Books

Netflix’s thriller king Harlan Coben’s releases new book | Books | Entertainment
Books

Netflix’s thriller king Harlan Coben’s releases new book | Books | Entertainment

Life has been ab fab for Netflix thriller king and bestselling author Harlan Coben of late. First, actor and comedian Jennifer Saunders appeared in his Netflix series The Stranger – and now Joanna Lumley is filming his new eight-parter Fool Me Once. The 61-year-old novelist and screenwriter says: “Joanna is shockingly down to earth and kind. Everyone on set just loves her. “I was up on set in Manchester yesterday and they were all giddy over how nice she was – and they’re all hoping for a scene with Joanna.” Fool Me Once tells the tale of a military combat pilot (Michelle Keegan) suffering from PTSD. Her husband (Richard Armitage) is murdered. But, as with all Coben’s work, nothing is quite as it seems. Lumley plays Armitage’s mother: “She’s very posh, she’s very rich, she’s very col...
New James Bond mission at King’s Coronation ‘full of sex and violence’ | Books | Entertainment
Books

New James Bond mission at King’s Coronation ‘full of sex and violence’ | Books | Entertainment

Young Bond author Charlie Higson is the author of what is his first ever adult 007 book. The novel, aptly titled On His Majesty’s Secret Service, is set for release on May 4, two days before the Coronation and actually begins its setting on that day. The official synopsis reads: “It is the 4th of May, two days before the Coronation of King Charles III and the world’s favourite spy has his work cut out for him. Bond is sent at the last minute to thwart an attempt to disrupt the Coronation by the wealthy, eccentric and self-styled Athelstan of Wessex, who is on a deadly mission of his own to teach the United Kingdom a lesson. Can Bond dismantle his shady plans and defeat his privately hired team of mercenaries?” Ian Fleming publications note: “This all-new 007 adventure is produced...
George RR Martin’s writing schedule spells bad news for ASOIAF fans | Books | Entertainment
Books

George RR Martin’s writing schedule spells bad news for ASOIAF fans | Books | Entertainment

It’s been 12 years since George RR Martin published A Dance with Dragons, the latest book in his A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. Since then, HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation of the novels has been and gone; relying on the 74-year-old’s outline of his final two books The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring for the last few seasons. The author has been letting ASOIAF fans know for the past few years that he’s hard at work on the penultimate novel, stressing it will be a very big book. However, in a new blog post on the upcoming Dunk and Egg show (A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight), he confessed to signing up for more projects and even teased an edit to his writing schedule which spells bad news for fans who have already been waiting years. Martin, who will be a...
­’Unacceptable’ Jeeves and Wooster books to get woke rewrite | Books | Entertainment
Books

­’Unacceptable’ Jeeves and Wooster books to get woke rewrite | Books | Entertainment

Jeeves and Wooster books have been changed to lose ­“unacceptable” passages by author PG Wodehouse. It is the latest in a long line of literary alterations to some of the world’s best-loved works. The original wording in the popular comic novels has been purged or rewritten for new ­editions issued by Penguin Random House. Trigger warnings have also been added to revised editions informing ­readers themes and ­characters might be “outdated”. One states the writer’s prose has been altered because it was judged to be ­“unacceptable” by Penguin, a ­publishing house that enlists the ­services of sensitivity readers. The disclaimer printed in the ­opening pages of this year’s reissue of Wodehouse’s 1934 novel Thank You, Jeeves, states: “Please be aware this book was published in the 1930s...
Anne Perry dead: Murderer turned crime author dies aged 84 | Books | Entertainment
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Anne Perry dead: Murderer turned crime author dies aged 84 | Books | Entertainment

British author Anne Perry died on April 10, aged 84, it was confirmed today by her agent. The writer – who was born Juliet Marion Hulme – was best known for her Pitt and Monk detective novel series, and had penned dozens of books since her debut novel, The Cater Street Hangman, which hit shelves in 1979. Perry was perhaps best known, however, for being the inspiration behind one of the most gruesome real-crime murder movies ever made: Heavenly Creatures. Heavenly Creatures was helmed by The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and starred Titanic’s Kate Winslet as Hulme. The picture told the story of two teenage girls who killed one of their mothers in cold blood. This was based on the real-life story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme (Anne Perry) who murdered ...
Celia’s War review: A rollercoaster of a debut novel | Books | Entertainment
Books

Celia’s War review: A rollercoaster of a debut novel | Books | Entertainment

And tricky also to describe the story without revealing too much about her shocking back-story. Because Celia Creswell is a woman with a past and then some, someone whose history is veiled by necessary secrecy, someone scarred by events no one should have to endure at the tender age she did. Almost all of the adults in this novel are haunted by the war fought and won a mere 18 years earlier than when the story begins. Also haunted is 18-year-old Gabriel Mallory, star athlete at the boarding school at which Celia works as Matron. In the opening scenes, he’s running over frozen fields belonging to a farmer whose land neighbours the school. When he sees a man he is convinced is his father. Except that his father died before Gabriel’s birth, perished in the cockpit of a Spitfire, burnt-o...
Dunk and Egg – When The Hedge Knight is set before Game of Thrones | Books | Entertainment
Books

Dunk and Egg – When The Hedge Knight is set before Game of Thrones | Books | Entertainment

The Dunk and Egg novellas are set around 100 years before A Game of Thrones, so about a century after House of the Dragon. Dunk is the future Lord Commander of the Kingsguard known as Ser Duncan the Tall. And Egg is the future King Aegon V Targaryen, the grandfather of the Mad King slaughtered by Jaime Lannister during Robert Baratheon’s Rebellion – just prior to the events of Game of Thrones. Max’s description of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight reads: “A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros … a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, gre...
Nature writer Simon Barnes’s story celebrates the glory of British nature | Nature | News
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Nature writer Simon Barnes’s story celebrates the glory of British nature | Nature | News

Simon Barnes celebrates British nature (Image: ) I should have been walking with lions. I should have been sleeping in a hut surrounded by elephants. I should have been waking up to the sound of the alarm clock of the bush, the calls of ground hornbill. Instead, I heard the cheeping of sparrows. I should have been decoding the social life of the Nsefu Pride or explaining how a bateleur eagle can fly so far without flapping or why leopards are so fond of sausage trees. I should have been co-leading the Sacred Combe Safari to the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. But I wasn’t going anywhere. Nor was anyone else. The year was 2020 and the second wave of Covid had just hit, bringing a new variant to make things even worse. Our reward for getting through the first lockdown was to be told that...
Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves – The Druid’s Call review | Books | Entertainment
Books

Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves – The Druid’s Call review | Books | Entertainment

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is still in cinemas and is absolutely fantastic. Considering the roleplaying game (RPG) source material has such expansive worlds and ideas, it only seems natural for the movie to have a couple of spin-off novels. The Druid’s Call acts as a direct prequel to the Chris Pine movie from the perspective of Doric (the, uh, druid), while The Road to Neverwinter shows how Edgin and Holga’s life went before the events of the movie. If you’ve seen the film, you no doubt came away from the blockbuster yearning for more information about the MVP of the group of heroes: Doric. Doric’s origin story isn’t the most original in the fantasy realm – a tiefling born to human parents who hide her away and abuse her before sh...
Life of humble priest who defied the Nazis explored in new book | History | News
Books

Life of humble priest who defied the Nazis explored in new book | History | News

Monsignor O’Flaherty was warned of the dangers by the Germans and the Vatican (Image: Getty) Every evening, as the sun was setting over the skyline of Rome, Hugh O’Flaherty would stand on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica, in Vatican City, in full view of armed Nazi soldiers stationed across the piazza. He was taunting them. They were incensed because they knew this Irish Catholic priest was hiding refugees under their noses, and they couldn’t for the life of them work out how. If O’Flaherty had strayed one inch across the international border between the tiny, neutral city-state of the Vatican and German-occupied Rome surrounding it, the Gestapo would almost certainly have pounced, torturing and killing him. Now their extraordinary cat-and-mouse story is the subject of a thrilling...