And Lucifer said: “Let us rise against Him now in all our numbers, and pull the walls of heaven down…”
The year is 1348. Thomas, a disgraced knight, hAnd Lucifer said: “Let us rise against Him now in all our numbers, and pull the walls of heaven down…”
The year is 1348. Thomas, a disgraced knight, has found a young girl alone in a dead Norman village. An orphan of the Black Death, and an almost unnerving picture of innocence, she tells Thomas that plague is only part of a larger cataclysm—that the fallen angels under Lucifer are rising in a second war on heaven, and that the world of men has fallen behind the lines of conflict.
Is it delirium or is it faith? She believes she has seen the angels of God. She believes the righteous dead speak to her in dreams. And now she has convinced the faithless Thomas to shepherd her across a depraved landscape to Avignon. There, she tells Thomas, she will fulfill her mission: to confront the evil that has devastated the earth, and to restore to this betrayed, murderous knight the nobility and hope of salvation he long abandoned.
As hell unleashes its wrath, and as the true nature of the girl is revealed, Thomas will find himself on a macabre battleground of angels and demons, saints, and the risen
dead, and in the midst of a desperate struggle for nothing less than the soul of man.
"Cormac McCarthy's The Road meets Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in this frightful medieval epic..."
I would add to that quote Barry Unsworth's Morality Play.
I love Christopher Buehlman novels, every one is different and you never can assume anything, you have no idea what you are going to get. From the brilliant opening sequence to the poignant ending this apocalyptic tale of a hopeless quest undertaken by a fallen knight, a drunkard priest and an young girl is truly epic. Masterly storytelling walks a perfect line between fantasy and reality and drives the reader on and on and the superb characters live on in your mind long after you have closed the book
It is a tale of opposites; good and evil, beauty and horror, love and hate, holy and profane etc Great to see a dystopian novel set in the past, punctuated with actual historical events; Battle of Crécy, the Avignon Papacy and of course the Black Death. 14th century France is hell on earth, literally. I loved it, plus it has the best swearing ever.....
Meet Detective Max Wolfe. Insomniac. Dog lover. Coffee addict. Boxer. Orphan. Devoted husband of a brutally departed wife. Single parent. Defender ofMeet Detective Max Wolfe. Insomniac. Dog lover. Coffee addict. Boxer. Orphan. Devoted husband of a brutally departed wife. Single parent. Defender of the weak, avenger of slaughtered parents and every murderer’s worst nightmare. There’s a serial killer on the loose. He cuts throats. And he is good at it.
Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field, founded five hundred years ago by King Henry VIII. Suddenly they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable…
Detective Max Wolfe follows the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city all the way to the corner rooms in the corridors of power. At enormous personal cost, what Wolfe uncovers is a horrific secret that has been buried for two decades - and is now ready to explode.
I was waiting for a man who was planning to die.
I had parked the old BMW X5 just up the road from the entrance to the railway station and I drank a triple espresso as I watched the commuters rushing off to work. I drank quickly.
He would be here soon.
Well paced, twisty and engrossing read. An awful lot of research has gone into the inner workings of the Homicide Department based in London’s Savile Row and I found the information about the Black Museum fascinating and the city of London was well drawn in all its cold indifference. The examination of how the rich and privileged live within their own set of rules to the common man was an interesting angle. Wolfe's domestic situation and Stan the dog caused me more ongoing anxiety than the case.......more
"The meat market of Smithfield was silent. I walked under the market’s great arch, shivering in the early death of New Year’s Day, past the line of ol"The meat market of Smithfield was silent. I walked under the market’s great arch, shivering in the early death of New Year’s Day, past the line of old red telephone boxes and the plaque marking the spot where they killed William Wallace. Not yet four in the afternoon, and the sun was already going down behind the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.…"
Another dark, graphic page turner from Tony Parsons, with decent plotting and a cracking pace with more twists, turns and red herrings than a crime lover could wish for.
I have the same gripes as I did with the first novel in the series:
Repetition, please just say "my car" and "my flat" instead of "the BMW X5" and "top-floor loft apartment in Smithfield".
Most understanding childminder...ever
Irrelvant and uncomfortable love interest
Jaw droppingly bad decisions made by the team that result in terrible consequences, one would hope that in reality Police Standards would come crashing down on them and they would never work again.
However...two of the characters more than make up for these minor irritations - the city of London and Stan *heart* - in fact Stan should have his own series....more
The Deal Tom Thorne is a detective again, but there’s a price to pay. Stuart Nicklin, the most dangerous psychopath he has ever put behind bars, promisThe Deal Tom Thorne is a detective again, but there’s a price to pay. Stuart Nicklin, the most dangerous psychopath he has ever put behind bars, promises to reveal the whereabouts of a body he buried twenty-five years before. But only if Thorne agrees to escort him.
The Danger Unable to refuse, Thorne gathers a team and travels to a remote Welsh island, at the mercy of the weather and cut off from the mainland. Thorne is determined to get the job done and return home before Nicklin can outwit them.
The Deaths But Nicklin knows this island well and has had time to plan ahead. Soon, new bodies are added to the old, and Thorne finds himself facing the toughest decision he has ever had to make…
I had, same as Throne, a creeping feeling that it was all going to end horribly proceeded by lots of head working manipulative behavior from Nicklin.
So to make it work you have to go along with the premise that the authorities would allow this ill thought out jolly for a serial killer who is allowed to dictate terms and conditions. This of course makes it immensely readable because you know it is coming.....
I love the Lleyn peninsula and am very familiar with Bardsey Island, Aberdaron and Abersoch so was great to see the area used as a book setting.
Billingham really does a good job of getting over the atmosphere of this wild desolate place, making Throne almost take a secondary role.
“There you go,” Morgan said. “Bardsey Island. Well...that’s what the English call it.”
“What do you call it?”
“Ynnis Enlli in Welsh. Island of Tides. Bloody tricky ones at that...”
Approaching as they were — from behind the mountain that dominated one side of the island — the first view was of cliffs and the snowflake specks of wheeling seabirds against the black crags. The island was shaped like a giant, humpbacked tadpole; no more than a mile from end to end and about half as wide.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops atRachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.>...more
Paris, 1792. Terror reigns as the city writhes in the grip of revolution. The streets run with blood as thousands lose their heads to the guillotine.Paris, 1792. Terror reigns as the city writhes in the grip of revolution. The streets run with blood as thousands lose their heads to the guillotine. Edward Savill, working in London as agent for a wealthy American, receives word that his estranged wife Augusta has been killed in France. She leaves behind ten-year-old Charles, who is brought to England to Charnwood Court, a house in the country leased by a group of émigré refugees.
Savill is sent to retrieve the boy, though it proves easier to reach Charnwood than to leave. And only when Savill arrives there does he discover that Charles is mute. The boy has witnessed horrors beyond his years, but what terrible secret haunts him so deeply that he is unable to utter a word?
Hush now. Say nothing.
Another thoroughly enjoyable novel by this author this time set during the French Revolution.
An intelligent twisting plot about a boy who believes his silence is the only thing that will save his life in dangerous times.
The characters are beautifully drawn, the sense of time and place exemplary. The book is gripping, immersive and demands your attention, though it's not a page turner as such.
The author of the internationally best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying stand-alone novel set amid Oslo's hierarchy of corruptioThe author of the internationally best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying stand-alone novel set amid Oslo's hierarchy of corruption, from which one very unusual young man is about to propel himself into a mission of brutal revenge.
Sonny Lofthus, in his early thirties, has been in prison for the last dozen years: serving time for crimes he didn't commit. In exchange, he gets an uninterrupted supply of heroin—and the unexpected stream of fellow prisoners seeking out his uncanny abilities to soothe and absolve. His addiction started when his father committed suicide rather than be exposed as a corrupt cop, and now Sonny is the center of a vortex of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him stoned and jailed, and all of them under the thumb of Oslo's crime overlord, the Twin. When Sonny learns some long-hidden truths about his father he makes a brilliant escape, and begins hunting down the people responsible for the hideous crimes he's paid for. But he's also being hunted, by the Twin, the cops, and the only person who knows the ultimate truth that Sonny is seeking. The question is, what will he do when they've cornered him? ...more
"In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered b"In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver,” has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned—and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.
One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind’s salvation . . . unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man’s extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price.
A heart-stopping thriller rendered with masterful literary skill, The Twelve is a grand and gripping tale of sacrifice and survival."...more
The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children's future secure. It shuns oThe community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children's future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of the Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town . . .
But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.
Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive.
12 books in and ,for me, Charlie Parker has lost none of his charm.
This latest tale has the lyrical writing and the vivid imagery that are a hallmark of this series; Connolly is a master storyteller.
Interesting structure, and ending to the novel makes you wonder where this ongoing masterpiece will take you next....more
Two babies are born. Two brothers. United and indivisible, sharing everything. Twins in all but blood.
As Germany marches into its Nazi ArmagBerlin 1920
Two babies are born. Two brothers. United and indivisible, sharing everything. Twins in all but blood.
As Germany marches into its Nazi Armageddon, the ties of family, friendship and love are tested to the very limits of endurance. And the brothers are faced with an unimaginable choice....Which one of them will survive?
Ben Elton's poignant novel that parallels the birth and rise of the Nazi Party with the birth and lives of the two brothers. I found the early chapters describing the decadence of the 1920s Weimar republic jazz clubs and their creativity and tolerance all the more interesting because of the horrors to come.
An air of incredulity sums both the reader and characters experience of the rise of the Nazi party to power, the systematic persecution of the Jewish population and the German peoples willingness to tolerate, accept and endorse this monstrous treatment.
Well constructed, beautifully realised and important novel ...more
Felix Castor used to cast out demons for a living, and London was his stomping grounds. But in a time when the supernatural realm is in upheaval and sFelix Castor used to cast out demons for a living, and London was his stomping grounds. But in a time when the supernatural realm is in upheaval and spilling over into the mundane world of the living, his skills are in renewed demand. With old debts to pay, Castor is left with no choice but to accept one final, well-paying assignment: a seemingly simple exorcism. Trouble is, the more he discovers about the ghost in the archive, the more things refuse to add up - and the more deeply he's dragged into a world he wants no part of. What should have been a perfectly straightforward job is rapidly turning into a "who can kill Castor first" competition, with demons, were-beings, and ghosts all keen to claim the big prize. But that's okay. Castor knows how to deal with the dead. It's the living who piss him off.
Fab book ruined by horrific narration - why have an American reader trying (and failing badly) to do English accents. Not just the accents, just sloppy execution of British terms such as spelling out ASDA as A.S.D.A *shudder*.