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Book Reviews April 2006

Synopsis: How far would you go to protect the ones you love? Worldwide publication of Jodi Picoult's brand new hardback will be a major event. When Daniel Stone was a child, he was the only white boy in a native Eskimo village where his mother taught, and he was teased mercilessly because he was different. He fought back, the baddest of the bad kids: stealing, drinking, robbing and cheating his way out of the Alaskan bush - where he honed his artistic talent, fell in love with a girl and got her pregnant. To become part of a family, he reinvented himself - jettisoning all that anger to become a docile, devoted husband and father. Fifteen years later, when we meet Daniel again, he is a comic book artist. His wife teaches Dante's Inferno at a local college; his daughter, Trixie, is the light of his life - and a girl who only knows her father as the even-tempered, mild-mannered man he has been her whole life. Until, that is, she is date raped...and Daniel finds himself struggling, again, with a powerlessness and a rage that may not just swallow him whole, but destroy his family and his future. Review: Well, I thought I was reading a new Stephen King for a while - this is just so good it's brilliant. MY EDITOR'S CHOICE FOR MAY by the way, so a kind of runner-up Book of the Month. The inclusion of Dan Stone's comic book at various intervals through the narrative is a bit of a distraction - I felt it would have been better placed as a prologue or an epilogue or appendix, but with superb illustrations in a really superb book, I can forgive the publishers! Watch out for a Dustin Weaver gallery in next month's Gateway - he's the artist in THE TENTH CIRCLE - a fantastic book, so well-written it will make you envious.

The Wrong Kind of Blood

Declan Hughes 
ISBN: 0719567459 Publisher: John Murray 22/5/2006
£12.99 RRP Hardback

`The night of my mother`s funeral, Linda Dawson cried on my shoulder, put her tongue in my mouth and asked me to find her husband. Now she was lying dead on her living room floor, and the howl of a police siren echoed through the surrounding hills…`Ed Loy hasn`t been back to Dublin for twenty years. But his mother is dead, and he has returned home to bury her. He soon realizes that the world waiting for him is very different from the one he left behind all those years ago. `Tommy said you found people who were missing`, Linda Dawson tells him the evening of his mother`s funeral. Linda`s husband has disappeared. She doesn`t want the police involved. So reluctantly, Loy agrees to investigate. And suddenly in this place where he grew up – among the Georgian houses, Victorian castles, and modern villas of Castlehill – Loy finds himself thrown into a world of organized crime, long-hidden secrets, corruption and violence. And murder.


Kenneth Oppel 
ISBN: 034087855X Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Childrens 15/4/2004
£10.99 RRP Hardback

Matt Cruse is cabin boy aboard the Aurora, an airship which truly is lighter than air. Since the discovery of hydrium, a gas that renders even the heaviest vehicle as light as a feather, airships travel all over the world in the same way as planes do today. Matt himself was born on an airship and it is there that he feels most at home. Matt has high hopes for promotion to junior sailmaker on this voyage - until Kate de Vries, one of the wealthy passengers, arrives on the scene. She's feisty and brave, and won't let social distinctions get in the way of her friendship with Matt. And all their bravery is required when one night, in the middle of the ocean, they are boarded by pirates and caught up in adventures beyond all imagining ...


Patrick Quinlan 
ISBN: 0755328256 Publisher: Headline 27/3/2006
£10.00 RRP Hardback

Smoke Dugan has made a living from handling explosives for a criminal organisation. But no one has ever been hurt by his actions, and when one of his bombs is used to take down a plane with innocent women and children on board, something snaps inside him. He takes his revenge by killing his criminal boss, taking his money and going on the run. Now, a year later, Smoke is hiding out in a picturesque seaside city in Maine. He knows that it is only a matter of time before the organisation catches up with him. When they do, he manages to escape - but then his girlfriend is captured. Now Smoke must try to save her and disappear for good. But it seems that someone else is after Smoke`s girlfriend and it`s not long before Smoke finds himself caught up in a dangerous chase game from which there might be no escape...

Eat This Book

Eugene Peterson 
ISBN: 0340863919 Publisher: Hodder Religious 20/4/2006
£9.99 RRP Paperback

Continuing Peterson`s major evaluation of contemporary Christian spirituality, Eat This Book focuses on spiritual reading. Taking its title from the angel`s instruction to John in the Book of Revelation: `Take it and eat it; it will be bitter in your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.`, Eat This Book discusses the challenges and benefits of how we engage with Scripture today. As with other books in the series, Eat This Book is written for both academic and serious lay audiences. Challenging but rewarding, it combines first-rate scholarship with illustrations drawn from raw human experience.

Michel Thomas Advanced Spanish (CD)

ISBN: 0340887036 Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton 24/9/2004
£50.00 RRP CD

This recording follows on from the first 8-hour, all-audio course which has taken the language-learning world by storm. With no books, no memorising and no homework, Michel Thomas teaches the basic grammar of the language painlessly. Using the method he has perfected over the last 50 years, he now shares his secret with the world - and 'makes it simple' (Sunday Times). In only a matter of hours, he teaches what it takes years to cover by conventional methods, giving his students a comprehensive working knowledge of the language – all the tenses and all three moods are taught and practised; the position of pronouns is made easy, and Michel spends some time on the problems of translation, instilling in the students 'an enhanced awareness of their own language'. And he does all this effortlessly, 'effectively and easily' (Daily Star). By the end of the Advanced course Michel has covered ALL the structures and tenses of 'A' level and beyond. Grammar points and tenses only touched upon in the first 8-hour course are expanded to give the student a complete knowledge of the structure of the entire language. He points out the similarities of the vocabulary in English and Spanish and gives his students the tools to guess the words they do not know, or think they do not know. Join two students as they learn in real time. Become the third member of the class and experience the excitement of learning a language as if by magic!

John Paul II

Edward Stourton 
ISBN: 0340908165 Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton 2/4/2006
£20.00 RRP Hardback

John Paul was, famously, a bundle of paradoxes; he defied every attempt to put him in an ideological box, and he was equally bewildering to his admirers and his detractors. Edward Stourton unravels John Paul`s life, his beliefs, his actions and ultimately places him in context within the Catholic Church of the 20th and 21st Century. A wonderfully, insightful, involving and rewarding look at the life of a man who was not only one of the most important men of the last thirty years of the 20th century but who became, in his last days, a living symbol of the Christian response to suffering and an inspiration to billions.


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