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While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. Solving the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter. In an exhilarating blend of relentless adventure, scholarly intrigue, and cutting wit, symbologist Robert Langdon (first introduced in Dan Brown's bestselling Angels & Demons) is the most original character to appear in years. The Da Vinci Code heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightening-paced, intelligent thriller surprising at every twist, absorbing at every turn, and in the end, utterly unpredictable right up to its astonishing conclusion. Review: well-packaged, and well-read, this is a must-have for people who've read the Da Vinci Code and like having stories read to them. Jeff Harding is an experienced and popular reader/actor, and his treatment of Dan Brown's world best-seller is exemplary. Don't miss it.

Dead Sky Tami Hoag

It was a crime so brutal it changed the lives of even the most hardened homicide cops. The Haas family murders left a scar on the community nothing can erase, but convicting the alleged killer - Karl Dahl - would be a start. Only Judge Carey Moore seems to be standing in the way. Her ruling that Dahl's prior criminal record is inadmissible as evidence against him raises a public outcry - and puts the judge in grave danger. When an unknown assailant attacks Carey in a parking garage, two of the city's top cops are called in to investigate and keep the judge from further harm. Detective Sam Kovac is as hard-boiled as they come, and his wisecracking partner, Nikki Liska, isn't far behind. Neither detective wants to be on this case, but when Karl Dahl escapes custody, everything changes, and a seemingly straightforward case cartwheels out of control. The stakes are raised when the judge is kidnapped from her home even as the police sit outside watching her house. Now Kovac and Liska must navigate through a maze of suspects that include the step-son of a murder victim, a husband with a secret life, and a rogue cop looking for revenge where the justice system failed. With no time to spare, the detectives are pulled down a strange dark trail of smoke and mirrors, where no one is whom they seem, and everyone is guilty of something.

Review: I didn't really want this one to end, I was enjoying it so much. Detective Kovac is a terrific character, one who has to return in some kind of sequel. Hoag's depiction of policing in the US is as accurate as they come, but this was a "never-lets-up" story that had me on the edge of my seat. Perfect.

Uncle Jack Tony Williams Humphrey Price

UNCLE JACK gives the solution to the most famous crime story of all.
The person identified in this book as the killer of five women in London's East End in 1888 has never before been named a suspect in more than a hundred years of intense speculation - and yet clear evidence connects him to three of the five victims, and circumstantial evidence connects him to the other two. Tony Williams did not set out to find Jack the Ripper, but when researching his family history he uncovered incontrovertible evidence that his illustrious ancestor John Williams - still venerated today, and an eminent man in his field - is indeed Jack the Ripper. Together, the authors prove not only that their suspect had links with the victims, but that he was in Whitechapel at the same time as the crimes were committed, and he had the knowledge and the skills which the nature of the murders required. At last, the legend and myths surrounding the identity of Jack the Ripper have been brought to an end.

Buzz Riff Sam Hill

Another gutsy, fast-paced thriller from the author of BUZZ MONKEY. Top Keirnan has got problems. The research firm he's been running out of his 30s-era schoolhouse in Athens, Georgia, is beginning to founder, thanks to his former office manager (and ex-lover), who has stolen half his clients and set up shop on her own. And Top is no longer banking big bucks as an operative for Shaw's Mercantile Marine since they've decided his addiction to the adrenaline buzz is more of a risk than an asset. Things are looking tough for Top, when he gets a call. American Civil War General 'Stonewall' Jackson was shot by his own men while on night patrol. His aide-de-camp reached into the General's saddlebags to find something to press against the wound and pulled out a new flag, the Stars and Bars. Stonewall died, but the Bloody Red Rag, as the flag became known, went on to become the most valuable relic of the war. Now it's been stolen and Top is asked to find it. Normally Top wouldn't touch a job like this: the money's too small, and he's not excited about his arrogant, bigoted client, Professor Jay Pope-Scott. Problem is, Top badly needs those twenty thousand dollars. So he's soon taking on fanatical collectors, ultra-right-wing religious paramilitaries, a biker gang, Fourth Federal Bank and his former lover to save the school and recover the flag. In this sequel to Sam Hill's knockout debut novel, BUZZ MONKEY, the action comes non-stop. The scrapes are daunting, the escapes hair-raising and the outcome stunningly unpredictable

Fiddlers Ed McBain

It started with the blind violinist - shot twice through the head at point-blank range in the alley outside his dingy restaurant. But it's only when the omelette lady gets shot with the same gun in the same way twenty-four hours later that the 87th Precinct really starts to sit up and take notice. But Steve Carella and the boys at the Precinct always seem to be one step behind the killer, and are unable to prevent the death toll rising. The trouble is, while the gun is the same, none of the victims seem to be related in any way. And why is the killer heard to introduce himself as 'Chuck' before pumping two bullets into their bodies? FIDDLERS is a brilliantly twisting puzzle of a book where nothing is as it seems and the pace never lets up - Ed McBain at his very best.

Deal Breaker - Special Edition Harlan Coben

Investigator and sports agent Myron Bolitar is poised on the edge of the big-time. So is Christian Steele, a rookie quarterback and Myron's prized client. But when Christian gets a phone call from a former girlfriend, a woman who everyone, including the police, believes is dead, the deal starts to go sour. Suddenly Myron is plunged into a baffling mystery of sex and blackmail. Trying to unravel the truth about a family's tragedy, a woman's secret and a man's lies, Myron is up against the dark side of his business – where image and talent make you rich, but the truth can get you killed.

Lights Out Jason Starr

Breakthrough novel from up-and-coming noir thriller writer.

The people of Brooklyn are getting ready to party. Millionaire baseball star Jake Thomas is coming home to announce his engagement to his high school sweetheart, Christina. He may have spent the last few years playing the field - in every sense - but Jake knows it's time to settle down. And a big news story might help mask the sex scandal lurking in his past... Ryan Rossetti isn't in the mood to celebrate. He grew up with Jake and they played together in the minor leagues until injury forced Ryan to quit. Now he paints houses for a living and watches Jake getting richer and living the dream. But Ryan has something that Jake needs: Christina. Recently Ryan has been her shoulder to cry on, and one thing has led to another. There's no way Ryan is about to let Jake walk off with the prize again... Christina Mercado longs to escape her Brooklyn tenement and dull job. Ryan treats her better than Jake ever has, but life with Jake would mean that she and her family would never have to worry about money again. Christina will have to make a choice, and there's a hefty price tag attached... As the 'Welcome Home Jake' banners go up on East Eighty-First Street and the crowds begin to gather, it's clearly going to be one hell of a party.

Savage Garden Denise Hamilton

An intoxicating tale of scandal, murder and revenge in L.A. from award-winning Denise Hamilton

Eve Diamond has been looking forward to a date at the theatre with her new man, Silvio Aguilar. But when the play's beautiful and notoriously unstable lead actress, Catarina Velosi, fails to appear, Eve learns that Silvio and the missing woman share a complicated past. A messy scene at Catarina's house suggests she may have been abducted - or worse - and when it becomes clear that Silvio is no stranger to the actress's home, or her bed, Eve must stifle her own feelings of betrayal and fight to clear his name. She knows Silvio is innocent...doesn't she?  Summoning her journalist's skills and steeling herself for further revelations, Eve approaches the players in Catarina's personal tragedy, including Alfonso, the actress's sometime lover and director, and the high-strung and evasive Marisela Reventon, Alfonso's jealous wife. Is one of them hiding something that might lead Eve to the truth? And who is responsible for attacking her in a darkened street and threatening her life? Frequently compared to Raymond Chandler, but with a sleek, modern veneer, Denise Hamilton cuts a swath through the diverse streets of Los Angeles, revealing both the glory and the corruption pulsing through the city.

Gradisil Adam Roberts

Gradisil is a multi-generational story of murder, betrayal and revenge. It is told through the eyes of three characters and against a background where mankinds rush into space has faded away leaving individual pioneers to force their way independently into space after the collapse of the big government space agencies.
They ride up into space on the lines of electromagnetic force that flower into
  space from earth like the mighty Yggradisil - the earth tree of Norse myth. Leaving their weight behind they still carry a cargo of enmities and hatreds. Roberts has a unique approach to SF and is one of the genre's premier stylists. This is one of his most original novels yet.

The Sirens of Surrentum Roman Mystery 11 Caroline Lawrence

It's June, AD 80 A year has passed since Mount Vesuvius erupted, and its effects still threaten those living nearby. But now it's summer in the Bay of Naples, and time for fun and relaxation. Everyone is thinking about love at the luxurious Villa Limona, where Flavia, Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus have come to spend a fortnight's holiday. But there's a rotten core beneath the beauty. A famous murder was committed nearby, and a poisoner is at large amongst the villa's guests. Faced with many distractions, can the friends set a trap to catch the culprit?


When Matthew's wife Charlotte is kidnapped, his world is thrown into chaos. Who has taken her - and why? There are no demands made for her release, just a threat that if he calls the police, Charlotte will lose the baby she is carrying - and then Matthew will lose her. Matthew is paralysed, haunted by the gloating phonecalls of her captor. As a prison governor, Matthew is convinced that Charlotte's abduction may be related to his job. Unable to talk to anyone in authority, he resorts to the only help he can find - Monk, an ex-prisoner who appears to have gone straight since his release, but has underworld contacts Matthew can only guess at. It's a devil's pact, but time is running out...

Why is it that American writers of crime fiction so often seem to utilise a more ambitious canvas for their novels? Perhaps it’s a little unfair to make this comparison with the more parochial-seeming British crime-writing equivalents (America, after all, is a much bigger country, and lends itself more readily to a sizable panoply). But Edward Wright's highly accomplished Red Sky Lament confines itself to Los Angeles in the 1940s and makes that city as rich and as variegated as the whole country. Hollywood is bone dry, and threatening brush fires are starting in the San Fernando Valley. As the novel progresses, we learn that this is something of a metaphor (though not overstressed) for the ideological fires that are destroying lives, as the House Un-American Activities Committee begins to ruthlessly root out communists and those it feels are fellow travellers. John Ray Horn is an ex-cowboy star who has seen better days, and has served time for violent assault. He now makes his living by taking on jobs for another colleague who had shared his brand of low-level movie stardom, American Indian actor Mad Crow. John has asked to help a man he does not like, the writer Owen Bruder, almost certainly about to go to prison for his supposed communist sympathies. But as John reluctantly undertakes his assignment in a frightened town, a violent death suddenly intrudes…As (for which Wright won the CWA Debut Dagger for fiction) demonstrated, there is a tremendously vivid sense of locale here: the unglamorous underbelly of Hollywood is stripped bare with a rigour that would have impressed Chandler. But Wright never forgets that character is the absolute fulcrum of a book such as this, and Red Sky Lament delivers this particular commodity with brio.
--Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to the edition.

Lee Sharpe burst onto the scene at Old Trafford as a seventeen-year-old flying winger: fast, skilled, confident and clearly enjoying his football. The fans took him to heart as the first sign of the rebirth of the club under Alex Ferguson. At the start of the 1990s, with the Madchester scene in full swing, Sharpe enjoyed all the fruits of being young, good-looking and wealthy: he enjoyed a party and the company of women. After all, wasn't this what he'd worked so hard to get? But increasingly his lifestyle came into conflict with Fergie's wishes and in the end, feeling his spirit being crushed, he decided to leave Old Trafford and moved to their rivals Leeds. It was only when he got there, and played under George Graham and David O'Leary that he began to realise just how good Fergie really was. It was the beginning of the end for him as a top-level player, and when he was sacked for having a drink five days before a game at Iceland's Grindavik, he decided enough was enough. Sharpe's story tells of a period when it was still just about possible to have fun and be a Premiership player, when a team would go out drinking together to celebrate. Sharpe tells it like it was, and you will wish you had been there with him.

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