Hello Dubai by Joe Bennett

The Blurb On The Back:

Skiing, sand and shopping in the world’s weirdest city.

When Joe Bennett was at school he hadn’t heard of Dubai.  If you’d asked him where it was he would have guessed Africa.  Or perhaps India, or Asia, or even Europe.  And he wouldn’t have been far wrong, because Dubai isn’t far from anywhere.

Once nothing more than a hot little port on the Arabian Gulf, Dubai transformed seemingly overnight into a hub of global trade and global finance.  And it made this transformation peaceably; bringing Muslim and Christian worlds together without succumbing to the wars and terrorism that blight the region.  Dubai seemed like a model for the way ahead.

But when the economic crisis put the wind up global capitalism, Dubai came to be seen as the emblem of a rotten world.  Dubai was brash.  Dubai was cruel.  Dubai was exploitative.  Dubai was a speculative bubble.  Dubai, in short, was plain bloody horrible.

Leaving the comfort of his armchair, Joe Bennett embarks on a quest to discover just what (and where) Dubai really is.  Can it go on?  Has it sold itself to the corporate dollar?  Is it anything more than a mall in the desert?  Will the sands return?

Absurdly funny, wise and witty, Hello Dubai is another wonderful journey from the author of A Land Of Two Halves, Mustn’t Grumble and Where Underpants Come From.

You can order HELLO DUBAI by Joe Bennett from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the review copy of this book.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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The Blue Death by Joan Brady

The Blurb On The Back:

For generations the Freyls have ruled Springfield, Illinois, capital of a state of Great Lakes and rivers.  Now convicted killer David Marion threatens their invincibility, and he threatens it from within their own ranks.

Water: it’s blue gold, and the price on world markets is soaring.  When Springfield gets a new mayor, it finds its supply under threat, not only from corporations out for the money but from a disease that appears from nowhere, that nobody can identify and nobody can treat.

None of this interests David Marion until his own past surfaces and he finds himself caught between multinational leviathans at war over America’s heartland.  

You can order THE BLUE DEATH by Joan Brady from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, or Waterstone’s.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the review copy of this book.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Anatomy Of A Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

The Blurb On The Back:

Sophie’s husband, James, is a loving father and a successful public figure. Yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to engulf him. She’s kept his darkest secret ever since they were first lovers, at Oxford. And if she stood by him then, she can do it now.

Kate is the barrister prosecuting his case. She’s certain that James is guilty and determined he should pay. No stranger to suffering herself, she doesn’t flinch from posing the questions few want to hear. About what happens between a man and a woman when they’re alone: alone in a bed, alone in an embrace, alone in a lift …

Is James the victim of an unfortunate misunderstanding or the perpetrator of something sinister? Who is right: Sophie or Kate? This scandal – which forces Sophie to appraise her marriage and Kate her demons – will have far-reaching consequences for them all. 

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Fever by Mary Beth Keane

The Blurb On The Back:

Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant in New York at the turn of the twentieth century, has battled fiercely to better her lot in life.  She works her way up the ranks to cook for the wealthiest families in Manhattan, but leaves a trail of death and disease in her wake.  When she is accused of spreading typhoid and imprisoned in complete isolation on an island off Manhattan, despite being perfectly healthy herself, she refuses to understand her paradoxical situation.  Condemned by press and public alike, she is branded a murderer, but continues to fight for her freedom.   

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The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Blurb On The Back:

Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her House is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her.  Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin, Henry VI of England, fails to recognise her as a kindred spirit, and even more when he sinks into madness.  Worst of all for Margaret is discovering that her mother is sending her to a loveless marriage in remote Wales.

Married to a man twice her age, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph.  She sets her heart on putting her son Henry on the throne of England regardless of the cost.  Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty she sends Henry into exile and pledges him in marriage to the daughter of her enemy Elizabeth Woodville.  She feigns loyalty to the usurper King Richard III, marries one of his faithful supporters and then masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of the time – all the while knowing that her son is growing to manhood, recruiting an army, his eyes on the greatest prize. 

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