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In the fact of experiencing and making the present, we are all actors. But in the lacunae — in the rare moments of sensory deprivation when experience in the present is a minimal thing, as on a long plane ride, or any indolent, self-examining trip — then memory is free to speak and call forth the landscapes of our striving in moments now past.

Now — the now that is a time beyond the confines of this story, a now in which this story is past — I do not worry the past as I did then. Now it is set for me in a way that it was not set then. Not set then because so recent, still to be relived in memory and learned from. Five days of river travel lay before us — undemanding, freeing the mind to rove and scan. Two all-inclusive categories emerged for us on the broad river whose distant banks were no more than a dark green line separating river and sky: the familiar and the unfamiliar.

The unfamiliar was everywhere forcing us to draw inane analogies in common conversation: The Putumayo is like the Holy Ganga. The jungle evokes Ambon. The sky is similar to the skies of the Serengeti Plain, and so on. The illusion of understanding was a lame way of getting one's bearings. The unfamiliar does not give up its secrets in this game — the Putumayo does not become like the Ganga. The unfamiliar must become known as itself before it is correctly recognized.

The familiar things here are the people who have come with me. They appear as known quantities because I knew them in the past. So long as the future remains like the past, they would remain known. Certainly this is not New York, Boulder, or Berkeley, and it is not easy to become extra-environmentals, to develop a sense of appropriate action that is never at a loss for savoir faire.

The cool aesthetic of the stranger: "Me, Ma'am? I'm just passing through. Dennis, of course; his is still the time line longest on a track parallel to my own. No need to mention the matter of shared genes. Back our connection goes until lost in primal, unlanguaged feeling. We grew up in the same household, shared the same constraints and freedoms until I left home at sixteen.

But I had held close to Dennis. Two and a half years earlier, in the middle of my twenty-second year, in the hold of the British Steam Navigation Company liner Karanja, I was weak and semi-delirious, wracked with hives, heartbreak, and dysentery.

The eight days of passage from Port Victoria, Seychelles, to Bombay was then, in , thirty-five dollars. In spite of being ill, I was obliged to travel the lowest class or my funds would not carry me home. My bunk was a metal plate that folded down from the wall. Public toilets and the hammer of the engines. Bilge water sloshed from one corner of the passageway to the other. Fifteen hundred displaced Indians from Uganda, victims of the Ugandan government's policy of Africanization, were traveling in the hold.

All night long Indian women came and went from the toilets down my passageway, which was filled with bilge and engine throb. Without hashish and opium, I would have found it unbearable. To these middle-class Indians, my consolations and I were a stark example of depravity and moral failure, which they self-righteously pointed out to their children in long bird-like lectures on the evils of hippies and life in general.

After many days and nights of this, I awoke feverish in the middle of the night, the air redolent with curried food, excrement, and machine oil. I made my way to the exposed deck on the stern. The night was warm, the smell of curry not altogether lost even there.

I sat down with my back against a heavily painted metal box of fire-fighting equipment. I felt my fever lift and a great sense of relief come through me. The recent past, my romantic disappointment in the Seychelles and in Jerusalem, seemed to release its hold on me.

I had a clear space in which to turn toward the future and discern it. Unbidden came the thought that I would go with Dennis to South America. Even then, I knew it for a certainty. And, in time, it happened. Not immediately, not before much more wandering in the East, but eventually, by February , the prophecy was all round us. River, jungle, and sky enclosed us now and bore us toward La Chorrera. This boat was very little like the Karanja, but its small diesel engine was an echo of the larger engines further away in time.

Yes, Dennis came first, came in with the sepia-toned memories of our growing up in a small Colorado town. There he was, always there beside me; we were two flies frozen in the backlit world of amber memories of summer outings and afternoons. These others, different histories. Vanessa and I had been student radicals together at Berkeley from to Father a prominent surgeon; older sister a practicing psychoanalyst; a mother who gave teas for the wives of U.

Vanessa first attended private schools, then in a gesture of liberal chic, her parents supported her in her choice of Berkeley, a state university. She is intelligent, with a slightly feral twist to her gawkish sexuality.

Her large brown eyes cannot hide a kitten cruelty and a mean love of puns. We were part of the Experimental College at Berkeley, but in the fall of , 1 went to New York to try to sell the tortured manuscript that had been generated by my self-enforced seclusion in the Seychelles Islands, from where I had returned only a few months earlier.

This was a rambling, sophomoric, McLuhan-esque diatribe that was to die a bornin', fortunately. But in the complex autumn of that year, I took that work and flew to New York, in which place I knew no one but Vanessa. She dug me out of a flophouse on West 43rd Street where I had crash-landed and persuaded me to move up to the Hotel Alden on Central Park West, a place her mother had chosen for me. Our current riverine departure for the heart of Comisaria Amazonas followed by three years the languid moment when Vanessa and I sat together at the outdoor restaurant near the fountain in Central Park, she with her Dubonnet and I with my Lowenbrau.

In the eyes of the poor scholar and revolutionary that I then imagined myself to be, the scene seemed staged in its casual elegance, the production values definitely higher than I could usually afford. The conversation had arrived at the subject of my brother, then only eighteen, whom Vanessa had never met: "Dennis really is some sort of genius, I guess. Anyway, I'm his brother and am quite in awe of him, having seen it all from close up, as it were. I think that he may have seized the angel of Gnosis by the throat and forced the beast to the mat.

This idea he has that some hallucinogens work by fitting into the DNA is startling. It has a ring of truth that I just can't ignore. The political revolution has become too murky a thing to put one's hope in. So far, the most interesting unlikelihood in our lives is DMT, right?

Mainly that we should stop fucking around and go off and grapple with the DMT mystery. Because, you know, anybody who has studied Western Civ. It's some kind of outrage that, properly understood, might — you know that I think it would — have tremendous importance for the historical crisis everybody is in. So say that I suspend my judgment. Then what's up? How about a trip to the Amazon? That's where these psychedelic plants are endemic. And that's where there is, God knows, enough solitude for anyone.

I'm trying to get on a dig that will happen in the Gibson Desert in Australia next year. And I am committed to this hash thing in Asia in a few months, for who knows how long? No, this Amazon trip, if it happens at all, is off in the future. But you should think about it, and something else The something else is flying saucers.

I know it sounds nuts but they're mixed up in this somehow. It's pretty murky now. Fortunately it doesn't matter yet, but DMT is somehow linked to the whole psychic, you know Jungian, side of the notion of saucers. Deep water, I know. It's a hunch, but strong. We called him "the flower child. If they sold harlequin suits off the rack he would have worn one. John Dee, brightened his genealogy. I had met Dave during the summer of in Berkeley. We had both been hitchhiking from the corner of Ashby and Telegraph, and when one kind soul picked both of us up, we became acquainted on the ride over the bridge to San Francisco.

In Berkeley, Dave supported himself selling the Berkeley Barb and whatever else you sell when you loiter a lot. Since those days, Dave had graduated, both from the upstate New York commune he idealized and from Syracuse University with a degree in ethnobotany. In letters that passed between us when I was in Benares he became determined to be part of the venture to the Amazon Basin. He was to find in the jungles and mountains of South America a world even more spellbinding than he expected. To this day he has not returned from our initial voyage.

It was nearly two years before we could begin to put our plans into effect. Late in August of fate turned me from hash smuggler to fugitive when one of my Bombay-to- Aspen shipments fell into the hands of U. I went undergroud and wandered throughout Southeast Asia and Indonesia, viewing ruins in the former and collecting butterflies in the latter.

Then came my time in Japan. Whether this gave me an edge on the others in experience seemed unlikely. Yet even my new status as desperado did not deter my passion for the Amazon. I still dreamed of visiting the green places of the vine people. We lived there three months in a clapboard house, which we rented from a family of Sikhs — we ransacked articles, wrote letters, and maintained a constant correspondence with Dennis, who was in Colorado.

Building momentum, we amassed information on a near-mythical world that none of us had ever seen. While I lived in Canada, my mother died after a long bout with cancer. She was laid to rest, and then eventually Vancouver Island, lost in swirling snow, had fallen behind us as if by a series of telescoping leaps.

At last our journey loomed: One by one the barriers to our entry into the anticipated magical world fell away, until we came to this indolent moment, our first day on the river. From my journal: February 6, We are at last freed of our umbilical connection to civilization. This morning, under the uncertain skies which mark the Amazon during the dry season, we have at last gotten underway.

Part of a flotilla of gasoline and fruit soda suppliers who are on their way to La Chorrera and will certainly carry us as far as El Encanto on the Rio Cara-Parana. Moving toward the absolute center of the geography of the secret, I am moved to ponder, as ever, the meaning of this truly strange search.

I am having difficulty processing the intense content of my expectations. There can now be little doubt that, given that we continue to press forward as we have, we shall reach a state of satisfaction. We have been so long seeking this thing and it is so difficult to understand. Projections concerning who we will be or what we will do when this excursion is over are unconsciously based on the assumption that our experience will leave us unaffected, an assumption which is doubtless false, but its alternative can hardly be imagined.

Later: Two hours out of Puerto Leguizamo, upriver winds have caused us to tie up on the Peru side to await calmer weather. We are at Puerto Naranja. It is not shown on the Atlas Codazzi. The pattern of river travel immediately asserts itself. Following the channel means moving from side to side of the river, usually near one of the banks. The land is thickly covered by a dense canopy of jungle reminiscent of Central Seram or the coast of Ambon — a Venusian forest.

The dull drum of the engine, the cooing of pigeons part of our cargo , like the sacred Ganga, the brown, smooth water of the Putumayo soon flows through all our dreams and daydreams. Solo watches me fixedly. The familiar falls behind. The river is broad. The mystery for the present is in the strangeness of this place. The watery flatness. There is a mission there called San Raphael.

We are looking for Dr. Alfredo Guzman, mentioned in one of our papers as the source of an authentic sample of the oo-koo-he we are looking for. Guzman is an anthropologist working with the Witoto upriver from San Raphael at a tiny village charmingly called San Jose del Encanto.

This village is situated at the beginning of the old rubber-gatherers' trail that leads through the jungle to La Cho-rrera. Not only can Guzman aid us in our search, but he can help us hire bearers for the trek overland. Many days to anticipate this personage. In the meantime, the cramped world of this trading vessel, the Fabiolita, is ours, its mission, to sell plastic shoes, tinned food, and fishing line at the small clusters of houses on stilts that appear several times during each day of travel.

We arrive, tie up, and while the jefe of our vessel makes negocios with the colonistas, I take my butterfly net and walk to the jungle, hoping to escape the stinging flies that swarm near the boat landings. Sometimes there are long, opinionated conversations, with everyone animated and taking part. Sometimes a silence falls among us that lasts for several hours once each of us is comfortable, watching the riverbank slide by or nodding on the edge of siesta. February 7, A Sunday.

Last night we arrived at an unnamed place and spread our mosquito nets and hammocks for the first time in the Amazon. Eight A. The moods of the approach to the secret are many. The air is delicious with oxygen, and the odors which reach us from the passing liana-hung forest change with the frequency and subtlety of a sonata. Brief stops at police inspections and ever more isolated riverside dwellings mark this day as well.

Today, after forty minutes early morning travel, we passed a shallow depression in a clay bank on the Peruvian side of the river. There, thousands of parrots gathered around a salt source. The sonic shrill of their many-throated voice and their iridescent green bodies cleaving the air heightened the impression of moving in an aqueous Venusian world.

We tied up opposite the lick and some of our crew went across the river to capture some parrots to add to the traders already large menagerie. With our own small monkey, the nonhuman population of this ark of fools numbers two dogs, three monkeys, a kitten, a danta, a cock, a pig, and a crate of pigeons. Today is the day of the full moon and tomorrow we will arrive at El Encanto. There, if present plans hold, we will meet Dr.

The tensions that divide us have also surfaced. Vanessa and Solo, who have very little in common, seem warm friends. Is this because I have miffed Vanessa? It is not going well at all. Dennis is very quiet. Dave is worrying about the food supply; he is a chronic worrier. And naive. He seems to have thought that one just takes off one's shoes and goes to an Indian brother and says that one wants to learn the secrets of the forest and they say, "Come, my son, come with us and you will learn the secrets of the forest.

Solo's animals are falling off the boat into the river once an hour. The captain of the boat hates us because we have to stop to drag these soaking monkeys out of the drink. That night we camped on the Peruvian side of the river. After dark, around the fire, the conversation anticipated a total eclipse of the moon said to be due. We wondered after the fate of the Apollo 14 crew which was returning that night from that same moon. These were the last bits of news we had received before our departure from Puerto Leguizamo.

Sometime in the dead of the night I awoke in my hammock, and after listening to the seething insect-filled night, pulled on my boots and silently made my way to the bluff of a little hill overlooking our portage. There I had a view of the river and the way along which we had traveled in the fading light of the late afternoon. Now all was transformed, the jungle eerily silent very suddenly, the moon washed an orange-red, the eclipse in progress and near totality.

The scene and the feeling were profoundly "Other. A few miles away, rain was falling from a cloud standing still in the sky; nearby foliage glistened black with orange highlights. Unknown to me in that moment was that the eclipse that had drawn me as a lone observer from my hammock to this eerie scene would in a few short hours trigger a groaning shift of billions of tons of impacted rock along the San Andreas Fault in Southern California.

Chaos was about to break out in the hell-city of Los Angeles. In a pitiless cartoon, I could imagine the pop-eyed denizens in beehive hairdos pouring out under incandescent lights into choking pollution to wail their hysteria to mobile news teams. Knowing nothing of the world beyond the forest and the river I returned to my hammock oddly cheered and exalted — the bizarre moment seemed a portent of great things.

The Cara-Parana more correctly fitted my conception of a jungle river, it being only several hundred feet across at its widest point, with lush vegetation overgrowing the banks and trailing in the water. Its flow was so sinuous and unpredictable that we could seldom see more than a half mile or so ahead.

By mid-morning we arrived at a low bluff surmounted by a white flagpole and a few corrugated buildings appearing lavish in a land of thatched huts on stilts. This was Mission San Raphael. We were properly, if unenthusiastically, received by Padre Miguel.

He was thin, Castilian, with deep-set eyes and a barely noticeable palsy that was the result of malaria contracted years before. He had been in the Amazon over thirty years. It was not possible to read from his face what he thought of us.

He had seen many anthropologists, botanists, and adventurers pass through, but I sensed that our longer hair and loose manner made him uneasy. His uneasiness increased when I asked about Dr. In fact it was clear then, by the stiffening of the old priest's face, that my question hit a sore point.

Nevertheless we were offered a ride upriver to where there was an inland trail to San Jose del Encanto. Guzman is doubtless there. He passed through on his way to return to his language studies only three weeks before.

And his wife was with him. While we ate, Ev questioned the priest more carefully concerning La Cho-rrera. Yes, he confirmed, the trail took five days for a fully loaded expedition to traverse. We anticipated the need for porters to help carry our equipment. Padre Miguel said that we could get some help in El Encanto, but now was the time of hunting and men would be reluctant to leave the hunt to travel to La Chorrera.

Since we were determined not to be over-burdened with equipment on the last leg of the push to reach La Chorrera, after lunch we sorted all of our equipment once again. Many books were reluctantly left behind; our plant and drug file was thinned down to only the essential articles; excess camera and insect-collecting equipment was stored: all went into a trunk to be left in the priest's keeping until we should return. Ev's pup Lhasa ended up with La Madre, whose admiration for the beast had seemed an opportunity too good to pass up.

The chore finished, we stowed our lightened supplies in the priest's powerful speedboat — an immense luxury in a world where the paddle canoe is the standard mode of transportation. In a few minutes we were tearing over the surface of the brown river, the moving center of a cresting wave of tremendous mechanical noise. The priest looked considerably more human and at ease here, with his brown cassock beating furiously in the wind and his long beard trembling in the spray and the sunlight.

After forty minutes of this furious travel, we had gone a day's distanpe by canoe. Suddenly the priest turned the small boat at a right angle to the flow of the river, making directly for a long, low spit of white sand. The engine cut off at what seemed the last instant, and in the shattering silence, we slid lightly aground on the sand bar.

It was a spot that seemed no less desolate than any other place we had passed in our wild ride, but the priest clambered up the bank and pointed out a broad trail much overgrown with vines. It was half a mile to the village, Padre Miguel explained, as we moved our supplies into a jumbled heap on the sand.

Then he was gone. Long after he had turned a bend in the river and the sound of his departure had faded, the glassy surface of the river still moved and sucked against the banks as a last echo of the unusual commotion. Then a shrill wave of insect sound swept like a drawn curtain through the area. Silence again. There was jungle, river, and sky — nothing else. We were on our own now, without a seasoned expert in control, and we all became aware of it in that moment on that spit of sand on the shore of a jungle river identical to hundreds of other such rivers.

The sense of time suspended could not last. We had to find the village and make whatever arrangements we could to move our supplies from the river. We had to act before dark; there would be time later to contemplate our situation. No one wanted to stay with the mound of supplies, so we hid them in the bushes away from the shore and started down the trail. Vanessa brought her box of cameras; I carried my telescoping fiberglass butterfly net. The trail was broad and easy to follow, obviously cared for.

As we moved away from the riverbank, the vegetation became less lush, and we were walking through an eroded, scrubby, brush land. The soil was red, lateritic clay, and where it was exposed to the sun, it baked and shattered into sharp-edged, cubical fragments. After half an hour of walking the trail we topped a long, slow rise and looked down on an assemblage of huts on sandy soil under a scattering of palms.

Striking us immediately was a single unusual house near the center of the village, which was not of the thatched and stilted variety. As we surveyed the scene below, we were ourselves observed, and people began running and shouting.

Some ran one way and some another. To the first person who reached us, we asked for Dr. Surrounded by people giggling and whispering, we reached the anomalous house. The structure was made of palm leaves expertly woven between long arched sticks. It was windowless and rested on the ground, looking vaguely like a loaf of brown bread. We all recognized it as a malloca, the traditional type of house peculiar to the Witoto people. Inside, resting in a hammock that hung between two smoke-darkened supporting posts, was Dr.

Alfredo Guzman. His face was unnaturally gaunt, his eyes were dark and deep- set, and his hands were skeletal, nervous. He did not get up, but gestured for us to sit on the ground. Only when I sat did I see beyond the hammock to the shadowed rear of the malloca, where a plump white woman in khaki pants sat cleaning pebbles from beans in a stone-polished Witoto pot. After we were all seated she looked up. She had blue eyes and even teeth. Seeming to address us all equally, Guzman spoke: "My wife shares my professional interests.

It must make it much easier," Vanessa offered. I decided to address the issue directly. We can appreciate your wish to be undisturbed in your work. We are anxious to push on to La Chorrera, and we hope that you will help us arrange bearers here to go with us.

Also, we are here with a special purpose. I refer to the Virola hallucinogens that you reported to Schultes. We talked for perhaps twenty minutes. At the end of that time, we learned that Guzman would help us find bearers and depart, but that this would take some days. We also learned that Guzman was an ardent Structuralist, Marxist, and male chauvinist, that his involvement with the Witoto approached the maniacal, and that he was regarded by his colleagues back in Bogota as bonkers.

He gave us no encouragement that we would find the oo-koo-he, which he said was a secret of the men that was slowly dying out. At the end of this discussion, our small party and a dozen of the village people walked back to the river and carried our gear to a rundown, unused hut on the edge of the village. As we set up camp, Annalise Guzman approached us with several cups of steaming coffee and chatted with us. Unlike her husband, she seemed more relieved than dismayed by our presence.

As she talked, a picture emerged. She had gone to the London School of Economics, studied anthropology, and did graduate work in Colombia, meeting the impassioned older man in a similar profession. She was now living a pendulum life, going between the striving, contentious world of the university in Bogota and the tiny village of San Jose del Encanto.

Her husband's addiction to chewing coca was much on her mind. Like the males of the Witoto group, Guzman was a coca enthusiast, and he had become quite paranoid from constantly chewing it. When we saw him in the morning, he always had coca staining his lower chin. Because the tribe is very hard on women, Annalise had been told by Alfredo that, in order to become integrated into this society, she had to take on the women's role.

This required pounding yucca root with stones and also making the coca, which the women are not allowed to chew at all. The men lie around in hammocks and listen to transistor radios. The women live with the dogs and the children under the houses, while the men lived in the houses.

At five o'clock in the afternoon, the women are all sent to the sleeping place with the children and the dogs. The men retire into the long house for storytelling and coca chewing until four-thirty in the morning. The fart is their most highly appreciated form of humor. There are ten thousand variations on the fart and all are thought riotously funny. We lived with these people elbow-to-elbow, staying in that uncomfortable setting until the morning of the eighteenth of February.

It took that long — nearly a week — to arrange for two young boys to leave the hunting to help us carry our supplies over the trail to La Chorrera. We were grateful for the pause in travel, since the voyage on the Fabiolita had left us rather worn.

I spent part of each day collecting insects, or writing, or thinking in my hammock. That week we saw Dr. Guzman very rarely. He treated us with the same remote disdain that the other male leaders of the community affected. Not everyone was so shy; there were always several Witoto of all ages intently watching whichever one of us was most active at any given moment. In one of his oddest moves, Dr. Guzman asked us to answer any questions about the relationships prevailing within our group by saying that we were all brothers and sisters.

This assertion brought the expression of amazement expected of any reasoning being. And so I think we were especially interesting to the people of the village because they were asked by their expert informant concerning all things in the outside world to believe that such a disparate group as we were all siblings. It was only one of the good doctor's peculiarities. Once in the heat of the afternoon when I was alone, collecting insects in the forest, I came around a large tree to surprise Guzman, who was standing absolutely still, poised above a small stream with a fish spear in his hand.

We walked back to the village together, and as we walked, he told me his view of life. Never swim alone in the river. Huge forms move beneath its surface. There is the anaconda. The rivers abound with them.

Snakes are everywhere. Be aware of this as you make your way to La Chorrera. The forest is unforgiving of error. I had my own idea of the risks of the forests, not nearly so dark as the thoughts of the wildly gesticulating figure who strode raving at my side. Clearly, it had been our misfortune to stumble onto what was a very peculiar scene. Guzman had been ruling his wife with an iron hand. He lived in a nightmare world of delusions brought on by coca addiction.

His wife had not had any Anglos to talk with since arriving in the jungle. Naturally she was wondering what was going on. She wasn't allowed to chew coca and he was behaving more and more like a male Witoto of the tribe. There were strange incidents that set everyone on edge. A bushmaster, most deadly of vipers, was killed near the village and brought back and shown around.

Say rather omens or ominous events. One morning an enormous tarantula, the largest I had ever seen, made a dash through the village, or so it seemed, since it was suddenly discovered very much in the middle of things. Had someone released it? Two nights before we were to leave the village, a tree burst into flames near our hut. This seemed unambiguously unfriendly and we accelerated our plans for departure.

But we could not continue on without bearers, and only when the men came back from the hunting party could we expect to hire them. From Guzman we would learn almost nothing. About the oo-koo-he he said, "Ridiculous, my friend.

You're not going to get it. These people don't even speak Spanish. They speak only Witoto. There were forty thousand of them killed here fifty years ago. They have no reason to like you and the drug is supersecret. What are you doing here? I urge you to leave the jungle while that is still possible. We felt that these additional ingredients must be the key to its oral activity, since normally DMT would be destroyed by enzymes in the large intestine.

Dennis was determined that we make a firm botanical identification of the "secret activators. It would be our small contribution to Amazonian ethnobotany. Finally, on the eighteenth, we departed, the six of us in the company of two Witoto adolescents. The capitan of the village turned out to wish us a good journey.

Even Dr. Guzman was smiling, delighted no doubt at the prospect of the village returning to normal after a long week playing host to a delegation from the global electronic tribe. There was no one more pleased to leave the village than I. As we strode along the wide path, or trocha, I felt my spirits rise. At last we had put all the encumbering obstacles behind us. Only Solo remained to plague me. I decided, Walter Mitty or not, I was going to have to burst his bubble.

Relations inside our group were becoming too odd. Solo was doing things. He insisted on going first on the trocha. He would get far ahead, then sharpen sticks and put them on the ground in odd patterns, fetishes. During our journey downriver, before we got to El Encanto, we had been smoking weed all the time. Solo would just sit staring for hours and hours. I finally came to understand that he was probably going to kill me and was most likely completely deranged.

That, strange as it may seem, would be my fate — I was going to be bumped off by somebody's psychotic old boyfriend who had somehow managed to sneak onto this Amazon expedition. I contemplated the irony of the situation. I recalled that mushroom maven Gordon Wasson and his wife had been accompanied by an undercover CIA agent during their second journey to the mushroom village of Huatla de Jimenez in the remote uplands of Mazatecan, Mexico. Psychedelic history would have been different if Wasson had detected that clumsy effort at co-option.

Then the CIA's absurd notion that psilocybin might forever remain what it termed an "in-house prerogative" could never have been entertained. It was only the speedy publication of the molecular structure of psilocybin by Swiss pharmacologist and LSD-inventor Albert Hofmann that had short-circuited that dark and grandiose fantasy.

I thought about turning points generally. I recalled John Wayne's observation that, "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. In other words, I just pitched the shit straight into the fan. For a moment it looked like we were going to punch each other out right there. Vanessa began yelling and shoving.

Witoto bearers were standing around open-mouthed. The incident ended as a standoff, but as the day wore on Solo decided to turn back. He had no money, and he was in terrific pain because of an abscessed tooth. There was no reason for him to be there. The stress of isolation and bad food can push even a healthy person to the edge, and I had become convinced that he was deeply disturbed and capable of anything. He chewed coca to cut the pain of his tooth, but it didn't help. He needed medical attention.

That night he came to me and explained that he did not have enough money to get back upriver. He offered me a kilo of his own crop, and I jumped at the chance to pay him a hundred dollars. When we broke camp the next morning he was already gone. Around us, the jungle; ahead of us, the Secret. After Solo's departure, I buttoned up my stash, hefted my butterfly net, and felt like Van Veen, the priapic hero of Nabokov's surreal love story Ada.

After all, how often does one have the satisfaction of overcoming a rival? Especially a rival who claims to believe sincerely that he is Jesus Christ and Hitler? It was as lovely as a Bierstadt as we wended our way toward La Chorrera under the liana- tangled canopy of the climaxed Amazonian forest.

Iridescent, blue morphos, butterflies the size of dinner plates, would occasionally be surprised while lounging languidly on broad leaves overhanging the trail. They would start upwards suddenly with an amazing show of watery, splendiferous sapphire quickly lost in the gloomy heights. We set a brisk pace and as we moved along my thoughts returned to Nabokov and the seemingly prophetic lines written in Pale Fire by his character, the apocryphal American poet John Shade That night we made our camp at a thatch-roofed shelter with a marker indicating we had come twenty-five kilometers during the day.

We ate well that night on tinned cheese with reconstituted minestrone, and in the morning we were back on the trail as the ground fogs of dawn departed. It was a day of hard work, carrying the heaviest loads by a method that allowed each person two hours on and then an hour off. Quite a physical feat.

I think that we were already feeling the effects of "the phenomenon," a backwash from our experimental tampering with the laws of physics that still lay days in the future. But it is impossible to say. We stopped eating. The women announced that we would eliminate breakfast and lunch to make better time. It was their decision since they were doing the cooking; it was too much of a chore to make a fire in the damp Amazonian forest.

We would get up at four-thirty in the morning, have coffee, and walk twenty-five kilometers until about three-thirty in the afternoon. It was an ass buster, absolutely. The trocha went up and down, up and down. We would arrive at a river to find no bridge and have to figure out how to cross. We had to be aware of the possibility that the bearers might steal something or desert us.

In spite of the exertion, the days were an exquisite immersion in the truly immense and vibrant forest through which we were passing. All day long on the second day we pushed forward against our flagging energies. At last we reached a shelter similar to the one we had used the night before. It was set on the top of a small hill just beyond a crude bridge arching a small river.

After dark, around the fire, we smoked and talked long into the night, anticipating the adventure soon to come that we could sense but not yet imagine. The Witoto bearers unfolded their leaf-wrapped packets of food and ate apart from us, friendly but distant. Toward the afternoon of the fourth day, the bearers were visibly excited in anticipation of our arrival at La Chorrera.

During one of our breaks, Vanessa pointed out a rainbow that lay directly over the path we were traveling. The appropriate jokes were made and we hoisted our loads and hurried onward. In a few minutes we were walking through secondary forest and shortly thereafter emerged on the edge of a huge clearing of rough pasture.

Mission buildings could be seen across this expanse. As we walked into the clearing, an Indian came to meet us. We spoke with him haltingly in Spanish, and then he spoke to our bearers rapidly in Witoto and started off with us in the direction from which he had come.

We passed through a space fenced by a wood enclosure and across a semi-enclosed courtyard, perhaps a ballcourt. On the walls of this enclosure were paintings in tempera of cartoon elves with pointed ears. We were led finally to the back porch of a more substantial wooden building that was obviously the priest's house. A huge man, bearded and bearish, emerged in his shirt sleeves. Peter Ustinov could have played him to perfection.

A basically merry person, he nevertheless did not seem happy to see us. Why were these people always so withdrawn? Something about not liking anthropologists — but we were basically botanists: how could we put that across? Our reception was hospitable and correct.

We asked no more, and as we hung our hammocks in the empty guest house to which we were shown, there was a sense of relief among us all at having reached our destination. Most of the Amazon Basin is made up of alluvial deposits from the Andes.

La Chorrera is different. A river, the Rio Igara-Parana, narrows and flows into a crack. It becomes very rapid then drops over an edge — a lip — creating not exactly a waterfall but a narrow channel of water chorro means "chute" , a flume whose violent outpouring has made a sizable lake. La Chorrera is a paradisiacal place. You push very hard and suddenly you are there. There are no stinging or biting insects. In the evening, mist drifts across a large pasture creating a beautiful pastoral scene.

There is the mission, the foam-flecked lake below, the jungle surrounding, and much to my surprise, white cattle. The afternoon following our arrival, at the edge of the pasture, which had been cleared by the Spanish priests who had managed Mission La Chorrera since its establishment in the s, I held and turned over in my hand perfect specimens of the same species of mushroom that I had eaten near Florencia.

In the pasture before me were dozens of these mushrooms. After examining several, my brother concurred, pronounced them the same Stropharia cubensis we had found before, one of the largest, strongest, and certainly the most widely distributed of any of the known psilocyb in-containing mushrooms. What to do? We had no data on the proper dosage of psilocybin. Our expedition's thinned-down drug and plant file was concerned with flowering plants, not with fungi.

Collectively we seemed to remember that in the Oaxacan mushroom rituals described by Gordon Wasson, in Life magazine of all places, mushrooms were always eaten in pairs, with several pairs consumed. We determined to eat six mushrooms each that same evening.

My journal entry for the next day spoke clearly: February 23, Are we indeed now in some way camped on the edge of another dimension? Yesterday afternoon Dave discovered Stropharia cubensis in the damp pastures behind the house where we had hung our hammocks. He and I gathered thirty delicious psilocy-bin- saturated specimens in about a half an hour.

We each ate about six and spent last night on an enormously rich and alive, yet gentle and elusive, trip. In between strange lights in the pasture and discussion of our project, 1 am leftwith the sense that by penetrating the local psychedelic flora this way we have taken a giant step toward deeper understanding. Multifaceted and benevolent, as complex as mescaline, as intense as LSD — the mushroom, as is said of peyote, teaches the right way to live. This particular mushroom species is unclaimed, so far as I know, by any aboriginal people anywhere and thus is neutral ground in the tryptamine dimension we are exploring.

Through this unclaimed vegetable teacher one can gain entry into the world of the elf chemists. The experience of the mushroom is subtle but can reach out to the depth and breadth of a truly intense psychedelic experience. It is, however, extremely mercurial and difficult to catch at work. Dennis and I, through a staggered description of our visions, noticed a similarity of content that seemed to suggest a telepathic phenomenon or some sort of simultaneous perception of the same invisible landscape.

A tight headache accompanied the experience in its final stages, but this was quick to fade, and the body strain and exhaustion often met with in unextracted vegetable drugs such as peyote and Datura was not present. This mushroom is a transdimensional doorway which sly fairies have left slightly ajar for anyone to enter into who can find the key and who wishes to use this power — the power of vision — to explore this peculiar and naturally occurring psychoactive complex.

We are closing distance with the most profound event a planetary ecology can encounter. The emergence of life from the dark chrysalis of matter. Such were my impressions after only one exposure to the realm of vision over which the mushroom holds sway. The reference to "strange lights in the pasture" should be explained, since perhaps it has some bearing on some of what followed. An hour after we had eaten the mushrooms, and everyone was comfortable with the pleasant plateau of colorful, drifting, behind-the- eyelids imagery, someone initiated a discussion.

It was Dave or my brother, Dennis; Dennis, I believe. He said that we were now stoned in the home territory of the Secret and so should not remain in the confined space of our thatched hut, but we should move out into the night and the warm, enfolding fog over the pasture.

Not all should go, but a delegation. Who should it be? Dennis nominated Dave and myself, calling Dave the least skeptical and me the most. Vanessa objected to me as "most skeptical," suggesting instead that Dave and Dennis should go. I heartily agreed, not actually wishing to visit the dark and dewy pasture myself, and having no faith, so skeptical was I, in the transcendental potential of the errand.

So off they went, first loudly proclaiming the total enveloping power of the ground fog, and then in a theatrically absurd short time and from offstage, they hollered out that they saw a hovering, diffuse light in the pasture nearby. Investigation pursued. Hollering continued but faded. Light persisted. Diffuseness persisted. I decided it was time for cooler heads to intervene. Off into the enfolding, wet night I went. I crossed carefully through the barbed wire that surrounded the pastures; it was wet to my fingers but warm-seeming even at night, so steamy is the Amazon.

Once united with Dave and Dennis I found the situation closer to their description than I had expected. There was a dim light on the ground a few yards away. It seemed to retreat as one walked toward it. We moved about thirty meters in its direction in a series of short advances.

Enveloped in dense and drifting fog, we felt far from our companions back at the house. Sometimes the light seemed to be hovering above the ground just twenty feet ahead and then, leaping and falling again, it would recede as we approached.

We would run forward to catch up with it, yet it continued to remain ahead of us. For ten minutes, we chased this hovering, receding light, but then decided to go no farther. As we turned to depart I seemed to see a flickering of the diffuse light that, to my mind, suggested someone dancing before a fire. I momentary abandoned thoughts of UFOs and recalled instead the series of ominous incidents preceding our departure from Dr.

Guzman and his scene at San Jose del Encanto. Was this a shaman dancing around a small fire? Did it have something to do with us? No illumination was ever shed on this incident, but the general eeriness of it anticipated all that was to follow. The words of my journal are revealing. I wrote matter of factly of "gaining entry into the world of elf chemists"; I called the mushroom a transdimensional doorway and linked it to a transformation of life on the planet.

A younger, more naive, more poetic self is revealed — a more intuitive self, at ease with proclaiming wild unlikelihoods as hallucinogenically derived Gnostic Truth. And yet these ideas have changed very little in twenty years; then I was eager to be convinced by demonstration, and demonstration was given. I was changed and was obviously eager to be changed.

It was true of me then and is still true now, for since the coming of the mushroom all has been continuous transformation. Now, years later and with two decades of reflection on these things, I can still discern in that earliest experience many of the motifs that have persisted through the years and remained mysterious.

At one point during that evening, Dennis and I both seemed able to see and describe the same inner visions. Off and on over the years this has happened several times with psilocybin. The wonder of it remains. In those early mushroom experiences at La Chorrera there was an aura of the animate and the strange, the idea that the mushroom was somehow more than a plant hallucinogen or even a shamanic ally of the classic sort.

Any tranquility in her life is short-lived, however, when her aunt drowns under mysterious circumstances. So when a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews, Lucien struggles with the choice of risking his life for a cause he doesn't really believe in. Ultimately he can't resist the challenge and begins designing expertly concealed hiding spaces - behind a painting, within a column, or inside a drainpipe - detecting possibilities invisible to the average eye.

But when one of his clever hiding spaces fails horribly and the immense suffering of Jews becomes incredibly personal, he can no longer deny reality. Splat the Cat. Back to school, Splat! Lara Bergen How can there be homework when it's only the first day of school? Splat must pick only one of all of his fun summer adventures to share with his classmates at show-and-tell. But in the end, Splat may find that the best part of his summer wasn't an adventure at all… The velveteen rabbit Margery Williams Bianco Experience this family classic as you?

The timeless story of the toy rabbit who wanted to be real is brought to life by Meryl Streep and acclaimed pianist George Winston on this recording. It is the story of a stuffed bunny who is the boy's favourite toy but yearns to be Real.

The golden scales Parker Bilal Makana, a former Sudanese police inspector forced to flee to Cairo, is now struggling to make ends meet as a private detective. In need of money, he takes a case from the notoriously corrupt mogul Saad Hanafi, owner of a Cairo soccer team, whose star player, Adil Romario, has gone missing. Soon, Makana is caught up in a mystery that takes him into the treacherous underbelly of his adopted city, encountering Muslim extremists, Russian gangsters, vengeful women, and a desperate mother hunting for her missing daughter-a trail that leads him back into his own story, stirring up painful personal memories and bringing him face-to-face with an old enemy from his past.

A taste for murder Claudia Bishop Sarah Quilliam, manager of the Hemlock Falls Inn, and her chef sister, Meg, turn detective when a reenactment of the seventeenth-century witch trials turns all too real when a mock execution leads to a very dead victim. Seance In sepia Michelle Black Flynn Keirnan buys an unusual old photograph at an estate sale, which an antiques dealer tells her might be a 'spirit photograph'. She puts the photo up for auction and is flabbergasted when the bidding soars over a thousand dollars.

She soon learns that the woman and two men shown in ghostly images in the picture were the subjects of a sensational murder trial in Chicago. Consulting trial transcripts, journals, and notes from a jailhouse interview with the defendant, Flynn discovers the key to solving the Free Love murders lies in learning the provenance of the mysterious spirit photograph itself. Intervention Terri Blackstock Barbara Covington has one more chance to save her daughter from a devastating addiction: staging an intervention.

But when eighteen-year-old Emily disappears on the way to drug treatment - and her interventionist is found dead at the airport where she was last seen - Barbara enters her darkest nightmare of all. Just babies: the origins of good and evil Paul Bloom In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality.

Drawing upon years of original research at his Yale lab, he shows that babies and toddlers can judge the goodness and badness of others' actions; that they act to soothe those in distress; and that they feel guilt, shame, pride, and righteous anger. Yet this innate morality is tragically limited. Our natural strong moral feelings toward those in our own group same family, same race are offset by ingrained dislike, even hatred, of those in different groups.

Colony Ben Bova Island One is a celestial utopia, and David Adams is its most perfect creation - a man with a brain as advanced as any computer and a body free of human frailties. But David is a prisoner - a captive of the colony that created him - destined to spend the days of his life in an island-sized cylinder that circles a doomed and desperate home planet.

Farside Ben Bova The discovery of an Earth-sized planet 30 light years from Earth sparks a race to develop a telescope to create a photographic record of the new world. The far side of the moon, with its "clear" view of space, seems an ideal location, but the project's planners must contend with rivalries from the existing moon colony of Selene. Three quarters of the way to hell T.

Coraghessan Boyle It's the middle of a snow storm, and Johnny Bandon, a washed up crooner in the style of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, is getting ready to record a Christmas single. The session musicians are there, and so is his backup singer. Darlene Delmar is a down and out soul singer ravaged by cheating boyfriends and STDs. But for this one moment in time, maybe music can reach out and soothe both Johnny and Darlene's souls just one more time.

Wild child T. Coraghessan Boyle It is at the end of the eighteenth century, in the new French Republic, when the savage is first seen outside the village of Lacaune. The boy quickly becomes a legend among the townsfolk. Is he truly a human child or a wild beast? Deadline Sandra Brown Dawson Scott is a well-respected journalist recently returned from Afghanistan. Haunted by everything he experienced, he's privately suffering from battle fatigue which is a threat to every aspect of his life.

But then he gets a call from a source within the FBI. A new development has come to light in a story that began 40 years ago. It could be the BIG story of Dawson's career one in which he has a vested interest. A whole new light Sandra Brown Cyn McCall knew she would always count on her late husband's friend and business partner, Worth Lansing. The last thing Cyn expected was to find herself longing for a man who could never settle down.

Then Worth invites Cyn to a getaway weekend in Acapulco and even though he feels guilty betraying his friend's memory, desire overwhelms him and overtakes them both. The tattered quilt Wanda E. Brunstetter Join Emma Yoder Miller, the Amish widow-turned-newlywed, as she leads another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students, all with tattered pieces of their lives that need mending.

Members of the patchwork group find friendship, faith, healing, and restoration while gathered around their quilts. All the beggars riding Lucy Caldwell When Lara was twelve, and her younger brother Alfie eight, their father died in a helicopter crash. A prominent plastic surgeon, and Irishman, he had honed his skills on the bomb victims of the Troubles. But the family grew up used to him being absent: he only came to London for two weekends a month to work at the Harley Street Clinic, where he met their mother years before, and they only once went on a family holiday together, to Spain, where their mother cried and their father lost his temper and left early.

Because home, for their father, wasn't Earls Court: it was Belfast, where he led his other life. Narrated by Lara, nearing forty and nursing her dying mother, "All the Beggars Riding" is the heartbreaking portrait of a woman confronting her past. A Spark Unseen Sharon Cameron Grounding Quinn Stephanie Campbell Eighteen-year-old Quinn MacPherson's biggest fear has always been turning out like her mentally unstable mother solving algebraic equations comes in as a close second.

That is, until she meets Benjamin Shaw. Quinn thinks hooking up with Ben over summer vacation will be nothing more than a quick fling. She can't even commit to a nail polish choice, much less some guy.

Unfortunately for her, Ben is not just some guy. With an abusive father and a 'nothing mama', she struggles to find a place where she really belongs. The gypsies who caravan through town have led Millie to the truth about generations of her family's secrets. With forgiveness, can Millie finally make her way into the free? When mountains move Julie Cantrell It is the spring of and Millie's world is about to change forever. For most of her life, being free felt about as unlikely as the mountains moving.

But she's about to discover that sometimes in life, we are given second chances, and that the only thing bigger than her past--is her future. Now a grown man and a journeyman smith, Alvin has returned to his family in the town of Vigor Church. He will share in their isolation, work as a blacksmith, and try to teach anyone who wishes to learn the knack of being a Maker.

But he has left behind in Hatrack River enemies as well as true friends. Ender's Shadow Orson Scott Card Follows the life of Ender Wiggin's comrade Bean, from his escape from the mean streets of Rotterdam, to his student days at the Battle School, and to his role as Ender's right hand ally, strategist, and friend in the epic struggle to save Earth from alien invaders.

She can follow the paths of each person's future, and know each person's most intimate secrets. From the moment of Alvin Maker's birth, when the Unmaker first strove to kill him, she has protected him. Now they are married, and Peggy is a part of Alvin's heart as well as his life. But Alvin's destiny has taken them on separate journeys.

Its task, programmed so many millennia ago, is to guard the human settlement on this planet, to protect this fragile remnant of Earth from all threats. Having lost access to some of its memory banks, and some of its power systems are failing. And on the planet, men are beginning to think about power, wealth, and conquest. Prentice Alvin Orson Scott Card Young Alvin returns to the town of his birth and begins his apprenticeship with Makepeace Smith, committing seven years of his life in exchange for the skills and knowledge of a blacksmith.

But Alvin must also learn to control and use his own talent, that of a Maker, else his destiny will be unfulfilled. Seventh son Orson Scott Card Born into an alternative frontier America where life is hard and folk magic is real, Alvin is the seventh son of a seventh son, and such a birth is powerful magic. But he must learn to use his gift wisely. Dark forces are arrayed against Alvin, and only a young girl with second sight can protect him.

The ships of earth Orson Scott Card The planet Harmony is governed by a computer whose job is to ensure humans are kept at a low technological level so they don't repeat the mess they caused on Earth. But the computer is breaking down and asks the humans to repair it.

For one lot of humans this is an opportunity for freedom. In love with a wicked man Liz Carlyle What does it matter if Kate, Lady d'Allenay, has absolutely no marriage prospects? She has a castle to tend, an estate to run, and a sister to watch over, which means she is never, ever reckless.

Until an accident brings a handsome, virile stranger to Bellecombe Castle, and Kate finds herself tempted to surrender to her houseguest's wicked kisses. Not my blood Barbara Cleverly It's London and Scotland Yard detective Joe Sandilands receives a phone call from a boy saying he is his nephew, a teacher at his school has been murdered and he is responsible. Joe gets assigned to the case and finds that over the history of the school a large number of boys from wealthy families have disappeared and none of the families have followed up on their son's whereabouts.

She's even thinking of moving her midwife practice to the Outer Banks community. Everyone blames Ben's disappearance at sea on a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder. Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island?

That is, until her friend uncovers information on a remote island in the Outer Banks - and then disappears! With the help of Coast Guard captain Kirk, can Libby find Nicole and unearth clues about her extended family before it's too late? Pretty girl thirteen Liz Coley Sixteen-year-old Angie finds herself in her neighbourhood with no recollection of her abduction or the three years that have passed since, until alternate personalities start telling her their stories through letters and recordings.

Now three students will die unless he dares to go back. But this time he has Nick Mason at his side, and maybe Mason's military skills and visceral courage will be enough. Love in disguise Carol Cox Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity? Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it's the perfect change to put her acting skills and costumes to use.

Cabal: an Aurelio Zen mystery. Michael Dibdin When, one dark night in November, Prince Ludovico Ruspanti fell a hundred and fifty feet to his death in the chapel at St. Peter's, Rome, there were a number of questions to be answered. Inspector Aurelio Zen finds that getting the answers isn't easy, as witness after witness is mysteriously silenced - by violent death. To crack the secret of the Vatican, Zen must penetrate the most secret place of all: the Cabal.

Cosi fan tutti Michael Dibdin In this, the fifth book in the acclaimed Aurelio Zen series, Zen finds himself in Naples, in disgrace, and having the time of his life. Like the rest of Italy, Naples is concerned about its image and trying to clean up its act. Unfortunately it seems that someone is taking this rather too literally.

Corrupt politicians, shady businessmen and eminent mafiosi are disappearing off the streets at an alarming rate. Amid the quiet fields, autumnal skies and crumbling farmhouses of Piedmont, Zen must try to penetrate a traditional culture in which family and soil are inextricably linked. Zen must also face up to mysteries from his own past, as well as grapple with the greed, envy, hatred and love that are the human components of any landscape. Vendetta : an Aurelio Zen mystery Michael Dibdin Inspector Zen has a problem: an impossible murder, recorded on the closed-circuit video of Oscar Burolo's top-security Sardinian fortress.

As Zen gets to work, he is once again plunged into a menacing and violent world where his own life is soon at risk. William Shakespeare's Star Wars: verily, a new hope Ian Doescher A retelling of Star wars in the style of Shakespeare, in which a wise Jedi knight, an evil Sith lord, a beautiful captive princess, and a young hero coming of age reflect the valour and villainy of the Bard's greatest plays.

Paris, Paris David Downie Presents a guide to the districts of Paris, describing the history, buildings, landscape, social customs, and people of the city in each section. Sherlock Holmes is the famous detective who finds puzzle-solving elementary.

When Holmes and his faithful friend Watson are summoned to the country to investigate Douglas's murder, it begins to look as though the past might finally have caught up with him. Cartwheel Jennifer DuBois When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colourful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door.

Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn't come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans. Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who's asking. Uncle Wally's Old Brown Shoe Wallace Edwards The mill on the Floss George Eliot Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family.

As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men. Silas Marner George Eliot Embittered by a false accusation, disappointed in friendship and love the weaver Silas Marner retreats into a long twilight life alone with his room and his gold Silas hoards a treasure that kills his spirit until fate steals it from him and replaces it with a golden-haired foundling child.

Where she came from, who her parents were and who really stole the gold are the secrets that permeate this moving tale of guilt and innocence. Wanted Kelly Elliott Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18 year old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, her brother's best friend. The midwife's daughter Patricia Ferguson "Violet Dimond", the "Holy Terror", has delivered many of the town children - and often their children - in her capacity as handywoman.

But Violet's calling is dying out as, with medicine's advances, the good old ways are no longer good enough. Grace, Violet's adopted daughter, is a symbol of change herself. In the place where she has grown up and everyone knows her, she is accepted, though most of the locals never before saw a girl with skin that colour.

For Violet and Grace the coming war will bring more upheaval into their lives: can they endure it, or will they, like so many, be swept aside by history's tide? The dogs who found me: what I've learned from pets who were left behind Ken Foster Disaster-prone writer and reluctant dog rescuer Ken Foster finds himself adopting an ever-growing collection of stray dogs, from a beagle abandoned in a New York City dog run to a pit bull in a Mississippi truck stop.

The case of the imaginary detective Karen Joy Fowler Rima Lanisell is at a loose end, following the death of her father. She has come to California to stay with her godmother, Addison Early, who once knew Rima's father well. Addison is a best-selling mystery writer. Over the years, she has tried to protect her work and her privacy as her fans have become ever more intrusive.

The Jane Austen book club Karen Joy Fowler As six Californians get together to form a book club to discuss the novels of Jane Austen, their lives are turned upside down by troubled marriages, illicit affairs, changing relationships, and love. The land of mango sunsets Dorothea Benton Frank Frank gives us one woman's journey toward a hard-won truth - life isn't always what it appears to be, and the sooner you realise that pride won't keep you warm at night, the happier you will be.

Oh, and one other thing - a truly joyous life comes with a generous heart. Meet Miriam Elizabeth Swanson, in a full-blown snit, buoyed by a fabulous cast who run the gamut from insufferable to wonderful. Miriam spins out from the revolving door of her postured life as a Manhattan quasi-socialite while she thirsts, no, "starves" for recognition.

Remote: office not required Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson While providing a complete overview of remote work's challenges, the authors argue that, often, the advantages of working 'off-site' far outweigh the drawbacks. Under a Blood Red Sky Kate Furnivall Don't turn around Michelle Gagnon After waking up on an operating table with no memory of how she got there, Noa must team up with computer hacker Peter to stop a corrupt corporation with a deadly secret.

It is a fairy tale for the aged - a story that celebrates the belated discovery of amorous passion in old age. This enticingly sensual yet at the same time innocent adventure tells of an unnamed second-rate reporter who on the eve of his 90th birthday decides to give himself 'a night of mad love with a virgin adolescent'. In a little more than pages, Garcia Marquez proceeds to describe a series of encounters that is hypnotising and disturbing. Too bright to hear too loud to see Juliann Garey Greyson Todd, a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his young daughter to travel the world for decade.

Now he is able to give free reign to the bipolar disorder that he's been forced to keep hidden for almost 20 years. The entire narrative unfolds in the time it takes him to undergo twelve second electroshock treatments in a New York psychiatric ward. Wives and daughters Elizabeth Gaskell Set in English society before the Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father.

When he remarries, a new stepsister, Cynthia, enters Molly's quiet life. Loveable but worldly and troubling, Cynthia's arrival alters Molly's daily life. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys' lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan's bustling metropolis.

But Letty's not content to be a mere socialite. She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams - no matter the cost. The luxe Anna Godbersen In Manhattan in , five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others. Rumors Anna Godbersen Penelope takes Elizabeth's tragic absence as an opportunity to remake her image, Lina continues her own identity makeover by latching onto a wealthy benefactor, and ill-fated lovers Diana and Henry struggle with their emotions - and each other.

Twerp Mark Goldblatt In Queens, New York, in , twelve-year-old Julian Twerski writes a journal for his English teacher in which he explores his friendships and how they are affected by girls, a new student who may be as fast as Julian, and especially an incident of bullying.

The hex factor Harriet Goodwin Xanthe Fox can't wait to turn thirteen, but as the big day arrives her world starts to fall apart. Set-up at school for something she didn't do, it seems her age-old enemy, Kelly, is making trouble for her and as things escalate, even her best friend Saul starts to doubt her innocence.

With the school threatening to expel her, and mysterious glowing Xs appearing in front of her eyes, Xanthe turns to Grandma Alice for help. But what the old lady tells her will change Xanthe's life for ever. The Crossroads Chris Grabenstein The other woman Jane Green Ellie is happy in her relationship with Dan and glad to be gaining a mother until she starts to take over the wedding and baby preparations. Out of the black land Kerry Greenwood Egypt during the eighteenth dynasty is peacefully prosperous under the joint rule of the pharaohs Amenhotep III and IV - until the younger pharaoh brings terrifying changes.

Child princess Mutnodjme sees her beautiful sister Nefertiti married to the impotent young pharaoh, while the ladies of the court devise a shocking plan to ensure Nefertiti bears royal children. Many believe that the young pharaoh is not only deformed but mad and that the biggest danger to the empire lies within the royal palace itself. Her surrogate family, the Rivers family, are unlike anyone she has met before and she soon comes to love her new life with them, and in particular with twelve-year old Grace.

Over the next few years, as the dog-fights rage ever more fiercely over head and it becomes clear that the Rivers marriage contains deep and irreparable cracks, Nora and Grace grow as close as sisters - though, to Nora's confusion, even this is not quite as close as she would like.

What happened next is a secret that will gnaw away at Nora for the rest of her life - a secret that she can only begin to tell when she is certain that she is approaching the end. The case of the deadly butter chicken Tarquin Hall Vish Puri is as fond of butter chicken as the next Punjabi. And when there's plenty on offer at the Delhi Durbar hotel where he's attending an India Premier League cricket match dinner, he's the first to tuck in.

Irfan Khan, father of Pakistani star cricketer Kamran Khan, can't resist either. But the creamy dish proves his undoing. After a few mouthfuls, he collapses on the floor, dead. Clearly this isn't a case of Delhi Belly. But who amongst the Bollywood stars, politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists poisoned Khan is a mystery.

And with the capital's police chief proving as incompetent as ever, it falls to Most Private Investigators to find out the truth. Portly, persistent and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swathe through modern India's swindlers, cheats and murderers. In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centers and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri's main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests.

But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri's resources to investigate. The last battle: when U. Hitler is dead, and the Third Reich is little more than smoking rubble.

No GI wants to be the last man killed in action against the Nazis. But for cigar-chewing, rough-talking, hard-drinking, hard-charging Captain Jack Lee and his men, there is one more mission: rescue fourteen prominent French prisoners held in an SS-guarded castle high in the Austrian Alps. Simon Howe, once a promising reporter in Portland, Maine, is the last person anyone would have expected to move back to his childhood home to raise a family. Yet, Simon's quiet existence dramatically changes when he starts receiving threatening messages from an anonymous sender.

Brown dog : novellas Jim Harrison Of all Jim Harrison's creations, Brown Dog - a bawdy, reckless, down-on-his-luck Michigan Indian - has earned cult status with readers in the more than two decades since his first appearance. For the first time, Brown Dog gathers all the Brown Dog novellas, including one never before published, into one volume.

Legends of the fall Jim Harrison Set in the Rocky Mountains, Legends of the Fall is the epic tale of three brothers and their lives of passion, madness, exploration, and danger at the beginning of World War I. In Revenge, love causes the course of a man's life to be savagely and irrevocably altered.

The seance John Harwood A young girl grows up in a household marked by death, her father distant, her mother in perpetual mourning for the child she lost. Desperate to coax her mother back to health, Constance Langton takes her to a seance. Perhaps they will find comfort from beyond the grave. But that seance has tragic consequences.

Hideous love: the story of the girl who wrote Frankenstein Stephanie Hemphill A free-verse novel about the Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, a teenager whose love story led her to write the literary masterpiece, Frankenstein. Penny and her doll Kevin Henkes Penny instantly loves the doll her grandmother sends her, but finding the perfect name for her is a challenge. The perfect match Kristan Higgins Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush.

But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there. Charming, handsome, British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States, and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience, and make her ex jealous in the process. Bloodfever Charlie Higson A family disappears at sea. James uncovers a shadowy society operating in a hidden corner of the school. In the bandit-infested interior of Sardinia, a sinister Italian count has built himself a mountain fortress. Is there a connection?

By royal command Charlie Higson Following a treacherous rescue mission high in the freezing Alps, James Bond is preparing for life back at Eton. But James is under surveillance; his every move is being watched. He alone holds the clue to a sinister plot that will bring bloodshed and carnage to his school - and his country.

Double or die Charlie Higson Teenage James has forty-eight hours to rescue a kidnapped professor and to keep a powerful weapon from falling into the wrong hands. Hurricane gold Charlie Higson As the sun blazes over the Caribbean island of Lagrimas Negras, its ruler is watching and waiting. On the mainland, in the quiet town of Tres Hermanas, ex-flying ace Jack Stone leaves his son and daughter in the company of James Bond. But a gang of thieves lie in ambush - they want Stone's precious safe, and will kill for its contents.

This is the start of an adventure that will take him from the school playing fields to the remote shores of Loch Silverfin and a terrifying discovery that threatens to unleash a new breed of warfare. It's built in a bowl like an amphitheatre, with the winding gear where the stage would be. The pit lies below. Ted Howker's school is on the edge of Lower Terrace next to the chapel.

Upper Terrace in a thunderous echo of the Bible so loved by Ted's grandfather is Paradise. Ted and his father and his brothers live in Middle. In the beginning: a household of men, all of whom work in the pit. They are content, complete, absorbed in their private idyll. Arabella, who comes to stay one lazy summer, is rich, rootless and amoral - and, as they find out, beautiful and loving. Blow, snow, blow Amy Hsu Lin Looking forward to having fun in the snow with his friends, Splat the Cat decides he cannot wait for the snow to start falling and takes matters into his own paws with hilarious results, in a story complemented by skill-building phonics components.

Twilight Erin Hunter After the warrior cat Clans settle into their new homes, the harmony they once had disappears as the clans start fighting each other, until the day their common enemy - the badger - invades their territory.

Steven Johnson A thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London - and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionised the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world. The Ghost Map is an endlessly compelling and utterly gripping account of that London summer of , from the microbial level to the macrourban-theory level - including, most important, the human level.

Death of a nightingale Lene Kaaberbol Protecting the young daughter of an illegal immigrant who has escaped police custody in the aftermath of a brutal murder, Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg struggles with a belief in the woman's innocence as she learns more about her violent past.

Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth… Abduction Peg Kehret Thirteen-year-old Bonnie has a feeling of foreboding on the very day that her six-year-old brother Matt and their dog Pookie are abducted, and she becomes involved in a major search effort as well as a frightening adventure.

Bonnie makes one big mistake in her attempt to find her brother. In a chilling climax on a Washington State ferry, Bonnie and Matt must outsmart their abductor or pay with their lives. The burnt house Faye Kellerman A plane crashes in unexplained circumstances and the mystery deepens when police investigate. The owners know nothing of the four bodies found in the wreckage. So who are these unidentified passengers? But the biggest question of all comes from a husband frantic with worry.

His wife was supposed to be on the plane — but never boarded it. Why then is she still missing? It's a riddle detective Peter Decker will have to answer quickly if he is to prevent further lives being lost in a case full of the trademark Kellerman twists and shocks. The Beast Faye Kellerman The traitor's wife Kathleen Kent After Thomas Carrier saves Martha Allen from a wolf attack, he discovers wild animals are not the only dangers lurking in the Massachusetts woods: assassins have arrived from London to capture Charles I's executioner, said to be living outside Boston under an assumed name.

A prequel to "The Heretic's Daughter. Just twenty-five years old, Sparks soon proved a leader of immense fortitude and stamina, participating in four amphibious invasions and leading his men through the mountains of Italy and France before enduring intense winter combat against the diehard SS on the Fatherland's borders.

But what Sparks and his men would find as they finally reached the gates of Dachau, Hitler's first and most notorious concentration camp, would be a horror greater than any they had so far experienced. With victory within his grasp, Sparks had to confront the ultimate test of his humanity: after all he had faced, could he resist the urge to wreak vengeance on the men who had caused such untold suffering and misery? Reality Boy A. King We are water Wally Lamb Anna Oh, a middle-age wife, mother and artist, divorces her husband after 27 years of marriage to marry Vivica, the Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success.

All he knew for certain was that someone wanted him dead - and that he had better learn why. But everywhere he turned there seemed to be more questions - or people too willing to hide the truth behind a smoke screen of lies. He had only the name he had been told was his own, his mysterious skill with a gun, and a link to a half million dollars' worth of buried gold as evidence of his past life. Heart of glass Jill Marie Landis When Colin forces Kate to promise his dying sister that together they will care for his niece and nephew, she complies.

Having been orphaned herself, Kate realizes she must put the children's welfare above her own - even if it means a marriage of convenience. Can her persistent love and faith transform their uncertain future?

Hoping for a new life, she moves to the bayou with her twin "brothers" and fellow tribemates. But her brothers kidnap the daughter of a wealthy carpetbagger and force Maddie to hide the precocious eight-year-old. As Maddie stands at a crossroads in her life, the child escapes.

When Pinkerton agent Tom Abbott is assigned to the case, there's no denying their mutual attraction. Triptych Margit Liesche Budapest, In the darkest year of Hungary's modern history, a national uprising against Soviet occupiers is underway. Eleven-year-old Evike and her firebrand mother steal deep into battle zones in support of civilian freedom fighters. When taken in for interrogation by the secret police, little Evike spins a story to save her mother - a story that will irrevocably alter many lives and reach its tentacles, thirty years later, into the life of Ildiko Palmay.

Threads of Grace Kelly Long In the heart of the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, the beautiful and weary Amish widow Grace Beller is not looking for a husband - especially one so much younger than she is. But handsome, and smitten, Seth Wyse stumbles upon a way to help her, and they marry to keep Grace's autistic son safe from his ill-intentioned uncle.

Grace soon discovers that she is far from immune to her young husband's experienced charm and realises that her first marriage has not destroyed her capacity for love. No safe harbor Elizabeth Ludwig Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, to find him. Her search leads her to the house of a man who claims to be a friend, Rourke Walsh. She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps.

He was seven years old when rumours of a coup reached his boarding school in Accra. His father, a minister of state, was suddenly missing, then imprisoned for more than a year. My First Coup D'Etat offers a look at the country that has long been considered Africa's success story.

This is a one-of-a-kind book: Mahama's is a rare literary voice from a political leader, and his stories work on many levels - as fables, as history, as cultural and political analysis, and, of course, as the memoir of a young man who, unbeknownst to him or anyone else, would grow up to be vice president of his nation.

The gallows curse Karen Maitland It's and a black force is sweeping England and in the village of Gastmere, the consequences grow darker still when Elena, a servant girl, is dragged into a conspiracy to absolve the sins of the lord of the manor. As the terrors that soon begin to plague Elena's sleep grow darker, in desperation she visits the cunning woman, who has been waiting for just such an opportunity to fulfil an ancient curse conjured at the gallows. Elena, haunted by this curse and threatened with death for a crime she didn't commit, flees the village - only to find her nightmare has barely begun.

Pagan spring G. Malliet Vicar Max Tudor, reveling in his new-found personal happiness with Awena Owen, feels that life at the moment holds no greater challenge than writing his Easter sermon. With Awena away, he looks forward to a dinner that includes newcomers to the village like West End dramatist Thaddeus Bottle and his downtrodden wife Melinda.

But when one of the dinner guests is found dead in the pre-dawn hours, Max knows a poisonous atmosphere has once again enveloped his perfect village of Nether Monkslip. Little wolves Thomas James Maltman Their family farms devastated by a Minnesota drought in , a father searches for answers after his son commits a heinous murder, while a pastor's wife returns to the town for mysterious reasons of her own. The Good Daughters Joyce Maynard Dead I well may be Adrian McKinty Appointed by a crime boss to lead a gang of Irish thugs against rival powers in Harlem and the Bronx, young illegal immigrant Michael Forsythe falls out of favor when he seduces his employer's daughter.

The dead yard Adrian McKinty Mercenary Michael Forsythe is forced to infiltrate an Irish terrorist cell, confronting murder, mayhem, and the prospect of his own execution. Bang Lisa McMann Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people's lives and she's finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare's not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer.

Feeling responsible for what he's going through and knowing that people's lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer's vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. What happens in Scotland Jennifer McQuiston When Lady Georgette Thorold awoke she saw her corset hanging from the armoire, a very handsome, very naked Scotsman lying beside her … and a wedding ring on her finger!

Before the attractive stranger can tell her his name, Georgette does the only sensible thing - she runs for it. Little does she know, James MacKenzie isn't clear on what happened the night before either. The world as we know it Joseph Monninger A lifetime of friendship begins the day brothers Ed and Allard save Sarah from drowning in an icy river near their rural New Hampshire home.

Though their paths diverge through the years, the connection between the three endures until a heartbreaking tragedy in the remote mountains of Wyoming forces Sarah and Allard to confront the unthinkable. But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated SAT word: to be thrown from a window when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London.

When sparrows fall Meg Moseley A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling brand of "shepherding". But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets only he knows, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she'll be unable to protect her children.

Wild Born Brandon Mull Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers. Four flashes of light erupt, and from them emerge the unmistakable shapes of incredible beasts a wolf, a leopard, a panda, a falcon. A dark force has risen from distant and long-forgotten lands, and has begun an onslaught that will ravage the world.

Now the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers and on you. Whittle and the Morning Star Robert Nathan Slummy mummy Fiona Neill A smart, laugh-out-loud debut novel about a deeply flawed but endearing stay-at-home mum, a book for anyone who took Bridget Jones to heart a decade ago-and now has kids. Lucy Sweeney has three sons, a husband on a short fuse, and a tendency toward domestic disaster. When she begins a flirtation with Sexy Domesticated Dad, a father from the school car-pool lane, the string of white lies to cover up the trail of chaos and illicit desire starts to unravel and disaster looms.

The broken token Chris Nickson When Richard Nottingham, Constable of Leeds, discovers his former housemaid murdered in a particularly sickening manner, his professional and personal lives move perilously close. Circumstances conspire against him, and more murders follow.

Not only does the murder investigation keep running into brick walls as family problems offer an unwelcome distraction; he can't even track down a thief who has been a thorn in his side for months. Windward passage Jim Nisbet In the parallel near-future, a ship named for a jellyfish sinks into the Caribbean with its captain chained to the mast.

Left behind is a logbook missing ten pages, presidential DNA hidden in a brick of smuggled cocaine, and a nearly-completed novel. Tipsy, the dead sailor's sister, and Red Means, his erstwhile employer, travel from San Francisco to the Caribbean and back as they attempt to unravel a mystery that rapidly widens from death at sea to international conspiracy.

Having no way to contact his family, and fearing for his life if he told the truth, Solomon Northup was sold from plantation to plantation in Louisiana, toiling under cruel masters for twelve years before meeting Samuel Bass, a Canadian who finally put him in touch with his family, and helped start the process to regain his freedom. But when she realises that her dad and the rest of her family have a lot to learn about ballet, she has a fabulous idea!

What if she opened her own ballet school? Fancy Nancy and the posh puppy Jane O'Connor Nancy wants to adopt a special puppy so that she is no longer the only fancy member of her family, but after a day of puppysitting a papillon, she realizes that being fancy is not always the most important thing. Now enjoy Fancy Nancy like you never have before with this splendiferous audio collection filled with 31 stories.

Taken Niamh O'Connor It's a cold wet winter night when a car pulls into a service station on Dublin quays. Strapped in to the back-seat is a three-year-old boy, asleep. Five minutes later he's gone - kidnapped in the time it's taken his mother to pay for her petrol.

Distraught and fearing for his safety,she has only one option: DI Jo Birmingham. Her search for the little boy takes her into a dark world of lies and corruption, where hard cash is king, where sex is a commodity to be bought and sold - and where the lost and vulnerable are in terrifying danger … The good old days : crime, murder and mayhem in Victorian London Gilda O'Neill The nineteenth century was a time when not only were there massive gulfs being created between the upper, middling and working classes, but there was also a growing awareness of the existence of an even more impoverished underclass - a terrifying demi-monde of criminals, tarts and no-hope low lifes.

The extent of those class divisions and consequent poverty meant that it could honestly be said by commentators of the time that the customs, lives and even language of the poorest in society were less familiar to their more privileged neighbours than those of the inhabitants of what was known then as 'darkest Africa'. Gilda O'Neill's exploration of the teeming underbelly that was to be found in the fog-bound streets, rat-infested slums, common lodging houses, boozers, penny gaffs and brothels in the heart of the greatest empire that the world has ever seen brings to life the real working-class London of Victoria's reign.

Keep it pithy : useful observations in a tough world Bill O'Reilly O'Reilly offers a classic collection of the most memorable writings from his previous books and columns, topped off with a new introduction, and looks back at how his opinions and ideas have been proven right or wrong by the passage of time. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth.

Killing Jesus will take listeners inside Jesus's life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable and changed the world forever. As an added bonus, listen to an interview with the author and reader, Mary Pope Osborne. Amelia Bedelia tries her luck Herman Parish Amelia Bedelia's day starts with a crash and a broken mirror. When Amelia Bedelia hears that a broken mirror is bad luck, she's worried.

Does this mean that she's doomed for life? Amelia Bedelia is determined to change her luck, but how? Will a four-leaf clover do it? How about a horseshoe? Miss Edwards, Amelia Bedelia's teacher, explains that those are superstitions and don't really affect your luck. But after Amelia Bedelia tries her luck and steps on every single crack in the sidewalk … she's not so sure! As he greets his family, his kid brother lies stretched out on a steel gurney, battered, bruised - dead. The police say that he drowned in stormy seas, but Jack knows this doesn't ring true.

To uncover the truth, Jack confronts a wall of silence; a barricade of lawyers, police, and shadowy 'professionals' protecting the privileges of the multi-billionaire summer residents. When he finds that his brother had nearly two hundred thousand dollars in the bank, he realises Peter wasn't just parking cars for a living. Two FBI agents are dead, the boss is wounded, and Pellisante vows the Electrician's next move will be from a jail cell.

Andie Echeverra, a part-time actress and a single, full-time mom, is assigned her next role as Juror 11 in the landmark trial against Mafia Don Dominic Cavello. Though Cavello's influence extends across blue uniforms and black robes, the case should be open-and-shut.

But the legal system fails with devastating results, and Nick and Andie are the only ones left to seek justice. To stop the Electrician, they must take matters into their own hands. He is involved with Tess, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and what's more, a million dollars is within touching distance; his share of the score for the robbery of some world-class art.

All he has to do is trigger alarms to throw the cops off the scent. Season of the machete James Patterson Cool and glamourous, they appear to be a successful couple on a holiday. Yet Damian and Carrie Rose are psychopathic murderers for hire. On this picture-perfect vacation island, their target is Peter Macdonald, a dashing young American who forsakes a life of leisure to confront cold-blooded terror.

But when they clash in a shocking endgame, a hideous truth will emerge - one that can destroy them all? The rich and the famous from all over America — and beyond — have arrived to honour a former First Lady after her sudden, unexpected death. Then follows an attack that was three years in the planning. Hostages are taken — the ex-President among them — ransoms demanded, a couple of hostages shot to show the kidnappers mean business.

It's all brilliantly and chillingly co-ordinated, and Michael Bennett, the detective in charge of the case, knows it will be his biggest ever challenge. It ends with a relentless and unforgettable manhunt in the North. In between is the riveting story of a chilling assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice.

Treasure hunters James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, with Mark Shulman The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and travelling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean.

But after their parents disappear on the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They'll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit of an evil treasure-hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents - and find out if they're still alive. One, Tommy Fielding, a senior officer of a company building a new baseball stadium appears to have died from an accidental overdose of heroin.

The other, Jack Novak, the local drug dealers' attorney is the victim of a ritual murder.

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