April Picks

Bogdanich, Walt, Michael Forsythe (2022) When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm. Random House.

McKinsey and Company are the most widely recognised consultancy firm in the world. McKinsey has a reputation for recruiting top talent, high level advisory to governments and corporates, being values driven and above all, discrete. This revelatory work follows the money and explodes the myths around McKinsey painting a portrait of greed, corruption, unbridled ambition, invidious actions, and dubious ethics, cloaked by NDAs and fostered by a network of alumni. The cases studied are an exposé of how McKinsey has directly benefited the elite, encouraged disinvestment in people, and boosted profits whilst doing untold harm to millions. A long overdue probe into the staggering influence of McKinsey on the global stage. Shocking.

Rating: 5/5

Lewis, Susan (2023) No One Saw it Coming. HarperCollins.

Someone is threatening Hanna and her family. A risqué betrayal permeates her glamorous high-profile life, whilst her husband Jack has a big secret. When people around her start getting hurt, and others come under suspicion, Hanna begins to wonder why she is at the heart of all the drama. She is reliant on her close friends to help her unravel a mystery with psychosis at its heart. Some significant twists, but…

Rating: 3/5

Fforde, Katie (2023) One Enchanted Evening. Century.

Meg wants to be a professional cook. So, when her mother gives her the chance to run her own kitchen at a small old-fashioned Dorset hotel she jumps at the chance. But it’s 1964, and kitchens are still a man’s domain, as Justin, the owner’s son, infuriating points out. Nevertheless trusty Meg rises to the occasion and saves the day. Fforde’s annual feel-good romance.

Rating: 3/5

Nugent, Liz (2023) Strange Sally Nugent. SandyCove.

When Sally put her dead father out with the rubbish she drew untold attention from the media and the police. Sally is reclusive, literal-minded and emotionally disconnected from the world around her. But Sally has a sinister past, all but forgotten by Sally herself. As the darkness is uncovered the history of this damaged and eccentric woman is slowly exposed by the two narrators. Although this book has received some amazing accolades I found the story heartbreaking, and harrowing.

Rating: 3/5

Griffiths, Elly (2023) The Last Remains. Quercus.

When a skeleton is found hidden behind a wall in a King’s Lynn cafe DCI Harry Nelson and forensic archeologist Dr Ruth Galloway are called in. The remains are identified as that of student archeologist who went missing in the 1990s whilst on a weekend ‘dig’. Suspicion falls on her former tutor and Ruth’s friend, and series regular, Cathbad. Then Cathbad goes missing while Ruth is balancing numerous balls – her relationship with Nelson, the threat of closure of her university archaeology department, motherhood, and her friends and family. A cosy mystery with familiar well-loved characters in their fifteenth and final outing. A fitting finale. Enjoyable.

Rating: 4/5

Frankopan, Peter (2023) The Earth Transformed: An Untold Story. Bloomsbury.

The natural environment around us, and the climate that supports it, frames human existence on our planet. Although our species have been on earth for such a short time it is the human story of resourcefulness, resilience and adaption that is at the heart of this book. Frankopan writes on how we have suffered natural ecological disasters, and engineered our own in turn, from surviving mega-floods, weather shifts, volcanic eruptions, disease, urbanisation, conquest, geopolitics, and geoengineering, to endless transformation, transition and change, but that it might be a supervolcano that will do us all in in the end! A mighty tome that is historical, speculative and quasi-apocalyptic. Overwhelming big read.

Rating: 5/5


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