Sunday, 6 May 2012

Forthcoming books to look forward to from Duckworth Overlook

When Ben, a talented British psychiatrist working in New York, first meets Harry, the former chief executive of a failed Wall Street bank, he diagnoses him as suicidally depressed and admits him to hospital.  But when pressure is brought by his superiors to discharge Harry, Ben must keep him under observation, and is slowly drawn into the financier's gilded world, where nothing is what it first seems.  After a colleague of Harry's dies amid revelations of fraud, Ben realises he has made a terrible error that threatens both his career and his life.  A Fatal Debt is by John Gapper and brilliantly sets a mysterious death amid the fallout of the global financial crisis and the workings of high finance in New York and London.  It is due to be published in September 2012

Agent Dmitri is by Emil Draitser and is due to be published in October 2012.  A sailor, artist, lawyer, and writer, fluent in many languages, Bystrolyotov was one of a team of outstanding Soviet spies operating in Western countries between the world wars.  He was a dashing man whose Modus Operandi was the seduction of women - among them a French embassy employee, the wife of a British official, and a disfigured Gestapo officer.  He stole military secrets from Nazi Germany Fascist Italy and enabled Stalin to look into the diplomatic pouches of many European countries.  Idealistically committed to the Motherland, he showed extraordinary courage and physical prowess - twice crossing the Sahara Desert and the jungles of the Congo.  But in 1938, at the height of Stalin's purges, Bystrolyotov was arrested and tortured.  Sentenced to twenty years of hard labour in the Gulag, he risked more severe punishment by documenting the regime's crimes against humanity.  With amazing stamina, he survived the repression and came to realise the true nature of the ideology he once served unquestioningly

One midnight in January in the early 1960s, the Russian freighter Domatova quietly slipped out of Beirut harbour.  The ship had sailed with a single passenger on board: an Englishman named Harold Adrian Russell Philby, nicknamed Kim.  He had fled the Lebanese capital with little more than the clothes on his back.  The Englishman had used editions of James Hilton's "Lost Horizon" for enciphering purposes (page, line and letter number) when he communicated with his Soviet controllers.  As the lights of Beirut vanished, he tried to imagine the life that awaited him in the Soviet Union.  Would Moscow Centre welcome him as a senior Soviet intelligence officer?  Would the Great Game the Englishman was so keen to play have a third act?  For a spy, like a climber on a cliff, was there really no way out except up?  Young Philby is by Robert Littell and is due to be published in November 2012.

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