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John Blake

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  • Humanities & Social Sciences
    August 2021

    9/11 Conspiracy Theories

    by David Gardner

    David Gardner examines the facts and theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks, seeking truth in hidden - or officially suppressed - information. Nearly twenty years ago, on 11 September 2001, four passenger aircrafts were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon near Washington and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly three thousand people were killed. The narrative in the weeks and months that followed seemed straightforward: the attacks had been masterminded by the head of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, an embittered terrorist with an abiding hatred of the West. But, as the twenty-year anniversary approaches, that neat explanation still fails to answer some important questions surrounding that fateful day. How did World Trade Center Building 7 - 100 yards from the Twin Towers - collapse so quickly and symmetrically when it had not been hit? How could two rogue aircraft bring down three towers? Did the US government help orchestrate the attacks as an ‘inside job’? 9/11 Conspiracy Theories seeks the truth, not only of what we do know about 9/11, but also what has been intentionally hidden from us. Presenting these stories with the help of strong first-person reporting and an in-depth examination of documentation released under freedom-of-information protocols, this book sheds new light on one of history’s most tragic and troubling episodes, which shattered for ever the myth of America as a country immune to international terrorism.

  • Memoirs
    March 2021

    A Matter of Life and Death

    Courage, Compassion and the Fight Against Coronavirus

    by Kelly Critcher

    The powerful memoir of a palliative care nurse’s life spent facing down death - and the frontline battle against the coronavirus. ‘It was a low-level panic at first, but very quickly there were big changes taking place. Day by day, wards were being cleared to make way for Covid-positive patients. Things were getting worse by the day. For the first time in my nursing career, I felt scared.’ As a palliative care nurse, it is Kelly Critcher’s job to look death in the eye - to save a patient while the fight can still be won, and confronting death with grace and kindness when it can’t. In early 2020, everything changed for nurses on the NHS frontline. Working in intensive care, Kelly spent the height of the coronavirus crisis at Northwick Park hospital - perhaps the UK hospital most deeply ravaged by the illness which was already sweeping the world to devastating effect. She, and many others like her, battled tirelessly in a critical care unit pushed to breaking point, delivering the bad news and fighting the good fight, day-in, day-out, throughout the gravest test our health service has faced since its inception. Bringing together the enormity of the last twelve months - and the scars it will leave - this is a book for our times. Kelly’s story weaves together her raw, emotional diaries from the COVID frontline with a broader reflection on the truths about a life spent in palliative care, caught between battling for her patients’ lives and helping them face down death with courage and compassion.

  • True crime
    August 2021

    A Passion for Poison

    The Extraordinary Crimes of Graham Young

    by Carol Ann Lee

    The chilling tale of The Teacup Poisoner, Graham Young ‘The whole story is so terrible. You will be disgusted and amazed.’ Graham Young, confessing his crimes to detectives There are few criminal cases more astonishing yet less well-known than that of Graham Young. A quintessentially crime story, it involves two sensational trials, murders both certain and probable, a clutch of forgiving relatives, and scores of surviving victims.A Passion for Poison tells the absorbing life of master poisoner, Graham Young, who killed many tens of people in a murderous career, which began as a 13 year-old schoolboy with the murder of his step-mother in 1950 before culminating in four further life sentences in 1971. Best-selling true crime writer, Carol Ann Lee takes the reader on an extraordinary journey through suburban streets with which we are all familiar, but where the commonplace - dull, even - soon becomes oppressively sinister. Set against the backdrop of modern Britain, from post-war austerity to the gloom and glam of the 1970s, it sheds light on a rapidly changing society and a gruesome true crime story.

  • Food & Drink
    September 2020

    Eat. Sleep. Zoom. Reheat

    How to Survive and Thrive in Your Student Kitchen

    by Chris Stark

    A humorous but practical cookery guide for students by Radio 1 DJ, Chris Stark.Chris Stark was once just like you. A wide-eyed kitchen novice who couldn’t tell a cordon bleu from a courgette. A lost soul who boiled his pasta in the kettle. A hopeless dreamer who destroyed his toaster after turning it on its side to make toasties. All that has changed. After years of secretly being in pursuit of the perfect student recipes, he comes to you armed with a hard-won immunity to salmonella and one deep truth: in the student kitchen, there are only three commandments that matter: let all food be practical, Instagrammable and dead cheap. This book will arm you with the inspiration to knock together meals for any occasion: speedy eats, detox dishes, one-pot wizardry, food for thought, food for sport, date night delights, party food, ‘DIY takeaway solutions’ and breadline-time starvation rations - all with the guarantee of being delicious, nutritious and costing much, much less than your last library fine. Students up and down the country, heed the call: Eat. Sleep. Zoom. Reheat. is the only cookbook you’ll need in 2020. Or ever, really.

  • History
    March 2021

    Eve of Destruction

    The Inside Story of Our Dangerous Nuclear World

    by Colonel John Hughes-Wilson

    Leading military historian, John Hughes-Wilson exposes just how close we have come to genuine nuclear disaster. Truman evidently understood the terrifying power of atomic weaponry, but no one could have realised its full potential when he ordered the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Those military attacks, along with the disasters at the Fukashima and Chernobyl nuclear reactors, might immediately spring to mind at the mention of nuclear destruction, but the vast majority of the events recorded in this book are entirely unknown to most people. This book records the facts - many of them still shrouded in secrecy - which show a worrying truth: we have teetered precariously on the brink of Armageddon far more frequently than the general public realises. Since that first and last atomic war in 1945, there have been a terrifying number of nuclear accidents and mishaps, from the careless or accidental to the genuinely intentional and only narrowly averted. Despite the catastrophic nature of any nuclear conflict, we have come to the very borders of such a situation eight times since the 1960s. Eve of Destruction is a warning from history - recent history. It is a call to sit up and listen, and to take note of the very real danger of nuclear catastrophe. It is a timely and important book because, after all, the future of our planet has to concern us all.

  • Biography & True Stories
    April 2020

    Fighting For Your Life

    A Paramedic's Story

    by Lysa Walder

    Real-life stories of heartbreak and hope, direct from the very frontline of the emergency services. A teenage boy lies on the pavement, bleeding to death from a stab wound; a distraught mum watches, in mute shock, as her daughter suffers a terrifying fatal asthma attack; a young girl is gang-raped and her stricken boyfriend takes an overdose; a disturbed young man flings himself in front of a speeding train at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. For ambulance paramedic Lysa Walder, these and thousands of other emergency call outs are part of a day’s work: scenes of tragedy, heroism loss and horror - but also stories of triumph and humour. Here, she tells the inside story behind the screaming sirens and flashing blue lights of the emergency services.

  • Family & health
    August 2020

    MumLife

    What Nobody Ever Tells You About Being A Mum

    by Louise Pentland

    The new Sunday Times bestselling memoir from Louise Pentland. MumLife; noun: the inescapable swirling vortex of love, guilt, joy, annoyance, laughter and boredom that makes up the life of a mum. Louise Pentland has been through a lot. From a traumatic birth with her first daughter, to single motherhood, to finding love again and having a second child, Louise’s parenting journey has been full of surprises. Discussing the realities most working mums face, plus the impact of maternal mental health, Louise is on a mission to make other mums feel less alone, and very much heard. She beautifully reveals her own imperfect but perfect route to motherhood, as well as the loss of her mum so early in her life, how it shaped her and the mother she became. Reflective, uplifting and with her signature hilarious wit, MumLife will share Louise’s ups and downs, reflecting on her route to motherhood and what she has learnt along the way. This is the honest truth about motherhood, from someone who’s been there and experienced it all.

  • True crime

    Night Stalker

    How I Brought A Serial Predator to Justice

    by Colin Sutton

    Soon to be a major four-part TV drama, this is the second book by Sunday Times bestselling author Colin Sutton. Delroy Grant - dubbed the Night Stalker - was one of the most wanted men, a shocking sex predator. During his seventeen-year reign of fear, he established a clear MO. Target an elderly woman, living alone. Visit them at night. Remove a window pane and slide in. Unscrew the lightbulbs. Cut the power at the electricity meter. Rip out the telephone wires. Tiptoe to the bedroom. Wake the victim by shining a torch in their eyes. What followed for his terrified victims was often unspeakable. When SIO Colin Sutton was drafted into the case, Grant had been at large for over a decade. Stepping up where others had failed, he began the determined, relentless police work that had marked the end for infamous serial killer Levi Bellfield. Case by case, clue by clue. Night Stalker is the chilling true story of one of the most testing manhunts the Metropolitan Police have ever undertaken. It is a glimpse into the heart of darkness - and into the mind and work of the brilliant detective who brought one of London’s most feared monsters to justice.

  • History
    February 2021

    On This Day She

    Putting Women Back Into History, One Day at a Time

    by Jo Bell, Tania Hershman and Ailsa Holland

    An inspiring collection that, day-by-day, shines a light on incredible women who were never given the acknowledgment they deserved. Here are the women whom time has forgotten; those who didn’t make it into the history books and those whom society failed to uphold as significant figures in their own right. Finally, we shall know their stories. On This Day She sets out to redress this imbalance and give voice to those history has failed to make room for: the good, the bad and everything in-between – this is a record of human existence at its most authentic. For all the women maligned, left out and erased, here’s to you: it’s time you were given the space you have always deserved.

  • True crime
    September 2020

    Peaky Blinders: The Legacy

    The True History of Birmingham's Most Notorious Gang

    by Carl Chinn

    The follow-up to the incredible Sunday Times bestseller, The Peaky Blinders: The Real Story which sold over 200,000 copies in the UK alone. Well-known social historian, broadcaster and author, Carl Chinn, revealed the true story of the notorious gang in his bestselling Peaky Blinders: The Real Story and now in this follow-up book, he explores the legacy they created in Birmingham and beyond. What happened to them and their gangland rivals? In Peaky Blinders: The Legacy we revisit the world of Billy Kimber’s Peaky Blinders, exploring their legacy throughout the 1920s and 30s, and how their burgeoning empires spread across the UK. Delve into the street wars across the country, the impact of the declaration of War on Gangs by the Home Secretary after The Racecourse War in 1921, and how black-market bookmaking gave way to new and daring opportunities for the likes of Sabini, Alfie Solomon and some new faces in the murky gangland underworld. Drawing on Carl’s inimitable research, interviews and original sources, find out just what happened to this incredible cast of characters, revealing the true legacy of the Peaky Blinders.

  • True crime
    September 2019

    Peaky Blinders: The Real Story

    The True History of Birmingham's Most Notorious Gang

    by Carl Chinn

    A fascinating insight into the true story behind Birmingham’s most notorious gang, The Peaky Blinders. The Peaky Blinders as we know them, thanks to the hit TV series, are infused with drama and dread. Fashionably dressed, the charismatic but deeply flawed Shelby family blind enemies by slashing them with the disposable safety razor blades stitched in to the peaks of their flat caps, as they fight bloody gangland wars involving Irish terrorists and the authorities led by a devious Home Secretary, Winston Churchill. But who were the real Peaky Blinders? Did they really exist? Well-known social historian, broadcaster and author, Carl Chinn, has spent decades searching them out. Now he reveals the true story of the notorious Peaky Blinders, one of whom was his own great grandfather and, like the Shelbys, his grandfather was an illegal bookmaker in back-street Birmingham. In this gripping social history, Chinn shines a light on the rarely reported struggles of the working class in one of the great cities of the British Empire before the First World War. The story continues after 1918 as some Peaky Blinders transformed into the infamous Birmingham Gang. Led by the real Billy Kimber, they fought a bloody war with the London gangsters Darby Sabini and Alfie Solomons over valuable protection rackets extorting money from bookmakers across the booming postwar racecourses of Britain. Drawing together a remarkably wide-range of original sources, including rarely seen images of real Peaky Blinders and interviews with relatives of the gangsters, Peaky Blinders: The Real Story adds a new dimension to the true history of Birmingham’s underworld and fact behind its fiction.

  • Memoirs
    August 2020

    Silent Child

    A Life of Fear and A Story of Survival

    by Toni Maguire with Emily Smith

    From bestselling author Toni Maguire comes a new true story of abuse and escape. When Hannah was four years old, her father left - and a new man was brought into he life. Her step-father loved her, he kept telling her so, but the emotional and physical abuse she suffered at his hands were a daily nightmare. Until one day, after he crept into her bedroom, Hannah’s life became unbearable. Raped for the next ten years until she turned fifteen, Hannah was often sexually abused right in front of her mother - who decided each time to turn a blind eye and ignore what was happening. Astonishingly, Hannah managed to escape the hell her home had become, using her education and intelligence to gain a place at university in Ireland. Bravely sharing her story for the first time, Hannah and bestselling writer Toni Maguire, shed light on the rampant abuse still happening in Britain today. Powerful and shocking, sharing her story means Hannah finally has a voice to say: Enough.

  • True crime
    September 2020

    Talking With Serial Killers: Stalkers

    The World's Most Sinister Sexual Psychopaths in Their Own Words

    by Christopher Berry-Dee

    Do you ever have that feeling you’re being watched? Perhaps you are... Christopher Berry-Dee is the man who talks to serial killers. A world-renowned investigative criminologist, he has gained the trust of murderers across the world, entered their high- security prisons, and discussed in detail their shocking crimes.In this latest book he explores the darkest corners of the thrill-killer’s mind. As all law-enforcement authorities, including the FBI’s elite Behavioral Science Unit, will confirm, the majority of sexual psychopaths gain most of their perverse thrills from the stalking of their unsuspecting victims. For them, the actual kill is frequently something less, and the thrill comes from following, watching and visiting the victims, sometimes for weeks or even months, before planning the final assult. Having exhaustively studied the case histories of more than sixty modern-day sexually motivated serial murderers - some still alive, others subsequently executed - the author zeros in on the Internet porn industry as one of the main motivating drivers in cultivating fantasy stalking. He also explores the potental dangers of social media, where everyone is a potential victim.

  • True crime

    The Dirty Dozen

    The Rise and Fall of the Most Feared Armed Robbery Gang

    by Noel 'Razor' Smith

    The true story of the most prolific armed robbery gang told by one of the convicted. The average bank robbery takes around four minutes. The essential ingredients are ruthlessness, cunning and plenty of bottle. You’ll also need a weapon, a disguise and a getaway car. If you have all those things, then you could go to work right now. The Bradish boys had all these things and, boy, did they go to work. The ‘Dirty Dozen’ were a ruthless federation of criminals who ran the armed robbery game in London for over a decade. When charismatic leader ‘Gentleman’ Jim Doyle was jailed, the innovative but violent Bradish twins, Sean and Vincent, stepped up to take the throne. Hardened by a life in London’s most lawless corners, they recruited a tight-knit crew to forge a reputation as the brutal kings of their underworld trade. Banks, security vans, post offices, travel agents - anywhere was fair game and nowhere was safe. With endless money at their disposal, the gang spent freely on cars, drugs and decadence. Life was good. But with the Met’s tough-as-nails Flying Squad hot on their heels, a member of the inner circle cracked under the pressure and turned grass - and so began the thrilling chase-down of the Bradish boys and their illicit empire. The Dirty Dozen is the real story of the rise and fall of London’s most feared crime syndicate.

  • Gardening
    September 2020

    The Natural Gardener

    A Lifetime of Gardening by the Phases of the Moon

    by John Harris

    An enchanting but informative guide to the joys and benefits of gardening by the cycles of the moon. This is not your average gardening book. In it you will discover how to increase your crop yield and grow healthier, better tasting food, whilst reducing work in your garden and forking out less on your fertiliser. This seemingly impossible win-win is achieved by planting and reaping in tune with the phases of the moon. Lunar gardening has been around for as long as man has pulled food from the soil. It was practised by the Incas and the Native Americans, and is still followed by the Maoris and rural communities in Eastern Europe. Because it works. But with the mass adoption of fertilisers achieving quicker results for a need-it-now-generation, these techniques have been all but forgotten by the modern gardener. Until now. John Harris has researched, studied and put in to practise the principles of gardening by the phases of the moon for more than forty years. The results he’s achieved are nothing short of astonishing. He has never watered his garden, he only grows organically and yet he’s won numerous show awards and prizes for the size, abundance and taste of his produce. In The Natural Gardener he shows you how you can do the same by following a few simple principles.

  • True crime
    September 2020

    The Real Line of Duty: The Real Story

    Inside British Police Corruption

    by Wensley Clarkson

    True stories of police corruption and the secret units who hunt them - for fans of the Netflix series. Best-selling true crime writer Wensley Clarkson has encountered many of the UK’s most corrupt police officers by infiltrating the underworld and the secretive lives of these corrupt guardians of the law. Line of Duty: The Real Story is an astonishing expose from inside the secret world of police corruption, starring a cast of twisted, dishonest cops more chilling than any of the fictional characters watched by vast audiences in the hit TV series. These characters are synonymous with power, violence and even glamour, inhabiting a murky, amoral world leaving bloody chaos in their wake. So who are the people who are tasked with hunting these corrupt cops, and how has corruption invaded today’s UK police forces? In Line of Duty: The Real Story we go behind the contemporary headlines to look back at the history of corruption, and the anti-corruption units that were set up to sniff out the bent coppers among the good.Referencing real-life historic and notable cases and people, from a range of sources and first-person interviews, Line of Duty: The Real Story tells the truth behind the fiction, and its hard-hitting impact on real life modern policing.

  • Biography & True Stories

    The Secret Midwife

    by Anonymous

    Birth is one of the most defining, ubiquitous moments of human existence and there are the midwives who help us navigate it safely. Strongest supporter, best friend, expert, cheerleader and chief photographer... Before, during and after labour the role of a midwife is second to none. The Secret Midwife reveals the highs and lows on the frontline of the maternity unit, from the mother who tries to give herself a DIY caesarean to the baby born into witness protection, and from surprise infants that arrive down toilets to ones that turn up in the lift. The Secret Midwife is a heart-breaking, engrossing and important read. At once joyful and profoundly shocking, this is the story of birth, straight from the delivery room.

  • Biography: general
    November 2020

    Valentino Rossi

    The Definitive Biography

    by Stuart Baker

    This is a story of speed, love and loss - the definitive biography of the world’s most legendary motorsports racer. At high speed everything becomes more difficult and more beautiful. When you’re racing at 180mph the semi-bends become bends, the little holes become big holes, everything becomes extreme and bigger. And then it becomes beautiful. Valentino Rossi is an icon: the most successful and well-loved motorcycle racer of all time, he transcended MotoGP to become a symbol of courage, risk and daring. Racing for twenty-three years at the highest level of the world’s most dangerous sport, he is a modern-day gladiator, a man who still risks his life every time he throws a leg over a motorcycle. His popularity is phenomenal. For Rossi, every race is a home race. He turns MotoGP grandstands across the world a sea of yellow: his traditional lucky colour. In more than two decades of Grand Prix racing, Rossi has seen it all. The deaths of rivals and friends, the glory of his unprecedented success, serious injuries, wealth and infamous altercations. Using exclusive new interviews with those who have been part of Rossi’s story from start to finish, critically-acclaimed and bestselling motorsport author Stuart Barker has produced the most in-depth book ever written about the Italian superstar: a tale of speed, love and loss, told in full for the very first time, in all its adrenalin-charged, high-octane glory.

  • Food & Drink
    March 2021

    We're Hungry!

    Batch Cooking the Family Will Love

    by Ciara Attwell

    Are you a batch beginner? Ciara will show you everything you need to know to make batch cooking work for you and your family. You have limited time to prepare and cook meals in the evening. You spend too much on your weekly shop. You waste too much food. Does this sound like you? Ciara Attwell is back with the book every parent has been waiting for: healty, easy, fuss-free recipes to save you time, money and stress. Ciara delivers 100 recipes for batch cooking for your family, teaching you to cook smarter - not harder. Ranging from 20-minute one pot wonders to slow-cooking all day recipes, all meals will come with instructions for batch cooking, giving you another meal to put in the freezer or fridge for a busier day. Family-friendly recipes remain at no.1 food blogger Ciara’s core, and all food will use simple and easy to find ingredients, with helpful tips and tricks for fussy eaters, as well as allergies.

  • Biography & True Stories
    September 2020

    Who Killed John Lennon?

    by Lesley-Ann Jones

    A definitive new book on John Lennon from bestselling music biographer Lesley-Ann Jones, published to mark the 40th anniversary of his death and his 80th birthday. Late on 8 December 1980, the planet stopped spinning for millions when news broke that the world’s best-loved rock star had been gunned down in cold blood in New York City. In this enthralling exploration, acclaimed music biographer and journalist Lesley-Ann Jones unravels the enigma to present a complete portrait of the man, his life, his relationships, his untimely death and his eternal musical legacy as never before. Peeling back the layers, Jones tracks the highs and lows of both his professional and personal life that led Lennon to relocate to New York, where he was shot dead on the street outside his apartment building that fateful winter night. But who, or what, really killed him? And when did the ‘real’ John Lennon die? Using fresh first-hand research, unseen images and exclusive interviews with those who knew Lennon best, the author’s search for answers offers a gripping, 360-degree view of one of our most iconic music legends, four decades on from his tragic death.Having interviewed many people over the years who had been connected to Lennon, including his first wife Cynthia, his firstborn son Julian, fellow Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, John’s former girlfriend May Pang and Andy Peebles - the last British broadcaster to interview him, a couple of days before he was murdered - Jones draws on an astonishing personal archive. There have been countless books about the Beatles and John Lennon. There has never been one quite like this.

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