Hosted by Taking on a World of Words, this meme is all about the three Ws:
- What are you currently reading?
- What did you recently finish reading?
- What do you think you’ll read next?
Why not join in too? Leave a comment with your link at Taking on a World of Words and then go blog hopping!
A book for a blog tour, an ARC, a book from my NetGalley shelf and an audiobook.
Then We Take Berlin (Joe Wilderness #1) by John Lawton (audiobook)
Joe Wilderness is a World War II orphan, a condition that he thinks excuses him from common morality. Cat burglar, card sharp, and Cockney wide boy, the last thing he wants is to get drafted. But in 1946 he finds himself in the Royal Air Force, facing a stretch in military prison . . . when along comes Lt Colonel Burne-Jones to tell him MI6 has better use for his talents.
Posted to occupied Berlin, interrogating ex-Nazis, and burgling the odd apartment for MI6, Wilderness finds himself with time on his hands and the devil making work. He falls in with Frank, a US Army captain, with Eddie, a British artilleryman and with Yuri, a major in the NKVD and together they lift the black market scam to a new level. Coffee never tasted so sweet. And he falls for Nell Breakheart, a German girl who has witnessed the worst that Germany could do and is driven by all the scruples that Wilderness lacks.
Fifteen years later, June 1963. Wilderness is free-lance and down on his luck. A gumshoe scraping by on divorce cases. Frank is a big shot on Madison Avenue, cooking up one last Berlin scam . . . for which he needs Wilderness once more. Only now they’re not smuggling coffee, they’re smuggling people. And Nell? Nell is on the staff of West Berlin’s mayor Willy Brandt, planning for the state visit of the most powerful man in the world: “Ich bin ein Berliner!”
Then We Take Berlin is a gripping, meticulously researched and richly detailed historical thriller – a moving story of espionage and war, and people caught up in the most tumultuous events of the twenty-first century.
A Registry Of My Passage Upon The Earth by Daniel Mason (proof copy, courtesy of Mantle)
From the bestselling, award-winning author of The Winter Soldier and The Piano Tuner, a collection of interlaced tales of men and women as they face the mysteries and magic of the world.
On a fateful flight, a balloonist makes a discovery that changes her life forever. A telegraph operator finds an unexpected companion in the middle of the Amazon. A doctor is beset by seizures, in which he is possessed by a second, perhaps better, version of himself. And in Regency London, a bare-knuckle fighter prepares to face his most fearsome opponent, while a young mother seeks a miraculous cure for her ailing son.
At times funny and irreverent, always moving and deeply urgent, these stories – among them a National Magazine Award and a Pushcart Prize winner – cap a fifteen-year project. From the Nile’s depths to the highest reaches of the atmosphere, from volcano-racked islands to an asylum on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, these are tales of ecstasy, epiphany, and what the New York Times Magazine called the “struggle for survival…hand to hand, word to word,” by “one of the finest prose stylists in American fiction.”
Hidden in the Shadows by Imogen Matthews (e-book, courtesy of Amsterdam Publishers and Random Things Tours)
Escape from the hidden village is just the beginning.
September 1944: The hidden village is in ruins. Stormed by the Nazis. Several are dead and dozens flee for their lives. Instead of leading survivors to safety, Wouter panics and abandons Laura, the love of his life. He has no choice but to keep running from the enemy who want to hunt him down.
Laura must also stay hidden as she is Jewish. Moving from one safe house to another, she is concealed in attics and cellars. The threat of discovery is always close at hand.
On the run with no end in sight, the two young people despair of ever seeing each other again. As cold sweeps in signalling the start of the Hunger Winter, time is running out. Wouter’s search now becomes a battle for survival. Where can Laura be? Will they ever be reunited?
The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting, trans. by Deborah Dawkin (e-book, courtesy of MacLehose Press and NetGalley)
Norway, 1880. Winter is hard in Butangen, a village secluded at the end of a valley. The lake has frozen, and for months the ground is too hard to bury the dead. Astrid Hekne dreams of a life beyond all this, beyond marriage, children, and working the land to the end of her days. Then Pastor Kai Schweigaard takes over the small parish, with its 700-year-old stave church carved with pagan deities. The two bells in the tower were forged by Astrid’s forefather in the sixteenth century, in memory of conjoined twins Halfrid and Gunhild Hekne. They are said to hold supernatural powers.
The villagers are wary of the pastor and his resolve to do away with their centuries-old traditions, though Astrid also finds herself drawn to him. And then a stranger arrives from Dresden, with grand plans for the church itself. For headstrong Astrid this may be a provocation too far.
Talented architecture student Gerhard Schönauer is an improbable figure in this rugged community. Astrid has never met anyone like him; he seems so different, so sensitive. She finds that she must make a choice: for her homeland and the pastor, or for an uncertain future in Germany.
Then the bells begin to ring…
Links from the titles will take you to my review or the book description on Goodreads.
A Wedding the Olive Gardenby Leah Fleming (eARC, courtesy of Head of Zeus)
Can an island in the sun provide the second chance Sara needs?
Sara Loveday flees home and crisis to the beautiful island of Santaniki. Here, amid olive groves and whitewashed stone villas, where dark cypress trees step down to a cobalt blue sea, Sara vows to change her life. Spotting a gap in the local tourist market, she sets up a wedding plan business, specialising in ‘second time around’ couples.
For her first big wedding, she borrows the olive garden of a local artists’ retreat, but almost at once things begin to go wrong. To make matters worse, a stranger from Sara’s past arrives on the island, spreading vicious lies. Can her business survive? And what will happen with the gorgeous new man who she’s begun to love? (Review to follow 8th May for blog tour)
Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (audiobook)
1878: The Lyceum Theatre, London. Three extraordinary people begin their life together, a life that will be full of drama, transformation, passionate and painful devotion to art and to one another. Henry Irving, the Chief, is the volcanic leading man and impresario; Ellen Terry is the most lauded and desired actress of her generation, outspoken and generous of heart; and ever following along behind them in the shadows is the unremarkable theatre manager, Bram Stoker.
Fresh from life in Dublin as a clerk, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio but he is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. But the Chief is determined that nothing will get in the way of his manager’s devotion to the Lyceum and to himself. And both men are enchanted by the beauty and boldness of the elusive Ellen. (Review to follow)
The Straits of Treachery by Richard Holton (e-book, courtesy of Allison & Busby via NetGalley)
September 1810. Raids across the Straits of Messina to disrupt preparations for the French invasion of the island have been repulsed with heavy casualties.
George Warne, a bright young British officer, suspects treachery back in Messina, and is ordered to investigate. Warne uncovers a shadowy underworld of spies, traitors and informers where nothing is quite as it seems and where danger lurks around every corner.
If the long-threatened French invasion erupts will Sicily’s defenders be prepared?
What Cathy (will) Read Next
A Ration Book Weddingby Jean Fullerton (eARC, courtesy of Corvus and Rachel’s Random Resources)
Because in the darkest days of the Blitz, love is more important than ever.
It’s February 1942 and the Americans have finally joined Britain and its allies. Meanwhile, twenty-three-year-old Francesca Fabrino, like thousands of other women, is doing her bit for the war effort in a factory in East London. But her thoughts are constantly occupied by her unrequited love for Charlie Brogan, who has recently married a woman of questionable reputation, before being shipped out to North Africa with the Eighth Army.
When Francesca starts a new job as an Italian translator for the BBC Overseas Department, she meets handsome Count Leonardo D’Angelo. Just as Francesca has begun to put her hopeless love for Charlie to one side and embrace the affections of this charming and impressive man, Charlie returns from the front, his marriage in ruins and his heart burning for Francesca at last.
Could she, a good Catholic girl, countenance an illicit affair with the man she has always longed for? Or should she choose a different, less dangerous path?