Sunday, 31 January 2016
Hardback: Detective Benny Griessel used to drink to keep the tide of tragedy at bay. Now he has been dry for 602 days.
But the waters are rising again, battering his defences just when his unique skills are most needed by his team.
Celebrity internet entrepreneur Ernst Richter is missing. His company, Alibi, supplies cover stories to facilitate affairs - and plenty of people have threatened to kill him, from jealous husbands to religious extremists.
So when Richter's body is found in the sand dunes outside Cape Town, the authorities brace themselves for a media frenzy. The Police Service need their best people. They need Benny. Sober.
Meanwhile, a young man contacts a Cape Town lawyer. His story of family strife and cruel luck is intertwined with the history of the wine business in South Africa - but how is it connected to the murder of Ernst Richter?
Page-turning suspense and one of the great detectives of contemporary crime fiction combine to make Icarus (2015) - the fifth book in the outstanding Benny Griessel series - a novel of deep humanity and driving power. Icarus is translated from the Afrikaans by K L Seegers.
About the author: Deon Meyer is the winner of the Deutscher Krimi Preis 2009 for Blood Safari, Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2003 for Dead Before Dying and Le Prix Mystère de la Critique 2004 for Dead At Daybreak, which was adapted for an Afrikaans M-Net TV series (SA).
Thirteen Hours was the winner of the Barry Award in the Best Thriller category 2011 and was shortlisted for the Macavity Award in the Best Mystery Novel category 2011, the Boeke Prize 2011, and the CWA International Dagger 2010. Rights have been sold in 27 countries and many of his books have been optioned for film.
Deon is a bestseller in South Africa and France and is constantly in demand for appearances at festivals and tours around the world.
Saturday, 30 January 2016
Thursday, 28 January 2016
Paperback: Milat - the serial killer who preyed on young hitchhikers.
The backpackers - the innocent victims of a brutal murderer.
Belanglo - a place that became synonymous with pure evil.
It was the biggest and most complex manhunt in Australian history, an investigation that gripped a nation. Behind the many false leads and dead ends, precious clues emerged that pointed to one man.
On 27 July 1996, a jury found Ivan Milat guilty of murdering seven backpackers and of abducting another, Paul Onions, who would surely have been Milat's eighth victim had he not managed to escape.
Other books have been written about the groundbreaking investigation that led to the arrest and conviction of Milat. This book will tell the story from a unique perspective, drawing on unpublished sources and operational insights available to the author, Clive Small, as the original commander of Task Force Air. The book also tells a much broader story.
"First, I want to show how the crimes of Ivan Milat have left a profound mark on all of us, so that twenty years after his capture the very words 'Milat' and 'Belanglo' still cause a collective shudder. Second, by recounting the events that led to Milat's capture from my own point of view at the head of the investigation, I want to demonstrate how the techniques and systems pioneered by Task Force Air have transformed the investigation of major crime in New South Wales...At a deeper level, however, the book is a study not just of the backpacker murders but of all murders, of how they affect us as individuals and as a society, and of the never-ending challenge faced by the police to bring the killers to justice," wrote Clive Small in the Preface.
Questions remain. Did he act alone? Where there other victims? How much did his family know? And what of his great-nephew, who brutally killed a young man in 2010?
Chilling, forensic, compassionate - this is the definitive story that could only be told by someone at the centre of the police operation. It is also a powerful argument for the investigation of more than a hundred unsolved murders.
Milat (2014) is dedicated to the victims and to the families and friends of the victims of Ivan Milat, and to the members of Task Force Air, whose efforts put him in gaol for life.
About the authors: Clive Small is a New South Wales Police veteran. Much of his time was spent in criminal investigation. He was awarded several commendations. From 1977 to 1980 he worked as an investigator with the Woodward Royal Commission into Drug Trafficking. During 1987-88 he was an investigator on Strike Force Omega, which reinvestigated the 1984 shooting of Detective Michael Drury. In the early 1990s, Small led the backpacker murder investigation, which resulted in the conviction of Ivan Robert Milat for the murder of seven backpackers in the Belanglo State Forest, south of Sydney, between 1989 and 1992. In 2001, as head of the Greater Hume Police Region, he helped dismantle the Vietnamese street gangs that had made Cabramatta Australia's heroin capital. After retiring from the police, he joined the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption as the executive director of operations. Since March 2007, he has been writing full time.
Tom Gilling's first two novels, The Sooterkin (1999) and Miles McGinty (2001), were both shortlisted for major awards and chosen as notable books of the year by The New York Times. They have been translated into several languages. His third novel, Dreamland (2008), has been published in Australia, Britain and the United States. As a journalist, he has worked for numerous publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, Rolling Stone, The Guardian (UK), and The New York Times. Before Smack Express, he co-wrote two non-fiction books, Trial and Error (1991), about the Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu; and Bagman: The Final Confessions of Jack Herbert (2005), about the events that led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption in Queensland.
In 2008, Clive Small and Tom Gilling published the best-selling book Smack Express: How Organised Crime Got Hooked on Drugs, which exposed the growth and transformation of organised crime in Australia since the late 1960s. They followed this up two years later with Blood Money: Bikies, Terrorists and Middle Eastern Gangs, and later with Betrayed: The Shocking Story of Two Undercover Cops.
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Hardback: 'This book uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain, how it used its huge power to bully, intimidate and cover up, and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service and our press.'
Rupert Murdoch's newspapers had been hacking phones, blagging information and casually destroying people's lives for years, but it was only after a trivial report about Prince William's knee in 2005 that detectives stumbled on a criminal conspiracy.
A five-year cover-up concealed and muddied the truth.
Dial M for Murdoch (2012) gives the first connected account of the extraordinary lengths to which the Murdochs' News Corporation went to 'put the problem in a box' (in James Murdoch's words), how its efforts to maintain and extend its power were aided by its political and police friends, and how it was finally exposed.
This book is full of details which have never been disclosed before, including the smears and threats against politicians, journalists and lawyers.
It reveals the existence of brave insiders who pointed those pursuing the investigation towards pieces of secret information that cracked open the case.
By contrast, many of the main players in the book are unsavoury, but by the end of it you have a clear idea of what they did.
'In the end, the story is about corruption by power. Some of Murdoch's enforcers departed from the company line (it's all about business) and pursued personal agendas and vendettas, even against minor politicians. Their arrogance was so stratospheric they discussed their crimes even though they knew they were being recorded. They thought they could destroy the evidence, threaten and cover up. They thought they were cleverer than everyone else; they thought they were untouchable. From the criminal underworld to the headquarters of London's police force, from the decks of yachts in the Mediterranean to farmhouses in the Cotswolds and the deep-carpeted rooms of Downing Street, they had spun an invisible web of connections and corruption. They listened to phone messages, of course, but they also blagged, bribed, spied and bullied and imposed their will through blackmail, corruption and intimidation... Rupert Murdoch was not running a normal business, but a shadow state.'
Seeing the story whole, as it is presented here for the first time, allows the character of the organization it portrays to emerge unmistakeably.
You will hardly believe it.
About the authors: Tom Watson is the MP for West Bromwich East. He campaigns against unlawful media practices and led the questioning of Rupert and James Murdoch when they appeared before Parliament in July 2011. He is the deputy chair of the Labour Party.
Martin Hickman has worked for the Independent since 2001, and has driven the paper's coverage of the phone hacking scandal. He was named Journalist of the Year by the Foreign Press Association in 2009.
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Paperback: The Revenant (2015) is a thrilling tale of betrayal, envy, the power of obsession and revenge set against the nineteenth-century American frontier and the astonishing story of real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass. It also tells a story of nearly unimaginable human endurance over 3000 miles of uncharted American wilderness, spanning what is today the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life.
36-year-old Hugh Glass is among the company's finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker but when a scouting mission into perilous, unexplored territory puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive.
Two company men - John Fitzgerald, a ruthless mercenary, and young Jim Bridger, the future "King of the Mountain Men" - are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies.
When Indians approach their camp, the men abandon him instead. Worse yet, they rob the wounded man of his weapons and tools - the very things that might have given him a chance on his own.
Deserted, defenseless, and furious, Glass vows his survival.
And is driven to survive by one desire: revenge.
With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier, surviving against all odds, in vengeful pursuit of his ignominious betrayers.
Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of the human will and a spellbinding tale of heroism and obsessive retribution. It was adapted as a screenplay for a film released in December 2015, directed by Alejandro G Iñárritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.
Rating: Highly recommended read.
Monday, 25 January 2016
Paperback: A man is found murdered in his Reykjavík flat, and the police have no obvious leads.
The man lived alone and had no family, and of his only two friends, one is serving time for an array of petty crimes and psychotic violence, and the other hasn't been heard of for twenty-five years.
Erlendur Sveinsson and his colleague Sigurdur Óli head the investigation team.
They find a computer filled with downloaded pornography, and in a desk, the photograph of a young girl's grave and the cryptic note left behind by the killer.
Delving into the dead man's past, they discover that forty years ago he was accused, though not convicted, of rape.
Now Erlendur has to follow his instincts when his colleagues are losing faith in the investigation.
Foraging into the past, Erlendur discovers that the city of Reykjavík has one or two secrets of its own, secrets it would rather keep.
Jar City aka Tainted Blood (2004) is the first in an exciting series of crime novels from the land of the saga. A runaway success in Iceland, it cannot fail to leave a lasting impression among readers in England and worldwide. It is translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder. Currently, there are eleven books in the series with a novella - The Crooked House - due to be released in May 2016.
In 2006, Jar City was made into a film by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur.
About the author: Arnaldur Indriðason worked for many years as a journalist and critic before he began writing novels. Outside Iceland, he is best known for his crime novels featuring Erlendur and Sigurdur Óli, which are consistent bestsellers across Europe. The series has won numerous awards, including the Nordic Glass Key and the CWA Gold Dagger. In 2013, he won the world's most lucrative crime fiction award, the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing worth €125 000 for Skuggasund. Arnaldur's books have been published in 26 countries and translated into at least 24 languages.
Friday, 22 January 2016
Paperback: All marriages have their secrets.
It began with a phone call to Brisbane police on 20 April 2012. Allison, wife of real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay, was missing.
When investigating officers arrived at the family home, in one of the city's wealthiest suburbs, a neatly dressed Gerard was about to send the couple's three daughters off to school.
Weeping welts on the side of his face were simply shaving cuts, he told them. Police were not convinced and opened one of Australia's most high-profile investigations.
Within days everything private would become public. Behind the façade of happiness their life together was riven with debt, infidelity, unfulfilled dreams, and bitter jealousy.
Ten days after Gerard reported Allison's disappearance, the body of the former beauty queen was discovered on a creek bank 14 kilometres from home.
The Baden-Clays had been married 14 years. They had three young daughters and were prominent figures within their well-heeled community. Gerard was the great grandson of Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell, successful businessman, community leader, role model and happy family man. His wife, Allison, was a one-time beauty queen - Miss Brisbane 1993 - who spoke six languages and was global human resources manager for a travel firm when she gave it all away to marry the man of her dreams. Together they made their home in Brookfield, an idyllic semi-rural suburb, but Gerard had just become the focus of police suspicion. How had he ended up here?
The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay (2014) is written by the investigative journalist who covered the case from the start. It weaves together exclusive interviews and police and court records to explain how an upstanding family man with no criminal history received a life sentence for a haunting murder.
It is a story of love, lust, image, ambition and marriage.
It is also a story about everyday choices and their consequences.
Update: After a high-society spectacle that held the nation in its thrall, Gerard Baden-Clay is serving a life sentence for murder, with a mandatory non-parole period of 15 years. Public outrage was perhaps unsurprising, then, when Queensland’s Court of Appeal - led by the state’s new Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, fresh from her appointment by the Palaszczuk government - downgraded Baden-Clay’s conviction to manslaughter. In a unanimous decision, the court agreed with Baden-Clay’s lawyers, who argued he might have — hypothetically — unintentionally killed his wife, panicked, dumped her body, then lied about it. The ruling hinged on intent; while prosecutors had proved he killed Allison, they had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he had intended to do it. The scrapping of Baden-Clay’s murder conviction sparked intense condemnation in the court of public opinion, peaking with a protest rally attended by thousands in Brisbane’s King George Square and capping a year of justifiable widespread concern about domestic violence. (The Australian, 2 January 2016)
About the author: David Murray lives in Brisbane with his partner and their two sons. He has been a journalist since 1997, has won awards for news and investigative reporting and is a former Europe correspondent for News Corp. He is currently Crime and Courts Editor for The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail.
Sunday, 17 January 2016
Hardback: New York Times and internationally bestselling author Jussi Adler-Olsen returns with the sixth and latest book - The Hanging Girl (2015) - in his exhilarating Department Q series, featuring Detective Carl Mørck and his enigmatic assistants, Assad and Rose.
In the middle of his habitual morning nap in the basement of police headquarters, Detective Inspector Carl Mørck receives a call from a colleague stationed on the remote Danish island of Bornholm, asking for his help.
Carl is suspicious that yet another cold case is being foisted on him until, only a few hours later, the man dies in bizarre circumstances.
Carl has no choice but to lead Department Q into the investigation.
Seventeen years ago, a local girl was found dead hanging high in a tree, and all clues point to a reclusive sun-worshipping cult that practices on Bornholm.
What really happened to this hanging girl, and what else does the island have to hide?
Carl, Assad, Rose and newcomer Gordon soon realise that this is no cold case at all, but the work of a sadistic manipulator who does not intend to let anything - or anyone - stand in the way.
About the author: Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's No 1 crime writer, a New York Times bestseller, publisher, editor and entrepreneur. His books regularly top the charts in Europe, and have sold more than 12.5 million copies around the world. He is the winner of the prestigious Glass Key Award for Scandinavian crime fiction as well as the Golden Laurels, Denmark's highest literary accolade. The first five book in the Department Q series are Mercy/The Keeper of Lost Causes (2011), Disgrace/The Absent One (2012), Redemption/A Conspiracy of Faith (2013), Guilt/The Purity of Vengeance (2013) and Buried/The Marco Effect (2014). Jussi Adler-Olsen is also the author of the standalone thrillers, The Alphabet House (2014) and Washington Dekretet (Danish, 2011).
Saturday, 16 January 2016
Friday, 15 January 2016
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Hardback: Irene Huss is a former jujitsu champion, a mother of twin teenage girls, the wife of a successful chef, and a detective inspector with the Violent Crimes Unit in Göteborg, Sweden. Irene Huss is an everywoman - a hardworking wife and mom with grouchy teenage daughters to worry about - but she's also a small-town superhero, a martial arts champion, and an intuitive detective.
It is May and the snow has hardly melted in Göteborg but things are heating up quickly for Detective Inspector Irene Huss in the Violent Crimes Unit.
The body of a teenage girl is found in the woods, naked and horrifically scarred.
Then there is the mummified body that is discovered bricked up in a chimney on a demolition site, not to mention the city's ongoing problem with gang violence.
With the sudden influx of cases and one detective out on maternity leave, everyone is stretched thin.
To make matters worse, Irene feels more than a little intimidated by the new superintendent, Efva Thylqvist, who uses her sex appeal and smooth talking to bend the predominately male staff to her will.
Then a second young girl is found, wearing what appears to be the other half of the sexy lingerie set recovered near the firs body.
Fearing the two cases are linked and that the killer may strike again, Irene and her colleagues embark on a desperate hunt that takes them deep into a shadowy world of anonymous online predators and insecure teenage girls on a deadly quest for affirmation.
The Treacherous Net (2015) is the eighth and latest book in the compelling Inspector Huss series. It is translated from the Swedish into the English by the critically acclaimed literary translator Marlaine Delargy.
About the author: Helene Tursten was a nurse and a dentist before she turned to writing. Other books in the Irene Huss series include Detective Inspector Huss, Night Rounds, The Torso, The Glass Devil, The Golden Calf, The Fire Dance and The Beige Man. Her books have bee translated into eighteen languages. She was born in Göteborg, Sweden, where she now lives with her husband and daughter.
Monday, 11 January 2016
Saturday, 9 January 2016
Paperback: Göteborg, Sweden: The high-speed chase of a stolen BMW takes a chilling turn when the two police officers involved witness a gruesome hit-and-run.
When they finally recover the abandoned vehicle, search dogs are unable to trace the thieves, but they do uncover a different horror: the half-naked corpse of a young girl in a nearby root cellar.
As Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues struggle to put the pieces together, they discover the man whose car was stolen - a retired police officer - is none other than the victim in the hit-and-run.
Could it be a strange coincidence?
Or is something larger at play?
Meanwhile, the hunt for the girl's killer leads Irene into the dark world of sex trafficking.
An international criminal has arrived in Göteborg and he will stop at nothing to expand his sinister operation.
One of Soho Crime's best-selling series, Swedish Detective Inspector Irene Huss is another example of why the Scandinavian crime fiction trend is so hot. The Beige Man (2015) is the seventh book in the excellent Inspector Irene Huss series. It is translated from the Swedish into the English by critically acclaimed literary translator Marlaine Delargy.
About the author: Helene Tursten was a nurse and a dentist before she turned to writing. Other books in the Irene Huss series include Detective Inspector Huss, Night Rounds, The Torso, The Glass Devil, The Golden Calf, The Fire Dance and The Treacherous Net. She was born in Göteborg, Sweden, where she now lives with her husband and daughter.
Thursday, 7 January 2016
Hardback: Honest, incredible, and brilliantly inspiring, Strong Woman (2012) is Karren Brady's story of how she got to where she is today - from an 18-year-old apprentice at an advertising company to the Vice Chairman of a football club and Lord Sugar's right hand woman - and how you can make it to the top too.
"Earlier this year, I was at the annual reception at Downing Street to mark International Women's Day and what struck me was that I was surrounded by all the same faces yet again... Where was the new generation of women leaders? The new inventors? The new charity workers? The new scientists and lawyers? Where were the young women who were going to change the world?"
"I thought that writing a book about my own experiences, telling things as they really have been for me without glossing over any of the difficulties or pretending that it is easy, might help inspire other women to think about developing their own paths to success. To not feel guilty about championing your own career whilst being a mother and to never be afraid to be ambitious. To consider the core values you need to succeed. To visualise the place you want to work and the type of company and people you want to work for or the type of business leader you want to be."
"We need to shake things up and I want to see more of you at next year's International Women's Day reception!"
Being a successful woman is not about the mythical 'having it all', it is about working out what you want, aiming high and digging your heels in.
Sharing in Karren's knock-backs and triumphs, her motivations and inspirations, not to mention her ten personal rules for success, Strong Woman is a rousing read for working women everywhere.
About the author: Baroness Karren Brady of Knightsbridge CBE is Britain's best known business woman. Lord Sugar's right hand woman, Vice Chairman of West Ham United FC, she was the youngest ever MD of a PLC, is a survivor of a brain aneurysm, and a wife and mother of two. She is also the UK government’s Small Business Ambassador. She is currently Patron of The Stroke Association and an Ambassador for WellChild and the Teenage Cancer Trust. She is also Chairman of Mentore, a business that uses mentoring to accelerate the development of female business talent and increase diversity at senior levels in companies across the UK.
In 2013, Karren helped set up the LifeSkills programme, which helps bridge the gap between school and work for thousands of young people. She also chairs the LifeSkills Advisory Council.
She maintains that 'having it all' is a ridiculously pressurising construct, and that getting ahead as a woman in a male-dominated business world does not mean you have to be all alpha about it. Strong Woman is her fourth book.
Monday, 4 January 2016
Hardback: In many parts of the world, women are better off today than ever before, with increased opportunities and the promise of equality. Yet despite all the progress women have made, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry, and women are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives.
In Lean In (2013), Sheryl Sandberg examines why women's progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.
In 2010, Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, gave an electrifying TEDTalk - viewed more than 2 million times. In it she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers and encouraged women to "sit at the table," take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.
Sandberg digs deeper into these issues in Lean In, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women.
She describes specific, practical steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.
Written with both humour and wisdom, Sandberg's book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women cannot do to what they can.
Sheryl Sandberg is donating all of her income from this book to establish Lean In, a nonprofit organization that encourages women to lean in to their ambitions and to other charities that support women.
About the author: Sheryl Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook and is ranked on Fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World. Prior to working at Facebook, she was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and chief of staff at the United States Treasury Department. Sheryl lives in Northern California with her husband and their two children.
Saturday, 2 January 2016
Hardback: When the body of an unidentified Asian man is found in the Harlem River, NYPD Detective Jack Yu is pulled in to investigate.
The murder takes Jack from the benevolent associations of Chinatown to the take-out restaurants, strip clubs, and underground gambling establishments of the Bronx, to a wealthy, exclusive New Jersey borough.
It is a world of secrets and unclear allegiances, of Chinatown street gangs and major Triad players.
With the help of an elderly fortune teller and an old friend, the unpredictable Billy Bow, Jack races to solve his most difficult case yet.
Death Money (2014) is the fourth and latest book in the Detective Jack Yu series set in Chinatown, New York City.
About the author: Henry Chang is a New Yorker, a native son of Chinatown and the Lower East Side. His poems have appeared in the seminal Yellow Pearl anthology, and in Gangs In New York’s Chinatown. He has written for Bridge Magazine, and his fiction has appeared in On A Bed Of Rice and in the NuyorAsian Anthology. His debut novel Chinatown Beat (2006) garnered high praise from the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, among others.
Henry Chang is a graduate of CCNY (City College of New York). He has been a lighting consultant, and a Security Director for major hotels, commercial properties, and retail businesses in Manhattan.
He resides in the Chinatown area, and his ‘Chinatown Trilogy' of Chinatown Beat (2006), Year of the Dog (2008), and Red Jade (2010) are currently being developed for television and movies.