AUTHOR’S BIO
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature.

After university and before his success with his Rebus novels, Ian had a number of jobs including working as a grape-picker, a swineherd, a journalist for a hi-fi magazine, and a taxman. Following his marriage in 1986, he lived briefly in London where he worked at the National Folktale Centre, followed by a short time living in France, before returning to Edinburgh.

Ian’s first novel Summer Rites remains in his bottom drawer, but his second novel, The Flood, was published in 1986, while his first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987. The Rebus series is now translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents. In addition to his Rebus and Malcolm Fox novels, he has also written standalone novels including Doors Open, which was televised in 2012, short stories, a graphic novel – Dark Entries, and a play (with Mark Thomson, the Royal Lyceum Theatre’s Artistic Director) Dark Road, which premiered at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in September 2013. There are also a number of novels under the pseudonym ‘Jack Harvey’ and in 2005 he collaborated with singer Jackie Leven on a CD. His non-fiction book Rebus’s Scotland was published in 2005.

Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America’s celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and Germany’s Deutscher Krimipreis.

Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Hull, Abertay, St Andrews and Edinburgh as well as The Open University.

A regular contributor to BBC2’s Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin’s Evil Thoughts on Channel 4 in 2002 and Rankin on the Staircase for BBC Four in 2005. In 2007, Rankin appeared in Ian Rankin’s Hidden Edinburgh and Ian Rankin Investigates Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde also for BBC Four. Ian has been the subject of ITV’s South Bank Show and BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs where his choice of music included Joy Division, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison.

Ian has received an OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

KIRKUS REVIEW

Veteran cop John Rebus emerges from retirement to look into a pair of parallel cases of revenge.

When David Menzies Minton, former Lord Advocate of Scotland, is bludgeoned to death in his Edinburgh home, DI Siobhan Clarke shares one crime-scene detail she shouldn’t with her friend DI Malcolm Fox: a note saying, “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID.” After someone shoots at crime lord Big Ger Cafferty, she also rousts John Rebus, a month into his retirement, from his usual station at the Oxford Bar. As a detective, Rebus had developed an odd working relationship with Cafferty. So now he agrees to be a consultant, especially after Cafferty gets the same death-threat note as Minton. There’s no obvious link between Minton’s murder and the attempted hit on Cafferty, however, and even less connection with a past break-in and the murder of a lottery winner. Meanwhile, Fox reluctantly becomes his boss’ spy for a surveillance team that hopes to take down a Glaswegian gangster and his heir apparent, who’ve come to Edinburgh on the trail of a man who betrayed them. It’s not easy for a man widely regarded as an internal snitch to win the team’s confidence. Fox even has to take a beating from the man he suspects is the team’s undercover member. But he takes a cue from Rebus, who was notorious for going his own way when he was a cop and is even more inclined to do so as a civilian. It pays off when Rebus uses his connections and know-how to help Clarke and Fox find the key they’ve been looking for, a terrible secret that spills into the turf war among criminal factions and exposes the past lives of those supposedly on the right side of the law.

Rankin (The Beat Goes On, 2015, etc.) takes his time setting up all these plots. But it’s well worth the wait to see how the latest entry in this celebrated series fits all the pieces together.

THE AUDIOBOOK

The audio book is read by James Macpherson with an authentic Scottish accent and is 11 hrs and 10 mins long.

Watch a YouTube video of Ian Rankin discussing Even Dogs in the WildYouTube.






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AUTHOR’S BIO

Sarah Waters was born in Wales in 1966. After Milford Haven Grammar School, Waters attended university, and earned degrees in English literature.

She received a BA from the University of Kent, an MA from Lancaster University, and a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London. She has been an associate lecturer with the Open University.

She has written six novels: Tipping the Velvet(1998), which won the Betty Trask Award; Affinity(1999), which won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday /John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Fingersmith(2002), which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize, and won the South Bank Show Award for Literature and the CWA Historical Dagger; The Night Watch(2006), which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize;The Little Stranger(2009), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the South Bank Show Literature Award; and The Paying Guests(2014)

She was included in Granta’s prestigious list of ‘Best of Young British Novelists 2003′, and in the same year was voted Author of the Year by both publishers and booksellers at the British Book Awards and the BA Conference, and won the Waterstone’s Author of the Year Award.

KIRKUS REVIEW

An exquisitely tuned exploration of class in post-Edwardian Britain—with really hot sex.

It’s 1922, and Frances Wray lives with her mother in a big house in a genteel South London neighborhood. Her two brothers were killed in the war and her father died soon after, leaving behind a shocking mess of debt. The solution: renting out rooms to Leonard and Lilian Barber, members of the newly emerging “clerk class,” the kind of people the Wrays would normally never mix with but who now share their home. Tension is high from the first paragraph, as Frances waits for the new lodgers to move in: “She and her mother had spent the morning watching the clock, unable to relax.” The first half of the book slowly builds the suspense as Frances falls for the beautiful and passionate Lilian and teases at the question of whether she will declare her love; when she does, the tension grows even thicker, as the two bump into each other all over the house and try to find time alone for those vivid sex scenes. The second half, as in an Ian McEwan novel, explores the aftermath of a shocking act of violence. Waters is a master of pacing, and her metaphor-laced prose is a delight; when Frances and Lilian go on a picnic, “the eggs [give] up their shells as if shrugging off cumbersome coats”—just like the women. As life-and-death questions are answered, new ones come up, and until the last page, the reader will have no idea what’s going to happen.

Waters keeps getting better, if that’s even possible after the sheer perfection of her earlier novels.

THE AUDIOBOOK

The audio book is well read by Juliet Stevenson and is 21 hours and 28 min long.

Watch YouTube video of Sarah Waters Discussing The Paying Guests YouTube.










AUTHOR’S BIO
Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960, where his father ran the US Embassy Medical Clinic during the height of the Cold War. Iles spent his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983.

“Greg Iles spent his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and studied the American novel under acclaimed southern writer Willie Morris at the University of Mississippi.

Iles wrote his first novel in 1993, a thriller about Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess, which became the first of twelve New York Times bestsellers.

KIRKUS REVIEW
Iles’s novels have been made into films, translated into more than twenty languages, and published in more than thirty-five countries worldwide. His new epic trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and New York Times #1 bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl.

A searing tale of racial hatreds and redemption in the modern South, courtesy of Southern storyteller extraordinaire Iles (The Devil’s Punchbowl, 2009, etc.).

Natchez didn’t burn in the Civil War, having surrendered to the Yankees while its neighbors endured scarifying sieges. It burns in Iles’ pages, though, since so many of the issues sounded a century and a half ago have yet to be resolved.

Some of Natchez’s more retrograde residents find it difficult to wrap their heads around the idea that men and women of different races might want to spend time together, occasioning, in the opening episode, a “Guadalcanal barbecue,” as one virulent separate-but-unequal proponent puts it.

The Double Eagles, an even more violent offshoot of the KKK, has been spreading its murderous idea of justice through the neighborhood for a long time, a fact driven home for attorney/politico Penn Cage when the allegation rises that his own father is somehow implicated in the dark events of 1964—and, as Iles’ slowly unfolding story makes clear, not just of that long-ago time, but in the whispered, hidden things that followed.

As Penn investigates, drawing heat, he runs into plenty of tough customers, some with badges, some with swastikas, as well as the uncomfortable fact that his heroic father may indeed have feet of clay.

Iles, a longtime resident of Natchez, knows his corner of Mississippi as well as Faulkner and Welty knew theirs, and he sounds true notes that may not be especially meaningful for outsiders—for one thing, that there’s a profound difference between a Creole and a Cajun, and for another, that anyone whose first three names are Nathan Bedford Forrest may not be entirely trustworthy when looking into hate crimes.

His story is long in the telling (and with at least two more volumes coming along to complete it), but a patient reader will find that the pages scoot right along without missing a beat.

Iles is a master of regional literature, though he’s dealing with universals here, one being our endless thirst to right wrongs. A memorable, harrowing tale.

THE AUDIOBOOK
Many of Greg Iles’ audiobooks have been narrated by Dick Hill. Dick Hill is a popular
but sometimes over exposed narrator.
Numerous listeners have complained about Dick Hill being replaced by David Ledoux as the narrator.
One gets use to his voice as the voice of Iles’ narrator.

We believe that perhaps it was time for a new voice for this audiobook.
We like many are suffering from Dick Hill burnout.
David Ledoux does a fine job narrating Natchez Burning.The audio book is 35 hrs and 53 mins long.

Watch the interview with Greg Iles about writing “Natchez Buring” on YouTube.










Helene Wecker's Debut Novel

The Golem And The Jinni is Helene Wecker’s debut novel.

She received a BA in English from Carleton College in Minnesota and an MFA from Columbia University in New York. Her fiction has appeared in the online magazine Joyland, and she has read from her stories at the KGB Bar in Manhattan and the Barbershop Reading Series in San Francisco.

A Chicago-area native who’s made her home in Minneapolis, Seattle, and New York, she now lives near San Francisco, CA with her husband and daughter.

Helene Wecker is Jewish, and her husband’s family is Syrian, giving her a unique perspective on these two cultures’ mystical traditions and the immigrant experiences of both groups.

The Golem And The Jinni, a historical fantasy, was nominated for both a Nebula Award and Audie Award.

When her master dies aboard ship, the Golem is stranded. Adrift among crowds of new immigrants on the Lower East Side, she is taken in by Avram Meyer, a retired Orthodox rabbi. He names her Chava. She is safe, but rudderless. Tailored to sense her master’s thoughts and respond without thinking, she is frequently overwhelmed as she taps into the unspoken fears and desires of the humans around her in the city. Avram finds her a job at a bakery. Soon the Golem is hard at work, shaping rolls and twisting pretzels with uncanny precision. But at night, when humans sleep, she grows increasingly restless.

The Jinni, a volatile fire creature, has been imprisoned within a copper flask for a millennium under circumstances he can’t recall. Boutrous Arbeely, a Syrian Christian tinsmith hired to do repairs, frees him unexpectedly. Working with Arbeely, who names him Ahmad, the Jinni becomes a master metalworker, creating fantastical gold and silver birds, striking bejeweled necklaces, and a ceiling of tin that re-creates the Syrian desert, the “portrait of an ancient memory.”

Wecker’s portrait of the shared experience of Jewish and Arab immigrants feels like a walk back in time, exploring the “wondrous and terrifying” city from the harbor view at Castle Gardens to the carriage roads of Central Park, from the Yiddish speaking shops to the coffeehouses of Little Syria in Lower Manhattan.

Most important, Wecker gives her main characters appealing emotional resonance, through their inner thoughts, which are not so inhuman after all, and their conversation. The “glowing man” and the clay woman share the loneliness of not fitting in. “Passing as human was a constant strain,” Wecker writes. The two are both trapped. The Golem yearns for a master because her destiny is to serve; the Jinni craves freedom, as he is bound to human form by an iron cuff welded onto his wrist by an ancient wizard’s spell.

Wecker maintains her novel’s originality as she orchestrates a satisfying and unpredictable ending. The Golem and the Jinni is a continuous delight — provocative, atmospheric, and superbly paced.- Jane Ciabattari, Globe Correspondent

George Guidall does an exclellent job narrating The Golem and the Jinni. Nominated for an Audie Award in 2014 in the fiction category The audio book is 19 hrs and 43 mins long.

Watch interview with Helene Wecker about writing “The Golem and the Jinni” on YouTube.












AUTHOR’S BIO

Kate Mosse was born in Chichester in 1961 and was educated at Chichester High School for Girls and New College, Oxford. She graduated in 1981 with a BA (Hons) in English.

After graduation, she spent seven years in publishing, working for Hodder & Stoughton, then Century, and finally as an Editorial Director at Hutchinson, part of the Random House Group.
She was a member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Women in Publishing.

She left publishing in 1992, to begin her writing career and to setting up a new literary prize, and published two works of non fiction and two novels.

In 1989, she and her husband bought a small house in Carcassonne in the Languedoc region of southwest France, the inspiration for her bestselling Trilogy of historical timeslip novels.
In 2001, she began writing the first book of the Languedoc Trilogy, Labyrinth published in 2005 followed by Speulchre in 2007 and Citadel in 2012. Her bestselling books have sold millions of copies in over 40 countries.

The complex history of the Languedoc has proved fertile territory for Kate Mosse in her recent trilogy of adventure novels, beginning with the phenomenally successful Labyrinth in 2005, shortly to be a mini-series, and now reaching its conclusion in Citadel.

Labyrinth was concerned with the Albigensian crusade and the destruction of the Cathar heresy in the 13th century, weaving historical truth with the legends of the holy grail that flourished after the final massacre of the Cathars at their fortress of Montségur.

This idea of a connection between the story of a secret Cathar treasure and the grail was given substance in the 20th century by the work of Otto Rahn, a German historian and SS officer who believed that the Cathars held the key to the grail mystery, and that the evidence was somewhere beneath the ruins of Montségur. His writings attracted the attention of Himmler, whose own fascination with the occult, and with the possible ancient pedigree of an Aryan race, led to the founding of the Ahnenerbe, a society dedicated to research into proving the historical origins of a master race.

This Nazi connection provides a richly dramatic setting for Citadel. The novel takes place largely between 1942 and 1944, between the occupation and liberation of southern France.

Mosse has marshalled a large cast of characters, although (as in Labyrinth and its successor, Sepulchre) the story centres around a determined young heroine, in this case 18-year-old Sandrine Vidal, an orphan living with her older sister in Carcassonne. Sandrine is shocked out of her innocence in the summer of 1942 when her life is saved by a young resistance fighter, Raoul Pelletier, just as he discovers that his network has been infiltrated by a spy, Leo Authié, working for the Deuxième Bureau, the French military intelligence agency. When a bomb goes off at a crowded, peaceful demonstration, Raoul realises he has been set up by Authié to look like the perpetrator. He goes on the run, aided by Sandrine and her sister, Marianne, who is already working with the resistance.

But Authié wants Raoul for his own purposes: Raoul is in possession of a map belonging to his former comrade, Antoine, who died under torture at the hands of Authié’s henchman without revealing its whereabouts. Beneath his official guise, Authié is a kind of latter-day inquisitor, obsessed with restoring the purity of the Catholic faith; he knows that Antoine corresponded with Otto Rahn, and suspects that before Rahn’s death the German passed to Antoine a map revealing the whereabouts of an ancient codex containing a secret so powerful it could change the course of the war. The Ahnenerbe are also pursuing this codex, apparently with Authié’s assistance, though to their cost they fail to realise that his motivation for securing it is quite different to theirs.

As in the first two books, Mosse sets up two narrative threads progressing in parallel, though the difference here is that neither concerns the present day. Although the principal story follows Sandrine and her friends as they attempt to find the codex, while evading capture and throwing Authié and his collaborators off the scent, we also glimpse the far distant history of the region in the subplot of the codex’s original journey into the mountains, in the hands of a young, fourth-century monk risking death to save the heretical text from the flames.

Though the elements of fantasy and magic require a firm suspension of disbelief (there is a whiff of Tolkien about the alleged powers of the codex), what capture the reader most powerfully are the horrors of the Nazi threat and the sacrifices necessary to survive and resist, which make Citadel feel the most substantial and mature of the trilogy.

Mosse has grounded her story in exhaustive research, as testified by the bibliography, but she wears her learning lightly, keeping the characters and their personal dramas to the fore, switching neatly between perspectives to maintain tension. She has a particular knack for creating vivid action scenes — the blood, debris and panic of a bomb attack, or a skirmish – but she describes with equal precision the small, daily hardships of life under occupation: the endless paperwork, the difficulties of communication, the twitching curtains next door. Fans of the previous two books will be pleased to find characters and themes recurring here, most notably the magus figure of Audric Baillard, the enigmatic scholar who has lived many centuries and seems to embody the resilience of the land and its people.
Citadel is a deeply satisfying literary adventure, brimming with all the romance, treachery and cliffhangers you would expect from the genre. It is also steeped in a passion for the region, its history and legends, and that magical shadow world where the two meet.- Stephanie Merritt, The Observer

Finty Williams does a fine job narrating Citadel. The audio book is 26 hrs and 58 mins long.

Watch interview with Kate Mosse about writing “Citadel” on YouTube.







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