Fortune Cookie By Bryce Courtney

Published By Penguin Books Australia $49.95 (Hardback)

“Simon Koo is an ambitious Australian-born Chinese who goes to Singapore in the mid-sixties to work for Samuel Oswald Wing, an advertising agency. But the Wing brothers, who run the agency, are not what they seem. There is soon trouble when Simon falls in love with the forbidden Mercy B. Lord, the illegitimate daughter of a Japanese officer and a Chinese mother who abandoned her on the doorstep of a Catholic orphanage.

With no family or connections, this beautiful young woman is powerless to resist the evil influence of Beatrice Fong, a manipulative businesswoman, who, in league with the Wing brothers, lures her into the dark and dangerous international trade in sex workers and heroin trafficking involving the American CIA. Simon, my unlikely hero, must save her at any cost.

I do hope you enjoy Fortune Cookie – a love story set against the wretched trade in drugs and human misery operating during the Vietnam War.” By Bryce Courtenay

Lazarus Rising by John Howard

Published By Harper Collins Australia RRP $59.95 (Hardback)

Lazarus Rising is history seen through the eyes of the ultimate insider; an account of a 30-year political career. No prime minister of modern times has reshaped Australia and its place in the world as forcefully as John Howard. As part of his reform agenda he privatized Telstra, dismantled excessive union power and compulsory trade union membership, instituted the unpopular Goods and Services Tax, and established the ‘work for the dole’ scheme.

Then there are the insights into political leadership and character, the stuff that drives history. Without his deep reserves of resilience – and the support of a strong wife and loving family – there would have been no Prime Minister John Howard walking the world stage. He tells us how he responded on issues vital to Australia, such as gun control, the aftermath of 9/11, Iraq and the rising tide of asylum-seekers. He also shares his thoughts on his former Treasurer and leadership aspirant, Peter Costello, and the Rudd-Gillard debate.

Lazarus Rising takes us through the life and motivations of John Howard and through the forces which have changed and shaped both him and the country he led for 11 years.

Worth Dying For by Lee Child

Published By Random House RRP $32.95

61 Hours ended with maverick loner Jack Reacher trapped in a desperate situation from which escape seemed impossible. Even for him. But Reacher has done the impossible before. Now there’s deadly trouble in the wilds of Nebraska and Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing eight-year-old girl, already decades-old, that Reacher can’t let go. The Duncans want Reacher gone or dead. And it’s not just past secrets they’re trying to hide. They’re awaiting a secret shipment that’s already late and they have the kind of customers no one can afford to annoy. For as dangerous as the Duncans are, they’re just the bottom of a criminal food chain stretching halfway around the world. Reacher – bruised and battered – should have just kept on going. But for Reacher, that was impossible. Worth Dying For is the kind of explosive thriller only Lee Child could write and only Jack Reacher could survive, a heart-racing page-turner no suspense fan will want to miss.

Undercover: A Novel of a Life by Keith Bulfin

Published By Random House RRP $32.95

Life in the Mexican drug Cartels. Mexican drug cartels. Double agents. International money laundering. Gun fights. Massacres.

This is a novel based on the life of Keith Bulfin – a conservative Melbourne father, pushing middle age – who is drawn into a world of drug smuggling and horrific violence in Mexico City. Keith is a stockbroker when, convicted of conspiracy to defraud, he is inexplicably sent to a Supermax unit in Victoria’s Port Philip prison. There, among the murderers, rapists and psychopaths, Keith befriends the infamous Mexican drug cartel banker, Daniel Gomez. It is a friendship that will change his life.

Once free, Keith is approached by the US Drug Enforcement Agency who are keen to take advantage of his connection with Gomez. Given little choice but to comply and become a DEA Agent, Keith soon learns that his role as an undercover private banker to the ruthless Mexican drug cartels is one of the most dangerous assignments in the world. If discovered, both he and his family will pay the ultimate price for betrayal.

Undercover is a chilling novel that delves into the inside workings of Mexican drug cartels and the DEA, and reveals one man’s courage in outwitting them both in his personal battle for redemption.

Crescent Dawn: A Dirk Pitt Novel by Clive Cussler

Published By Penguin Books Australia RRP $49.95 (Hardback)

Dirk Pitt returns in the extraordinary new novel from the number-one bestselling author Clive Cussler. And now he brings us his greatest adventure of all.

A.D. 327, a Roman galley with an extraordinary cargo barely escapes a pirate attack. In 1916, a British warship mysteriously explodes in the middle of the North Sea. In the present day, a cluster of important mosques in Turkey and Egypt are wracked by explosions. What ties them all together? NUMA director Dirk Pitt and his team are about to find out, as Roman artefacts discovered in Turkey and Israel unnervingly connect to the rise of a fundamentalist movement determined to restore the glory of the Ottoman Empire. From Washington to London, to the treacherous shores of the Near East, dangerous men and desperate acts fill their path, and at the end of it, the most dangerous thing of all: the rumoured existence of a mysterious ‘manifest,’ lost long ago, which if discovered again . . . just might change the history of the world as we know it.