Thursday, August 21, 2008

A few new British Signed First Editions

Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox.
Artemis's mother has contracted a deadly disease--and the only cure lies in the brain fluid of African lemurs. Unfortunately, Artemis himself was responsible for making the lemurs extinct five years ago. Now he must enlist the aid of his fairy friends to travel back in time and save them. Not only that, but he must face his deadliest foe yet...his younger self.

Emilio Calderon, The Creator's Map.
Through the eyes of a Spanish architect in Rome, the dark period surrounding the rise and fall of Fascism roars to life, as the architect, a passionate young librarian, and an Italian prince become entangled in a web of intrigue, love, and deceit involving a fateful map whose secrets are powerful enough to destroy them.

Rome, 1952— José María is—like Europe itself—
struggling to recover from the chaotic and character-defining events that transpired during the previous fifteen years, events that haunt him still. He and his wife, Montse, attempt not to dwell on their past, until the day they read about a mysterious death by decapitation of an old acquaintance, and José María’s memories come surging back.

And so our narrator begins his tale… It is 1937, in the thick of the Spanish Civil War. José María and Montse are two of a group of Spaniards thrown together, forced to wait out the war in refuge at the Spanish Academy in Rome. Unlike the rest of his compatriots, José María has no strong feelings either way about the Fascist or Nationalist ideologies that are causing such bloodshed in his home country; it is only the beautiful and bookish Montse who ignites his passion. When Montse and José María sell a sixteenth century text discovered in the Spanish Academy’s forgotten library, they unwittingly become embroiled in an underground Nazi plot to collect mystic artifacts for the practice of the black arts. The most powerful artifact sought—the one most coveted by the Führer—is the Creator’s Map, a legendary document depicting the
power centers of the universe, said to be penned by God himself.

When the handsome and sinister Prince Junio, a wealthy Italian Fascist and Nazi sympathizer who is in pursuit of the map, appears to take a romantic interest in Montse, she is recruited to spy on him. As WWII blazes into full force, t
he idealistic Montse becomes more and more deeply involved in espionage, as does José María, for his own reasons.

Covering the most tumultuous and fascinating period of recent history—from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War to the end of World War II—The Creator’s Map brilliantly recreates the dark intrigue, romantic entanglements, and divided loyalties of a war-torn Europe. Long after the war is over, the destinies of these characters will continue to be shaped by the devastating repercussions of this tumultuous time.

NYTimes Interview

Richard Morgan, The Steel Remains, an Epic fantasy in classic Richard Morgan style.

Ringil, the hero of the bloody slaughter at Gallows Gap is a legend to all who don't know him and a twisted degenerate to those that do. A veteren of the wars against the lizards he makes a living from telling credulous travellers of his exploits. Until one day he is pulled away from his life and into the depths of the Empire's slave trade. Where he will discover a secret infinitely more frightening than the trade in lives...

Caro Peacock, Death of a Dancer.

It’s the May half-term school holiday, and the first warm day of the year has drawn a few children to the River Swain for a swim. When one boy chases another off the path that runs alongside Hindswell Woods, a glimpse of orange through the trees tempts them into the shadows. Moments later, their high spirits vanish in an instant, for there, to their shock (and ghoulish fascination), they find a man in a brightly coloured shirt hanging from a branch by a rope around his neck. Alan Banks is in London with his new girlfriend when news of the kids’ ghastly discovery reaches the police in Eastvale, so the case falls to Annie Cabbot. And she’s mystified. Why would a successful set and costume designer, with a well-reviewed production of Othello currently playing, be in such despair that he would take his own life?

In All the Colours of Darkness, Peter Robinson has written an exceptionally gripping and intricately plotted story that delivers hard truths about jealousy and betrayal — and of the insidious, corrosive power of secrets. Once more, Robinson proves that he is one of the finest crime-fiction writers in the world.

Read a lovely review

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