The Borgia Ring, by Michael White

Middleton crashed down on the table, his face connecting with a clutch of wine bottles and glasses, knocking them into laps and on to the floor. One of the women screamed and leapt up. The architect slid backwards, away from the table. As he fell, more blood and vomit gushed from his mouth.

Max Rainer dashed over to him. Middleton had stopped moving. One eye stared sightlessly at the ceiling; the other was a uniform scarlet. Rainer placed two fingers to his partner’s neck then turned to the others as they clustered around, a look of disbelief on his face.

When builders unearth a skeleton on a building site, they are shocked. But more shocking is the chain of events this ancient skeleton unleashes. First a security man is brutally murdered as he guards the site. Then others connected to the site are also killed, one at a time.

DCI Jack Pendragon is having a tense first week at his new posting. The pressure is on him to solve the murders and stop the serial killer from striking again. But the only clues to the murderer’s identity seem linked to the skeleton – a man who has been dead since the fifteenth century.

The Borgia Ring is an absorbing crime thriller set in contemporary London, with a parallel story set in France and London in the fifteenth century, allowing the reader an insight into the older mystery which those in the modern one cannot know. The modern killer draws his inspiration from the fifteenth-century Borgia family, renowned for their cruelty and depravity, giving a chilling depth to the series of crimes which Jack Pendragon must solve.

A compulsive read.

The Borgia Ring, by Michael White
Bantam, 2009

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Fivefold, by Nathan Burrage

A bright citrus orange in the shape of a crude hand, about shoulder height. How could he have missed that?
Ashvin didn’t stop to think about what he was doing. He walked towards the glowing hand without hesitation. Morgan brushed past him and Elsie was moving behind him, but Ashvin remained intent on the hand. He needed to touch those fingers. Now.
Nothing else mattered.

When James Burrage finds himself in trouble with the law, his friends rally around to help him. The five take a break in Yorkshire, where on a country walk they stumble across a ruined cathedral. What lies buried beneath the ruins starts them on an amazing journal into myth and legend, as each of the five discovers amazing new abilities. The group are helped by others with similar abilities and threatened by dark forces intent on stopping them from completing their new quest.

Fivefold is an eerie debut novel from Sydney author Nathan Burrage. Exploring ancient supernatural forces and rewriting historic, biblical and mythologic events, the modern day story changes the lives of the five central characters but also sees a reshaping of the future.

Gripping reading.

Fivefold, by Nathan Burrage
Bantam, 2008

Life Without Limits, by Helen O'Neill

David Pescud had a difficult childhood. He struggled through school, always in trouble and unable to cope with schoolwork. Then, when he was fourteen, he watched his father drown trying to save him from a river.

David could have been excused for wanting to give up on life, but he survived and at seventeen was diagnosed with profound dyslexia. This diagnosis was a turning point for Pescud.

By the age of 23 Pescud was a succesful businessman and by 45 he had earned enough money to retire and indulge his lifelong passion for sailing.

While helping a freind work on a yacht, David heard a radio interview with a paraplegic man who wanted to participate in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. This interview was the catalyst for Pescud to begin Sailors with disAbilities. Not only has David skippered disabled crews in the big race, but his organisation continues to enable thousands of diabled people to experience sailing.

David Pescud’s story is inspirational. It shows not just one man’s struggle to overcome his own disability but the way this has driven him to help others. Author Helen O’Neill has worked closely with Pescud to put his story on paper. It is a remarkable tale.

Life Without Limits, by Helen O’Neill
Bantam, 2003