When the deputy commander of Rome's Imperial Security Service is assassinated on the island of Rhodes, Cassius Corbulo swiftly finds himself embroiled in the investigation. Assisted once more by ex-gladiator bodyguard Indavara and servant Simo, his search for the truth is complicated by the involvement of the dead man's headstrong daughter, Annia. Braving hostile seas, Cassius and his allies follow the assassin's trail south aboard a ship captained by a roguish Carthaginian smuggler and manned by his disparate, dangerous crew. Their journey leads them to the farthest reaches of the empire; to a ruined city where the rules of Roman civilization have long been abandoned, and a deadly battle of wits with a brutal, relentless foe.
Georgian England, mid-eighteenth century. As a foundling the young Em Smith is brought to the Cheshire country home of the ambitious Waterland family, where she serves as a companion to their daughter, Eliza. But as they grow up, Em's position becomes uncertain and she is increasingly troubled by the mystery of her birth. When Eliza goes in pursuit of a husband and a fortune in London, Em finds herself implicated in a horrific crime and must flee for her life. Her frantic escape takes her across country and onto the high seas, where she is at the mercy of the enigmatic smuggler, Captain McDonagh. But there is a more potent force drawing Emily on: a spirit whose presence she has felt all her life, and whose irresistible design - be it malicious or benevolent - will force her onwards to a distant shore. There she will confront the astonishing secret of her origins.
Meet the woman who survived Henry VIII in Elizabeth Fremantle's first novel, Queen's Gambit...My name is Katherine Parr. I'm 31 years old and already twice widowed. I'm in love with a man I can't have, and am about to wed a man no-one would want - for my husband-to-be is none other than Henry VIII, who has already beheaded two wives, cast aside two more, and watched one die in childbirth. What will become of me once I'm wearing his ring and become Queen of England? They say that the sharpest blades are sheathed in the softest pouches. Only time will tell what I am really made of...For fans of Hilary Mantel, Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, Elizabeth Fremantle's first novel, Queen's Gambit, is a riveting account of the Tudor queen who married four men and outlived three of them - including Henry VIII. Rich in atmosphere and period detail, and told through the eyes of Katherine and her young maid Dot, it tells the story of two very different women during a terrifying and turbulent time.
'In the end, they celebrated. They bragged. They got me finally, was their feeling. They said I would take my secrets to the grave. They should be so lucky.' Defiant and daring, Axie Muldoon claws her way from the streets up to the dizzying heights of New York society. But as her fame grows and her name hits the headlines, her reputation as the most scandalous midwife of her time begins to threaten everything she holds dear. And one crusading official will not rest until he has brought about the downfall of 'Madame X'. It will take all of Axie's cunning to save both herself and those she loves from ruin.
City of love. City of splendour. City of terror. City of dreams. Inspired by the haunting, passionate story of the city of lights, this epic novel weaves a gripping tale of four families across the centuries: from the lies that spawn the noble line of de Cygne to the revolutionary Le Sourds who seek their destruction; from the Blanchards whose bourgeois respectability offers scant protection against scandal to the hard-working Gascons and their soaring ambitions. Over hundreds of years, these four families are bound by forbidden loves and marriages of convenience; dogged by vengeance and murderous secrets; torn apart by the irreconcilable differences of birth and faith, and brought together by the tumultuous history of their city. Paris bursts to life in the intrigue, corruption and glory of its people. Beloved author of Sarum, London and New York, Edward Rutherfurd illuminates Paris as only he can: capturing the romance and everyday drama of the men and women who, in two thousand years, transformed a humble trading post on the muddy banks of the Seine into the most celebrated city in the world.
I felt the worlds of ocean and ice were meeting in a frontier of rage, as if the Earth had torn in two along this line.This was a place if there ever was a place, where you could disappear. The year is 1845 and young researcher Eliot Saxby is paid to go on an expedition to the Arctic in the hope of finding remains of the by now extinct Great Auk. He joins a regular hunting ship, but the crew and the passengers are not what they seem. Caught in the web of relationships on board, Eliot struggles to understand the motivations of the sociopathic, embroidery-loving Captain Sykes, the silent First Mate French, the flamboyant laudanum-addicted Bletchley and, most importantly of all, Bletchley's beautiful but strange 'cousin' Clara. As the ship moves further and further into the wilds of the Arctic sea, Eliot clings to what he believes in, desperate to save Clara but drawn irrevocably back into the past that haunts him. The first historical novel from an author who has been critically acclaimed for his two contemporary novels (Salt and The Wake), The Collector of Lost Things is a compulsive, beautifully writtten read.
Black Venus captures the artistic scene in the great French capital city, at a time when the likes of Dumas and Balzac argued literature in the cafes of the Left Bank. Among the bohemians, the young Charles Baudelaire stood out - dressed impeccably thanks to an inheritance that was quickly vanishing. Still at work on the poems that he hoped would make his name, he spent his nights enjoying the alcohol, opium and women who filled the seedy streets of the city.
One woman would catch his eye - a beautiful Haitian cabaret singer named Jeanne Duval. Their lives would remain forever intertwined thereafter, and their romance would inspire his most infamous poems - leading to the banning of his masterwork, Les Fleurs du Mal, and a scandalous public trial for obscenity. Black Venus re-creates the classic Parisian literary world in vivid detail, complete with not just an affecting portrait of the famous poet but also his often misunderstood, much-maligned muse.
THEY WERE MEN BORN TO FIGHT. IF GOD WILLED THAT ANTIOCH WAS THE PLACE WHERE THEY GAVE UP LIFE, SO BE IT Thanks to the stratagems of Bohemund de Hauteville, leader of the Apulian Normans, the Crusade has taken the city of Antioch, and just in time. Once the besiegers, Bohemund and his men are about to become the besieged - a huge Turkish-led army, commanded by the fearsome General Kerbogha, is fast approaching. Provisions are needed to support not only the army, but also thousands of camp followers and pilgrims. But the surrounding countryside is near barren and the storerooms of Antioch much depleted. It soon becomes obvious that the Crusaders cannot hold out for long without falling prey to starvation. And for Bohemund and his nephew Tancred there is another difficulty: the dissent between the Crusade leaders has broken out into the open, with the wealthy Provencal magnate Raymond of Toulouse stirring up conflict. If the Christian host is fighting on two fronts, so is Bohemund himself. With the enemy Turks at his front and his warring peers at his back, can he gain the mighty city of Antioch once and for all? Only one of the greatest battles of the age will decide.
South Africa, 1900. The bloody conflict between the forces of the British Empire and the Boer farmers seemed at last to have ended in victory for Queen Victoria's soldiers, with the Boer capitals taken and occupied. But fast-riding Boer commandos have emerged to introduce a new type of warfare - hit-and-run guerrilla tactics, fought across the veldt of South Africa and leaving the British 'Khakis' plodding and bruised in their wake. To counter these strikes, the British General Kitchener persuades Simon Fonthill, fresh from his triumphs in China's Boxer Rebellion, to divert to Cape Town and fight the Boers at their own game. So Fonthill, with his old comrade 352 Jenkins as his Regimental Sergeant Major, finds himself reinstated in the British Army as the colonel of his own cavalry unit. Can the two of them adapt to regular soldiering again - and will they be able to catch and pin down those elusive Boer Generals, Louis Botha and Christiaan de Wet? And can Simon's wife, Alice, reporting on the war for the Morning Post, extricate herself from her own problems in South Africa?
It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside-down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated. Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey. Lord John's son, the ninth Earl of Ellesmere, is no less shocked to discover that his real father is actually the newly resurrected Jamie Fraser, and Jamie's nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for the woman who has just agreed to marry him. And while Claire is terrified that one of her husbands may be about to murder the other, in the 20th century her descendants face even more desperate turns of events. Her daughter Brianna is trying to protect her son from a vicious criminal with murder on his mind, while her husband Roger has disappeared into the past...