Review: Hunter – Timothy Blake #2 – Jack Heath

Hunter

Hunter

Timothy Blake #2

Jack Heath

Allen & Unwin Australia

ISBN: 9781760527082

 

Description:

Timothy Blake, ex-consultant for the FBI, now works in body-disposal for a local crime lord. One night he stumbles across a body he wasn’t supposed to find and is forced to hide it. When the FBI calls Blake in to investigate a missing university professor, Blake recognises him as the dead man in his freezer.

 

Then another man goes missing. And another.

 

There’s a serial killer in Houston, Texas, and Blake is running out of time to solve the case. His investigation takes him to a sex doll factory, a sprawling landfill in Louisiana and a secret cabin in the woods.

 

As they hunt the killer together, FBI agent Reese Thistle starts to warm to Blake – but she also gets closer and closer to discovering his terrible secret.

 

Can Blake uncover the killer, without being exposed himself?

 

A confounding, intriguing and wildly suspenseful thriller from the bestselling and acclaimed author of Hangman.

 

 

My View:

Book 2 in the Timothy Blake series is much more palatable J 

 

This narrative showcases the author’s ability to engage and entertain with witty dark humour, mysteries that intrigue, with the anti hero  now showing signs of empathy and thoughtfulness…and love… with occasional break outs of gruesome gore.

 

I like how Jack Heath has turned the whole woman rescued by prince charming thing on its head.  Reese Thistle is the emotional rescuer here.  Reese Thistle is the smart, proactive, impulsive and fast acting hero in this piece.

 

I think Heath’s feminist side is exposed in this episode and I like it. Gangsters can be women, women can be cruel, capable of abhorrent dead’s but also ultimately, resourceful, determining their own destiny (no matter how warped that may or may not be eg Hope, Sindy).  There was only disappointment for me in this aspect of the narrative (no spoilers) was a character who is the victim of abuse who conspiratorially defends the abuser, this, however, is not so much a fault of the writer it is more a reflection of a behaviour often encountered in this type of abusive situation.

 

Looking forward to book 3 in the series.

 

 

Review: Hangman – Jack Heath

Hangman

Hangman

Timothy Blake #1

Jack Heath

Allen & Unwin Australia

ISBN: 9781760297473

 

Description:

A 14-year-old boy vanishes on his way home from school. His frantic mother receives a disturbing ransom call. It’s only hours before the deadline, and the police have no leads.

 

Enter Timothy Blake, codename Hangman. Blake is a genius, known for solving impossible cases. He’s also a sociopath – the FBI’s last resort.

 

But this time Blake might have met his match. The kidnapper is more cunning and ruthless than anyone he’s faced before. And Blake has been assigned a new partner, a woman linked to the past he’s so desperate to forget.

 

Timothy Blake has a secret, one so dark he will do anything to keep it hidden.

 

And he also has a price. Every time he saves a life, he takes one…

 

Already sold into five territories, Hangman is a mesmerising dissection of the criminal mind and a bulletproof thriller.

 

 

My View:

Gruesome. Gory. More gore.

 

Jack Heath pushes the boundaries when it comes to the dietary habits of his antihero Timothy Blake. Blake is a challenged and dysfunctional character like no other I have read. This novel is equally compelling and repelling and if it wasn’t so convincingly written I would’ve stopped at the first bite.

 

There is no doubt Jack Heath is an accomplished writer who, in this instance, has pushed the boundaries of “acceptable” in this pitch black narrative that is served with a side of equally black humour, romance and mystery.  I don’t think I have ever read anything like this before. The book comes with a warning and it should be heeded.

 

The good news, the second book in the series, Hunter, accomplishes much more without the level of gross that Hangman celebrates.  Stay tuned for my review of Timothy Blake #2: Hunter.

 

PS – This is the perfect read for your book club – if you can stomach the contents 🙂  Guaranteed to get people talking.

 

 

 

#MeatFreeMonday: Vegetable Massaman Curry – Yummy Easy Quick Around the World- Matt Preston

Yummy Easy Quick Around the World Cover

Yummy Easy Quick Around The World by Matt Preston. Published by Plum (through Pan Macmillan)

 

p72 THAILAND

SERVES: 4 PREP: 20 MINS COOKING: 20 MINS
“This curry showcases the melting pot that is Thailand. There are Malay, Indian and Persian traces in its complex use of herbs,
spices and nuts. Descended from a Muslim dish (hence the name, which is a bastardisation of the archaic ‘mussulman’ for those of the Muslim faith), you’ll normally only find it served with chicken, beef and/or vegetables, but it makes a great home for whatever veg is leftover in the crisper drawer of your fridge.”p72

Vego Massaman curry

 

Vegetable Massaman Curry

1½ tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons massaman curry paste
2 large Asian shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated galangal or ginger
4 cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of grated nutmeg
3 long red chillies, 1 split in half, 2 sliced, to serve
1 × 400 ml can coconut milk
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
¼ cauliflower, cut into chunks
2 small zucchini, cut into chunks
1 capsicum (yellow is best), deseeded and cut into thick chunks
150 g green beans, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp, concentrate or puree
1 tablespoon coarsely grated palm sugar or caster sugar
80 ml (1/3 cup) good-quality natural orange
or pineapple juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
55 g (ƒ cup) raw peanuts, toasted
coriander sprigs, to serve
steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the shallot, garlic and galangal or ginger and stir for 1 minute, then stir in the
cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and split chilli. Add the coconut milk and 650 ml water and bring to a simmer.

Add the harder vegetables (in this instance, the sweet potato and cauliflower) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4–6 minutes. Now add the softer vegetables (zucchini, capsicum and beans), along with the tamarind pulp, sugar, juice and soy sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6–8 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through.

Sprinkle the peanuts, coriander and sliced chilli over the curry and serve with steamed…rice.

TIP
You can swap your veggies around, depending on what’s in season. Try potato or pumpkin instead of the sweet potato, or broccoli instead of cauliflower. Stir in shredded kale, Asian greens, baby spinach leaves or snow peas at the end for extra veg. For extra heartiness, add cubes of tofu or drained canned chickpeas towards the
end of cooking until warmed through.

 

Welcome Jack Heath to My Blog

Listen as this exciting new talent in crime fiction/thriller writing introduces his Timothy Blake series.

Jack Heath lives in Canberra and is the bestselling author of more than 25 acclaimed fiction titles for middle-grade and YA readers. His books include the real-time series 300, 400 and 500 Minutes of Danger, the choose-your-own-ending Countdown to Danger books (Scholastic), a collaboration with international illusionist Cosentino, and YA novels such as The Fail Safe and The Cut Out, a multi-award-nominated espionage thriller. His books have sold more than 200,000 copies worldwide and been translated into several languages. First published as a teenager, in the course of his research Jack has trained with firearms, performed street magic, visited morgues and prisons, travelled through eleven countries and read only books by women for a year. jackheath.com.au ”  https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/fiction/crime-mystery/Hunter-Jack-Heath-9781760527082

 

PS -Thanks Jack for appearing on my blog. I cant wait to start reading the book – your enthusiasm is infectious. And on a different note-  love the art work in the background.

 

PPS:

follow @jackheathwriter on social media

free ebook at jackheath.com.au

#MeatfreeMonday : Roasted Eggplant Curry with Garlicky Cashews – Yummy Easy Quick Around the World – Matt Preston

 

Yummy Easy Quick Around the World Cover

Yummy Easy Quick Around The World by Matt Preston. Published by Plum (through Pan Macmillan)

p264 INDIA
PREPARE IN MINUTES 20

 

INDIAN_ Roasted eggplant curry with garlicky cashews

Roasted Eggplant Curry with GarlickyCashews

3 large (about 1.1 kg) eggplants, cut into 4cm pieces
sea salt
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
80 ml ( cup) sunflower or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves, leaves picked
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 truss tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 × 270 ml can coconut cream
coriander leaves, to serve
flatbreads (see TIP), to serve

GARLICKY CASHEWS
60 ml (¼ cup) sunflower oil
110 g (“ cup) raw cashews, coarselychopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala

Roasting the eggplant brings out a little smokiness and helps it to keep its shape when cooking; it also gives this
vego dish a real ‘meatiness’ – without any meat. The mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut should be all the clues
you need to identify this as South Indian in inspiration.

 

To make the garlic cashews, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the cashews and cook, tossing, for 2–3 minutes or until golden. Stir in the garlic and garam masala and cook for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat and drain on aplate lined with paper towel.

Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fanforced. Line a large baking tray with bakingpaper. Place the eggplant in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of the garam masala, half the turmeric and half the oil. Toss to coat. Scatter the eggplant over the prepared tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until slightly charred and tender, but still holdingits shape.
While the eggplant roasts away, heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over medium– high heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or untilaromatic and the mustard seeds start to pop. Throw in the curry leaves and stir for1minute.

Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and remaining garam masala and turmeric and cook for a further 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until they collapse and start to break down. Your eggplant should be done now, so add it to the tomato mixture and stir to combine.

Season with salt. Add the coconut cream and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced slightly. Scatter the garlic cashews and coriander over the eggplant curry and serve withflatbreads.

TIP
If you want to make your own two-ingredient flatbreads here’s how. Preheat a barbecue grill plate or large chargrill pan over medium–high heat. Place 300 g (2cups) self-raising flour in a bowl. Add 260 g (1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt and stir untiljust combined. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth andwell combined. Divide the dough into six portions. Use a well-floured rolling pinto roll out each portion to an 18 cm round. Chargrill for 2 minutes each side oruntilcooked, slightly puŠed and nicely charred in places.