Cookbook For a New Europe by Richard Segal
Addition: Paperback, review book
Genre: Fiction, crime
Rating: 1 out of 5
To serve society or humanity? It’s been fourteen years since the basketball-mad detective Fran Obrien captured the urban bomber Lavi, who has since moved to Spain and rehabilitated himself beyond recognition. Fran is fresh off a two-year sabbatical, during which he tended to 11-year-old Ben, the family comedian, and 17-year-old Alice, with, yes, as much attitude as you’d expect. His estranged boss Karl has retired and Fran must learn to deal with the new brass – no small task itself. His first assignment is to investigate an act of alleged political corruption which seems more wild goose chase than duck in a barrel, leading him to question his decision to return to work. After an extended-family culinary expedition to Budapest, Fran’s nine-to-five job takes him ‘almost’ to Albany and to Central America, where he must untangle the mother of all webs. His wife, local family doctor Darby, goes along for the ride, and, oh, piña coladas “to die for.” For a detective and amateur gourmet chef like no other, Cookbook for a New Europe is a ride Fran certainly didn’t expect. He’s been fiercely focused for years, but a spate of unintended yet momentous events unfolds once he gives free rein to his emotions, and his recipes.
I received this as a review book from the publisher Authorhouse. I have to say, I didn’t like the book. To be honest, I didn’t even finish it. I reached the halfway point and realised not only had I read several pages and taken in nothing, I also had no idea what was going on – which was how I felt for most of the read.
The story follows Fran, a NYPD cop. He has just finished a two year sabbatical but when he tries to go back to work, his return date is pushed back by a few more weeks. He decides to spend this time visiting distant relatives in Hungary, where he sightsees, is astonished most of the time by the food and discovers he is a choreographer in his head. When he returns to work, he is given a case that he thinks can’t be solved but will just keep him quiet for a few weeks, so he starts to spend his time drinking gross coffee and seeing his godson in prison.
I didn’t get any further than that when I was reading and I reached the middle of the book. The reasons I put the book down are these:
- I mainly didn’t know what was going on
- I found the writing very distorted – like Segal had suddenly had a thought that he must put to paper immediately, even though it doesn’t fit with anything else
- I didn’t really like Fran – all he seemed to think about was himself and food
- I found the story a bit boring. The synopsis is really interesting but the story itself isn’t. I was halfway through and he had barely started looking at the case mentioned.
I can only give this book 1 out of 5 as I didn’t finish it. This book didn’t hold my attention and it took me an hour to read 10 pages – life is too short for books I don’t enjoy so I put it down.