Book review.jpg

Book review

SOME SUGGESTIONS for Christmas presents that will make you very popular on Christmas Day!

THE BIBENDUM COOKBOOK by Terence Conran is out in hardcover at 35 euros.

Housed in the historic Michelin building, Bibendum Restaurant has been an iconic part of the restaurant scene in London. Former head chef turned food writer, Simon Hopkinson, tells us about 10 of his favourite Bibendum Classics on the menu, including Piedmontese Peppers and Fillet Steak au Poivre. Current head chef, Matthew Harris, lovingly describes 40 recipes from the current menu.

Bibendum Restaurant won the 2008 Tatler Restaurant Award and this gorgeous book includes over 100 colour photos, both of the recipes and the restoration of the building. This is a ‘must’ for foodies everywhere.

BONES OF THE HILLS by Conn Iggulden is out in hardcover at 26.60 euros

The fatherless boy‚ exiled from his tribe‚ whom readers have been following in ‘Wolf of the Plains’ and ‘Lords of the Bow’‚ has grown into the great king‚ Genghis Khan. He has united the warring tribes and even taken his armies against the great cities of their oldest enemies. Now he finds trouble rising west of the Mongolian plains. His emissaries are mutilated or killed; his trading gestures rebuffed. So‚ dividing his armies‚ using his sons as generals of the various divisions‚ he sends them out simultaneously in many directions‚ ranging as far as modern Iran and Iraq.

As well as discovering new territories‚ exacting tribute from conquered peoples‚ laying waste the cities which resist‚ this policy is also a way of diffusing the rivalries between his sons and heirs and working out who should succeed the khan.

This‚ the third book in the Conqueror series‚ is once more an epic story. Genghis Khan is an exhilarating and heroic figure. The sense of his ambition and his power‚ the relationships with his wives‚ sons and trusted aides‚ the sweep of his conquests‚ are all brought together by masterful storytelling. It is a compelling read. With each book‚ you are left‚ even more‚ longing for the next.

A DARKER DOMAIN by Val McDermid is out in hardcover at 26.60 euros

The superb new psychological thriller from bestselling author Val McDermid mixes fiction with one of the most symbolic and exceptional moments in recent British history – the national miners’ strike. It seemed like an unsolvable mystery at the time: a wealthy heiress and son kidnapped in Fife, then a botched payoff, leaving her dead with no trace of the child. So when, over 25 years later, a possible clue is discovered by a journalist in Tuscany, cold case expert DI Karen Pirie doesn’t hold much hope of unravelling the infamous enigma.

Pirie is already investigating a case from the same year. At the height of the miners’ strike, Mick Prentice broke ranks to join ‘scab’ strike-breakers down south. New evidence suggests Mick’s disappearance may not be as straightforward as that – and Karen’s investigations take her into a dark domain of secrets, betrayal and the ultimate violence. Past and present intertwine in a novel of taut psychological suspense that explores the intersection of desire and greed.

This is a real page-turner from McDermid – cleverly-plotted and deftly constructed (and, refreshingly, not a forensic anthropologist in sight!). Val McDermid truly deserves her title of Queen of the psychological thriller.

And to widen your repertoire of Christmas dishes, CHRISTMAS FOOD published by the immensely popular Australian Women’s Weekly cookery series, is out in paperback at 9.80 euros.

This slim volume contains recipes to grace your Christmas table and delight your guests. Featuring little tarts to serve with drinks on Christmas Day, colourful Christmas salads, seafood on a stick, mince pies with stars on top and a magic ingredient inside, little cut-out cookies in the shape of Christmas trees and bells, and one-bite Christmas cakes, there’s not a turkey curry buffet in sight!