Locked doors, sealed cavities, bricked-up alchoves and premature burial close in on Poe's narrators as they, like their victims, are cut off from light, air and human society. Partly, Poe's stories resonate as the 'disordered chambers' of the narrator's minds, but also they suggest archetypal, if extreme, psychological states.
Yet Poe was an incurable hoaxer, and in telling some wonderful short stories he also told some excessively tall tales.
Horror stories, science fiction, detective stories and satirical sketches - the variety of Poe will chill and delight.
A European superstar comes to the UK for the first time! Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent. He roams the country seeking assignments, but gradually comes to realise that while some of his quarry are unremittingly vile, vicious grotesques, others are the victims of sin, evil or simple naïvety.
One reviewer said: 'This book is a sheer delight. It is beautifully written, full of vitality and endlessly inventive: its format, with half a dozen episodes and intervening rest periods for both the hero and the reader, allows for a huge range of characters, scenarios and action. It's thought-provoking without being in the least dogmatic, witty without descending to farce and packed with swordfights without being derivative. The dialogue sparkles; characters morph almost imperceptibly from semi-cliché to completely original; nothing is as it first seems. Sapkowski succeeds in seamlessly welding familiar ideas, unique settings and delicious twists of originality: his Beauty wants to rip the throat out of a sensitive Beast; his Snow White seeks vengeance on all and sundry, his elves are embittered and vindictive. It's easily one of the best things I've read in ages.'
The sand-blasted world of Arrakis has become green, watered and fertile. Old Paul Atreides, who led the desert Fremen to political and religious domination of the galaxy, is gone. But for the children of Dune, the very blossoming of their land contains the seeds of its own destruction. The altered climate is destroying the giant sandworms, and this in turn is disastrous for the planet's economy. Leto and Ghanima, Paul Atreides's twin children and his heirs, can see possible solutions - but fanatics begin to challenge the rule of the all-powerful Atreides empire, and more than economic disaster threatens . . .
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, the daughter of Edward Dickinson, a lawyer and politician. Despite receiving a good education, she returned home to Amherst, where she spent the rest of her life, at one time writing more than one poem a day. Her refusal to compromise her highly condensed expression, which meant that only a tiny fraction of her work was published in her lifetime, makes her seem startlingly modern today.
When the police tell a wealthy industrialist that her missing son has faked his own kidnapping, she hires Elvis Cole and Joe Pike - and Cole soon determines that it was no fake. The boy and his secret girlfriend have been taken, and are now lost in the gray and changing world of the professional border kidnappers who prey not only on innocent victims, but on each other - buying, selling, and stealing victims like commodities. Fortunately, the kidnappers don't yet know who the boy is, but when Cole goes undercover to try to buy the two of them back, he himself is taken, and disappears. Now it is up to Pike to retrace Cole's steps, burning through the hard and murderous world of human traffickers before it is too late.
Roy Dillon is young, good-looking and devastatingly charming. He's also a completely amoral con man. Lily, his mother, works for the mob. Moira Langtry, Roy's mistress, is always looking for the main chance, and so is Carol Roberg, the nurse brought in to look after Roy when a bad choice of mark means he has an unfortunate encounter with a baseball bat and a bad case of internal bleeding. Together they make up a perverse quadrangle of love and greed in a coruscating novel of corruption.
Twenty years ago John Costello's life, as he knew it, ended. He and his beautiful girlfriend, Nadia, became victims of the deranged 'Hammer of God' killer who terrorised New Jersey City throughout the summer of 1984. This murderer went after young courting couples in an attempt to 'save their souls'. Nadia was killed by the first blow of the hammer. John survived, but was physically and psychologically scarred to an extent that few people could comprehend. He withdrew from society, hid in his apartment and now only emerges to work as a crime researcher for a major newspaper. Damaged he may be, but no one in New Jersey knows more about serial killers than John Costello. So, when a new spate of murders starts - all seemingly random and unrelated - John is the only one who can discern the complex pattern that lies behind them. But could this dark knowledge be about to threaten his life?
And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you...?' 'That sort of thing' is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses - taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.
The Inhibitors are back and Humanity is doomed! Many, many millennia ago, the Inhibitors seeded the universe with machines designed to detect intelligent life - and then to suppress it. But after hundreds of millions of years, the machines started to fail