Sunday, 30 October 2011

Books to look forward to from Penguin and Michael Joseph

In April 1940, the ninth Duke of Rutland died in mysterious circumstances in one of the rooms of his family estate, Belvoir Castle. The mystery surrounding these rooms holds the key to a tragic story that is played out on the brutal battlefields of the Western Front and in the exclusive salons of Mayfair and Belgravia in the dying years of la belle époque. Uncovered is a dark and disturbing period in the history of the Rutland family, and one which they were determined to keep hidden for over sixty years. The Secret Rooms is the true story of family secrets and the ruthless determination to keep the past hidden at any cost. The Secret Rooms is by Catherine Bailey and is due to be published in June 2012.

The Chemickal Marriage is by GW Dahlquist and is due to be published in July 2012. Miss Temple, young, wealthy and far away from home, never wanted to be a heroine. Yet her fiancé is dead (admittedly, by her own hand), her companions slain and her nemesis, the terrifyingly wicked Contessa Lacquer-Sforza, escaped. It falls on her tiny shoulders to destroy a deadly cabal whose alchemy threatens to enslave the world. Miss Temple plots her revenge. But Dr Svenson and Cardinal Chang are alive. Barely – their bodies corrupted by the poisonous blue glass. Wounded and outnumbered, Miss Temple, Dr Svenson and Cardinal Chang pursue their enemies through city slums and glittering palaces as they fight to prevent the cabal's crushing dominion and unholy marriage between man and machine. An assassin, an heiress and a surgeon against the world's most unholy evil – the stage is set for a final battle. . .in an adventure like no other.

Spitalfields, 1840. Catherine Sorgeiul lives with her Uncle in a rambling house in London's East End. She has few companions and little to occupy the days beyond her own colourful imagination. But then a murderer strikes, ripping open the chests of young girls and stuffing hair into their mouths to resemble a beak, leading the press to christen him The Man of Crows. And as Catherine hungrily devours the news, she finds she can channel the voices of the dead . . . and comes to believe she will eventually channel The Man of Crows himself. But the murders continue to panic the city and Catherine gradually realizes she is snared in a deadly trap, where nothing is as it first appears . . . and lurking behind the lies Catherine has been told are secrets more deadly and devastating than anything her imagination can conjure. With an elegant style and thrilling plot, The Pleasures of Men reveals the dark, beating heart of corrupt London during Queen Victoria's reign. The Pleasures of Men is by Kate Williams and is due to be published in January 2012.

1889, London. The legacy of Jack the Ripper has cast a shadow over the city. But a new era of fear is just beginning . . . Victorian London is in the grip of a wave of crime and murder, with its citizens no longer able to trust the police to protect them. The newly formed Murder Squad of Scotland Yard, made up of just twelve detectives, battles in vain against the tide of violence and cruelty. When the body of a Yard detective is found in a suitcase, his lips sewn together and his eyes sewn shut, it becomes clear that not even the police are safe from attack. Has the Ripper returned - or is a new killer at large? Walter Day, the squad's newest recruit, is assigned the case and finds a strange ally in the Yard's first forensic pathologist, Dr Bernard Kingsley. Can they find the murderer before it's too late? Or is London at the mercy of a serial killer even deadlier than Jack the Ripper? The Yard is by Alex Grecian and is due to be published in June 2012.

Kurt Austin and NUMA are back on the case. A Japanese cargo ship cruises the eastern Atlantic near the Azores – when it bursts into flames. A gang of pirates speeds to take advantage of the disaster – when their boat explodes. What is happening in that part of the world? As Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala, and the rest of NUMA's Special Assignments Team rush to investigate, they find themselves drawn into the extraordinary ambitions of an African dictator, the creation of a weapon of almost mythical power, and an unimaginably audacious plan to extort the world's major nations. Their penalty for refusal? The destruction of their greatest cities. Devil’s Gate is by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown and is due to be published in January 2012.

Also due to be published in March 2012 by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott is The Thief featuring Isaac Bell. On the ocean liner Mauretania, two European scientists with a dramatic new invention are barely rescued from abduction by the Van Dorn Detective Agency's intrepid chief investigator, Isaac Bell. Unfortunately, they are not so lucky the second time. The thugs attack again – and this time one of the scientists dies. What are they holding that is so precious? Only something which will revolutionize business and popular culture – and perhaps something more. For war clouds are looming, and a ruthless espionage agent has spotted a priceless opportunity to give the Germans an edge. It is up to Isaac Bell to figure out who he is, what he is up to, and stop him, but he may already be too late . . . and the future of the world may just hang in the balance.

Tuesday’s Gone is the second book in the series to feature Frieda Klein. The rotting, naked corpse of a man is found amidst swarms of flies in the living room of a confused woman. Who is he? Why is Michelle Doyce trying to serve him afternoon tea? And how did the dead body find its way into her flat? DCI Karlsson needs an expert to delve inside Michelle's mind for answers and turns to former colleague, psychiatrist Frieda Klein. Eventually Michelle's ramblings lead to a vital clue that in turn leads to a possible identity. Robert Poole. Jack of all trades and master conman. The deeper Frieda and Karlsson dig, the more of Poole's victims they encounter . . . and the more motives they uncover for his murder. But is anyone telling them the truth except for poor, confused Michelle? And when the past returns to haunt Frieda's present, she finds herself in danger. Whoever set out to destroy Poole also seems determined to destroy Frieda Klein. Sometimes the mind is a dangerous place to hide. Tuesday’s Gone is by Nicci French and is due to be published in June 2012.

Into the Valley is by AL Berridge and is due to be published in May 2012. 1854 - The Allied armies prepare to besiege the Russian stronghold in the Crimea. Harry Ryder is a maverick hero. Resentful of the army that destroyed his father and his own career, he has no time for incompetent commanders. He clashes with his superiors as fiercely as he fights the Russians. Four men, one woman and a game of cards will change everything and alter the course of a war. Something evil has crept into the ranks of the British Army's own officers, an unknown enemy who plans lure men to ruin on the battlefields. The only path to victory lies in uncovering the truth, but to find it and confront his own destiny Ryder must charge with the Light Brigade into the Valley of Death itself . . . Into the Valley is the first in a new series set in the backdrop of the war in Crimea.

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 Mørck and his assistant Assad stumble over the file documenting the murders. Someone seems to be interested in revisiting the events surrounding the case. When Mørck's bosses strictly forbid the Department Q team to reopen the file, both he and Assad know there is something terribly wrong. The first lead they uncover takes them to the very top of Danish high society. 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 . . . Disgraced is by Jussi Adler-Olsen and is due to be published in June 2012.

1794, the height of the French Revolution. Charles Hayden sets off aboard the ill-fated HMS Themis with orders to destroy a French frigate sailing from Le Havre and to gather intelligence from a royalist spy. On discovering French plans for an imminent invasion of England, Hayden must return to Portsmouth to give warning before it's too late. But the enemy have been lying in wait for him, and so begins a dangerous chase out into the Atlantic and into the clutches of a powerful French squadron. After a failed attempt to masquerade as French sailors, Hayden and his officers are taken prisoner. A shipwreck following a storm and a case of mistaken identity befall Hayden and his men as they try in desperation to escape in order to warn the Lords of the Admiralty. Failure will mean the invasion of England – and the guillotine for Hayden. A Ship of War is by Sean Thomas Russell and is the third book in the series to feature Charles Hayden. It is due to be published in March 2012.

Shut Your Eyes is by John Verdon and is due to be published in February 2012. Once a cop. Always a cop . . .Ex-NYPD detective Dave Gurney is supposed to be retired. But people with problems keep knocking on his door. Like the police, for instance, who are baffled by a gruesome murder they just can't seem to solve. A young bride has been killed in the middle of her own wedding reception. The prime suspect – her new husband's Mexican gardener – is missing. As is the murder weapon – likely a machete – used to decapitate the bride. The police have drawn a blank. It's as if the killer has vanished into thin air. But when Gurney begins his investigations, he finds that a baffling murder is just the latest of many sadistic crimes committed by an individual who'll do anything to avoid capture.

The ruthless reign of a secret power must be stopped . . . In Rome, the public assassination of the Pope by a sniper on Christmas Day sets off a massive investigation that stretches across the globe. But behind the veil of Rex Deus – the Templar cabal that silently wields power in the twenty-first century – the plot has only just begun. The cabal has a position of ultimate control in its sights – and its head, Kate Sinclair, is never going to yield her one great ambition for her US senator son, Richard Pierce Sinclair. When ex-Army Ranger John Holliday uncovers the true motive behind the Pontiff's murder, he must unlock the secrets of a modern Templar conspiracy – and unravel Kate Sinclair's deadly design. The Templar Conspiracy is by Paul Christopher and is due to be published in June 2012.

The truth is, no life is perfect. Everyone has secrets. It's just that some are buried deeper than others . . .17 December 2011 – it's a normal working day for millions of Londoners. Just like all the others Sam Wren boards the Circle Line and that's the last time anyone has seen him. Sam simply vanishes from the train – without a trace – not even the tight net of security cameras can track him down. His disappearance remains a mystery, the police having stalled the investigation almost immediately. Six months later, Sam's wife, Julia, thinks that David Raker is the man to find her husband. With no money left to support herself she is desperate to know the truth. What happened to Sam? Why did he leave her? Or was he harmed by someone? Private investigator David Raker has worked many missing persons cases and he knows that everyone has something to hide. Intrigued by the circumstances of Sam's disappearance he takes on the hunt for the vanished man and quickly discovers that Sam's life was built on a pyramid of fatal lies . . Vanished is the third novel in David Raker series by Time Weaver and is due to be published in July 2012.

Merciless is by Mary Burton and is due to be published in March 2012. First you beg. Then you die . . . No Pity. Each skeleton is flawless – gleaming white and

perfectly preserved, a testament to his skill. Every scrap of flesh has been removed to reveal the glistening bone beneath. And the collection is growing . . .No Compassion When bleached human bones are identified as belonging to a former patient of Dr James Dixon, Detective Malcolm Kier suspects the worst. Dixon was recently acquitted of attempted murder, thanks to defense attorney Angie Carlson. But as the body count rises, Kier is convinced that Angie is now the target of a brutal, brilliant psychopath. No Escape Angie is no stranger to the dark side of human nature. But nothing has prepared her for the decades-long legacy of madness and murder about to be revealed – or a killer ready to claim her as his ultimate trophy . . .

When Jonny goes missing everything changes. His mother's heart is full of terror and sadness instead of joy. His father's study overflows with newspaper cuttings and profiles on missing people instead of the academic texts that were there before. His sister, once carefree, now carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. His bedroom at home remains untouched and ready for his return. A place is set for him at the table on Christmas Day each year. His birthday is always celebrated; unopened gifts for him gather dust. The hands on the clock continue to move forwards and yet Jonny hasn't returned. Where is he? Missing Persons is by Nicci Gerrard (One half of Nicci French) and is due to be published in May 2012.

The Chill of Night is the debut novel by James Hayman and is due to be published in March

2012. A frozen corpse means a big headache for 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 . . .

The Scared Scroll is by Anton Gill and is due to be published in April 2012 Constantinople 1204: the holy city is razed to the ground by Crusaders – the streets awash with blood. Modern day Istanbul: an elite group of archaeologists uncover the grave of Enrico Dandolo, once Doge of Venice, and leader of the bloodthirsty Fourth Crusade. They seek a legendary set of documents that reveal the truth behind the Doge's rumoured secret links to the Templar knights. Days later the team vanishes without a trace. All that remains in the ransacked grave is a strange key inscribed with an ancient code. Special Interpol Operatives James and Laura are called in. They soon find themselves battling against an ancient enemy in a life or death race against time. The dark secret of the Templar knights is about to be revealed.

The Pack is by Jason Starr and is due to be published in May 2012. When Simon Burns is fired from his job without warning, he takes on the role of stay-at-home dad for his three-year-old son. But his reluctance pushes his already strained marriage to the limit. In the nestled playgrounds of the Upper West Side, Simon harbors a simmering rage at his boss's betrayal. Things take a turn when he meets a tight-knit trio of dads at the playground. They are different from other men Simon has met, stronger and more confident, more at ease with the darker side of life – and soon Simon is lured into their mix. But after a guys' night out gets frighteningly out of hand, Simon feels himself sliding into a new nightmarish reality. As he experiences disturbing changes in his body and his perceptions, he starts to suspect that when the guys welcomed him to their 'pack' they were talking about much more than male bonding . . .

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