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Beauty is a Wound: An Italian War Diary 1943-1944 by Eka Kurniawan. . . . .

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A colour-drenched epic, filled with vivid sex and violence, from Indonesia's most exciting young author

The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humour, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan's gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation's troubled past: the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders of perhaps a million Communists, followed by three decades of Suharto's despotic rule.

Beauty Is a Wound astonishes from its opening line: 'One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years...' Drawing on local sources folk tales and the all-night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit and epic scope and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Kurniawan's distinctive voice brings something luscious yet astringent to contemporary literature.

Eka Kurniawan was born in Tasikmalaya, Indonesia in 1975. He studied philosophy at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta and has since published several novels and short stories. The rights to Beauty is a Wound have now been sold in 27 territories. Love and Vengeance will be published by Pushkin Press in 2017.


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G/day Dave We have added the large sofa in the lounge and large armchair and recliner in the bedroom although the recliner can be moved anywhere, also a large Smart TV, its had a paint job a

I think the book reviews, lodging and restaurant posts are a welcome part of this forum.  Appreciation to Daveo for posting them. 

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Strangeways: A Prison Officer's Story by Neil Samworth. . . .

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Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth spent eleven years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, aka Strangeways. A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, Sam had to deal with it all - gangsters and gangbangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out.

Strangeways by Neil Samworth is a shocking and at times darkly funny account of life in a high security prison. Sam tackles cell fires and self-harmers, and goes head to head with some of the most dangerous men in the country. He averts a Christmas Day riot after turkey is taken off the menu and replaced by fish curry, and stands up to officers who abuse their position. He describes being attacked by prisoners, and reveals the problems caused by radicalization and the drugs flooding our prisons.

As staffing cuts saw Britain’s prison system descend into crisis, the stress of the job - the suicides, the inhumanity of the system, and one assault too many - left Sam suffering from PTSD. This raw, searingly honest memoir is a testament to the men and women of the prison service and the incredibly difficult job we ask them to do.


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Girl A: The truth about the Rochdale sex ring by the victim who stopped them by Girl A

Asia books price 520 baht - our price 180 baht plus 50% trade in for credit when finished with it @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

**THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’ ** What do they find attractive about me? An underage girl who just lies there, sobbing, looking up at them...as they come to me one by one. This is the shocking true story of how a young girl from Rochdale came to be Girl A - the key witness in the trial of Britain’s most notorious child sex ring. Girl A was just 14 when she was groomed by a group of nine Asian men. After being lured into their circle with free gifts, she was plied with alcohol and systematically abused. She was just one of up to fifty girls to be 'passed around' by the gang. The girls were all under-16 and forced to have sex with as many as twenty men in one night. When details emerged a nation was outraged and asked how these sickening events came to pass. And now, the girl at the very centre of the storm reveals the heartbreaking truth.


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Last Post: The Final Word from Our First World War Soldiers by Max Arthur

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From the author of the bestselling Forgotten Voices of the Great War comes a final look at the last 21 living British veterans of the First World War.

These interviews, conducted in 2004, will never be repeated, as the youngest was 106 years old, and most are now gone.

These first-person accounts follow the young soldiers from their homes throughout Britain to the raging battles while in the service of the Royal Field Artillery, Black Watch, Royal Navy, and others.

These combat experiences should never be forgotten.


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Bob Marley: The Untold Story by Chris Salewicz. . .

UK price 20 GBP - our price 180 baht plus 50% trade in for credit when finished with it @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

What was it about Bob Marley that made him so popular in a world dominated by rock 'n' roll? How is it that he not only has remained the single most successful reggae artist ever, but also has become a shining beacon of radicalism and peace to generation after generation of fans?

Chris Salewicz, the bestselling author of Redemption Song, the classic biography of Joe Strummer, interviewed Marley in Jamaica in 1979.

Now, for the first time, in this thorough, detailed account of Marley's life and the world in which he grew up, Salewicz illuminates everything from the Rastafari religion and the musical scene in Jamaica to the spirit of the man himself. Interviews with dozens of people who knew Marley and have never spoken before are woven through the narrative as Salewicz seeks to explain why Marley has become such an enigmatic and heroic figure, loved by millions all over the world.


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Carte Blanche (James Bond - Extended Series #45) by Jeffery Deaver...

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"The face of war is changing. The other side doesn't play by the RULES much anymore. There's thinking, in some circles, that we need to play by a different set of RULES too..." James Bond, in his early thirties and already a veteran of the Afghan war, has been recruited to a new organization. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of MI5, MI6 and the Ministry of Defense, its very existence deniable. Its aim: To protect the Realm, by any means necessary. A Night Action alert calls James Bond away from dinner with a beautiful woman. Headquarters has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: Casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected. And Agent 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfill his mission . . . The new thriller by Master of the Mind Game as you've never seen him before.


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The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones. . .

Asia books price 575 baht - our price 180 baht plus 50% trade in for credit when finished with it @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

The fifteenth century experienced the longest and bloodiest series of civil wars in British history. The crown of England changed hands violently five times as the great families of England fought to the death for the right to rule.

Some of the greatest heroes and villains in history were thrown together in these chaotic years. Yet efforts were made to maintain some semblance of peace and order, as chivalry was reborn, the printing press arrived, and the Renaissance began to flourish. Following on from Dan Jones -The Plantagenets, The Hollow Crown is a vivid and engrossing history of these turbulent times.


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Who Gets What - And Why: The Hidden World of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth...

Asia books price 595 baht - our price 180 baht plus 50% trade in for credit when finished with it @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

Dr. Roth, a Nobel Laureate, is to be commended for engaging readers in market design and proffering critical thought of markets in our daily life.

Unfortunately, when discussing U.S. financial markets he fails to elucidate the full breadth of distortion (deceit) caused by high frequency traders.

Throughout "Who Gets What - And Why?" Dr. Roth postulates safety as being a market essential.

Yet he offers no resolute warnings to those engaged in stock trading.


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Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell.

Find this in the Classic's section @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

A novel about a copywriter who embarks on a new life as a poetry writing bookseller, an action that has disastrous consequences.

Determined to rebel against dull respectability he sets off on a voyage of discovery, accompanied by a faithful female companion.


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Jasmine Fever by Frank Visakay....

B2S books price 495 baht - our price 180 baht plus 50% trade in for credit when finished with it @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

When New York chef Frank Visakay moved to Thailand, he quickly attracted the attention of beautiful Thai women.
Or so he thought. In Jasmine Fever, Visakay offers hilarious revelations about his and his friends' relationships with Thai bargirls.
As we learn from one of the eponymously named stories, perhaps he is 'looking for love in all the wrong places'.


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Lost Boy Lost Girl by Peter Straub....

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Nancy Underhill commits suicide for no apparent reason.

A week later, her son - fifteen-year-old Mark vanishes.

The boy's uncle, novelist Timothy Underhill, searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help unravel this horrible dual mystery.

He soon learns that a pedophilic murderer is on the loose in the vicinity, and that shortly before Nancy's suicide, Mark had become obsessed with an abandoned house where he imagined the killer might have taken refuge.

No mere empty building, the house whispers from basement to attic with the echoes of a long hidden true-life horror story, and Tim comes to fear that in investigating its unspeakable history, Mark stumbled across its last and greatest secret: a ghostly lost girl who may have coaxed the needy, suggestible boy into her mysterious domain.


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Cross Currents by John Shors...

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Thailand’s pristine and remote Ko Phi Phi island attracts tourists from around the world, offering a haven to people from all walks of life. Yet even paradise has its perils. Struggling to make ends meet, resort owners Lek and Sarai are happy to give an American named Patch room and board in exchange for his help.

But trouble looms when Patch’s brother, Ryan, arrives, accompanied by his beautiful girlfriend, Brooke. Lek learns that Patch is running from the law, and his mere presence puts Lek’s family at risk. Meanwhile, Brooke begins to doubt her love for Ryan, while her feelings for Patch blossom. The two brothers, once inseparable, clash over a choice that could alter their lives.

In a glorious landscape of sea and sky, where nature’s bounty seems endless, these two families are caught in the cross currents of conflict and change and swept up in an approaching cataclysm that will require all their strength of heart and soul to survive.


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Dining with Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street cookbook First British Edition - by Julia Carlson Rosenblatt & Frederic H. Sonnenschmidt...

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The idea of this book was conceived when more than a hundred Holmes enthusiasts enjoyed a grand Sherlockian repast in Hyde Park, New York in 1973.

The menu on that occasion is reproduced here. Every item on it, and indeed every recipe in the book - has its own canonical raison d'etre.


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The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels) by Philippa Gregory...

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From the author behind the acclaimed Starz series The White Queen comes the story of lady-in-waiting Margaret Pole and her unique view of King Henry VIII’s stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England. As an heir to the Plantagenets, Margaret is seen by the King’s mother, the Red Queen, as a rival to the Tudor claim to the throne. She is buried in marriage to a Tudor supporter - Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales and becomes guardian to Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. But Margaret’s destiny, as cousin to the White Princess, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty, yet a royal death restores her to her place at young Henry VIII’s court where she becomes chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. There she watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband and her tragic decline. Amid the rapid deterioration of the Tudor court, Margaret must choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical Henry VIII or to her beloved queen. Caught between the old and the new, Margaret must find her own way, concealing her knowledge that an old curse cast upon all the Tudors is slowly coming true...


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Next by Michael Crichton. . . .


We have a good selection from this Author @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

Welcome to our genetic world.


Fast, furious, and out of control.

This is not the world of the future - it's the world right now.

Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why an adult human being resembles a chimp fetus? And should that worry us? There's a new genetic cure for drug addiction - is it worse than the disease?

We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps; a time when it's possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars; test our spouses for genetic maladies and even frame someone for a genetic crime.

We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes ...

Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn. Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions, and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.

The future is closer than you think. Get used to it.



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This is just a small part of our huge true crime selection @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

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Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang.. . .

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The story of three generations in twentieth century China that blends the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history, a bestselling classic in thirty languages with more than ten million copies sold around the world, now with a new introduction from the author. An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members - her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine - her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution.

Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot doctor,” a steelworker, and an electrician.

As the story of each generation unfolds - Chang captures in gripping, moving and ultimately uplifting - detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history.


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All Hell Let Loose - The World at War 1939-1945 by Max Hastings. . . ..

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A magisterial history of the greatest and most terrible event in history, from one of the finest historians of the Second World War. A book which shows the impact of war upon hundreds of millions of people around the world- soldiers, sailors and airmen; housewives, farm workers and children..

Reflecting Max Hastings’s thirty-five years of research on World War II, All Hell Let Loose describes the course of events, but focuses chiefly upon human experience, which varied immensely from campaign to campaign, continent to continent.

The author emphasises the Russian front, where more than 90% of all German soldiers who perished met their fate. He argues that, while Hitler’s army often fought its battles brilliantly well, the Nazis conducted their war effort with ‘stunning incompetence’.

He suggests that the Royal Navy and US Navy were their countries’ outstanding fighting services, while the industrial contribution of the United States was much more important to allied victory than that of the US Army.

The book ranges across a vast canvas, from the agony of Poland amid the September 1939 Nazi invasion, to the 1943 Bengal famine, in which at least a million people died under British rule and British neglect.

Among many vignettes, there are the RAF’s legendary raid on the Ruhr dams, the horrors of Arctic convoys, desert tank combat, jungle clashes. Some of Hastings’s insights and judgements will surprise students of the conflict, while there are vivid descriptions of the tragedies and triumphs of a host of ordinary people, in uniform and out of it.

‘The cliché is profoundly true’, he says. ‘The world between 1939 and 1945 saw some human beings plumb the depths of baseness, while others scaled the heights of courage and nobility’.

This is ‘everyman’s story’, an attempt to answer the question: ‘What was the Second World War like ?’, and also an overview of the big picture. Max Hastings employs the technique which has made many of his previous books best-sellers, combining top-down analysis and bottom-up testimony to explore the meaning of this vast conflict both for its participants and for posterity.


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Out of the Dark (Orphan X #4) by Gregg Hurwitz...

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When darkness closes in - he's your last, best hope. Evan Smoak returns in Gregg Hurwitz - Orphan X series. Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets - i.e. assassins.

Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man, a man who helps the truly desperate when no one else can. But now Evan's past in the Orphan Program is reaching out to him. Someone at the very highest level of government has been trying to eliminate every trace of the Orphan Program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers. After Evan's mentor and the only father he ever knew was killed, he decided to strike back. His target is the man who started the program and who is now the most heavily guarded person in the world: the President of the United States. But President Bennett knows that Orphan X is after him and, using weapons of his own, he's decided to counter-attack. Bennett activates the one man who has the skills and experience to track down and take out Orphan X - the first recruit of the program, Orphan A. With Evan devoting all his skills, resources, and intelligence to find a way through the layers of security that surround the President, suddenly he also has to protect himself against the deadliest of opponents. It's Orphan vs. Orphan with the future of the country - even the world - on the line.


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Churchill's First War: Young Winston and the Fight Against the Taliban by Con Coughlin...

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Just over a century ago British troops were fighting a vicious frontier war against Pashtun tribesmen on the North West Frontier - the great-great-grandfathers of the Taliban and tribal insurgents in modern-day Afghanistan.

Winston Churchill, then a young cavalry lieutenant, wrote a vivid account of what he saw during his first major campaign. The Story of the Malakand Field Force, published in 1898, was Churchill’s first book and, a hundred years later, is required reading for military commanders on the ground, both British and American.

In Churchill’s First War, acclaimed author and foreign correspondent Con Coughlin tells the story of that campaign, a story of high adventure and imperial success, which contains many lessons and warnings for today. Combining historical narrative, interviews with contemporary key players and the journalist’s eye for great colour and analysis Churchill's First War is not only a dramatic piece of military history but affords us a rare insight into both the nineteenth-century ‘Great Game’ and the twenty-first-century conflict that has raged longer than the Second World War and taken more lives than the Falklands.


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Memoirs - Mikhail Gorbachev by Mikhail Gorbachev. . . .

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Off the Rails in Phnom Penh: Into the Dark Heart of Guns, Girls, and Ganja by Amit Gilboa...

Asia books price 495 baht - our price 180 baht plus 50% trade in for credit when finished with it @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

Phnom Penh is a city of beauty and degradation, tranquillity and violence, and tradition and transformation; a city of temples and brothels, music and gunfire, and festivals and coups.

But for many, it is simply an anarchic celebration of insanity and indulgence. Whether it is the $2 wooden shack brothels, the marijuana-pizza restaurants, the AK-47 fireworks displays, or the intricate brutality of Cambodian politics, Phnom Penh never ceases to amaze and amuse. For an individual coming from a modern Western society, it is a place where the immoral becomes acceptable and the insane becomes normal.

Amid this chaos lives an extraordinary group of foreign residents. Some are adventurers whose passion for life is given free rein in this unrestrained madhouse. Others are misfits who, unable to make it anywhere else, wallow in the decadent and inviting environment.

This unparalleled first-hand account provides a fascinating, shocking, disturbing and often hilarious picture of contemporary Phnom Penh and the bizarre collection of expats who make it their home. As they search for love in the brothels or adventure on the firing range, Phnom Penh Journey follows them into the dark heart of guns, girls and ganja.


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Unlikely Warriors: The Extraordinary Story Of The Britons Who Fought In The Spanish Civil War by Richard Baxell. . . .

UK price 9.95 baht - our price 180 baht plus 50% trade in for credit when finished with it @ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange / Cafe / Guesthouse..

‘ The definitive work on the British volunteers … a superbly written and deeply moving vision of the inspiring but doomed efforts of men and women to halt Europe’s descent into war.’

On 17 July 1936 a Nationalist military uprising was launched in Spain. In the face of the rebels’ bloody onward march, the Spanish Republic turned to the leaders of Britain and France for assistance - but its pleas fell on deaf ears.

Appalled at the prospect of another European democracy succumbing to fascism, volunteers from across the Continent and beyond - flocked to Spain’ s aid, many to join the International Brigades.

As many as 2,500 of these men and women came from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, and contrary to popular myth theirs was not an army of adventurers, poets and public school idealists.

Overwhelmingly they hailed from modest working-class backgrounds, leaving behind their families and livelihoods to fight in a brutal civil war on foreign soil. More than 500 of them never returned home.

In this inspiring and moving oral history, Richard Baxell weaves together a diverse array of testimony to tell the remarkable story of the Britons who took up arms against General Franco.

From their struggle against the Blackshirts in the ‘ hungry thirties’ , to the fall of the Nazis’ Third Reich in 1945, Unlikely Warriors follows a band of ordinary men and women who made an extraordinary choice, and offers a startling new perspective on the Spanish Civil War.


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The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger...

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A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course.

Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant. An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.


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In a House of Lies (Inspector Rebus #22) by Ian Rankin.....

IN A HOUSE OF LIES... Everyone has something to hide A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still -- both for his family and the police - is that his body was in an area that had already been searched. Everyone has Secrets Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case.

There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now -- after a decade without answers - it's time for the truth. Nobody is innocent.. Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead and that it could be the end of him: John Rebus.


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