Intrigues and crimes and other unexpected occurences are taking place every couple of pages, in this novel about the first and second generation of nouveau riches.
The main focus is the family of tycoon Sheridan Rivers whose greediness - either money or women, nothing seems to be enough for him - will finally cost his life. The collateral victims are his daughters and wife and, in general, everyone getting in touch with him.
Every protagonist of the story seems to hide more or less immoral secrets, that are revealed when you expect less. With a lot of hard core scenes and thriller episodes - with thugs from NY and other underworld characters -, there is enough material for an entertaining soap opera.
I particularly appreciated how the time sequences are integrated into the big story, allowing to see the full picture of the characters through the past and present episodes.
Rating: 4 stars
PhD and Romance
As a PhD myself, I fancy books where it is about academics finding their way through life and love. French-British Natalie Dryden, doctor in Middle Ages history with a thesis on Cathars, decided to break up with her successful fiance, after overhearing a discussion between his mother and sister about her inadequate dressing and make-up styles. She offers herself a break for spending some time in the South of France with her 90-year old grandmother, her only relative after the sudden death of her parents in a car accident.
While trying to find a serious job and spending some time with her ailing grandmother, she is offered a documentary job for a writer interested in Cathar histories. Surprisingly, he is just the castle owner neighbour next door and from now on, what happens at the beach...
An easy going book, well written, with interesting things to say about women in academia recovering their self respect and aiming to find their equal other half. It makes you feel good and optimistic and ready for a new start.
Rating: 4 stars
Silk Road Stories
I feel in love with this story from the first pages. Well documented and based on the true character of the Niccolo der Conti 14th century traveler, it is more than the history of a mysterious Ming Vase with a dragon. Extended on the span of many centuries, it reaches our 21st with a relatively easy going story of a single mother, Miranda, who inherited it from an aunt, but it is keeping it only for sentimental memories.
When a con auctioner is entering her life and took the vase away from her in exchange of a ridiculous sum after a short, she realizes that it might me more behind it than a pure decorative object. A short investigation and fast decision, will block the attempts though. The legend said that this vase brings good luck, and either true or not, the last owners become overnight multi-millionaires, after its successful sale at a Hong Kong auction house.
Three stories - of the vase, of the preparation techniques and of Miranda - are interwinned. Miranda's story is by far the least interesting, too slow paced for my taste. I recommend this book to anyone in love with history novels and a bit, just a little bit of suspense.
Rating: 4 stars
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