Spartacus: The Gladiator
by Ben Kane
Historically very little is known about Spartacus. We know that he came from Thrace, a land north of Greece, that he once fought in the Roman legions and that, during two fateful years, he led a slave army which nearly brought Rome to its knees.
In Ben Kane's brilliant novel, we meet Spartacus as he returns to Thrace, ready to settle down after a decade away. But a new king has usurped the throne. Treacherous and violent, he immediately seizes Spartacus and sells him to a Roman slave trader looking for new gladiators.
The odyssey has begun which will see Spartacus become one of the greatest legends of history, the hero of revolutionaries from Karl Marx to Che Guevara, immortalised on screen, and now brought to life in Ben Kane's great bestseller - a novel which takes the story to its halfway point and is continued in Spartacus: Rebellion.
by James Aitcheson
January 1069. Less than three years have passed since Hastings and the death of the usurper, Harold Godwineson. In the depths of winter, two thousand Normans march to subdue the troublesome province of Northumbria. Tancred a Dinant, an ambitious and oath-sworn knight and a proud leader of men, is among them, hungry for battle, for silver and for land.
But at Durham the Normans are ambushed in the streets by English rebels. In the battle that ensues, their army is slaughtered almost to a man. Badly wounded, Tancred barely escapes with his life. His lord is among those slain.
Soon the enemy are on the march, led by the dispossessed prince Eadgar, the last of the ancient Saxon line, who is determined to seize the realm he believes is his. Yet even as Tancred seeks vengeance for his lord's murder, he finds himself caught up in secret dealings between a powerful Norman magnate and a shadow from the past.
As the Norman and English armies prepare to clash, Tancred begins to uncover a plot which harks back to the day of Hastings itself. A plot which, if allowed to succeed, threatens to undermine the entire Conquest. The fate of the Kingdom hangs in the balance ...
by Tom Bale
A burning summer's day explodes into violence. A murderous gang targets the exclusive south coast island of Terror's Reach, home to rival business tycoons Robert Felton and Valentin Nasenko. The residents are facing annihilation, and only one man stands a chance of saving them.
Four years ago, after an undercover police operation went disastrously wrong, CID officer Joe Clayton lost his career and his family. Forced to adopt a new identity, he drifted from place to place and ended up on the Reach, working as a bodyguard to Nasenko's wife, Cassie, and her children. Now he must draw upon all his experience and reserves of strength to keep them alive.
But nothing is as it seems on Terror's Reach, and a long night of betrayal and murder leaves Joe fighting for his own survival ...
by Kimberley Chambers
Based in Stepney, this book is set on a rough and ready Council Estate, in the heart of London's East End. A story that starts in 1975 ends in 2005, it tells the trials and tribulations of the Hutton family. Maureen - the gutsy mum, separated from her alcoholic husband, she scrimps and saves for years to bring up her children and instil life's good values in them. She tries her utmost, but with only moderate success. Tommy, the eldest son, does ten years for murder. On his release he promises to go straight. The trouble is that the underworld beckons and he struggles to keep his promise. Susan, the daughter, unpopular and spiteful as a child, she finally makes her family proud when she gets pregnant and moves in with her boyfriend. But what has she forgotten to tell him? James, the youngest son. Does mummy's blue-eyed boy stay on the straight and narrow? Or does he get stuck into a life of crime, just like his elder brother? Ethel - gran and mother-in-law. A wise old owl, granny could sense disaster looming all along. What a tragedy that no one would listen to her. And finally, Maria, the girl next door and the love of James's life. Will they? Won't they? Who knows - because Maria holds the biggest secret of them all. Or does she?
by Tom Bale
How far do you go for a friendship? That's the question Daniel Wade is forced to ask when a simple favour has fatal consequences. For the sake of his old schoolmate, Robbie - and more importantly for Robbie's sister, Cate - Dan agrees to go along with a lie. But soon he's sucked into a conspiracy that threatens to consume them all.
How hard do you fight for a fortune? For Gordon and Patricia Blake, the dead man held the key to a glorious future. Now that future has been ripped from their grasp, and the Blakes want to know why. Then they want revenge.
How can you hope to survive? With a ruthless predator on their trail, Dan realises that evading justice is the least of their worries. All that matters now is staying alive.