Saturday, 24 August 2019

The Devil Hates Latin by Katharine Galgano

Paperback:  The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science. - Albert Einstein, What I Believe (1930)

An African is elected Pope as the Barque of Peter encounters heavy seas.  Everywhere, the Faith and the West are in decline.  Ominously, occult practices have corrupted the elites, the media and powerful men in the Church.

The new pontiff faces this unprecedented challenge alone, until an embattled American Cardinal sends his best exorcist to Rome, a young Dominican priest with hard experience combating the Devil - in Latin - on America's mean streets.

Meanwhile, a US media mogul, an indifferent Catholic targeted for his politics, flees America with his family for the Eternal City.  There, they find a despondent society where Italians no longer marry and have children.  Indeed, all hope seems lost until a beautiful Roman girl takes a brave stance against the rising tide of despair.

Gritty, fascinating and impossible to forget, The Devil Hates Latin (2017) sweeps from New England to the Tiber, and ultimately to a Renaissance palazzo nestled in the green hills of Umbria, building to a shattering confrontation as Good summons the courage to face the menace of the gathering forces of Evil.

About the author:  Katharine Galgano is the nom de plume of the author, who is an American expatriate living in Europe.  She speaks four languages.  This, her first novel, draws extensively on her Wall Street experience and on her Vatican contacts.

Genre:  Catholic fiction

Summer Bank Holiday

Friday, 23 August 2019

Thirteen (Eddie Flynn Series) by Steve Cavanagh

Paperback:  Thirteen (2018) offers an original twist on the courtroom thriller from the author of The Defence (2015).

The serial killer is not on trial.

He is on the jury.

'To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?'

Murder was not the hard part.  It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life.  He has done it before.  But this is the big one.  This is the murder trial of the century.  And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there is someone on his tail, ex-conman turned trial attorney Eddie Flynn and he alone suspects that the killer is not the man on trial.

For Kane, time is running out - all he needs is to get to the conviction without being discovered and for Eddie, it is a race against time to get to the killer before the wrong man takes the fall.

Thirteen (2018) is the fourth instalment in the original and ingenious Eddie Flynn legal series and also, the winner of the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year 2019.

About the author:  Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law.  He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases;  in 2010, he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history.  He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy and lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes). 

Follow Steve on twitter @SSCav or on his website at

Rating:  5/5

A New Book by Jonny Geller

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Dragon Games (Rising Dragon Series) by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Paperback:  Hong Kong.  American journalist Paul and his Chinese girlfriend face a crisis.  A troubling letter arrives from mainland China from Christine's long lost brother and they feel compelled to come to his rescue.  There they find a village in turmoil and her brother's life in disarray.

Their dangerous quest for justice begins in twenty-first century China beset by corrupt politicians and ruthless business interests, where citizens, still in the long shadow of the Cultural Revolution have few rights in the face of an all-powerful system.

Sendker's world is rich and intense:  his books weave together love story and crime thriller, the wisdom of Confucius and the thoughts of Mao, between the emotive West and the fatalistic, philosophical East.  In short, a penetrating look into contemporary China.

And above all, a sense of deep, honest faith in the human spirit.

Dragon Games (2016) is the second book in the Rising Dragon series featuring Paul, an American journalist and expat in China.

Dragon Games is translated from the German by Christine Lo.

About the author:  Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, and, longing to travel the world, became the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999.  In 2000, he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a nonfiction book about China.  The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is his first novel, and since then, he has written 3 further novels, including a sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, A Well-Tempered Heart.  In 2013, he received The Indies Choice Honour Award in the category Adult Fiction for The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, which became an international bestseller.

He lives in Potsdam with his family and has recently released his third instalment in his China-trilogy, The Far Side of the Night (2019).

About the translator:  Christine Lo is an editor in book publishing in London.  She has also worked as a translator in Frankfurt and translated books by Juli Zeh and Senait Mehari from German into English.  Her most recent translation is Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky.  She serves as one of the judges of the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for German translation.

Rating:  5/5

The Danger Is Within - The Enemy Is Within - Within Our Own Walls

Sunday, 18 August 2019

The Central Park Five: The Untold Story Behind One Of New York City's Most Infamous Crimes (True Crime) by Sarah Burns

Paperback:  I think that everybody here - maybe across the nation - will look at this case to see how the criminal justice system works.  This is, I think, putting the criminal justice system on trial. - Mayor Ed Koch, 21 April 1989

In this spellbinding account of the real facts of the Central Park jogger case, Sarah Burns powerfully reexamines one of New York City’s most notorious crimes and its aftermath.

On 20 April 1989, two passersby discovered the body of the “Central Park jogger” crumpled in a ravine.  She had been raped and severely beaten.

Within days five black and Latino teenagers were apprehended, all five confessing to the crime.

The staggering torrent of media coverage that ensued, coupled with fierce public outcry, exposed the deep-seated race and class divisions in New York City at the time.

The minors were tried and convicted as adults despite no evidence linking them to the victim.

Over a decade later, when DNA tests connected serial rapist Matias Reyes to the crime, the government, law enforcement, social institutions and media of New York were exposed as having undermined the individuals they were designed to protect.

Here, doumentary filmmaker Sarah Burns recounts this historic case for the first time in The Central Park Five (2019), since the young men’s convictions were overturned, telling, at last, the full story of one of New York’s most legendary crimes.

About the author:  Sarah Burns graduated from Yale University in 2004 with a degree in American studies and went on to work for Moore & Goodman, a small civil rights law firm based in New York.  She is also the co-producer and director for the documentary film The Central Park Five which she co-produced and directed with her husband David McMahon and her father Ken Burns.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Sarah Burns is available for select readings and lectures.  To inquire about a possible appearance, please contact Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau at or visit

Friday, 16 August 2019

The Gifts Of Near-Death Experiences: You Don't Have to Die to Experience Your True Home by Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Matthew Linn

Paperback:  Near-death experiences (NDEs) are common, well-documented, and similar across cultures throughout the world.  Current estimates are that between 4 and 15 percent of the world's population have had an NDE.  Some of the fascination with NDEs comes from the fact that they often result in great leaps in personal growth.  These leaps are characterized by the loss of the fear of death, the healing of deep hurts, an increase in self-esteem and compassion for others, a sense of union with all things, and a clearer sense of how to fulfil one's purpose in life.

This is a book that teaches readers how to reap the benefits of NDEs without having to experience trauma.  In the course of their many workshops around the world, the authors have discovered that when one immerses oneself in accounts of NDEs, one can experience love, hope, healing, and a sense of purpose.

This is the only book that systematically encourages the reader to create a spiritual and psychological healing practice based on NDEs.  Each chapter includes an account of a fascinating NDE, followed by a series of questions, meditations, exercises, and video links.  The reader is encouraged to contemplate these stories and their own lives.

The Gifts of Near-Death Experiences (2016) is truly a profound guide to both living and dying.

About the authorsLinn Ministries includes the retreats and conferences given by Dennis, Sheila and Matt Linn in the United States and around the world, and our books and tapes.  Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis and Matt Linn work together as a team, integrating physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness.  They have taught courses on processes for healing around the world.  They are the authors of 23 books, including 2 books for children and those who care for them.  These books have sold over a million copies in English and have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Blood Oath (Alexandra Cooper Series) by Linda Fairstein

Hardback:  New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein explores the depths of Manhattan’s secretive Rockefeller University in this timely, captivating thriller about the deep - and often deadly - reverberations of past sins.

Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper of the Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit is finally back at work following a leave of absence, and not a moment too soon.  With more women feeling empowered to name their abusers, Alex is eager to return to the courtroom to do what she does best. 

But even she cannot anticipate the complexity of her first case when she meets Lucy, a young woman who testified years earlier at a landmark federal trial, and now reveals that she was sexually assaulted by a prominent official during that time.

Yet Lucy’s is not the only secret Alex must uncover, with rumours swirling about one colleague’s abusive conduct behind closed doors and another’s violent, mysterious collapse.

As the seemingly disparate cases of her client, adversary, and friend start to intertwine, Alex, along with NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, finds herself in uncharted territory within Manhattan’s Rockefeller University, a premier research institute, hospital, and cornerstone of higher learning.  But not even the greatest minds in the city can help her when unearthed secrets begin to collide in dangerous ways, and unless she can uncover the truth, the life-saving facility just may become her grave.

Blood Oath (2019) is the twentieth and latest instalment in the excellent Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper legal thriller series set in New York.

P/S  Blood Oath might be the author's last book as she has been dropped by her publishers - Dutton (US) and Little Brown (UK) - due to the fallout with regards to her former role as chief of the Manhattan district attorney’s sex crimes unit in relation to the wrongful conviction of five teens in the 1989 rape and beating of a female jogger.  Fairstein had already resigned from at least two not-for-profit boards as backlash intensified and a #CancelLindaFairstein movement spread on social media.  Last year, the Mystery Writers of America took the rare step of withdrawing a lifetime achievement after other authors protested, citing Fairstein’s role in the Central Park case.

About the author:  Linda Fairstein (born 1947) is one of America's foremost legal experts on crimes of violence against women and children.  She served as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office from 1976 until 2002 and is the author of a series of novels featuring Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper.

This year, Fairstein will debut a new series for Middle Grade readers - 8-12 years old.  Her kid sleuth, Devlin Quick, appears in Into The Lion's Den in November, 2016.  The series is an homage to Nancy Drew, whose books inspired Linda's two careers - in crime fiction and in the law.

Ms Fairstein is an honours graduate of Vassar College (1969) and the University of Virginia School of Law (1972).  She joined the Manhattan District Attorney's office in 1972 as an Assistant District Attorney.  She was promoted to the head of the sex crimes unit in 1976.  During her tenure, she prosecuted several highly publicized cases, including the "Preppy Murder" case against Robert Chambers in 1986.

Linda Fairstein left the District Attorney's office in 2002, and has continued to consult, write, lecture and serve as a sex crimes expert for a wide variety of print and television media outlets, including the major networks, CNN, MSNBC among others.  Ms Fairstein is often called to provide her opinion on high profile prosecutions including:  Michael Jackson's molestation charges in 2004, Kobe Bryant's sexual assault charges, and Scott Peterson's trial.  She is also a frequent speaker on issues surrounding domestic abuse.

Ms Fairstein lives in Manhattan and on Martha's Vineyard with her husband, Michael Goldberg.  Her novels draw on Ms Fairstein's legal expertise as well as her knowledge of and affection for the rich history of the city of New York.

Rating:  5/5