Mapping the Edge

      Sarah Dunant
Mapping the Edge

People go missing every day. They walk out of their front doors and out of their lives into the silence of cold statistics. For those left behind it is the cruelest of long good-byes.

Anna, a self-sufficient and reliable single mother, packs her bags one day for a short vacation to Italy. She leaves her beloved six-year-old daughter, Lily, at home in London with good friends. But when Anna doesn't return, everyone begins to make excuses until the likelihood that she might not come back becomes chillingly clear. And the people who thought they knew Anna best realize they don't know her at all. How could she leave her daughter? Why doesn't she call? Is she enjoying a romantic tryst with a secret lover? Or has she been abducted or even killed by a disturbed stranger?

Did that person you loved so much and thought you knew so well did they simply choose to go and not come back? Or did someone do the choosing for them?

Dunant, a masterly British suspense writer, skillfully interweaves parallel narratives that are stretched taut with tension even as they raise difficult questions about motherhood, friendship, and accountability. In this compelling hybrid of sophisticated crime writing and modern women's fiction, Dunant challenges and unnerves us as she redefines the boundaries of the psychological thriller.

Missing rubs the soul raw. In place of answers all you have is your imagination.

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    In the Name of the Family

      Sarah Dunant
In the Name of the Family

`It is better to be feared than loved' - Niccolo Machiavelli

In the bear pit of renaissance politics, a young Florentine diplomat finds himself first hand observer on the history's most notorious family - the Borgias.

In the Name of the Family - as Blood and Beauty did before - holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia's doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father's plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son's increasing maverick behavior it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

Conjuring up the past in all its complexity, horror and pleasures, In The Name of the Family confirms Sarah Dunant's place as the leading novelist of the Renaissance and one of the most acclaimed historical fiction writers of our age.

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    The Birth of Venus

      Sarah Dunant
The Birth of Venus

Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.

But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandra’s married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art.

The Birth of Venus is a tour de force, the first historical novel from one of Britain’s most innovative writers of literary suspense. It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city.

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    Snowstorms in a Hot Climate

      Sarah Dunant
Snowstorms in a Hot Climate

Marla’s best friend, Elly, left England two years ago on a soul-searching trip through South America. Except for receiving a few postcards, Marla has not heard from her since. Then, Marla receives a strange letter from Elly begging her to fly to New York. But the person Marla meets at the airport is a very different woman from the strong, carefree friend she remembers. Elly, now well-dressed and thin, has acquired a park-view apartment, a house in the Hamptons, and a charismatic, manipulative, cocaine-smuggling boyfriend named Lenny.

As Marla tries to free her friend from the dual addictions of love and cocaine, she unravels a story of seduction and power in Columbia and of desire and betrayal in California. Caught in a web of deceptions, the threat of violence mounting around them, Marla decides to take on Lenny and his empire. But Lenny–like the drug he peddles–has no intention of letting Elly go.

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    In the Company of the Courtesan

      Sarah Dunant
In the Company of the Courtesan

My lady, Fiammetta Bianchini, was plucking her eyebrows and biting color into her lips when the unthinkable happened and the Holy Roman Emperor's army blew a hole in the wall of God's eternal city, letting in a flood of half-starved, half-crazed troops bent on pillage and punishment.

Thus begins In the Company of the Courtesan, Sarah Dunant's epic novel of life in Renaissance Italy. Escaping the sack of Rome in 1527, with their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed, the courtesan Fiammetta and her dwarf companion, Bucino, head for Venice, the shimmering city born out of water to become a miracle of east-west trade: rich and rancid, pious and profitable, beautiful and squalid.

With a mix of courage and cunning they infiltrate Venetian society. Together they make the perfect partnership: the sharp-tongued, sharp-witted dwarf, and his vibrant mistress, trained from birth to charm, entertain, and satisfy men who have the money to support her.

Yet as their fortunes rise, this perfect partnership comes under threat, from the searing passion of a lover who wants more than his allotted nights to the attentions of an admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his sultan's court. But Fiammetta and Bucino's greatest challenge comes from a young crippled woman, a blind healer who insinuates herself into their lives and hearts with devastating consequences for them all.

A story of desire and deception, sin and religion, loyalty and friendship, In the Company of the Courtesan paints a portrait of one of the world's greatest cities at its most potent moment in history: It is a picture that remains vivid long after the final page.

From the Hardcover edition.

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    Fatlands

      Sarah Dunant
Fatlands

A decade before her dazzling breakthrough novel, The Birth of Venus, author Sarah Dunant won Britain's prestigious Silver Dagger award for Fatlands, a Hannah Wolfe mystery.

In Fatlands, private investigator Hannah Wolfe, who's independent though not invincible, idealistic but definitely not naive, has taken on one of the less glamorous jobs in the security world -- chaperoning teenage rebel Mattie Shepherd around London. But Mattie's father is paying Hannah lots of money -- more than the job is worth, it seems. Or perhaps not. The girl's father is on the Animal Liberation Front's hit list. But why? When violence explodes, tearing the family apart, this is what Hannah must discover. Her obsession with the truth nearly kills her, wrecking her private life and dragging her into a vortex of lies and betrayal.

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    Blood & Beauty: A Novel of the Borgias

      Sarah Dunant
Blood & Beauty: A Novel of the Borgias

Is there a family in history more dazzling, dangerous and notorious than the Borgias?

A powerhouse of the Italian Renaissance, their very name epitomizes the ruthless politics and sexual corruption of the Papacy.

The father, Pope Alexander VI, a consummate politician and a man with a voracious appetite both as Cardinal and Pope.

The younger Juan, womanizer and thug, and their lovely sister, Lucretia, whose very name has become a byword for poison, incest and intrigue.

But how much of the history about this remarkable family is actually true, and how much distorted, filtered through the age old mechanisms of political spin, propaganda and gossip?

What if the truth, the real history, is even more challenging?

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    Transgressions

      Sarah Dunant
Transgressions

Elizabeth is a modern woman. Smart. Independent. As sexual as she wants to be–with whomever she wants to be. But a breakup with her academic boyfriend has hit her harder than she cares to admit. And while her latest gig, translating a glitzy Czech thriller into English, offends her literary sensibilities, it arouses others with its steamy scenes of eroticism, violence, submission, and dominance.

Then, when her favorite Van Morrison CD disappears from its rack and her house is inexplicably violated, Elizabeth is afraid she’s starting to lose it–she even consults a local vicar about the possibility of poltergeists.

But what this woman in the lovely Victorian is experiencing is not supernatural. Nor is it madness. For in the dead of night, she will suddenly come face-to-face with her tormentor. She will smell him, she will touch him, and she will make a choice. Then the real haunting will begin.

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    Under My Skin

      Sarah Dunant
Under My Skin

A decade before her dazzling breakthrough novel, The Birth of Venus, Silver Dagger Award-winning author Sarah Dunant won critical acclaim for her Hannah Wolfe crime novels.
In Under My Skin, private investigator Hannah Wolfe's cushy new assignment takes her to the sumptuous Castle Dean health spa. While being plucked, crimped, steamed, and oiled, Hannah is ideally placed to probe some reported cases of sabotage -- fish in the Jacuzzi and steel nails in the massage heads. But spa owner Olivia Marchant has other problems besides sabotage. Someone is threatening her husband, Maurice, one of London's leading cosmetic surgeons and the man responsible for reconstructing many of the world's rich and famous. In a culture where no one wants to grow old and everyone seems to believe in the power of the knife, Hannah feels like an alien visitor. People will do anything in the name of beauty -- perhaps even commit murder.

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    Birth Marks

      Sarah Dunant
Birth Marks

In Birth Marks, private investigator Hannah Wolfe gets a case worthy of the great detective novels she so admires. At first glance, this one doesn't fit the bill: she's asked to find a missing ballet dancer, Carolyn Hamilton. When Carolyn's body is fished out of the Thames, stones in her pockets and an eight-month-old fetus in her belly, the police think it's a no-brainer: Single pregnant woman can't face her impending responsibilities, takes a leap off a bridge. But Hannah can't shake the suspicion that something else is going on. Hannah's investigation takes her from the London dance world to the upper echelons of Parisian society in search of the unborn child's father. But his explanation only raises more questions, and for Hannah the case grows more treacherous, fueling her own ambivalent feelings about relationships and motherhood.

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