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Which way out?

The Easy Way Out Book Cover The Easy Way Out
Stephen Amsterdam
death, medicine, bereavement, assisted suicide
riverrun
(3 Nov. 2016)

Evan is a nurse - a suicide assistant. His job is legal - just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it.

Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.

As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against the limits of the law - and his own morality. And with Viv increasingly unwell, his love life complicated, to say the least, Evan begins to wonder who might be there for him, when the time comes

 

So imagine this.  You work in a hospital with terminally ill patients. Would you give them the option to die? Would you offer them, and their families, a way to choose their death now? By taking poison. Before they can no longer physically ask for this because of their illness.

How would you feel? A ministering angel? An angel of death? Or are you saving them from a lingering and painful death?

As a person who has a Living Will whereby I ask not to be resuscitated, I would like to be offered the poison before I am past the stage of no longer being capable of expressing my wishes. But this is clearly an issue on which people hold very strong views. Pro-life stories having the same effect.

As such, you would expect to be gripped by a book talking about this moral dilemma and how the nurse involved in this project felt. But I wasn’t. I tried twice and failed to care. It seemed that the author was more interested in exploring the nurse’s sexual life/habits than the emotional trauma  potential of the story-line. This was a shame and left me disappointed.

 

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How difficult it is when you have everything money can buy

Rich people’s problems Book Cover Rich people’s problems
Kevin Kwan
Fiction
Doubleday Books
May 23, 2017
384

Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with an uproarious new novel of a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royal fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia's greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance. When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside--but he's not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park--a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore--the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife--a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid's reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dancefloor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan's gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia's most privileged families.

 

The main problem that most rich people see to have, especially the nouveau riche, (less than 4 generations of wealth in my definition), is that they are rich. And for them, they tend to believe that they are the centre of everyone’s universe, and are very demanding, intolerant, inveterate gossips, and basically as selfish as they come. And they don’t what more they can spend their money on to demonstrate their wealth and that they are richer than their ‘friends’. They travel in private jets of course, with full spa pools, masseuses, hair-dressers, maids, make-up artists, body guards and anyone else they think they might need.. and no I am not jealous – except maybe a little bit of the masseuses – that would be nice to have a daily massage.

This book centres on the Singaporean and Chinese newly rich – and those that made their wealth in the days of the British government. The sub-title ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ certainly sums up the story well.

The book follows the lives of a small number of very rich families as the matriarch falls ill and may die and the family vultures that gather around and start manoeuvring.

The matriarch is the heir to the biggest single estate in Singapore and her own heir is uncertain as she fell out with her grandson when she disapproved of his marriage.

I liked the mention of Charlie Siem playing the violin at the wedding as he is one  my favourite artists – I have heard him play in London and he was wonderful.

For me one big bugbear of this book is that the author uses a lot of Singaporean words and then adds notes to the end of each chapter like a textbook. Either provide a full glossary at the book end or beginning or assume that us readers will muddle through – most of us don’t care about the exact translation anyway.

 

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Books/book review/fiction/crime fiction
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Don’t annoy the bad guys

Tough Justice Exposed Book Cover Tough Justice Exposed
#1 of 8
Carla Cassidy
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Police procedurals
Harlequin
12 Jan. 2016

A new job. A new case. A new criminal…?

Special Agent Lara Grant will do anything to get her mark—until her last undercover case, infiltrating the notorious Moretti crime ring, forced her to get close to the top. Way. Too. Close…

Now starting a new job in New York City, all Lara wants is to leave the ghosts of her past behind. Until a dramatic sniper attack leaves Lara’s face – and real name – all over the media. In the blink of an eye, her cover is blown, her identity exposed.

Then a woman’s body is found, branded with the ritual Moretti tattoo. Someone knows who Lara is…and exactly how to make her pay…

Lara returns to work as an FBI  agent after a year undercover with the Moreti Crime Syndicate, followed by a year as a protected witness during their trial.

On her very first day a suicidal jumper asks for her by name and a series of bizarre occurrences linking her, apparently, to the Morettis, happen.

I really need to read what happens next! There are 7 more parts to the story…

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Gotta love a dog

Lone Wolf Book Cover Lone Wolf
K9
Sara Driscoll
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Police procedurals
Kensington
Nov 2016

In the first book in a thrilling new series, FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and Hawk, her loyal search-and-rescue Labrador, must race against time as they zero in on one of the deadliest killers in the country . . .
Meg and Hawk are part of the FBI s elite K-9 unit. Hawk can sniff out bodies anywhere living or dead whether it s tracking a criminal or finding a missing person. When a bomb rips apart a government building on the National Mall in Washington D.C., it takes all of the team s extensive search-and-rescue training to locate and save the workers and visitors buried beneath the rubble.
But even as the duo are hailed as heroes, a mad bomber remains at large, striking terror across the Eastern seaboard in a ruthless pursuit of retribution. As more bombs are detonated and the body count escalates, Meg and Hawk are brought in to a task force dedicated to stopping the unseen killer. But when the attacks spiral wide and any number of locations could be the next target, it will come down to a battle of wits and survival skills between Meg, Hawk, and the bomber they re tracking to rescue a nation from the brink of chaos."

A story here that combines dog love and FBI work – or how working dogs – whether attack, drug finders, corpse finders or even those who help in disasters to find buried people, help the FBI and law enforcement in their work – and search and rescue.

Having followed a search episode as written in the story,  I can truthfully say that the work for the dog handler, is only for those who are seriously fit. Not only do they often have to run long distances, in steel-toe capped boots, but often through different terrains, up hill and down hill, through water and bush, and generally prove that you are a long distance fell runner / marathon runner.

The dogs of course, steal this story.

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Don’t trust what you are told!

Sometimes I Lie Book Cover Sometimes I Lie
Alice Feeney
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
HQ
2017-03
384

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma

2. My husband doesn’t love me any more

3. Sometimes I lie

Now Amber has OCD and notices when things move in her environment and finds it a stress reliever to put things right and repeat her daily patterns.

It would seem that she has a lot of stress to cope with as we read her diary and hear about her job and familial relationships.

But.

It’s Xmas Day when the book starts and Amber is in hospital in a coma after a car accident. She also has bruises around her neck from hand s as though someone tried to strangle her and on her legs as though she was raped. But who did this? Was it her husband?

Amber is awake under the coma and we read her thoughts. She thinks that she never drives – especially her husband’s sports car – but she crashed through hi windscreen through not wearing a seatbelt when the car hit a tree. No one else was in the car.

But as the book progresses we hear different versions of her story told by Amber, who admits that she lies.

What is the truth of her childhood? Was it as portrayed in the diary entries? And who is Claire, because the child writing the diaries was an only child. So how can she be her sister?

So reality changes until we read the end and we are surprised by what we find out.

A very well written story that you can’t put down until you what happened and who did what and yes, we are shocked at times by what we learn. Excellent.

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