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Tuesday, 31 December 2019

‘Death In Deia’ by David Coubrough

Published by Galileo Publishing,
25 April 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-903385-86-9 (PB)

Although this is a sequel to the author’s first novel Half A Pound of Tuppeny Rice, it is eminently readable as a stand-alone. The action switches between two very different but equally enticing places, Cornwall and Mallorca and ends with a sinister denouement one Christmas at a family reunion at a gloomy manor house in Suffolk. The design of the book cover, by a woman bearing the same surname as the author, is highly imaginative lending an aura of mystery and skullduggery.

 The death of Ken Stone is the starting point. By fair means or foul, his daughter Alison has inherited his entire fortune of £100 million and, craftily eluding disgruntled relatives, holes up with her lover in Deia, an idyllic village (once the haunt of Robert Graves) on Mallorca’s north-west coast.  Several years elapse before Grant Morrison, a family friend, decides to seek her out and establish how she managed to become the sole heir. Other family members and interested parties get involved in sniffing around and are hot on her trail.

The cast of characters is huge and tricky although the author has helpfully sketched out dramatic personae to which the reader would be well advised to refer to given the proliferation of individuals with axes to grind and a host of stories to tell.  The author hits the ground running, the action is chaotic non-stop, somewhat like watching a Formula 1 race: family going head to head, chases over hairpin bends, a dead person intriguingly   resurrected, eastern European gangsters, kidnappings, disturbing tales of sexual abuse, alcoholism and violence. In the end the author steps up to win the Grand Prix by doing the business. If what he has written already is anything to go by, his potential is exciting.
Reviewer: Serena Fairfax

David Coubrough founded the specialist hospitality company Portfolio Recruitment in the 1980s and twice sold it to public companies, on the second occasion becoming Chief Executive of the PLC. He is on the Board of Governors of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and is a past Chairman of Bespoke Hotels and the Castle Hotel at Taunton. He is a Director of Maldon Sea Salt and is on the Board of Bloomsbury Properties. He co-owns the Beehive pub and Restaurant in Berkshire.

Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India, qualified as a lawyer in England and practised in London for many years. She began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicals   then turned her hand to fiction. Having published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten track that feature on her blog. A tenth, distinctly unromantic, novel is a work in progress. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and singing are a few of her favourite things.

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