Dead Rich, G.W. Shaw

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Author: G.W. Shaw (William Shaw)

Pub date (paperback) November 2022

Publisher Riverrun Quercus Books 

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529420032
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529420036

Blurb:

Super yachts are secretive, like their owners. The bigger the richer. Like castles, they are created to inspire awe. Like castles too, they are defended. They are an entire world, separate from the rest of us.

Kai, a carefree once-successful musician is invited by his new Russian girlfriend Zina to join her family's Caribbean holiday. Impulsively accepting he learns that Zina is the daughter of a Russian oligarch, Stepan Pirumov and that the trip is aboard his yacht, the Zinaida, moored in St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The crew consists of Captain Marius Falk, the first mate Erin Wade and a hastily assembled staff, including a chief stewardess Marissa from Miami, a chief engineer from Lagos and a personal trainer from Los Angeles. All know how to behave around the very rich.

On arrival Kai discovers that the head of security has been arrested, armed guards are below deck, there's an onboard panic room and a strong sense of all not being quite right beneath the gleaming surfaces of the Pirumov's lives. An unnerving presence punctures the atmosphere: a murderous imposter is on board the Zinaida, but who is it?

Kai will find that the only person he can trust will be Erin and that the world of the super-rich will become a prison from which they must escape. Part locked-room suspense, part adventure story, Dead Rich is an unforgettable, edge of the seat thriller set in the blazing heat of the Caribbean

Review

The Best Read of the year

This is something a little special from William Shaw, all his stories are guaranteed to keep noses to books yet this is something a little different, a real, heart pounding thriller! It has everything, including a glimpse into the glamorous world of the super rich, travel to exotic and distant shores, intrigue, plots and counter plots, the world of music and much more.
The further I got in to the story the faster I read, I had to slow myself down so as not to miss anything.
As is usual with William Shaw's books we learn something new about the world around us.
As with all his work, this is beautifully written, another master class in "how to write"

thanks to NetGalley, Quercus Books

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Pub Date 07 June 2022
Publisher Poisoned Pen Press

"The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman's terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who'd happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer" ....

Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this advanced copy
The plot? yes, well, it's complicated!
First up we have Hannah, a fictional Australian author writing a novel set in the city of Boston, USA.  Hannah has a fan/beta reader by the name of Leo, he actually lives in Boston, they have not met as Hannah remains in Australia, they communicate solely by email
Next we have Freddie, who is the star of Hannah's novel, Freddie lives in Boston , there is also a Leo in Freddie's life. 

Freddie seeks inspiration for her novel in the reading room of the Boston Public Library, she discreetly studies the four strangers at her table and, in the way of a fiction writer, creates new names and characters for each of them.
Little does she know that one blood curdling scream echoing through the library will connect these strangers to her and to each other in a most unusual fashion!

Meanwhile, back in Australia, Hannah continues to receive both compliments and faint criticism from Leo. Over time Leo's emails get somewhat demanding, he becomes annoyed when his advice and suggestions go unheeded, he also gets downright creepy.

In Boston Freddie is caught up in a series of events that will leave you turning those pages as fast as you can!

I really enjoyed this book except for the ending, it wrapped up a bit too quickly, I felt I was left hanging over the outcome of a certain character. Maybe it's just me and other more perceptive readers will have worked it out.

Now that I've discovered  Sulari Gentill I will be looking out for her other works


Pub Date 05 May 2022 Thanks to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for uncorrected arc
Publisher summary:
"An old house can hold many secrets. Hollowpark in the west of Ireland certainly does. At the heart of the gardens is an intricate maze, named after a deadly poison, Belladonna. If you know the way through, it's magical, a hiding place and playground like no other. If you don't, it's a place of fear and sinister riddles, where a young girl once went missing and was never seen again.

Grace comes to Hollowpark as a nanny for young Skye FitzMahon. Soon the mysterious past of Hollowpark has seduced her. Who is the woman she sometimes glimpses in an upstairs window? Or the apparition who keeps showing up unexpectedly, pleading, 'Find me'


Our hero is Grace, a professional nanny, Grace has a routine, her summers are spent working on a Greek island and winters are spent working in temporary nanny posts in chilly Britain, that is, until a turn of events leads to her acceptance of a job in Ireland.
This is where the real adventures begin. The story unfolds over two time periods, the 1840s where we meet the then inhabitants of Hollowpark and 2007 when Grace first arrives. The author meshes these different times beautifully
Of course, all is not as it seems and, believe me, there are little twists and turns from beginning to end, all very Agatha Christie!
Oh how I enjoyed this story! You know you have found exactly the right book for you when you find yourself put off doing all those things you ought to be doing, just so as you can get back to reading this intriguing, captivating tale.
This is an ideal weekend read for those who love a good mystery that is a little "other worldly" yet is not too dark

Saturday, 5 March 2022


Published May 18th 2021 by Park Row

People don’t just disappear without a trace....

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find....

In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times best-selling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

Oh dear!

I've read books by this author, some I really very much enjoyed and one other I very much did not, anyway, I decided to give her another go
If one were to outline the plot it would seem to have all the ingredients for a really good book, but somewhere something went wrong, maybe it was written in a hurry!
There were too many implausible incidents, other little things were never followed up on or indeed, never even mentioned again. 

All in all too many holes in the story making for an unsatisfactory ending which stretches credulity to its very limits

Thursday, 3 March 2022


 Author Dervla McTiernan

Publication Date 4th May 2022

Publisher: Harper Collins Australia 

"For fans of the compulsive psychological suspense of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a mother daughter story—one running from a horrible truth, and the other fighting to reveal it—that twists and turns in shocking ways, from the internationally bestselling author of The Scholar and The Ruin.

First Rule: Make them like you.

Second Rule: Make them need you.

Third Rule: Make them pay.


They think I’m a young, idealistic law student, that I’m passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.
They think I’m working hard to impress them.
They think I’m here to save an innocent man on death row.
They're wrong. I’m going to bury him" .......

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers Australia for advanced copy

I looked forward to reading this book because I am such a huge fan of the author, I knew this "standalone" would be a departure from her usual police procedurals, unfortunately I never much cared for legal thrillers and this book is just that. It's not the authors fault that this reader was too daft to work out that this book is just that, legal, and American legal at that!
I guess the "death row" mention should have clued me in!

This, of course, makes it very difficult to rate a book from a genre one usually avoids when forced to use the star system, I suppose it is best to just state what one disliked, that way, someone who does enjoy all the legal aspects will happily buy it!

I found it a slow start, mainly because it was hard for me to get interested in such an unlikeable character as Hannah. I won't add too much to the publishers summary other than that Hannah, through deceit and cunning manages to inveigle herself into the Innocence Project, this is when her devious work begins in earnest.

The story is told over two timelines, her mothers past, told through her old diary, and Hannah's present day, this adds some interest.
However, the the further I progressed the more outlandish the US law and legal procedurals seemed to become, I realise they are quite different to ours in many ways but surely, that courtroom scene, the one with the students seemingly running the show, could that really happen? I don't know, but then, I'm not American!

The author does a marvellous job of creating characters who are very nasty pieces of work!
I really wanted to enjoy this book so much more than I did but I hope anyone reading this will get just why I didn't enjoy it


Published January 4th 2022 by Ballantine Books

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Public library edition

there was quite a queue at my library and as everyone seems to be raving about it, once it arrived I couldn't wait to get stuck in.
Sad to say but for me it did not live up to the hype. Molly behaves in pretty much the same way as any other FICTIONAL neurodivergent with all the expected quirks of character, except that there's something else about Molly, something unsettling.
It's a difficult book to review without spoilers so, all I will say is this, for me it was spoiled by two glaring clues which made the outcome a little obvious

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Julie Goodwin's Essential Cookbook


Published April 2017 by Hachette Australia 

"Australia's best-loved home cook and original MASTERCHEF, Julie Goodwin is back with the accessible and practical cookbook every family needs.
Looking for the perfect meal for your family?
All you need to make delicious food to feed your hungry loved ones is contained here in one place. Collected here for the first time you can find Julie's essential go-to recipes: from making a great omelette, to roasting the perfect chicken, preparing simple and satisfying soups and salads and baking classic cakes, muffins and desserts that will become family favourites. Whatever ingredients you have in the house, no matter the season or occasion, you can put together a tasty feast that will please everyone, every time" .....

Review
EDIT!!!
I've been using this book quite a bit and have discovered a big inconvenience, nothing to do with Julie but with the books layout. So annoying when the complete recipe is NOT displayed on a single page - or even double page spread. Nobody wants to turn the page half way through a recipe!

I do love cookbooks and really looked forward to browsing through Julie Goodwin’s well titled Essential Cookbook.
The book is in paperback form with a glossy wipeable cover, at the back are a few plain pages to use for jotting down notes, and the front and back covers have sturdy flaps to use as bookmarks.

According to the introduction, Julie wrote this with her sons in mind, by gathering all the recipes she has accumulated from family and other sources over the years and bringing them together, along with "little bits of kitchen wisdom”, she has ensured that her boys will always have mum’s recipes close by.

In the Cooks note Julie includes a (blessedly short) list of kitchen equipment that would be helpful to own, comfortingly adding that not to worry if you don't own it all because "there's not much that can't be achieved if you have a good pan, a good knife, a whisk and a wooden spoon".
Heck, she even clarifies that eternal spring onion/eschallot/shallot debate!
What I call "spring onions" Julie calls "shallots", and somebody somewhere calls "eschallots" so now we are clear.

The recipes are, of course, divided in to the usual sections and are well laid out, not every recipe has a photograph of the finished product, probably because there are so many of them!
Where necessary, a recipe will have a footnote with helpful suggestions and a bit of guidance on substitutions or where to buy certain ingredients.

The guide to the various methods of cooking meat is useful, especially as recommendations for the most suitable cuts for each method is included and, importantly, the reasons for why we should use them.
This sets the tone for all of the recipes, if there is a little tidbit of advice she thinks will help then Julie provides it.

I like that the meat section includes not only the cheaper family style recipes, such as cottage pie, meatballs and the like, but dishes for those special occasions, Beef Wellington for instance, a little too technical for me, but on reading the clear instructions I am tempted to give it a go one day.

If, like me, you are a sucker for a good sauce, you will love the Sauce, Soups and Dips section which includes a gorgeous and very tasty pepper sauce recipe, I didn’t have a steak handy but it certainly bucked up the snags!

I couldn't resist trying out the cheese stuffed meatballs in sauce, I didn't have enough Mozzarella to fill them all so for some I used Colby, these were OK but I preferred Julie's mozzarella stuffed ones.
I also tried the foolproof No-bake lemon cheesecake, this was so easy to make and absolutely tangy and delicious.

If parents are looking to send their kids out in to the world armed with the knowledge to feed themselves, then this book is entirely fit for purpose.

In fact I can’t think of anyone who would not appreciate this book, it is full of tasty family recipes that have been well tried and tested. Many are of the straightforward home cooking type, others are a little more challenging and others are a little exotic. There is definitely something for everyone.

If nobody buys this lovely book for you then buy it for yourself

Highly recommended

Review copy provided by Hachette Australia
 

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