TOM CLANCY FULL FORCE AND EFFECT by Mark Greaney -- A North Korean ICBM crashes into the Sea of Japan. A veteran CIA officer is murdered in Ho Chi Minh City, and a package of forged documents goes missing. The pieces are there, but assembling the puzzle will cost Jack Ryan, Jr. and his agents time they don’t have.
This powerful book recounts the failure of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton in an attempt to cross the Antarctic continent in 1914. The subsequent struggle for survival endured by the twenty-eight man crew for almost two years gives to book its title, as well as the name of the ship Shackleton used for the expedition, the Endurance. The ship was eventually crushed by ice floes, leaving the men stranded on the pack ice, where they drifted for over a year. Compelling.
I love all of Kate Morton's novels but this one is my favorite. She writes mystery novels that rely heavily on flashing forward and back in time in the UK. They are all slightly Gothic, painstakingly plotted, and romantic to some degree. I highly recommend them to Anglophiles and mystery/romance lovers everywhere.
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (This is the story of four people in late middle-age - Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia - whose chief point of contact is that they work in the same office and they suffer the same problem - loneliness. Lovingly, poignantly, satirically and with much humour, Pym conducts us through their small lives and the facade they erect to defend themselves against the outside world.)