Monday, 18 September 2017

Missing, Presumed (DS Manon Bradshaw Series) by Susie Steiner

Hardback:  At thirty-nine, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own.  One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep - and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene.

Edith Hind - a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family - has been missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Her home offers few clues: a smattering of blood in the kitchen, her keys and phone left behind, the front door ajar but showing no signs of forced entry.  Manon instantly knows that this case will be big - and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive.

The investigation starts with Edith's loved ones:  her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, her patrician parents.  As the search widens and press coverage reaches a frenzied pitch, secrets begin to emerge about Edith's tangled love life and her erratic behaviour leading up to her disappearance.

With no clear leads, Manon summons every last bit of her skill and intuition to close the case, and what she discovers will have shocking consequences not just for Edith's family but for Manon herself.

Suspenseful, beautifully and stylishly written and keenly observed, Missing, Presumed (2016) - the first instalment in the DS Manon series set in Cambridgeshire, England - is a brilliantly twisting novel of how we seek connection, grant forgiveness, and reveal the truth about who we are.

About the author:  Susie Steiner grew up in north London, studied English at university and trained as a journalist.  She worked in newspapers for twenty years, eleven of them on staff at The Guardian. Her first novel, Homecoming, was published by Faber & Faber to critical acclaim in 2013.  Her second, Missing, Presumed was a Sunday Times bestseller which introduced detective Manon Bradshaw.  It was a Richard & Judy book club pick and has sold 200 000 copies to date in the UK.

Missing, Presumed was selected as one of the Guardian’s, Wall Street Journal’s and NPR's standout books of 2016.  It was longlisted for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year and the 2017 Barry Awards Best First Novel.  Persons Unknown (2017), the sequel to Missing, Presumed, is her third novel.  Susie has written extensively about losing her eyesight to Retinitis Pigmentosa.  She lives in London with her husband and two children and is currently working on a third Manon Bradshaw mystery.

Rating:  5/5

A Twisted Society

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Adults In The Room: My Battle With Europe's Deep Establishment (Memoir/Politics) by Yanis Varoufakis

Hardback:  "There are two kinds of politicians," he said:  "insiders and outsiders.  The outsiders prioritize their freedom to speak their version of the truth.  The price of their freedom is that they are ignored by the insiders, who make the important decisions.  The insiders, for their part, follow a sacrosanct rule:  never turn against other insiders and never talk to outsiders about what insiders say or do.  Their reward?  Access to inside information and a chance, though no guarantee, of influencing powerful people and outcomes."

With that Summers arrived at his question.  "So, Yanis," he said, "which of the two are you?"

What happens when you take on the establishment?

In this blistering, personal account, world-famous economist Yanis Varoufakis blows the lid on Europe's hidden agenda and exposes what actually goes on in its corridors of power.

Varoufakis sparked one of the most spectacular and controversial battles in recent political history when, as finance minister of Greece, he attempted to re-negotiate his country’s relationship with the EU.  Despite the mass support of the Greek people and the simple logic of his arguments, he succeeded only in provoking the fury of Europe’s political, financial and media elite.  But the true story of what happened is almost entirely unknown - not least because so much of the EU’s real business takes place behind closed doors.

In this fearless account, Varoufakis reveals all:  an extraordinary tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal that will shake the deep establishment to its foundations.

As is now clear, the same policies that required the tragic and brutal suppression of Greece’s democratic uprising have led directly to authoritarianism, populist revolt and instability throughout the Western world.

Adults In The Room (2017), hailed as one of the greatest political memoirs of all time (Guardian) and a Number One Sunday Times Bestseller, is an urgent wake-up call to renew European democracy before it is too late.

About the author:  Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance minister of Greece and the author of several international bestselling books.

And the Weak Suffer What They Must?:  Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability (2016) reveals the underlying problems that led to the Eurozone crisis and its ongoing catastrophic mishandling.

Adults In the Room: My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment (2017) is an explosive memoir that reveals what goes on behind the scenes in Europe's corridors of power.

Talking To My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism (2014) explains through vivid stories and easily graspable concepts what economics actually is and why it is so dangerous in the form of a letter to his teenage daughter.

Born in Athens in 1961, Yanis Varoufakis was for many years a professor of economics in Britain, Australia and the USA before he entered government and is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.  Since resigning from Greece's finance ministry, he has co-founded an international grassroots movement, DiEM25, campaigning for the revival of democracy in Europe and speaks to audiences of thousands worldwide.

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