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‘My name is Dr Maria Martinez and I am – was – a Consultant Plastic Surgeon. I am 33 years old. Place of birth: Salamanca, Spain. And I was convicted of the murder of a Catholic priest.’
Maria is in prison. She says she’s innocent and is fighting to clear her name. Because deep down she knows the truth better than anyone. Doesn’t she?
Publication date: 9th July 2015, W F Howes
Length: 10hrs and 29mins
Narrated by Yolanda Kettle
THE DARK NET by Jamie Bartlett
The Dark Net is not a separate realm, but one that stretches from popular social media sites to the most secretive corners of the deep web. It is a world that is rarely out of the news but one that is little understood – and almost never explored. In The Dark Net, Jamie Bartlett presents a revelatory portrait of the internet’s strangest subcultures: of trolls, drug dealers, hackers, and political extremists.
Published: WF Howes, 6th November 2014
Narrated by Matt Bates
Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
HISTORY OF THE RAIN by Niall Williams
We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story….
Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her father, Virgil – via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the 3,958 books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room.
“Extremely moving, poignantly capturing Ruth’s doomed childhood relationship with her twin brother. By the final chapter I was weeping.” (Sunday Times)
“A rambling, soft-hearted Irish family saga stuffed with eccentricity, literature, anecdotes, mythology, humour and heartbreak.” (Kirkus)
Published: WF Howes Ltd, 4th September 2014
Narrated by Jennifer McGrath
Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
THE LAZARUS PROPHECY by F.G. Cottam
There is a killer loose on the streets of London, one that evades security cameras, is not held by locks, and savagely mutilates his victims. When the murderer switches from unknown prostitutes to Julie Longmuir, a beautiful actress at the height of her success, no woman feels safe. As the press begin to draw uncomfortable comparisons with Jack the Ripper, Jane Sullivan, heading up the police investigation, grudgingly has to agree. But the religious writing, scrawled on the wall in Julie Longmuir’s blood, is outside Jane’s area of expertise. Roping in Jacob Prior, a disillusioned theologian, they attempt to pick apart the demonic delusions of this Ripper copycat. They must act quickly, as events are spiralling out of control, and Jane is next on the killer’s list.
Jane will be tested beyond the limits of standard police work, as the esoteric insinuates itself into the investigation. For events are linked to the clandestine Priory in the Pyrenees, the home of a secret Christian sect that pre-dates the Knights Templar. Jane and Jacob are faced with a deeper mystery than they had ever dreamed of; are they simply dealing with a psychopath, or is this something bigger, is this The End of Days?
Published: Audible, 25th September 2014
Narrated by Sean Barrett
Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
TELL THE GIRL by Sandra Howard
Married four times, Susannah Forbes had a starry career as a top model. Now, with an instinctive eye for design, she finds herself in constant demand as an interior designer. Offered a commission by a recently divorced American to make over his lavish Long Island home, Susannah accepts, bringing as her assistant young divorcee Daisy Mitchell. Taking off from Heathrow, Susannah is transported back to a time when, at the height of her modelling career, she lived in New York.
Weaving together a fascinating past and a present full of emotional turmoil, Sandra Howard draws us into a world she knew so well, of glamour, style, and high society, but where, below the surface, extravagance, insecurity, and infidelity run rife.
Published: ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1st September 2014
Narrated by Jilly Bond
Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
ANOTHER SIDE OF BOB DYLAN: A PERSONAL HISTORY ON THE ROAD AND OFF THE TRACKS by Jacob Maymudes and Victor Maymudes
During the years they spent together, few people outside of Bob Dylan’s immediate family were closer than Victor Maymudes, who was Dylan’s tour manager, personal friend, and traveling companion from the 1960s through the late 1990s. Another Side of Bob Dylan recounts landmark events during that time, including Dylan’s infamous motorcycle crash; his meeting the Beatles on their first U.S. tour; his marriage to Sara Lownds, as well as his romances with Joan Baez and others…
Published: Tantor, 9th September 2014
Narrated by Jacob Maymudes
Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS: VOLUME I: 1660-1663 by Samuel Pepys
The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the naval office, it is an intimate portrait of life in 17th-century England covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food, wine and his peccadilloes. This Naxos AudioBooks production is the world premiere recording of the diary in its entirety; the result of many years of scholarship by Robert Latham (Magdalene College, Cambridge) and William Matthews (University of California). It has been divided into three volumes. Volume I covers the opening years of the Restoration and introduces us to many of the key characters – family, government and royalty. Pepys was there when Charles II returned to England, and he lived through those opening years of the Stuart monarchy, with its revenge on the regicides. He also recorded the reopening of theatres, and how he relaxed from the Puritan way of life.
Published: Naxos Audiobooks, 24th December 2014
Narrated by Leighton Pugh, David Timson
Length: 42 hrs and 48 mins
THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS: VOLUME II: 1664 – 1666 by Samuel Pepys
The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the naval office, it is an intimate portrait of life in seventeenth-century England, covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food, and wine and his peccadilloes. This Naxos AudioBooks production is the world premiere recording of the diary in its entirety. It has been divided into three volumes. Volume II covers some of the most famous passages in the diary. Pepys was there, in London, during the terrible plague of 1665. And he was there during the Great Fire of London the following year, playing an active role in the actual event and the aftermath.
Published: Naxos AudioBooks, 20th February 2015
Narrated by Leighton Pugh
Length: 37 hrs and 26 mins
LOOK AFTER ME by Aoife Walsh
‘But we don’t know the first thing about looking after babies.’
Phoebe’s mum and dad are foster parents, and they’re having a tough time. Her dad’s moved out for bit, and her little foster brothers are playing up. So when Phoebe and her brother Adam find a baby abandoned in their den, they decide to try and look after her themselves…
“A compulsive read celebrating the rich variety of family life.” (The Booktrust)
Published: Oakhill Publishing, 20th November 2014
Narrated by Annie Aldington
Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
TAKEN FOR DEAD by Graham Masterton
The severed head of Micky Crounan, local baker, is grinning gruesomely up from the bottom tier of his own cake. Katie Maguire of the Irish Garda is baffled–until another local businessman goes missing in horrific circumstances. Soon Katie is on the trail of a debt-collecting gang calling themselves the Kings of Erin. But these are very dangerous men. And they will stop at nothing to throw Katie off the trail…
“One of the most original and frightening storytellers of our time.” (Peter James)
“A natural storyteller with a unique gift for turning the mundane into the terrifyingly real.” (New York Journal of Books)
Publication: WF Howes, 1st September 2014
Narrated by Louise Fitzpatrick
Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
THE GRAND BANKS CAFE: INSPECTOR MAIGRET, BOOK 8 by Georges Simenon
It was indeed a photo, a picture of a woman. But the face was completely hidden, scribbled all over in red ink. Someone had tried to obliterate the head, someone very angry. The pen had bitten into the paper. There were so many criss-crossed lines that not a single square millimetre had been left visible. On the other hand, below the head, the torso had not been touched. A pair of large breasts. A light-coloured silk dress, very tight and very low cut.
Sailors don’t talk much to other men, especially not to policemen. But after Captain Fallut’s body is found floating near his trawler, they all mention the Evil Eye when they speak of the Ocean’s voyage.
Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. Best known in Britain as the author of the Maigret books, his prolific output of over 400 novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life.
David Coward is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Leeds, England, and an award- winning translator of numerous works from French.
“Compelling, remorseless, brilliant” (John Gray)
“One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century…. Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories” (Guardian)
“A supreme writer… unforgettable vividness” (Independent)
Published: Audible, 7th July 2014
Narrated by Gareth Armstrong
Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
THE INVENTION OF EXILE by Vanessa Manko
Connecticut, 1913: Wrongly accused of attending anarchist gatherings Austin Voronkov, engineer, an inventor and Russian immigrant is deported with his young family. While his wife and children are eventually able to return, Austin becomes indefinitely stranded in Mexico City because of the black mark on his record. He keeps a daily correspondence with Julia, as they struggle to remain a family across a distance of two countries.
“A brilliant debut. I commend it to you all.” Salman Rushdie
“An achingly immediate, sensuous and psychologically acute novel about a man whose life has been suspended by the madness of American politics.” Siri Hustvedt
Published: WF Howes, 6th November 2014
Narrated by Kevin Orton
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
THE MEMORY OF TREES by F. G. Cottam
Billionaire Saul Abercrombie owns a vast tract of land on the Pembrokeshire coast. By restoring the original forest that covered the area before medieval times, he believes he will rekindle the spirits of ancient folklore. But the re-planting of the forest will revive an altogether darker and more dangerous entity – and young arboreal expert Tom Curtis will find himself engaging in an epic, ancient battle between good and evil. A battle in which there can be only one survivor.
Published: Audible, 17th March 2015
Narrated by David Rintoul
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
THE SAINT-FIACRE AFFAIR: INSPECTOR MAIGRET, BOOK 13 by Georges Simenon
Maigret savoured the sensations of his youth again: the cold, stinging eyes, frozen fingertips, an aftertaste of coffee. Then, stepping inside the church, a blast of heat, soft light; the smell of candles and incense.
The last time Maigret went home to the village of his birth was for his father’s funeral. Now an anonymous note predicting a crime during ‘All Souls’ Day mass draws him back there, where troubling memories resurface and hidden vices are revealed.
“Compelling, remorseless, brilliant” (John Gray)
“One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories” (Guardian)
“A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness” (Independent)
Published: Audible, 20th January 2015
Narrated by Gareth Armstrong
Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
BATS FLY UP FOR INSPECTOR GHOTE by H.R.F. Keating
Inspector Ghote of the Bombay police has been regulated to antipickpocket patrol, where he promptly gets himself into one of those fearful fixes which are equally the product of his faults and his virtues.
Published: Audible, 12th March 2015
Narrated by Sam Dastor
Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
THE WEATHER EXPERIMENT by Peter Moore
In 1865 a broken Admiral Robert FitzRoy locked himself in his dressing room and cut his throat. His grand meteorological project had failed. Yet only a decade later, FitzRoy’s storm-warning system and ‘forecasts’ would return, the model for what we use today.
In an age when a storm at sea was evidence of God’s great wrath, 19th-century meteorologists had to fight against convention and religious dogma. But buoyed by the achievements of the Enlightenment, a generation of mavericks set out to explain the secrets of the atmosphere and learned to predict the future.
Among them were Luke Howard, the first to classify the clouds; Francis Beaufort, who quantified the winds; James Glaisher, who explored the upper atmosphere in a hot-air balloon; Samuel Morse, whose electric telegraph gave scientists the means by which to transmit weather warnings; and FitzRoy himself, master sailor, scientific pioneer, and founder of the Met Office.
Reputations were built and shattered. Fractious debates raged over decades between scientists from London to Galway, Paris to New York. Explaining the atmosphere was one thing, but predicting what it was going to do seemed a step too far. In 1854, when a politician suggested to the Commons that Londoners might soon know the weather 24 hours in advance, the House roared with laughter.
Peter Moore’s exhilarating account navigates treacherous seas and rough winds and uncovers the obsession that drove these men to great invention and greater understanding.
Published: Audible, 7th May 2015
Narrated by Peter Noble
Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
FOUR SISTERS: THE LOST LIVES OF THE ROMANOV GRAND DUCHESSES by Helen Rappaport
Award-winning and critically acclaimed historian Helen Rappaport turns to the tragic story of the daughters of the last Tsar of all the Russias, slaughtered with their parents at Ekaterinburg. On 17 July 1918, four young women walked down 23 steps into the cellar of a house in Ekaterinburg. The eldest was 22, the youngest only 17. Together with their parents and their 13-year-old brother, they were all brutally murdered. Their crime: to be the daughters of the last Tsar and Tsaritsa of All the Russias. Much has been written about Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their tragic fate, as it has about the Russian Revolutions of 1917, but little attention has been paid to the Romanov princesses, who – perhaps inevitably – have been seen as minor players in the drama.
In Four Sisters, however, acclaimed biographer Helen Rappaport puts them centre stage and offers listeners the most authoritative account yet of the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. Drawing on their own letters and diaries and other hitherto unexamined primary sources, she paints a vivid picture of their lives in the dying days of the Romanov dynasty. We see, almost for the first time, their journey from a childhood of enormous privilege, throughout which they led a very sheltered and largely simple life, to young womanhood – their first romantic crushes, their hopes and dreams, the difficulty of coping with a mother who was a chronic invalid and a haeomophiliac brother, and, latterly, the trauma of the revolution and its terrible consequences.
Compellingly listenable, meticulously researched, and deeply moving, Four Sisters gives these young women a voice, and allows their story to resonate for listeners almost a century after their death.
Published: Macmillan Publishers, 31st July 2014
Narrated by Karen Cass
Length: 16 hrs and 8 mins
THE DOG IT WAS THAT DIED by H.R.F. KEATING
Who wanted him? What for? Why was Roger Farrar (if that was his name) on the run in Dublin? Was he a traitor and deserted? The innocent target of a kidnap plot? Or a lonely persecuted paranoiac? One thing is certain: he is likely to suffer a fate worse than death if he is caught by the gross villain who specialises in brain-washing.
Published: Oakhill Publishing, 18th December 2014
Narrated by Sean Barrett
Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
WOLF WINTER by Cecilia Ekbäck
A brilliantly written and gripping historical Nordic noir thriller with all the intrigue and atmosphere of Burial Rites, the pent-up passion of The Piano, and the suspense of The Tenderness of Wolves.
There are six homesteads on Blackåsen Mountain. A day’s journey away lies the empty town. It comes to life just once, in winter, when the church summons her people through the snows. Then even the oldest enemies will gather.
But now it is summer, and new settlers are come. It is their two young daughters who find the dead man not half an hour’s walk from their cottage. The father is away. And whether stubborn or stupid or scared for her girls, the mother will not let it rest.
To the wife who is not concerned when her husband does not come home for three days to the man who laughs when he hears his brother is dead to the priest who doesn’t care, she asks and asks her questions, digging at the secrets of the mountain. They say a wolf made those wounds. But what wild animal cuts a body so clean?
Published: Hodder & Stoughton, 12th February 2015
Narrated by Jenny Funnell
Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
SKYFARING by Mark Vanhoenacker
In Skyfaring, airline pilot and flight romantic Mark Vanhoenacker shares his irrepressible love of flying on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here, anew, is the simple wonder and transcendent joy of motion and the remarkable new perspectives that height and distance bestow on everything we love.
“Read it, and you’ll find yourself requesting a window seat every time you fly.” (Bookseller)
Published: W.F. Howes, 2nd April 2015
Narrated by John Moraitis
Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
GORMENGHAST by Mervyn Peake
Enter the world of Gormenghast…the vast crumbling castle to which the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, is Lord and heir. Gothic labyrinth of roofs and turrets, cloisters and corridors, stairwells and dungeons, it is also the cobwebbed kingdom of Byzantine government and age-old rituals, a world primed to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, manipulation and murder.
Gormenghast is more than a sequel to Titus Groan – it is an enrichment and deepening of that book. The fertility of incident, character and rich atmosphere combine in a tour de force that ranks as one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable feats of imaginative writing.
Published: Random House Audiobooks, 19th June 2014
Narrated by Saul Reichlin
Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins