Munich by Robert Harris

‘Munich’ is a historical fiction novel covering a brief period in 1938 during which the world held its breath while the English, Italians and French tried to stop the Germans from going to war with Czechoslovakia.

Hugh Legat and Paul Hartman were best friends at Oxford in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Legat is now a junior private secretary to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain while Paul Hartman is a German Diplomat and part of a group trying to put an end to Hitler’s rise.

As Chamberlain is preparing to meet Adolf Hitler in Munich for a final attempt to stop war in Czechoslovakia, Hartman obtains documents that have the potential to affect the outcome of the meeting. He does what he can to ensure the presence of his old friend Legat in Munich as part of the British team so that he can pass on the vital information. Continue reading

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The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell

‘The Body Farm’ is the 5th novel by Patricia Cornwell featuring Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta.

In addition to being Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner and being in charge of a busy morgue, Dr Kay Scarpetta is also consulting with the FBI on special cases. This brings her ever closer to FBI profiler Benton Wesley. Kay’s niece Lucy is now working for the FBI in their top secret Engineering Research Facility. Kay’s friend and colleague Peter Marino is living in a way that Kay is sure will lead to a heart attack. Continue reading

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The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Days is the first novel from Minete Walters in many years and is her first Historical Fincion novel – her others were psychological thrillers.

The story is set in 1348 and Sir Richard of Develish is fairly typical of the time. He runs his demesne with an iron fist. His serfs are his to command and will work for him till they die. His chattel wife is a very different sort of person. Lady Anne was raised by nuns where she was given an education in reading, medicine, common sense and compassion. Richard thinks he runs the demesne, but Anne looks after the welfare (and education) of the serfs behind his back. Their demesne is the healthiest, happiest and most productive in Dorsetshire. Continue reading

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The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

‘The Da Vinci Code’ is the 2nd novel by Dan Brown featuring Harvard Art Historian and world renowned Iconologist Robert Langdon.

Langdon is in Paris giving a lecture when he receives a call in the middle of the night from the police. Jacques Sauniere, the curator of the Louvre Museum has been murdered. Langdon and Saunier had been due to meet that evening. There is also evidence that the police interpret as pointing to Langdon’s guilt.

But Sophie Neveu, a police cryptologist who also happens to be Sauniere’s granddaughter interprets the evidence differently. Sauniere’s dying message is a puzzle directed at her. Sauniere was a member of the Priory of Sion, an organisation tasked with protecting the secret of the Holy Grail. To ensure that the secret does not die with him, he has given Sophie and Robert clues to discover the secret. Continue reading

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Harriet Lane Profile and Books

Harriet Lane is a British writer who has worked as a journalist for the Observer, the Guardian, Vogue and Tattler.

In 2008 she started to experience problems with her eyesight. She started writing her first novel as a way to continue writing and as a place to channel her fear and frustration at the continuing deterioration of her eyesight.

 

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Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell

‘Cruel and Unusual’ is Patricia Cornwell’s 4th Kay Scarpetta novel. Somewhere between the previous novel and this one, the love of Kay’s life Mark has died, Kay has moved house, and Kay’s niece Lucy has done a lot of growing up (she is now 17 years old).

As Chief Medical Examiner for Virginia, Kay has to carry out autopsies on those who die in the electric chair. So, the story begins with Kay autopsying Ronnie Joe Waddell. He was responsible for a horrific crime many years ago.

But shortly after this, a teenage boy is murdered. His body is similarly mutilated and staged to Waddell’s victim. And then the body of a woman is found and Waddell’s fingerprints are impossibly detected at the scene. Continue reading

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Darien: Empire of Salt by C.F. Iggulden

Conn Iggulden, writing under the name C.F Iggulden has published his first fantasy novel ‘Darien: Empire of Salt’. I don’t often read fantasy but I love Conn Iggulden’s historical fiction novels so decided to give this a go. I’m glad that I did.

Darien is a walled city of around half a million people which is ruled by twelve families. The status of each of the twelve families in the partnership is largely dependent on the magic held by the family. The King is a puppet king mostly controlled by his family.

The story follows a number of different characters. Elias Post is a hunter who has just lost his son to a plague. He will do anything to save his wife and two daughters from the same fate. He has special talents which Vic Deeds is happy to exploit for the promise of saving the family. Deeds takes Elias on a journey that greatly troubles his conscience, but will this give Elias what he wants? Continue reading

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The Dry by Jane Harper

‘The Dry’ is Jane Harper’s debut novel and is the first in a series featuring detective Aaron Falk.

When Aaron returns to Kiewarra for the funeral of his childhood best friend Luke Hadler, it is the first time he has been back in 20 years. When Aaron was a teenager, his close friend Ellie Deacon drowned. The death was declared a suicide but many in the small town, led by Ellie’s father and cousin, blamed Aaron for the death. Aaron and his father were forced out of town.

Luke’s death also looks like suicide – he killed his wife and son before turning the gun on himself. And most of the town still wants Aaron gone. Continue reading

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A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

‘Column of Fire’ is Ken Follett’s 3rd novel set in the town of Kingsbridge, but it is very different from the 2 earlier novels – ‘Pillars of the Earth’ and ‘World Without End’.

The novel begins in 1558 with Queen Mary on the throne. Ned Willard returns to Kingsbridge after a year in Calais to find that Margery, the girl he loves is engaged to the local Earl’s son. Ned doesn’t stand a chance, he is a commoner and a protestant.

When Ned’s family is financially ruined by Margery’s father, Ned goes to work for Queen Elizabeth as a spy. This places him in a good position when she becomes queen. Continue reading

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Make Me by Lee Child

‘Make Me’ is the 20th Reacher novel by Lee Child, following the ex-military drifter Jack Reacher as he tours America righting wrongs.

Reacher has decided to travel to the small Oklahoma town of Mother’s Rest to find out how it got its name. But as soon as he steps of the train he meets ex-FBI agent, now private investigator Michelle Chang. She is looking for her partner Keever who went missing from the town. As Soon as Reacher meets Chang he knows he has to help her.

Reacher doesn’t find a nice little town with a monument to someone’s mother, instead he finds a town of hostile people who are keen for him to leave.

Chang knows nothing about Keever’s case. It takes a long time and trips to Oklahoma City, Chicago and LA before they manage to find out Keever’s client and what he was looking for. Along the way they are chased by Ukrainian gangsters, save a family from being killed, venture into a drug dealer’s house, and discover information they would rather not have known about the deep web. Continue reading

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