Saturday, November 17, 2018

Weekend Cooking: What's your cooking passion?

I have mentioned once before that, in addition to doing the Bake It Boxes, I have also joined a baking club on Facebook called The Queen Baking Club (where Queen is the name of a company that makes all sorts of flavouring, food colouring etc).

They set a fortnightly challenge for the members in the club and so far I have made the following .....



Banana Caramel Upside Down Cake



Coconut Rough Magic Cake



Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake



Creamy Ginger Nut Cheesecake








Strawberries & Cream Sheet Cake



Oozing Eyeball Marshmallow Slice



And I have just made Baklava Slice and I am planning to make Easy Vanilla Bean Fudge tomorrow to take for work on Monday

This week they asked a question though about what kind of baking people wanted to have set as challenges in the club (slices, desserts, cupcakes, cake, foodie gifts, healthy baking etc) and it's prompted me to ask a similar question to all my fellow Weekend Cooking bloggers

If you could cook just for pleasure, where you had access to all the ingredients that you needed, time was no object, what would you cook? What's your cooking passion?

 
If you asked me a couple of years ago, I wouldn't have said baking but these days baking is definitely my thing. I have so many recipes I want to find and make. For example, a couple of months ago, the sous chef bought me some half dome silicone moulds. My intention over the next few weeks is to try and locate a recipe to make in that, even if it means having several steps like maybe doing chocolate domes filled with lemon mousse and a sponge base. I don't know exactly what but something. I also still want to try making choux pastry, and so much more!

Just the other day I mentioned on Twitter that my Instagram account is now all about the cakes and that provides extra inspiration too!




Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Weekend Cooking: The Lost Pearl by Emily Madden (Lemon Crunch Cake)

Recently I finished reading The Lost Pearl by Emily Madden. Actually, let me start again. Recently I finished listening to the audiobook of The Lost Pearl by Emily Madden. It is one of my favourite kinds of books - dual storylines in the past and the present linked together.

The story starts with Kit who has been called to the bedside of her ailing grandmother, Katherine. In their final conversation, Katherine surprises Kit by revealing a life long secret. It shocks Kit to think that she didn't know such a big thing about her grandmother as they had always been incredibly close. That is just the beginning as Kit begins to uncover secret after secret. Katherine had never really talked about her early life, and it turns out there were big reasons why. Kit isn't even sure how it was that Katherine ended up living in Australia despite being born in the US

Katherine's story starts in Hawaii, in the weeks prior to the bombing of the fleet in the harbor that was the final impetus to draw the US into WWII. Kitty McGarrie, as she was known then, was the 16 years old daughter of a Rear Admiral and lived a very comfortable life of parties, going to the movies with her friends, and spending time at the beach. The only dampener in her life is really her mother, who is determined that Kitty must be the perfect daughter at all times.

On her 16th birthday her family throws a glamorous party for her, and it is there that Kitty meets Charlie, a sailor who her parents will never approve of as he comes from a lower social class. They fall in love and are determined that they will be together, but fate has a way of having other ideas.

As Kit tries to trace her grandmother's history, she finds herself attending the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing in her stead. She meets people who knew Kitty and can help fill in some of the gaps. She also meets Adam, a man who is self assured to the point of arrogance, but who agrees to show her around Hawaii, in particular taking Kit to places which help her see glimpses into how Kitty's life would have been in the lead up to that fateful day when everything changed.

Adam also had a tendency to challenge Kit about her own past and how it is affecting her life now.

The narration was quite good on this one. I do some times find it difficult to transition from one audiobook to the next as I am used to listening to one voice and the new voice can be jarring. At first, the narrator's voice sounded a bit light (particularly seeing as the previous book I listened to was Lethal White, the latest Robert Cormoran book) but overall it was a good performance, and I found myself thinking about the book when I was doing other things. When I started my next audiobook after this one I once again had the transition issue, so I guess that means that I was invested in this performance.

Recently I have had a couple of conversations on Facebook where people had asked whether we are at saturation point for stories set in WWII. I will admit that I have been at saturation point for the Tudors for many, many years. The difference for me is that the Tudors were all about one family, with three or four main characters, covering a period of 50 - 60 years but there is so much scope for a WWII story. It covers a shorter period but the story can be set in numerous countries in Europe, in the Pacific or even the stories of people left at home. There are literally millions of people whose story can be told and more often that not, the stories I love are not necessarily about the mechanics of war but rather about the stories of people living with extreme adversity and still managing to survive and find happiness.

There is still plenty of scope for the big events though. As I mentioned above the main historical part of this book is set around the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Whilst I am sure that there are plenty of books set in that time and place, this is the first time I recall reading it, especially hearing it from the perspective of the sailors who were on the ships as they were bombed.

There are quite a few mentions in the book of different food that you would have found in Hawaii in the early 1940's including something called shave ice, but the item that caught my attention was  called Lemon Crunch Cake. I have been looking around for recipes and found one at Fork to Belly which looks pretty good. Most interestingly, the blogger has added a bit of history about the cake and the places it used to be and still is served in which was interesting reading, especially seeing as I was hearing about some of those same places in the book.

A few weeks ago I posted about my evolution as a baker, and I think that this cake represents that pretty well.  There was a time when I wouldn't have been confident enough to try making a layer cake with lots of elements, but I very nearly ended up taking bits and pieces from numerous different recipes to put together.

I was a bit concerned about making a cake using American measurements rather than the Australian ones I am used to, and there was also a couple of ingredients that were initially a bit unfamiliar to me. I was also keen to use real lemon juice rather than lemon extract.   I was therefore looking around for other lemon sponge cake recipes that I could use, and I almost got to the point where I was going to take a sponge cake recipe from one website, and the pastry cream and the toffee crunch from the original recipe. The other thing was that the recipe called for shop bought lemon curd, but I have made that before when I made a lemon mousse cake a couple of months ago, so I already knew that I was going to make my own curd. In the end though, I decided to go with the original recipe because it looked like such a light, fluffy sponge and I didn't want to make a cake that was too dense. It turns out that those unfamiliar ingredients really just have different names here.

So here is my take on the Lemon Crunch Cake. It is a super light lemon sponge, with a layer of pastry cream (which I have never made before), a layer of lemon curd, covered with lemon flavoured whipped cream and then topped with a toffee crunch. So delicious! I will make it again, although I might make half the toffee and only put it on the top




And with all that delicious leftover lemon curd we could have pancakes with lemon curd or mini lemon tarts with some leftover pastry that I have in the fridge. Or crumpets with butter and lemon curd! I'm sure we will find something.

I have a bit of the travel bug really, and I came home several times and said to the sous chef that I wanted to go to the Arizona Memorial. It was already on our list of places to go one day, but this book just reiterated it. And if I do go, I will be sure to make my way to The Alley, one of two places who still serve this cake.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Weekend Cooking: "Fried" chicken

When we aren't eating cake we are trying to eat a little healthier, but I am struggling a little bit with it. One of the reasons that I am struggling is that the sous chef has decided that we are going to eat more low carb high fat/keto rather than the traditional low fat/calorie counting philosophy of losing weight. This means we have been doing things like eating cauliflower mash and cauliflower fried rice. Where I am struggling is with things like eating bacon and eggs for breakfast on a regular basis or eating keto cheesecake as dessert. I have 30 years plus of conditioning around eating low fat yoghurt, drinking low fat milk, not frying anything, and certainly not having a kind of cheesecake for dessert.

Having said that, we are currently watching a British cooking show called Lose Weight for Good. It is hosted by a chef called Tom Kerridge. Tom was very, very overweight and lost a lot of weight by cutting out carbs and exercising but his show is all about how to eat delicious low fat, calorie counted food because that is what the UK government recommends as the best way to lose weight.  I am interested in getting hold of his previous book where he talked about the food he actually ate to lose weight.

It does make it a bit challenging to have the two different ways of eating but at the end of the day it's about trying to find tasty food to enjoy.

One of the early recipes in the series was for a Southern "fried" chicken and it looked so delicious that we had to try it, and the recipe was definitely a winner. We took it for lunch a couple of days with salad. Definitely a recipe to try again and again. If fact we had it for dinner again tonight!

We did also have an avocado dressing with the salad. I don't love avo but the sous chef is very keen on it, but it was very tasty to have with the chicken and salad.

Southern "fried" chicken (Tom Kerridge)


12 boneless chicken thighs (1kg/2lb 4oz in total), skin and visible fat removed
sunflower oil spray

For the crispy coating

75g/2½oz plain flour
1 tsp garlic salt
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade

200ml/7fl oz low-fat buttermilk
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp flaky sea salt
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried sage
¼ tsp white pepper


For the marinade, mix the ingredients together in a large bowl, add the chicken and coat well. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least four hours.

Preheat the oven to its hottest setting and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

For the crispy coating, mix all the ingredients together in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken into the mixture and turn to coat well on all sides. Place on the lined baking tray. Spray each thigh 4–5 times with the oil.

Cook on the top shelf for 20–30 minutes, or until crispy, browned and cooked through. To test, poke the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer, the juices should run clear.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Weekend Cooking: Lemon Meringue Pie

Last week I made Mary Berry's Lemon Meringue Pie, and I have been pondering the way that I have, in effect, been learning the different basics of baking. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have actually attempted making this. Pastry from scratch? Not likely. Meringue? Even more unlikely. But gradually, by taking a series of small steps, I have got to the point where it doesn't feel as thought it is impossible.

So, what were the steps along the way?

Firstly, in relation to pastry, I started out by making Donna Hay's Lemon Tart (actually making the pastry twice due to my own rookie error), and then recently I made chocolate chess tart which starts with a chocolate pastry.  I am most definitely not ready to start making filo pastry or even puff pastry, but I think that shortcrust pastry is something that doesn't intimate me anymore. I do intend trying to make a rough puff pastry at some point, and also to try choux pastry, but not sure when that will be.

I had some exposure to making the lemon filling when I made the lemon tart, but also a few weeks ago I made a lemon mousse cake that started with making lemon curd which was delicious be itself, but then it was folded through cream etc to make a lemon mousse that was so good! As in really, really good!

Meringue has been a little more challenging, but I think that is because it can be influenced by so many factors. You can get the mixture right, but it still might not cook correctly because of humidity or even your equipment not being scrupulously clean. 

I started trying to make meringue last year when we made Eton Mess but that wasn't 100% successful. Since then I have made meringues a couple of times, most recently when I made meringue kisses to put on my mother's 70th birthday cake. Next steps will be to make a pavlova from scratch!!

Now don't be fooled. Whilst I my confidence is definitely up, I don't have these techniques mastered! Today I managed to not get the lemon filling exactly right because I didn't pay attention when I was adding the sugar to the egg yolks. I forgot to reset the scales to 0 and so when I realised I didn't know  how much sugar I had already added. I suspect I was a bit under so the lemon is very lemony, but it still tasted delicious. I guess if you want to eat something lemon, you want to taste it as lemon!

This is actually a Mary Berry recipe. Mary Berry has been a TV cook in the UK for many years, but I first heard of her when I started watching Great British Bake Off a few years ago. That show, the spin-off that features professional pastry chefs (Bake Off The Professionals), and the Australian version all are part of my must see TV viewing.  To get some idea of how long Mary has been on TV, her she is making Lemon Meringue Pie back in 1973!






And now, here is the recipe for the current recipe. You can also watch a more recent video for a variation on this recipe here and there is a link to the recipe I made below



Lemon Meringue Pie (Mary Berry)


For the pastry
225g/8oz plain flour
175g/6oz butter
45g/1¾oz icing sugar
1 large free-range egg, beaten

For the lemon filling
6 lemons, zest and juice
65g/2¼oz cornflour
250g/9oz caster sugar
6 free-range egg yolks

For the meringue topping
4 free-range egg whites
225g/8oz caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour


Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

First make the pastry. Measure the flour and butter into a food processor and blend together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg and one tablespoon of water and whizz again until combined to a ball.

Tip the pastry onto a work surface and roll out to a 3mm thickness. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry up and transfer it to line a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed flan tin. Be careful not to stretch the pastry as you tuck it into the corners. Cover in cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Take the pastry-lined tin out of the fridge and trim the excess pastry. Press the top edge of the pastry so that it stands slightly higher than the top of the tin.

Line the pastry case with parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for about 15 minutes then remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further five minutes.

Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170C/340F/Gas 3½.

For the filling, mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour and stir to form a smooth paste. Measure 450ml/16fl oz of water into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon cornflour mixture to the hot water and stir over the heat until the mixture has thickened, then remove from the heat.

In a bowl mix together the sugar and egg yolks and carefully whisk into the lemon mixture in the pan. Stir over a medium heat until thickened. Set aside for a few minutes and then pour into the baked pastry case.

For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the cornflour and whisk again.

Spoon on top of the filled pastry case and spread the meringue to completely cover the lemon filling. Then create a swirl on the top of the meringue.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the filling is completely set and the meringue is lightly golden and crisp. Allow to cool completely before cutting or serve very slightly warm.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Summer Seaside Kitchen and The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan



Like many others I am a sucker for good foodie fiction, and for books set in Scotland,  so when you get both in the one book its a fair chance it is a winner. In this case, it is actually two separate but linked books!

The first book is called The Summer Seaside Kitchen here, but it is published in some places the book is called The Cafe by the Sea.

The book opens when we meet Flora who is working in a law firm in London. She is madly in love with her boss, Joel, who barely knows she exists. That is until one of the firms biggest clients needs assistance with his business concerns that just happen to be located on her home island. Flora soon finds herself unwillingly returning home in anticipation of being asked to assist the big name client.

The main reason Flora is unwilling to return home is that it just isn't the same for her since her beloved mother died. Flora isn't the only one struggling. Her brothers and her father are existing, but certainly not thriving. The house is untidy, the men are eating poorly and they are all clearly unhappy.

While she waits for her work with the millionaire client to begin, she starts to do some tidying and reorganising in the house, and it is this that leads her to find her mother's notebook that is filled with the recipes that she used to feed her family over the years. Reading through the recipes reminds Flora of the times when she was helping her mother. learning how to cook by her side and soon Flora finds herself cooking some of these recipes, and in the process finds that it helps bring her some peace in relation to the loss of her mother.

It is not only healing for Flora though, cooking some of their favourite family recipes helps her brothers also. Each of them is dealing with their own issues. One of her brothers is divorced and dealing with shared custody of his young daughter, another has a secret passion for cheesemaking and they are all faced with a future of hard work trying to make their family business work.

Through a series of events, related to the client, Flora ends up staying on the island for much longer than intended and, using her mother's recipes as a starting point, opens a cafe near the beach. Soon the locals and visitors are singing her praises, and Flora finds herself wondering if maybe, just maybe, she should be coming home for good, and leaving her hum drum life in London behind her.

If there was one aspect where I didn't love this book it was in the romance. Flora has been obsessively in love with her boss for years and he had barely noticed her, let along reciprocated any level of interest. When she comes home to the island she meets Charlie, and finds herself having to examine her feelings for both men to see where they truly lie. I must say, I don't necessarily agree with the direction that the author took the novel in, but hey, it's her story, and it certainly set the scene for the follow up book.

I've just realised that it was probably not such a smart idea to write about both of these books in the same post as it is going to be difficult to discuss the second book without spoiling the first book, but we'll give it a go, or maybe I will just skim around the edges of what the book is about.

Firstly, while I enjoyed The Summer Seaside Kitchen, it did feel a bit like the other book that I have previously read by this author (see review here) but The Endless Beach felt different. It felt deeper in the way that it treated some really serious topics. I don't know what this book would be classified as. Remember when there was a whole genre of chick-lit. That doesn't seem to be a thing anymore. Maybe now it is women's fiction or some such label. A lot of those books deal with serious subplots, but this one just feels deeper, less superficial, than usual to me.

Flora and her family are still the focus of the second book, but things have changed a lot. She is now at home permanently, running the cafe but wondering how she is going to make it into a profitable going concern. Her brother's love of cheesemaking is no longer a secret and he is in love and looking forward to living happily ever after. Even her dad seems to be happier, not that he says much given that he is a man of few words.

The part of the story I loved though, relates to the new doctor who has moved to the island. Saif has moved the island of Mure after arriving in Britain as a refugee. As a qualified doctor he basically had to go where he was sent and he is now trying to get used to living in a tiny village community in the islands in the north of Scotland. Everything is different from his homeland. The food, the people, and most definitely the weather. And no matter how accommodating people try to be (for example, Flora insists on making truly awful falafel), some people are distrusting of someone who is different.

For all that Saif was trying to get used to his new life, it is in some ways a half life as he is waiting for news from his homeland. His wife and children have been missing in his war torn homeland and he has no idea where they are or even if they are alive.

There are plenty of immigrant stories around where that is the whole story, but what I loved about this one was that it was just included in the story like it is just a normal, every day occurrence. Yes, it is challenging for lots of people from the patients who have to get used to Saif, to Flora's best friend Lorna who is attracted to this quiet, lonely man, to the school community as a whole, but it is also just a big part of the story.

I was very excited to see that there is a new book out that continues this series, especially seeing as I can't get hold of the short story that was only released in the UK. The new book once again has a couple of different titles. On the author's website it is called An Island Christmas, but on Goodreads it appears to be called Christmas on the Island. Definitely planning on reading it soon.

Both of the books have a selections of recipes in it which is always fun, all with a Scottish feel. For example, in The Endless Beach there are recipes for Shortbread, Cheese Scones and Haggis Pakora.

I did wonder if any of my fellow Weekend Cooks had ever found or been given a family cookbook that they were then able to cook out of. I haven't, an to be honest, there's only really one recipe of my mother's that I would like to get hold of at some point but maybe someone else has!

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Weekend Cooking: Steak with Mushroom Sauce

We interrupt the recent cake fest on my blog to bring you something savoury!!

It may be a bit hard to tell from all the cakes I have been posting lately but in theory we are still trying to eat a bit healthier. This is a recipe we have made a couple of times now so I wanted to save it somewhere we can find it!!

This week I am sharing a recipe that is not only delicious but it includes a fair amount of vegetables too. It comes from the last edition of Diabetic Living. I do still buy this magazine, I just haven't quite been cooking out of it constantly as I have been in the past. I possibly am paying the price for that weight wise, but never mind.

Steak with Mushroom Sauce


500g lean rump steak, trimmed of fat, cut into 4 pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tspn olive oil
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed, diagonally halved
290g (2 cups) frozen peas
250g Swiss Brown mushrooms, sliced (or a selection of other mushrooms)
250ml (1 cup) salt-reduced beef stock or gluten-free stock
1 tbspn wholegrain mustard
2 tspn cornflour or gluten free cornflour
1 bunch baby carrots, trimmed, scrubbed, steamed, to serve
500g small potatoes, halved, steamed, to serve

Preheat over to 180C (fan forced). Rub steak with garlic and pepper. Heat oil in a large cast iron or stoveproof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add steak and broccolini. Cook for 2 minutes, turning steak once. Place peas around steak. Add pan to oven and cook for 5 minutes, or until steak is cooked to your liking.

Transfer meat and vegies to a platter. Cover with foil to keep warm. Add mushrooms to pan and cook over medium-high for 3 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Whisk stock, mustard and cornflour together. Stir into pan. Cook, stirring, until sauce comes to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens.

Slice the steak. Return steak and peas to the pan. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve with the steamed carrots and potatoes

Serves 4

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

RIP XIII

Whilst I am not reading anywhere near as many books as I used to, things are much better than they have been over the last few years when it comes to reading. I think last year I read 12 books in total for the year. 12!! A few years ago, reading 12 books in a month would have been a bad month! At the moment, I am on track to read about 50 books for this year, which I am pretty happy with.

When I was on Instagram the other day I saw about RIPXIII - the Readers Imbibing Peril challenge that is hosted at Readers Imbibing Peril. This is a challenge that I used to look forward to every year, and that I participated in regularly. It is something of a shock to realise that I haven't participated in it for 5 years. When I was thinking about my previous participation in this challenge it has lead me to think about so many people who blogged but have now disappeared, including Carl who originally hosted this challenge. It pleased me to see that the challenge is still recognisable as the RIP reading challenge of old, but still moving forward as well.

When I looked at what I want to read over the next few weeks though, I realised that quite a few of the books I want to read fit the challenge criteria which is to read and enjoy books that are

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural

The books that I have in mind to read before the end of October include The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan, The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton and Lethal White by Robert Galbraith.  I am thinking that I am going to try and stretch myself to read one more and therefore meet the Peril the IVth level of participation. I have no idea if I will actually review any other books, but there's still fun to be had on Litsy, Instagram, Twitter etc even if that doesn't actually happen.

I actually finished listening to The Ruin yesterday and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The audiobook was narrated by Aoife McMahon and she did a great job in telling the story. I wasn't always 100% convinced by her Irish-Australian accent, but I think that every Irish-Australian out there probably have different inflections in their accent anyway. I also swear that at one point the wrong name (Ella) was used for a character  (Emma) but I didn't end up trying to find it again to see if it really happened of it was just my hearing!

The story itself was interesting. It starts with a young police man being sent to a house where there has been a report of domestic violence but when he gets there he finds two kids who have been obviously neglected and abused, and their dead mother who has apparently died of a heroin overdose.

Fast forward 20 years and Cormac Reilly has just returned to Galway having lived in Dublin for many years and worked his way up into specialist units in the Garda. He has returned to Galway for personal reasons and finds himself ostracised from his colleagues, not knowing if he can trust some people he called friends, suspicious of some of the events that are happening within the station and only being allocated cold cases.

One of the cold cases he is allocated to reinvestigate is the death of the mother, and he is taken back in time to the case that he has thought of many times over the years. But when the young boy, now grown, is found dead in a suspected suicide, things get complicated.

I enjoyed the narrative a lot, and I like that this is the first in a series. I particularly like that there are still threads of the story that I suspect will flow into the next book. I think we got to know just enough about Cormac in this book to keep me reading, without having his whole backstory overwhelm the storyline of the book.

Dervla McTiernan is an Irish born author who moved to Australia a few years ago. It's a long standing Aussie tradition to claim anyone with this kind of background as an Aussie, and I am therefore counting this towards the Australian Women Writers Challenge.
I never really wrote a post declaring that I was participating in the challenge this year, but I would say at least half of the books I am reading at the moment are by Australian women writers, so my participation in this challenge over the last five or six years has definitely left a lasting impact on my reading choices.
Rating 4.5/5

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP