Category: FJH

The Soviet Sisters: a gripping spy novel from the author of the international hit ‘The German Heiress’

Two sisters become embroiled in the burgeoning Cold War in this spellbinding novel of espionage, secrets and betrayals

Berlin, 1947: good Soviets Vera and Marya find themselves mired in the covert post-war conflicts that are shaping a new world order. When Marya, an interpreter liaising with the British, gets caught in secret agent Vera’s web of deceit, she must make desperate choices to survive – and to protect those she loves. Nine years later, as the Soviets confront their Stalinist past, Vera revisits that pivotal moment, unravelling shocking truths about her sister and herself. Against an epic backdrop, Anika Scott weaves a nail-biting, morally complex story of double–triple bluff and loyalty – or otherwise – to family or motherland.

PRAISE FOR THE SOVIET SISTERS

Electrifying, meticulously researched, and expertly plotted, The Soviet Sisters is at once a Cold War thriller, a gripping spy story, a page-turning mystery, and a familial drama‘ Lara Prescott, New York Times-bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

What a page turner! The era and setting were very fresh, I learned so much, and I loved being taken around post-war Berlin. East and West, love and hate – this story gives beautiful insight into the opposites that can make or break a sisters’ bond. Compelling‘ Mandy Robotham, USA Today-bestselling author of The Berlin Girl and The Girl Behind the Wall

The Master of Measham Hall

1665. It is five years since King Charles II returned from exile, the scars of the English Civil Wars are yet to heal and now the Great Plague engulfs the land. Alethea Hawthorne is safe inside the walls of the Calverton household as a lady’s companion waiting in anticipation of the day she can return to her ancestral home of Measham Hall.

But when Alethea suddenly finds herself cast out on the plague-ridden streets of London, a long road to Derbyshire lies ahead. Militias have closed their boroughs off to outsiders for fear of contamination.

Fortune smiles on her when Jack appears, an unlikely travelling companion who helps this determined girl to navigate a perilous new world of religious dissenters, charlatans and a pestilence that afflicts peasants and lords alike.

The Master of Measham Hall is the first book in a page-turning historical series. In lyrical prose, Anna Abney portrays the religious divides at the heart of Restoration England in a timeless novel about survival, love, and family loyalty.  

 

PRAISE FOR THE MASTER OF MEASHAM HALL

‘It’s rare for a historical novel to feel so timely.’ Jo Baker, Sunday Times bestselling author of Longbourn

‘Impeccably researched and wonderfully atmospheric, with a heroine you can’t help rooting for.’ Frances Quinn, author of The Smallest Man 

‘Exciting and immersive. It took me straight into the heart of Restoration England in all its rich and vivid detail. I was gripped! Such beautiful writing too – Anna is a stunning new talent.’ Nicola Cornick, international bestselling author of House of Shadows

 ‘A thoroughly engaging romp… By turns entertaining, surprising and thought-provoking, this is an impressive debut.’ Jane Johnson, author of The Sea Gate

‘A gripping depiction of what people will do to survive, the long-held beliefs and scruples questioned and cast aside as well as the unexpected kindnesses and unusual alliances made. In elegant prose, this enthralling novel puts a human face to the trials, terrors and enduring hopes of the plague years.’ Catherine Meyrick, author of The Bridled Tongue

‘A thrilling and original tale of reinvention! Death in a time of plague is expected. What happens to Abney’s heroine Alethea is not. The Master of Measham Hall  is a vivid and extraordinary journey of survival, and ultimately an exploration of what we gain and what we lose as we pass through this world.’ VL Valentine, The Plague Letters

‘A powerful and engaging story, full of good characters, satisfying plot turns, and excellent scene-setting. With all the details and insights on offer, it feels like a rich and rewarding panorama of English culture in the 1660s. The transformation of Alethea was wonderful to read, and genuinely gripping.’ Richard Hamblyn

Queen of Heaven

The White Tower. A terrible vision. Her home invaded and precious documents stolen.

Lady Isabelle must flee her pursuers, posing as a young male scholar in the New College of St Mary in Oxford. But when she learns she is with child it won’t be long until she is discovered amongst their ranks. Can she bring herself to love an infant conceived in evil? And will she ever be reunited with her beloved Richard, or will Sir Henry Lormont’s dagger find him first?

This deftly plotted 15th century novel traverses the well-trodden pilgrimage routes from Oxford to Rome encountering lepers, assassins, sea rovers and historical figures Lady Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor along the way. Superbly researched by a scholar of the period, Clover blends history with the riveting story of a woman who overcomes the restrictions placed on her sex to create a page-turning novel.

The Templar’s Garden

A young woman forced to fight for her beliefs. A chaplain with a secret that could determine the fate of a kingdom.

England, 1452. Under the reign of King Henry VI the country is on the brink of civil war after the Hundred Years’ War.

Young mystic Lady Isabelle d’Albret Courteault’s family is forced to flee the Duchy of English Gascony for a new and unforeseeable life in England. While they become established in the courts, Lady Isabelle discovers dark secrets about their chaplain and tutor. As their growing relationship places her in harm’s way, can she remain steadfast in her promises to uphold the monarchy and her faith?

Set amidst a period of grave uncertainty, this is the story of a woman learning to stand up for her beliefs in a patriarchal world – a beautifully crafted narrative of faith, love and grace.

The Butcher’s Daughter

‘Historical fiction at its finest.’ @MargaretAtwood

It is 1535 and Agnes Peppin, daughter of a West-country butcher, has been banished, leaving her family home in disgrace to live out the rest of her life cloistered behind the walls of Shaftesbury Abbey. 

While Agnes grapples with the complex rules and hierarchies of the sisterhood, King Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Head of the Church of England. Religious houses are being formally subjugated, monasteries dissolved, and the great Abbey is no exception to the purge. 

Cast out with her sisters, Agnes is at last free to be the master of her own fate. But freedom comes at a price as she descends into a world she knows little about, using her wits and testing her moral convictions against her need to survive – by any means necessary…

Dead Men

‘Fascinating.’ Telegraph

Birdie Bowers is a woman with a dead man’s name. Her parents had been fascinated by Henry ‘Birdie’ Bowers, one of Captain Scott’s companions on his ill-fated polar expedition. A hundred years after the death of Bowers and Scott, she sets out to discover what really happened to them… The discovery of Captain Scott’s body in the Antarctic in November 1912 started a global obsession with him as a man and an explorer. But one mystery remains – why did he and his companions spend their last ten days in a tent only 11 miles from the safety of a depot that promised food and shelter?

Dead Men tells the story of two paths. One is a tragic journey of exploration on the world’s coldest continent, the other charts a present-day relationship and the redemptive power of love.

The Ten Thousand Things (Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction)

Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (2015), The Ten Thousand Things takes us on a journey across fated meetings, grand battles and riveting drama.

In the turbulent final years of the Yuan Dynasty, Wang Meng is a low-level bureaucrat employed by the government of Mongol conquerors established by the Kublai Khan. Though he wonders about his own complicity with this regime he prefers not to dwell on his official duties, choosing instead to live the life of the mind. Wang is an extraordinarily gifted artist and his paintings are at once delicate and confident; in them one can see the wind blowing through the trees, the water rushing through rocky valleys, the infinite expanse of China’s natural beauty.

But this is not a time for sitting still as Wang must soon travel through an empire in turmoil. In his wanderings he encounters master painters, a fierce female warrior known as the White Tigress who will recruit him as a military strategist, and an ugly young Buddhist monk who rises from beggary to extraordinary heights.

The Ten Thousand Things seamlessly fuses the epic and the intimate with the precision and depth that the real-life Wang Meng brought to his painting.

***PRAISE FOR THE TEN THOUSAND THINGS***

‘It has the sort of sensual prose that makes the reader purr with delight and is surely destined to be one of the books of the year.’ The Daily Mail

‘Spurling has mastered many aspects of Chinese history and legend.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Told by Wang from the cell into which he has been thrust in his old age, the story of his career becomes an intelligent, graceful meditation on the difficulties of reconciling spiritual life with the material world.’ The Sunday Times

‘I’ve never read anything like it… great feats of scholarship and imagination have gone into making these people, so distant from us in space and time’ Literary Review

‘This intricately wrought study of medieval Chinese scholar-artists is wonderfully well imagined.’ The Spectator

‘It is ostensibly a historical novel, but Spurling has in fact written a love letter to Chinese art.’ New Statesman

This is a remarkable novel that deserves to be read slowly and savoured as one would a stunning landscape or a beautiful painting.’ Herald Scotland

‘Those who appreciate a subtle, thoughtful narrative, and are willing to engage with the kind of philosophical questions that are as relevant today as they were in 14th-century China, will relish every page of it.’ BBC History magazine

‘In this immersive tale of a landscape artist’s life, written with restrained lyricism, John Spurling has also given us an entertaining and insightful study about the art of nature, and the nature of art.’ Tan Twan Eng, author of The Garden of Evening Mists

Foretold by Thunder

When journalist Jake Wolsey stumbles upon a declassified file showing Winston Churchill’s interest in the ancient Etruscan civilisation his curiosity brings peril in its wake.

He soon attracts the unlikely attention of alluring archaeologist Florence Chung – and that of MI6. As the two are pursued across Europe and Africa in search of the Etruscans’ sacred text, danger closes in and more questions than answers arise. Are there powers in the sky modern science has yet to understand? Could the ancients predict the future? And what really explains the rise of Rome, that of Nazi Germany, the ebb and flow of history itself?

In a thrilling race against time and enemies known and unknown, Wolsey fears the very survival of the West may depend on his ability to stay one step ahead of his adversaries.

The Napoleon Complex

‘Extraordinary… one of the most intelligent historical thrillers I’ve read in a long time.’ Dean Crawford, bestselling author of Covenant

Reporter Jake Wosley has seen things he never thought possible. His life changed forever after discovering classified documents showing Churchill’s curious obsession with the ancient Etruscan civilisation. Now he’s hiding out in Thailand, trying to put the past behind him. But when a mysterious letter arrives containing cryptic references to Napoleon Bonaparte, Jake is drawn back in to a centuries-old conspiracy. 

The trail leads through the Middle East, Europe and Africa to a Victorian secret that could remake the world. Will Jake crack the Napoleon complex? And can he keep one step ahead of Washington and MI6 who want this ancient lore for their own devices? 

The Killing Gene

OUT OF AFRICA, INTO DARKNESS…

When an archaeologist goes missing in the Congo basin, Professor Randolph Harkness and young tearaway Ross McCartney go in search of her – only to stumble upon a conspiracy to conceal ancient horrors lost to the passage of time. Evading spies and trained killers, can they expose this cover-up? Or will they be buried with it?

An unputdownable thriller, The Killing Gene reveals the story of our species, the paradox of the modern mind and our innate predilection for murder…

***PRAISE FOR THE KILLING GENE***

‘A real page-turner.’ Rob Sinclair, author of the bestselling Enemy series

‘In an epic adventure stretching from the jungles of the Congo to the valleys of Tajikistan and beyond, The Killing Gene blends exceptional research and a keen observation of human nature to create a captivating and intelligent adventure novel. Featuring a tenacious hero who must unravel a menacing conspiracy if he is to reveal the truth to the world, this is another stunning thriller from E. M. Davey.’ Rob Jones, author of the international bestselling Joe Hawke series

‘Davey’s writing is punchy, yet lyrical, delving deep into the distant past of humankind, questioning what makes Homo sapiens unique and what the future might hold for the one race on earth that has inherited The Killing Gene.’ Matthew Harffy, author of The Bernicia Chronicles series

‘Gripping, shocking… a dispatch from the front line where ancient history meets modern nightmares. E.M. Davey has been to some of the wildest places on Earth, and it shows. This will keep its hooks in you long past the final page.’ Tom Harper, author of The Lost Temple