The Flowers of Adonis by Rosemary Sutcliff (Kindle ebook, 99p)
The 5th Century BC. The Greek city-states are engaged in perpetual war. But one man towers above the chaos. His name is Alkibiades. He is at once a pirate, statesman and seducer whose adventures rival those of Odysseus himself. Citizen of Athens, friend of Socrates, sailor, warrior and inveterate lover, Alkibiades flees persecution in his native city to join the Spartan cause. However, his brilliant naval and diplomatic victories on their behalf do not save him from the consequences of impregnating the Spartan queen, and once more he takes up the outcast’s mantle…
Captain Paul by Edward Ellsberg (Kindle ebook, free)
“I watched John Paul Jones flash like a flaming meteor across the dark days of our struggle for independence.” 1773 – When Tom Folger’s father is lost during a whaling expedition, the young Nantucketer is forced to put aside thoughts of his printer’s apprenticeship to support his mother. In keeping with the family’s sea-faring tradition, he joins a whaler’s crew and sets out on his first cruise, but an encounter with a bull sperm whale changes everything. Not only does Tom find himself promoted third mate, a position not without its difficulties, but it leads to a chance encounter with the enigmatic Captain Paul. An ex-slaver and merchantman, the fugitive Scottish buccaneer’s path becomes entwined with that of Tom. With conflict brewing the two join the fledgling Continental Navy. Through trials and tribulations, politicking and treachery, Tom sails with Captain Paul from Nassau to France and on into the home waters of the feared Royal Navy. As the Revolutionary War rages on, a legend will be born.
So Much Owed by Jean Grainger (Kindle ebook, free)
In a turbulent and uncertain world, the birth of two children revitalise a small Irish town and set the stage for a closer look into lives torn asunder by war. When Dr. Richard Buckley returns home to his wife and beloved hometown of Dunderrig, his mind is wearied by the ravages of The Great War. Disillusioned by the horror and pointlessness of battle, his civilian transition strains more than just his state of mind, as his marriage crumbles beneath the weight of duty. Out of the rubble of this doomed relationship, twins James and Juliet arrive—born into an uncertain and hostile new world. Against the backdrop of this idyllic town, this story takes you to the furthest reaches of Nazi occupied Europe. James and Juliet come of age in a world on the brink of chaos, where the remnants of rebellion at home have snowballed into the horrors of yet another world war.
No Ordinary Killing by Jeff Dawson (eARC courtesy of Endeavour Press)
December 1899, South Africa. Global superpower Great Britain is mired in an unexpectedly brutal conflict with the upstart Boers. Captain Ingo Finch of the Royal Army Medical Corps pieces together casualties from the battle for Kimberley. On leave in Cape Town, the slaughter proves inescapable for Finch. Awoken at his lodgings by local police, he is informed that a British officer has been murdered in a city backstreet. An RAMC signature is required to expedite a post mortem. Shocked by the identity of the victim, the bizarre nature of the crime and what appears a too-convenient resolution, Finch seeks answers before returning to the Front. Though the sleuth soon turns fugitive, thrust into a perilous scramble through a maze of intrigue and espionage — with feisty Australian nurse, Annie Jones, as his accidental accomplice. Way to the north, Mbutu Kefaleze, a diamond mine runner, leads a band of tribal refugees on a trek across the vast Karoo. Their discovery of a white woman and her daughter wandering in the desert fuels their fear — that a lethal supernatural force has been unleashed upon the wilderness. All have stumbled upon a deadly secret, the revelation of which would shake the Empire to its core.
Ares Road by James L. Weaver (eARC courtesy of Lakewater Press)
With his days as a mob enforcer behind him, Jake Caldwell’s trying to go straight. But it seems his past won’t let him go. His first job working as a private investigator turns up a teenage girl screaming down a dead man’s cell phone, and Logan, his mentor and the only man with answers, beaten into a coma. Now Jake’s taking it personally. The only clues Jake has to unravel the mystery are a Russian with a stolen, silver briefcase and three names: Snell, Parley and Ares. Teaming up with his best friend Bear, the Sheriff of his home town, and an attractive FBI agent, Jake quickly discovers they’re not the only ones looking for the briefcase and its deadly contents. It’s no longer about seeking revenge.
In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant (NetGalley ARC)
`It is better to be feared than loved’ – Niccolo Machiavelli. In the bear pit of renaissance politics, a young Florentine diplomat finds himself first hand observer on the history’s most notorious family – the Borgias. In the Name of the Family – as Blood and Beauty did before – holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli. It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father’s plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince. But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasing maverick behavior it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.
The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet (NetGalley ARC)
Roland Barthes is knocked down in a Paris street by a laundry van. It’s February 1980 and he has just come from lunch with Francois Mitterrand, a slippery politician locked in a battle for the Presidency. Barthes dies soon afterwards. History tells us it was an accident. But what if it were an assassination? What if Barthes was carrying a document of unbelievable, global importance? A document explaining the seventh function of language – an idea so powerful it gives whoever masters it the ability to convince anyone, in any situation, to do anything. Police Captain Jacques Bayard and his reluctant accomplice Simon Herzog set off on a chase that takes them from the corridors of power and academia to backstreet saunas and midnight rendezvous. What they discover is a worldwide conspiracy involving the President, murderous Bulgarians and a secret international debating society. In the world of intellectuals and politicians, everyone is a suspect. Who can you trust when the idea of truth itself is at stake?
Last week on What Cathy Read Next…
- Challenge updates
- Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 29 out of 78 books read (4 more than last week)
- Classics Club – 2 out of 50 books reviewed (same as last week)
- NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 – 12 ARCs reviewed out of 25 (same as last week)
- From Page to Screen – 3 book/film comparisons completed (same as last week)
Coming up this week on What Cathy Read Next…
- Currently reading
- In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant
- His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay
- Planned posts
- Book Review: Poor Boy Road by James L. Weaver
- Book Review: Runaway by Alice Munro
- Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
- From Page to Screen: The Queen of Katwe
- NetGalley reviews
- Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik
- Secrets of Southern Girls by Haley Harrigan
- If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
- Final Girls by Riley Sager
- Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir
How was your week in books? What book-related stuff have you got planned for this week?