Historical Thrillers

Autumn Bridge

By Takashi Matsuoka

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"In the year 1311, in the highest tower of Cloud of Sparrows Castle, a beautiful woman sits by the window, watching as enemies gather below and fires spread through the night. As she calmly awaits her fate, she begins to write, carefully setting down on a scroll the secret history of the Okumichi clan--of the gift of prophecy they share and the extraordinary destiny that awaits them. For six centuries, these remarkable writings lay hidden—until they are uncovered by an American woman, a missionary named Emily Gibson, who arrived in Edo harbor in 1861, in flight from a tragic past. Soon an extraordinary man would enter her life: Lord Genji of the Okumichi clan, a nobleman with a gift of prophecy who must defend his embattled family—and confront forbidden feelings for an outsider in his midst. Emily, too, soon finds herself at a turning point; courted by two westerners, she knows her heart belongs to the one man she cannot have. But Emily has found a mission of her own: translating Genji’s ancestral history, losing herself in an epic tale of heroism and forbidden love."
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Bone House: A Novel

By Betsy Tobin

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"It is the tale of two women. One is Dora -- large, voluptuous, and charismatic -- a prostitute to whom men are drawn for pleasure, women for friendship. Her strange death in an icy ravine affects everyone in the tiny village: her enormous, slow-minded son; an embittered midwife; the hunchbacked lord of the manor; his decaying mother; and an itin- erant portrait painter, whose arrival in the village unearths secrets and passions beyond anyone's expectations.

The other -- young, slight, and solitary -- is a dutiful chambermaid to the mistress of the manor until Dora's accident begins to distract her from her daily tasks. Her quest to uncover the truth about the prostitute's mysterious life and sudden death leads her to a terrible discovery, and the beginnings of a future."

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Dance, Dance, Dance

By Haruki Murakami

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"In this propulsive novel by the author of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World and The Elephant Vanishes, one of the most idiosyncratically brilliant writers at work in any language fuses science fiction, the hard-boiled thriller, and white-hot satire into a new element of the literary periodic table."  (Publisher's description)

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Deception: A Novel of Murder and Madness in T’ang China

By Eleanor Cooney

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Over a period of forty years, chief magistrate Dee fights the malevolent empress Wu, who has killed her own children, exiled her most respected statesman, and reduced her husband to idiocy.

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Perlman's Ordeal

By Brooks Hansen

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Dr. Perlman -- classical music lover and scrupulously scientific hypnotist -- is about to leave for the symphony when a hysterical teenage girl is brought into his office. Soon, in a time just before the reign of Freud, a charismatic imposter and the pioneering doctor will fight a heated battle over the teenager's soul.

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The Alienist

By Caleb Carr

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1896 Manhattan is awash in grotesquely mutilated corpses. An alienist (19th century term for psychologist) and a New York Times reporter join forces with chief of police Theodore Roosevelt to put pay to the monster against a backdrop of decadence and corruption. Angel of Darkness is the sequel.

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The Dress Lodger

By Sheri Holman

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Fifteen-year-old Gustine is a "dress lodger", a young prostitute who rents a beautiful dress from her landlord to attract a higher class of clientele. Surgeon Henry Chiver is a prisoner of his own past and is looking to start over.

Doctor and dress lodger come together in the filthy, cholera-infected East End of Sunderland. Here, during the worst epidemic since the bubonic plague, Gustine secures bodies for the doctor's school in exchange for medical care for her ailing child. The arrangement is gruesome but profitable for both until Henry's greed and his growing obsession with her child challenge Gustine's loyalty to him.

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The Eight: A Novel

By Katherine Neville

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About to embark on a business trip to Algeria, Catherine Velis meets a mysterious man who offers her an enormous sum of money if she will find the pieces of an old chess service reputed to be in Algeria.

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The Firedrake's Eye

By Patricia Finney

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Troubled by visions, Tom O'Bedlam, the mad son of a prominent Catholic family, wanders the London streets, where he finds evidence that his brother has launched a scheme to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I.

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The Man from St. Petersburg

By Ken Follett

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1914: the world hangs on the brink of catastrophe--the eve of the war to end all wars. Feliks, a man consumed with a mission, comes to London to commit a murder that could change history. Against him are the whole of the English police, a powerful and brilliant lord--and the young Winston Churchill.
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