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The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.
 
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From the moment Alma Whittaker steps into the world, everything about life intrigues her.
Instilled with an unquenchable sense of wonder by her father, a botanical explorer and the richest man in the New World, Alma is raised in a house of luxury and curiosity.
It is not long before she becomes a gifted botanist in her own right. But as she flourishes and her research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction, into the realm of the spiritual, the divine and the magical.
 
The Signature of All Things soars across the globe of the nineteenth century, from London and Peru, to Philadelphia, Tahiti and beyond. Peopled with extraordinary characters along the way, most of all it has an unforgettable heroine in Alma Whittaker.

 

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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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The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld.



 



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THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER is the story of Sigmund Freud assisting a Manhattan murder investigation.



Think SHADOW OF THE WIND meets THE HISTORIAN.



 



THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER is an inventive tour de force inspired by Sigmund Freud's 1909 visit to America, accompanied by protégé and rival Carl Jung.



When a wealthy young debutante is discovered bound, whipped and strangled in a luxurious apartment overlooking the city, and another society beauty narrowly escapes the same fate, the mayor of New York calls upon Freud to use his revolutionary new ideas to help the surviving victim recover her memory of the attack, and solve the crime.



But nothing about the attacks, or about the surviving victim, Nora is quite as it seems.



And there are those in very high places determined to stop the truth coming out, and Freud's startling theories taking root on American soil.

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The Whisperers by John Connolly.
 
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Oh, little one, ' he whispered, as he gently stroked her cheek, the first time he had touched her in fifteen years.
'What have they done to you?
What have they done to us all?'
In his latest dark and chilling Charlie Parker thriller, John Connolly takes us to the border between Maine and Canada.
It is there, in the vast and porous Great North Woods, that a dangerous smuggling operation is taking place, run by a group of disenchanted former soldiers, newly returned from Iraq.
Illicit goods, drugs, cash, weapons, even people, are changing hands.
And something else has changed hands.
Something ancient and powerful and evil.
 
The authorities suspect something is amiss, but what they can't know is that it is infinitely stranger and more terrifying than anyone can imagine.
Anyone, that is, except private detective Charlie Parker, who has his own intimate knowledge of the darkness in men's hearts.
As the smugglers begin to die one after another in apparent suicides, Parker is called in to stop the bloodletting.
The soldiers' actions and the objects they have smuggled have attracted the attention of the reclusive Herod, a man with a taste for the strange.
And where Herod goes, so too does the shadowy figure that he calls the Captain, to defeat them, Parker must form an uneasy alliance with a man he fears more than any other, the killer known as the Collector.

 

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The Blood of Gods (Emperor #5) by Conn Iggulden.
 
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The fifth and final instalment of the Emperor series.
Julius Caesar has been assassinated.
A nation is in mourning. Revenge will be bloody.
Rome’s great hero Julius Caesar has been brutally murdered by his most trusted allies.
While these self-appointed Liberators seek refuge in the senate, they have underestimated one man: Caesar’s adopted son Octavian, a man whose name will echo through history as Augustus Caesar.
Uniting with his great rival Mark Antony, Octavian will stop at nothing to seek retribution from the traitors and avenge his father’s death. His greatest hatred is reserved for Brutus, Caesar’s childhood friend and greatest ally, now leader of the conspirators.
As the people take to the streets of Rome, the Liberatores must face their fate.
Some flee the city; others will not escape mob justice.
Not a single one will die a natural death.
And the reckoning will come for Brutus on the sweeping battlefield at Philippi.
There is still hope for Biggus Dikkus....

 

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Lifeless (Tom Thorne #5) by Mark Billingham.
 
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It appears that someone is targeting London's homeless community so DI Tom Thorne goes undercover amongst them.
The information he gleans is that this is no random killer, it is someone with a specific list of victims.

 

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Blind Eye by Stuart MacBride.
 
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The new Logan McRae thriller set in gritty Aberdeen, from the bestselling author of Cold Granite and Flesh House.
It's Summer in the Granite City, but even the sunshine can't improve the mood at Grampian Police Headquarters.
Aberdeen's growing Polish community is under attack from a serial offender who leaves mutilated victims to be discovered on building sites, eyes gouged out and the sockets burned.
Detective Sergeant Logan McRae is assigned to the investigation, codenamed Operation Oedipus, but with the victims too scared to talk, it's going nowhere fast.
When the next victim turns out to be not a newly arrived eastern european, but Simon McLeod, owner of the Turf n' Track bookies, Logan suddenly finds himself caught up in a world of drug wars, prostitution rings and gun running courtesy of Aberdeen's oldest and most vicious crime lord.

 

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The Kill Call by Stephen Booth. # 9 in the Cooper & Fry series.
 
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On a rain swept Derbyshire moor, hounds from the local foxhunt find the body of a well dressed man whose head has been crushed.
Yet an anonymous caller reports the same body lying half a mile away.
 
Called in to investigate the discovery, detectives DS Diane Fry and DC Ben Cooper become entangled in the violent world of hunting and hunt saboteurs, horse theft and a little known sector of the meat trade.
As Fry follows a complex trail of her own to unravel the shady business interests of the murder victim, Cooper realizes that the answer to the case might lie deep in the past.
 
History is everywhere around him in the Peak District landscape particularly in the 'plague village' of Eyam, where an outbreak of Black Death has been turned into a modern day tourist attraction.
 
But, even as the final solution is revealed, both Fry and Cooper find themselves having to face up to the disturbing reality of the much more recent past.

 

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The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill.
 
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A fast-moving, stunning new standalone psychological thriller from the award winning author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series
 
Wolf Hadda has lead a charmed life.
From humble origins as a woodcutter’s son, he has risen to become a hugely successful entrepreneur, happily married to the girl of his dreams.
 
A knock on the door one morning ends it all.
Thrown into prison while protesting his innocence, Wolf retreats into silence, 7 years later prison psychiatrist Alva Ozigbo makes a breakthrough: Wolf begins to talk.
Under her guidance he gets parole, returning to his rundown family home in rural Cumbria.
 
But there is a mysterious period in Wolf’s youth when he disappeared from home and was known to his employers as the Woodcutter.
And now the Woodcutter is back, looking for the truth; and revenge.

 

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Animal Farm by George Orwell.

 
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Renowned urban artist Shepard Fairey's new look for Orwell's timeless satire 'All animals are equal.
But some animals are more equal than others.' Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock.
The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm.
Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs.
But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten and something new and unexpected emerges.
Animal Farm, the history of a revolution that went wrong, is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power.

 

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A Secret History of the IRA by Ed Moloney.
 
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An epic portrayal of one of the twentieth century's longest wars, based on unprecedented access to all the players.
 
Filled with disclosures and based on the author's unprecedented access to the Irish Republican Army, this explosive book sparked controversy when it was first published in hardcover.
Delving deeply into the inner workings, furtive plots, and deadly rivalries of the Irish Republican Army, Ed Moloney, who has covered the IRA since the late 1970s, delivers a riveting account of how one of the world's oldest and most ruthless terrorist groups was maneuvered into ending its thirty-year war with Britain.
With revelations including the IRA's long and astonishing associations with Qaddafi's regime, Margaret Thatcher's secret diplomacy with Gerry Adams, the Catholic Church's clandestine negotiations with Republican leadership, and hitherto undisclosed activities of the American government under Bill Clinton.
A Secret History rewrites, with dramatic results, the story of this intractable conflict.
In particular, fascinating material on Adams's Machiavellian rise to power establishes the IRA leader as one of the most complex political figures of our time.
Like Thomas Friedman in From Beirut to Jerusalem, Moloney brings a sharply intelligent reporter's eye to a tangled history often baffling to outsiders.

 

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A Woman of Bangkok 1956 by Jack Reynolds.
 
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Acknowledged as one of the most memorable novels about Thailand, “A Woman of Bangkok” was first published to critical acclaim in London and New York in the 1950's and is a classic of Bangkok fiction.
Set in 1950s Thailand, this is the story of an Englishman’s infatuation with a dance hall hostess named Vilai. No ordinary working girl, Vilai is one of the most memorable in literature’s long line of brazen Thai working girls.

 

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Not Dead Enough (Roy Grace #3) by Peter James.

 
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On the night Brian Bishop murdered his wife, he was sixty miles away, asleep in bed at the time.
At least, that's the way it looks to Detective Superintendent Roy Grace who is called in to investigate the kinky slaying of beautiful young Brighton socialite, Katie Bishop.
 
Soon, Grace starts coming to the conclusion that Bishop has performed the apparently impossible feat of being in two places at once.
Has someone stolen his identity, or is he simply a very clever liar? As Grace digs deeper behind the facade of the Bishops' outwardly respectable lives, it starts to become clear that all is not at all as it first seemed.
And then he digs just a little too far, and suddenly the fragile stability of his own troubled, private world is facing destruction .

 

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Severed by Simon Kernick.
 
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Straight off I knew it was going to be a bad day, the room was stifling hot; and when I did finally manage to drag open my eyes, all I could see was blood.
I thought I'd stepped into the middle of a nightmare.
 
But I was wrong, the nightmare was only just beginning.
 
Ex-soldier Sean Tyler wakes up in an unfamiliar room next to the headless corpse of a girl he's met recently, with his memory of the previous 24 hours wiped clean, he's hardly out of bed before the he notices a note next to the TV telling him to press play on the room's DVD machine.
The film shows him stabbing someone to death.
 
Tyler is confident that the footage is fake, but will a jury see things the same way?
The man on the end of the phone tells him that if he wants the evidence to disappear, he must go to an address in east London, and await further instructions.
 
Tyler knows he must do as he is told, he also knows that the phone caller has no intention of keeping him alive.
To survive he must recover the missing 24 hours of his life and find out who's setting him up before his time runs out for good, the clock is ticking.

 

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Remote Control (Nick Stone #1) by Andy McNab.
 
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Few writers know the intricate landscape of special operations like Andy McNab.
A member of the crack elite force the Special Air Service for seventeen years, McNab saw duty all over the world and was the British Army's most highly decorated serving soldier when he resigned in 1993.
 
Now, in Remote Control, his explosive fiction debut, McNab has drawn on his personal experience and unique knowledge to create a thriller of gripping authenticity, high-stakes intrigue, and unstoppable action.
 
After his mission is suddenly terminated in Washington, D.C., British Intelligence agent Nick Stone decides to visit an old colleague, Kev Brown.
But when Stone arrives at his friend's eerily quiet suburban home, he discovers a chilling scene of carnage.
Every member of the Brown family has been brutally slaughtered except one: seven-year-old Kelly Brown.
His instincts on red alert and adrenaline in overdrive, Stone grabs the girl and runs with anonymous assassins in hot pursuit.
But whom do they wish to silence: Stone, the innocent child, or both?
 
During a heart-pounding chase that takes the resourceful, sometimes ruthless seasoned pro and his frightened young charge from Washington to Florida, and across the Atlantic to England, Stone begins to piece together a shocking global conspiracy.
Thrust into a lethal game of cat-and-mouse, Stone is certain of two things, he and Kelly are on their own.
No one can be trusted.
And his darkest fears about the shadowy link between politics, money, and terrorism are about to be realized.
 
Combining relentless action, daring escapes, and breathless plotting with chillingly authentic operational detail rarely seen in thrillers, Remote Control is a novel so real and so suspenseful it sets a new standard for the genre.

 

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The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (George Smiley #3)
by John le Carré.
 
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In this classic, John le Carre's third novel and the first to earn him international acclaim, he created a world unlike any previously experienced in suspense fiction.
With unsurpassed knowledge culled from his years in British Intelligence, le Carre brings to light the shadowy dealings of international espionage in the tale of a British agent who longs to end his career but undertakes one final, bone chilling assignment. When the last agent under his command is killed and Alec Leamas is called back to London, he hopes to come in from the cold for good.
His spymaster, Control, however, has other plans. Determined to bring down the head of East German Intelligence and topple his organization, Control once more sends Leamas into the fray, this time to play the part of the dishonored spy and lure the enemy to his ultimate defeat.

 

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Bleak House by Charles Dickens.



 



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Charles Dickens's masterful assault on the injustices of the British legal system



 



As the interminable case of 'Jarndyce and Jarndyce' grinds its way through the Court of Chancery, it draws together a disparate group of people: Ada and Richard Clare, whose inheritance is gradually being devoured by legal costs; Esther Summerson, a ward of court, whose parentage is a source of deepening mystery; the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn; the determined sleuth Inspector Bucket; and even Jo, the destitute little crossing-sweeper.



A savage, but often comic, indictment of a society that is rotten to the core, Bleak House is one of Dickens's most ambitious novels, with a range that extends from the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to the poorest of London slums.



This edition follows the first book edition of 1853, and includes all the original illustrations by 'Phiz', as well as appendices on the Chancery and spontaneous combustion.



In his preface, Terry Eagleton examines characterisation and considers Bleak House as an early work of detective fiction.



 


 

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.
 
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Some scars never heal . . . An addictive thriller from the author of the mega bestseller GONE GIRL.
 
When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes.
Long haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family's mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half sister she barely knows, a precocious 13 year old who holds a disquieting grip on the town.
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims, a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story.
Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

 

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Micro by Michael Crichton & Richard Preston.
 
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An instant classic in the vein of Jurassic Park, this boundary pushing novel has all the hallmarks of Michael Crichton’s greatest adventures with its combination of Pulse pounding thrills, cutting edge technology, and extraordinary research
 
Three men are found dead in a locked second floor office in Honolulu.
There is no sign of struggle, though their bodies are covered in ultra fine, razor-sharp cuts, with no evidence, the police dismiss it as a bizarre suicide pact.
But the murder weapon is still in the room, almost invisible to the human eye.
 
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start up company.
Nanigen MicroTechnologies sends them to a mysterious laboratory in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open up a whole new scientific frontier.
But this opportunity of a lifetime will teach them the true cost of existing at the cutting edge.
 
The group becomes prey to a technology of radical, unimaginable power and is thrust out into the teeming rainforest, armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, the young scientists face a hostile wilderness that threatens danger at every turn.
 
To survive, they must harness the awe-inspiring creative and destructive forces of nature itself.

 

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The Quiet American by Graham Greene.

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Graham Greene's classic exploration of love, innocence, and morality in Vietnam

"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. 
Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas.

As young Pyle's well intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. 
But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress.

Originally published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet American remains a terrifying and prescient portrait of innocence at large.

 

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Evil Beside Her: The True Story of a Texas Woman's Marriage to a Dangerous Psychopath by Kathryn Casey.

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Sleeping with a monster
At first, Linda Bergstrom's marriage to her husband James was idyllic. 
They were young and in love; he was about to enter the Navy and she was eager to start a family, but it wasn't long before the dream exploded. 
James became abusive and violent, prone to sudden bursts of anger, long silences, and unexplained disappearances. 
But Linda vowed to hold on, despite the pain and fear and her disturbing suspicions about her husband's secret life.

Then, not long after their move to Houston, Texas, she made a terrifying discovery: James's hidden cache containing duct tape, a ski mask, and handcuffs. 
No longer could Linda Bergstrom deny the hideous truth.

The man she lived with, the man she married for love, was a dangerous psychopath. 
And there was no escape and nowhere to run. Because no one, not her friends, the Navy, or the police would believe her.

 

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Hard Revolution: A Derek Strange Novel by George P. Pelecanos.
 
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The book begins in the Spring of 1959, 13-year old African-American Derek playing football and hanging out with his Greek American friend Billy Georgelakos.
Derek and Billy became friends despite their backgrounds, since Derek's father works at Billy's father's restaurant.
Derek and Billy cross paths with a few other white teenagers that lead to some trouble for Derek as he is caught shoplifting. Fortunately, the man that caught Derek decides to give him some good advice instead of turning him in.
This early section of the book provides background on Derek's family, his older (by five years) brother Dennis, his mother Alethea, his father Darius, as well as his parents' employers, including Washington detective Frank Vaughn, who lives in one of the houses cleaned by Alethea Strange.
 
The last three quarters of the book takes place in 1968, both before and after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. By 1968, both Derek and his brother Dennis have been to, and returned from, the war in Vietnam.
Dennis, somewhat disabled by the war, is struggling to find his way, taking drugs and associating with questionable acquaintances, while Derek has joined the Washington police.
The following excerpt demonstrates Pelecanos' strength in using dialogue to show realistic and flawed characters with the younger Derek trying to convince his brother Dennis to improve.

 

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The Woods by Harlan Coben.
 
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County prosecutor Paul Copeland is still getting over the decades-old loss of his sister, the night, twenty years ago, she walked into the woods, never to be seen again.
Now, as Cope struggles to raise his six-year-old daughter alone and try one of the biggest cases of his career, evidence links him to a man who has been viciously murdered.
The victim could be the boy who disappeared along with Cope’s sister.
But, as hope rises that his sister could still be alive, dangerous Secrets from his family’s past threaten to tear apart everything he’s been trying to hold together…

 

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Elizabeth by J. Randy Taraborrelli.
 
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For more than six decades she has been a part of our lives.
Now acclaimed biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli looks past the tabloid version of Elizabeth's life and offers the first ever fully realized portrait of this American icon.
You'll meet her controlling mother who plotted her daughter's success from birth, see the qualities that catapulted Elizabeth to stardom in 1940's Hollywood.
Understand the psychological and emotional underpinnings behind the eight marriages and, finally, rejoice in Elizabeth's most bravura performance of all: the new success in family, friendships, and philanthropy she achieved despite substance abuse and chronic illness.
It's the story of the woman you thought you knew and now can finally understand.
 
J. Randy Taraborrelli is a respected journalist, a recognizable entertainment personality, and in-demand guest on many television programs.
He is the bestselling author of eight books. Taraborrelli is a reporter for the Times (London), Paris Match, and The Daily Mail (UK) and a contributor to Redbook, McCall's, and Good Housekeeping.

 

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The Warsaw Anagrams by Richard Zimler.
 
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Autumn 1940.
The Nazis seal 400,000 Jews inside a small area of the Polish capital, creating an urban island cut off from the outside world.
Erik Cohen, an elderly psychiatrist, is forced to move into a tiny apartment with his niece and his beloved nine year old nephew, Adam.
 
One bitterly cold winter's day, Adam goes missing, the next morning, his body is discovered in the barbed wire surrounding the ghetto. The boy's leg has been cut off, and a tiny piece of string has been left in his mouth.
 
Soon, another body turns up, this time a girl's, and one of her hands has been taken.
Evidence begins to point to a Jewish traitor luring children to their death.
In this profoundly moving and darkly atmospheric historical thriller, the reader is taken into the most forbidden corners of Nazi occupied Warsaw, as well as into the most heroic places of the heart.

 

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Hitler's Charisma: Leading Millions Into the Abyss by Laurence Rees.
 
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At the age of twenty-four, in 1913, Adolf Hitler was eking out a living as a painter of pictures for tourists in Munich.
Nothing marked him in any way as exceptional, but he did possess certain distinguishing characteristics: a capacity to hate, an inability to accept criticism, and a massive overconfidence in his own abilities.
He was a socially and emotionally inadequate individual without direction, from whence came a sense of personal mission that would transform these weaknesses and liabilities into strengths certainties that would provide him not only with a sense of identity, but of purpose in a communal enterprise.
This is the focus of Laurence Rees’s social, psychological, and historical investigation into a personality that would end up articulating the hopes and dreams of millions of Germans.
 
(With 16 pages of black-and-white illustrations)

 

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