Reading List: Stephen Desberg

reading-list

March 6, 2019

Stephen Desberg was born in Brussels in 1954 and started out as a comic book author in 1976, writing short stories for Tintin magazine. In 1980 Desberg began working for the weekly Spirou magazine, taking over the Tif and Tondu adventure series, illustrated by Will. He then successively created the characters 421, Billy the Cat, Mic Mac Adam and Jimmy Tousseul, before gradually moving to a more adult readership, publishing two albums… Continue reading

Jack Wolfgang

With the invention of Super Mega Tofu, civilization has seen the advent of a fragile peace—between animals and humans, between carnivores and herbivores. This miracle food has the peculiar quality of being universally loved. Jack Wolfgang, the world-renowned restaurant critic, travels the world sampling Super Mega Tofu in all of its varieties. It’s the perfect cover for his second identity: Jack Wolfgang, CIA special agent. When his friend and mentor is killed, Jack picks up the scent of a conspiracy and tracks it half way around the globe. Can society survive this collision of fine dining and espionage?

Miss October

Hollywood, 1961. After a blow to the head, the beautiful Viktor Scott wakes with no memory of her attempted rape that left her permanently deaf. But her rich father has stifled the police investigation for fear of bad publicity. When Viktor begins a new life as a cat burglar, it seems only a matter of time before she crosses paths with the straight-shooting Lt. Clegg. But better to run afoul of a hard-bitten detective than his quarry: a serial killer with a twisted appetite for posing his victims’ corpses as Playboy centerfolds. A mid-century noir redolent of Ross MacDonald and James Ellroy.

The Last Jungle Book

Just outside Delhi, the capital of India, a man called Mowgli rents a house on the outskirts of the jungle, where he plans to live out the rest of his days. The forest is not nearly as vast as it once was, but the air, the trees and the hills still retain a thousand memories: the cries of birds long departed, the calls of brother wolves that have since died off, the rage of a jealous tiger… For Mowgli, the jungle is the stomping ground of his childhood and his path to adolescence, including the undeniable need to grow up and leave it. For Mowgli, it is time to rediscover the jungle so as to prevent the world of men from stealing away his innocence and his illusions. For this man growing ever older, these memories take him back to a time when all he had to do was learn, and not yet pay the price of his mistakes…

Sherman

“The bill always comes due…” Jay Sherman is the American Dream come true: a self-made man who worked himself up from the streets to the upper echelons of moneyed society. But when his son Robert, a promising Democratic presidential candidate, is shot before his eyes, Sherman’s world spins into chaos. Threats on his life and that of his estranged daughter soon follow. An old mentor turned FBI chief steps up to offer his protection, but lacking any real leads, they can only look into Sherman’s past… which has more than its share of skeletons. A political thriller with Gatsbyesque overtones.

Golden Dogs

Fanny, like so many other girls of her time, has been driven to selling her body to survive. She has since become the most sought-after prostitute of her brothel. She knows people, she knows things, and she is determined to one day move on to a better life. One day, the handsome and enigmatic James Orwood seeks her out, and makes her a proposition that might just be the making of her. He wants to use her reputed powers of seduction to get information from the rich and powerful. They form an alliance, along with Lario and Lucrecia, all four of them bringing a unique skill to the table. This could be the beginning of something great…

Black OP

It’s 1945. Floyd Whitman discovers that ‘those scumbag communists’ have killed his father. He’s just a child, but he resolves to one day join the CIA. By 2003, America has triumphed over the Soviet Union, but the Russian mafia has become the most powerful, and certainly the most violent criminal group throughout the whole country. Through the fate of one man–young and full of illusions in 1965, but rather more embittered in 2003–we see the CIA help the Russian mafia get back on its feet in the squalid back rooms of the American empire. A great spy adventure comparable with the best of Hollywood thrillers.

Bagdad INC

It’s Bagdad 2004. There are almost as many fighters in the private armies as there are official soldiers. When one of these mercenaries falls into homicidal madness and starts killing Iraqi civilians, the American government fear an international scandal. A young military legal advisor and a laconic ex-mercenary are sent on the trail of the killer.

Desert Star

Our story starts in Washington, 1870. Matthew Montgomery has an important post at the Ministry of Defense. He’s rather an inflexible man who always respects the rules, which is why he warned his daughter, Helen, not to leave with that idiot, Glover. Of course, she did it anyway, and now she wants to come back and expects to be pardoned. But when Matthew arrives home the night of his Helen’s return, he opens the door to find his wife and daughter slaughtered in the hallway, and a strange star engraved on his daughter’s breast. His whole life is turned upside down. Traumatized, he starts out on the trail of the killers, with just one clue to help him on his way: a name – Jason Cauldry, from Topeka. Matthew wants to know why some stranger came such a long way just to etch that damn star onto his daughter’s body, so he sets off on a long journey, crossing the Appalachian mountains and the Mid-West, all the way to Topeka. But what will he find there?

Mayam

Lenny June is your average happy-go-lucky expat, out for a good time and a quick buck. And on Tyr Mayam, a technologically backward planet riven by religious rivalries, he has it easy. It helps that he’s quick-witted, handsome, and an exclusive member of the Galactic Confederation’s Terran delegation to a world that’s been declared an ethnologically protected zone for the next 500 years. But Lenny’s life is about to change. For one, his fiancée is due from Earth any day now. And Tyr Mayam, with its doomsday cults and competing sects, has surprises in store, buried deep in ancient history…

Cassio

Rome, 145 CE: Cassio, a prominent lawyer who once saved the Emperor’s life, wakes in the night to noises. Four assassins have entered his villa and overpowered his formidable slave, the warrior Alva. He seems to know them, and knows why they have come… Ephesus, present day: archeologist Ornella Grazzi finds a ruin with a fresco of Cassio’s face. The papyrus scrolls inside tell the beginning of a story she has long suspected and been searching for clues to all her life: how Cassio survived his own assassination and came back from the dead for vengeance…

 

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