary tale of espionage and betrayal that also seems to be the key to her own destiny.

Pia has struggled with her agoraphobia for several years.  She lives in architectural curiosity - a landmark London house full of passages, secret stairs and a deep underground swimming pool.  Unable to face leaving the house, she rents out rooms to lodgers – but only women.  When one of her lodgers moves on, she has a room to fill and for once, she ignores her own rule.  The man on her doorstep is handsome, charming and he needs a break.  Surely, he’s no threat to her?  Having granted him a room, Pia begins to hear strange noises at night and then one of her tenants disappears.  It seems she may have invited into her house the one person who might tear her safety and security apart…  Rooms for Lost Souls is by Lezanne Clannachan and is due to be published in June 2014.

Slingshot is by Matthew Dunn and is due to be published in March 2014.  Will Cochrane monitors the nighttime streets of Gdansk, Poland, waiting for the appearance of a Russian defector, a man bearing a top-secret document.  Will believes the defector is about to step out of the cold and into the hands of Polish authorities, but suddenly everything goes sideways.  The target shows up, but so does a team from the Russian foreign intelligence service SVR, and they are hell-bent on keeping the man from walking.  Then, in a hail of crossfire, a van speeds into the melee and snatches the defector out from under them all.  Everyone wants the man and the codes he carries - but now he's gone and it's up to Will and his CIA/MI6 team to find him before the Russians do.  Will tracks both the missing Russian and his kidnappers, believing the defector has his own warped agenda.  But soon it's apparent that the real perpetrator could be someone much more powerful: a former East German Stasi officer who instigated a super-secret pact between Russian and US generals almost 20 years ago.  An agreement, which if broken for any reason, was designed to unleash the world's deadliest assassin.  Then Will learns that the Russians have tasked their own 'spycatcher' - an agent just as ruthless and relentless as Will - to retrieve the document.  Now Will knows that he faces two very clever and deadly adversaries, who will stop at nothing to achieve their aims.

Reformed from his days of covert operations, Paul Janson has set a new mission for himself.  Working in partnership with champion sharpshooter Jessica Kincaid, he rehabilitates disenchanted agents and helps them create new lives outside of the violent intelligence sector.  Janson also takes on independent assignments - for a fee, he'll use his skills to resolve international crises.  But only those that he believes contribute to the greater good of all.  When oil executive Kingsman Helms begs Janson to rescue his wife, Allegra, from Somali pirates, Janson and Kincaid seize the opportunity.  At last, they can derail American Synergy Corporation's scheme to subvert sovereign nations into wholly owned subsidiaries.  But the pirates are the least lethal threat in the violent chaos of oil-rich East Africa, and when Janson and Kincaid stumble into a bewildering storm of plots and counterplots, they begin to fear that the only way to escape would be to abandon the innocent Allegra.  Robert Ludlum’s The Janson Option is by Paul Garrison and is due to be published in March 2014.

Things aren't going so well for Brian McKechnie.  His wife was attacked in their home, his cat was brutally killed and now a man with a suspiciously erratic accent is blackmailing him.  When the police fail spectacularly at finding out who's after him, McKechnie engages the services of London's most unusual private eye.  Duffy is a detective like no other.  A bisexual ex-policeman with a phobia of ticking watches and a penchant for Tupperware.  But what he lacks in orthodoxy he makes up for in street-smart savvy and no-nonsense dealings.  Intrigued by McKechnie's dilemma and the apparent incompetency of his ex-colleagues, Duffy heads to his old patch, the seedy underbelly of Soho, to begin inquiries of his own.  Helped by some shady characters from his past, Duffy discover that while things have changed in the years since he was working the area, the streets are still mean and the crooks walk arm in arm with the blues.  Full to bursting with sex, violence and dodgy dealings, Duffy is a gripping and entertaining crime novel with a distinctly different and entirely lovable anti-hero.  Duffy is by Dan Kavanagh and is due to be published in April 2014.

Jason Bourne is working as a 'blacksmith' - someone who is hired by high-level government ministers fearful of assassination attempts.  He is paid to impersonate these men at meetings in places of uncertain security around the globe.  Bourne is at one such meeting when armed gunmen storm the room - but their target is not the minister he impersonates, it is Bourne himself.  Kidnapped and transported to an underground bunker, Bourne finds himself face-to-face with a well-known terrorist, a man who calls himself El Ghadan ('Tomorrow').  El Ghadan demands that Bourne carry out a special mission for him - one, that if completed, will have dire consequences for the entire world. Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Ascendancy by Eric Van Lustbader is due to be published in June 2014.

Also due to be published are books by Alan Furst (in April), The Prophecy of Bees by R S Pateman (in June 2014), Denise Mina and Robert Crais (in July).

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