Cover Image: Dead Rich

Dead Rich

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Member Reviews

An excellent thriller, I really enjoyed this book. I've read the brilliant Detective Cupidi series, by the same author and whilst this is a thriller, rather than a crime story, the same superb writing and clever plotting shines through. There is plenty of Caribbean sunshine to soak up onboard the Russian oligarch's superyacht, there are however, also plenty of imposters, guns and double-crossing. Strong characters, lots to learn about sailing and lots of twists and turns. Highly recommend!
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This is a compelling, gripping, and well written mystery even if not as good as Alexandra Cupid's series. It would surely be a a top rated book but I was spoiled by Shaw.
It's a story set in a restricted environment with a limited number of possibile suspects. A musician whose career is not at the top, his fiancee, her ultra-rich parents
The mystery is solid and kept me guessing and reading.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Dead Rich is enjoyable enough as a brain-off read, but despite its setting aboard the super-yacht of a super-rich oligarch, it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill, generic thriller.

The set up is probably the best part of the book.  It’s a slow build, but a good one; Our Hero, Kai, is adrift in London as his career as a successful music producer and DJ has declined.  He has a new relationship with the daughter of a Russian oligarch, and when she is summoned to join her parents on their yacht in the Caribbean, Kai accepts her invitation to join them.  However, Sinister Forces are at work and the family are under threat.  We also meet Erin, the supremely competent First Mate of the yacht; she and Kai don’t get on at all to begin with…and of course, I wouldn’t dream of giving away any spoilers about that or subsequent developments on the yacht.

It reminded me rather of some old Alistair MacLean thrillers; decent protagonists battling evil, an unlikely but rather obvious romance - plus a little added modern geopolitics.  It’s competently written, there’s plenty of action and the aftermath plays out for some time – too long, in my view, so that it got more than a little silly by the end.  Nonetheless, it did hold my attention despite having to suspend disbelief, sometimes from a considerable height.

This would make a good beach read in that it’s quite enjoyable but rather readily disposable.  3.5 stars rounded up.

My thanks to Quercus Books for an ARC via NetGalley.)
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This story was something else altogether. I was intrigued by the cast of characters, mostly because one of them is Romanian and I loved to see how the author will showcase the interactions and suspenseful moments between all of them. 

It’s quite a great and intriguing story, with plenty of turns and unexpected twists that kept me invested throughout the story. I would recommend it to anyone that is looking for a great thriller. 

Very grateful for my review copy
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This is the first book I’ve read by the author; I requested it because one of my favourite crime writers - Jane Casey - recommended it on Twitter. What a great thriller! I’d say this is a perfect holiday read featuring Russian oligarchs and their super yacht lifestyles. On the whole this was an unpredictable story with a really satisfying ending. I would definitely recommend to anyone who likes crime and thriller novels.
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Dead rich by G.W. Saw.
Kai, a carefree once-successful musician is invited by his new Russian girlfriend Zina to join her family's Caribbean holiday. Impulsively accepting he learns that Zina is the daughter of a Russian oligarch, Stepan Pirumov and that the trip is aboard his yacht, the Zinaida, moored in St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
On arrival Kai discovers that the head of security has been arrested, armed guards are below deck, there's an onboard panic room and a strong sense of all not being quite right beneath the gleaming surfaces of the Pirumov's lives. An unnerving presence punctures the atmosphere: a murderous imposter is on board the Zinaida, but who is it?.
A really enjoyable read.  Great story and characters.  Kai was my favourite.  4*.
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The story of an ex famous-ish English rock/pop star Kai finding himself a fish out of water among his mega rich Russian girlfriends family yacth.  Kai is uncomfortable and rightly suspicious from the outset funding that he can only trust first mate fellow English Erin.
This is all action thriller which I love, however I did find all the boat tech talk a bit too much (I think I would've enjoyed this more as a film).  Later in the story we continue the game of cat and mouse on the Island of Dominica which I loved and really enjoyed Kai out smarting the villains.
I'd give the yacht section 3 stars and the island 5 so overall a solid 4 Star rating.
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A thoroughly enjoyable, engrossing thriller. Highly topical. The action predominantly takes place aboard a Russian Oligarch's superyacht, which is staffed with a huge array people engaged to pamper to every need. The Oligarch, his wife, his daughter and her boyfriend Kai are the only guests. Kai is a former musician who is a fish out of water on board. When the yacht is attacked the action and tension steps up. Well crafted and original scenario.
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This is from an author I know from his two series - Breen & Tozer and Cupidi - but writing under a pseudonym for this stand alone. And, like the series, I blooming loved this book.
Kai is invited by his Russian girlfriend to join her on the family yacht for a Caribbean holiday. Her father being the Russan oligarch, Stepan Pirumov. The crew have been recently assembled mostly for their vast experience both on the water and around hugely rich people! The yacht itself is also rather impressive, well it would be - hello - Russian oligarch!
But things soon start to get a bit hairy when the chief of security employed for the yacht is arrested, followed by rumours of peril for Pirumov in the form of assassination. Panic ensues, the family hole up in the panic room, and then the yacht is boarded... aaaarrrrgggh pirates!
Well, isn't this a bit topical at the moment with the shenanigans coming from Moscow! I'm going to leave that there as we all know what is happening, I don't need to spell it out. We also start with a strange scene, which is actually quite well described, if it does take a while to come clear why it is significant! That said, the main story hits the ground running and ramps up the action steadily all the way through until the end where it all starts to calm down as it all becomes clearer. Pacing matching the narrative all the way through, keeping me on the edge of my seat throughout.
Characters are all well drawn and all act according to their remits - more of which I can not expand on here. I guess it helped that I connected with Kai right from the get-go so I was rooting for him throughout. Containing no padding or superfluous waffle, and with descriptions that only served to assist the reader rather than distract, the story got on with itself very well indeed. I even learned a bit about sailing along the way (that which was described was included to progress the plot).
All in all, a cracking read that I have no hesitation in recommending for fans of the both the genre and the author. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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William Shaw, an English writer and journalist, has written series mysteries and a standalone, none of which I have read, regrettably it now turns out. For "Dead Rich," a propulsive, old-style adventure story cum thriller, written as G.W. Shaw, is an energetic, superbly crafted treat. Commencing on one of those superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs (a wonderful prescient twist, given recent real-world events), and mostly taking place at sea, a terrain evocatively described, it's a tale centered around a personable, drifting ex-DJ-star and the ship's second-in-charge, a capable, loner woman. The plot launches from a defenestration death in London to a battle against what seems like a crew of sea pirates, in the company of the oligarch and his family, and races nonstop, never growing tired or failing to find a new twist. The author's prose is delightfully supple, always sharp and never slow. Before setting off with Dead Rich, make sure you have a few hours ahead of you, for this is one of the few books in 2022 so far that cannot be put down. Call me old but I was reminded of Alastair Maclean!
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As I have loved William Shaw’s crime novels, I was keen to try his first thriller, under a slightly different pen name….  The plot is built around Russian oligarchs and their yachts, the ‘symbols of power,’ as Mr Shaw refers to them, although many have now been impounded.  However, we are firmly in the world of the super wealthy and influential.

Kai is a down on his luck, out of favour, singer, who was once famous but is now debating getting a ‘proper job.’  Unknown to him, his recent girlfriend, Zinaida, is the daughter of a Russian oligarch and, when her parents tell her she needs to join them on the Virgin Islands for a holiday, she drags Kai along.   The yacht is run by Captain Marius Falk and First Mate Erin Wade, but new staff are brought in for the trip.   These crew come from all over the world - from Sweden, Lagos, London, Poland, Taipei, and LA.   Nobody knows each other, but the crew all know how to behave around the wealthy and that’s what matters.   Want some cocaine?  Sure, no problem.   Yoga on the helipad?  Of course.   Movies, special menus, fireworks…  

However, no matter how luxurious the surroundings, Kai still feels hemmed in and unwelcome.   His phone has no signal and why does the yacht have a panic room installed?  A storm is brewing out at sea and trouble is very definitely about to begin on board.   A great new venture from a very talented author.   I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
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This is a real change of style for the excellent William Shaw, whose Alexandra Cupidi series is consistently impressive.  While not as gripping as his police procedurals, this is nevertheless a very enjoyable read.  Well written and with interesting characters, Dead Rich is located on a super yacht and centred around a Russian family, as described in the title.  What should be a pleasure cruise turns into a terror trip, and the pace is fast and the developments fascinating.
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I love this action packed novel with a fast moving storyline. The plot is exciting, the locations are luxurious and the novel itself is topical. 
You feel for the main characters getting involved as the plot thickens and hope they get to safely, and happily sail into sunset in the end. This book held my interest right from the beginning to the end. 
Dead Rich takes you on a journey, and I loved going along for an exhilarating trip. I recommend the book and gave it 5 stars. It’s the first book I read by the author but I hope there’s more as I would like to read more books by the author in the future.
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This was an enjoyable but predictable read.  The opening chapter sets the tone for the book, and for the most part, that tension is carried through the book.  The build up of the tension that Kai feels on the boat really adds to the story, and I liked the differing views of Kai and Erin.  However, I felt that this dropped away in the last quarter or so.  I found the reason for the attacks to be a bit predictable & clichéd.  For me, the off- boat action almost felt that it belonged to a different story.
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I am a follower of Shaw’s crime novels so I was intrigued to see what this latest standalone fusion between a locked room and an action thriller set in the Caribbean offered. I’m not a fan of action so this one was outside of my comfort zone. I was also slightly do I want to read it? with the Russian/Ukraine war going on, but I’d requested it long before otherwise that kicked off. 

Zai a fading musician is persuaded by his Russian girlfriend Zina to join her, her billionaire father Stepan Pirumov and his wife on their super yacht moored in the Virgin Islands. 
It doesn’t stay idyllic for long. They find themselves trapped aboard with a merciless killer. 

Shaw’s writing style is very descriptive, I found the pace a little slow to get going for an action thriller. When it got going just before half way the tension ramped up nicely. 

The 2 main characters are mostly likeable. Good to see a strong kick ass female main character in the form of sailor Erin. 
I was groaning in disbelief at one of Kai’s actions. 

It’s not a high octane action adventure which can feel OTT it felt believable. I enjoyed the summing up at the end. 

It was different, and think it will appeal to lovers of action thrillers. I’m not a fan of the genre, but I enjoyed it.
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I really enjoyed this book for the most part, there were parts where I struggled to put it down and others where it got a bit tedious but overall I found myself invested in the story and wanting to find out the outcome.
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That was surprisingly good! Kai Smith is a musician whose career is on the decline, particularly after COVID, so he is considering taking a regular job. But his new girlfriend, Russian art student Zina, suddenly asks him to join her on the family super yacht for a little jaunt in the Caribbean. Kai is not keen but Zina begs him to go - she hates her family and says she needs him there as she doesn’t want to go either but her father, Russian oligarch Stepan Pirumova, insists on this sudden trip. Of course Kai has no idea how rich the family actually is and that Pirumova believes his life is in danger.

There are more staff than guests on this floating palace. The Captain and the first mate, Erin Wade, are permanent staff and basically live on the yacht but the rest of the crew had to be sourced through an agency due to the sudden nature of the trip. While they are waiting for the patriarch to arrive Kai dives into the clear water for a swim and Erin has to take the RIB out to rescue him from the rip he didn’t notice.

Eventually they are all aboard and set off. There is some tension among the family and Kai is wishing he had not come. On the second day gunshots are heard and the Pirumovas grab Kai and head for the panic room. Erin has concealed herself but is shocked to see the bodies of some of the crew. This is really bad. Even worse, the yacht seems to be taking on water and listing to one side. A powerboat picks up the shooters  but hangs around to make sure the yacht sinks with the family on board. All the lifeboats and inflatable rafts have been sabotaged and all the EPIRBS, satellite phones and other communication devices removed.

So the story is a bit ‘locked room’, a bit ‘pirate attack’, a bit political hit and a bit adventure in the Caribbean during a tropical storm. Who are the shooters? How do the survivors get out of this pickle? And are the survivors safe when they finally reach land? This was a highly entertaining read that had me turning the pages well into the night. The characters were engaging and some were very likeable, others not so much. There was action aplenty and the plot flowed really well. Many thanks to Netgalley and Quercus Books for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.
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Dead Rich is a great book - and a new departure for William Shaw, who is more readily associated with the Alexandra Cupidi crime series set in Kent (also well worth a read).

In contrast to his crime series, Dead Rich is a pacy thriller At the start, the settings move swiftly: Paris, the Caribbean and London all feature as the main characters are introduced. The bulk of the novel is then set in the beautiful Caribbean.

Dead Rich takes as its focus the world of a Russian oligarch, set largely on a super yacht that epitomises the luxury of his family’s lifestyle. It is pure escapism and yet the world that Shaw creates has an uncanny realism. It also bristles with menace as the central character, Kai, tries to navigate this world into which he has been drawn.

Kai was once a draw himself: a musician whose career had been dwindling until COVID finally put an end to paid live work. He is now reluctantly contemplating the possibility of a real job. His new Russian girlfriend offers a temporary alternative. But she is something of an enigma and he is out of his depth in her world. 

Tension builds on the yacht. The cast of characters is compelling, the rich and the others interacting uneasily. Their agendas intersect, but the motivation of individuals is hidden. It isn’t clear if the threat comes from inside or outside the yacht. 

When the crisis comes, Kai finds only one real ally. But there is a twist and the sides change as both parties sense they may need to pursue a different outcome. Tension ratchets up ad the reader has to decide who is on which side. This part feels like adventure fiction with well-written action sequences as the plot unfolds.

As a novel, Dead Rich succeeds on many levels. It is a genuine thriller with credible and interesting characters. It also opens a window into Russian politics and imagines what the world of an Oligarch might be like.
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Dead Rich is a rare insight into the life of a Russian billionaire who suddenly decides to gather the entire family together on their luxury yacht in the Virgin Islands, complete with panic room and bespoke electronics.
As soon as the yacht goes to see, someone on board is playing tricks, ending in an assassination attempt and a violent storm at sea. 
The two key characters in this story, Kai and Erin, are both outsiders who quickly discover that the yacht is not safe for anyone in this twisted world of murder, political and financial secrets and lies.
The author cleverly raises questions throughout the book that keeps the reader hooked until the final chapters.
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Step into the glamourous world of the Russian Oligarch.  
Kai a washed up musician is dating his new girlfriend Zina the daughter of a Russian businessman  After only a month Zina is ordered back for a family break about their yacht.  Zina probably more to wind her parents up invites Kai along.  On arrival at the boat Kai discovers that her father is not just successful but he's one of Russia's most power oligarch Stepan Pirumov.
Working on the ship is Erin the first mate alongside Marius the captain.  All the other crew have been hastily assembled due to the short notice of the trip.  
As the voyage starts Kai and Erin realize they must work together to stay safe.  It would appear its not safe to be around the Pirumov's
A gripping book.  certainly one I devoured.  Highly recommended.
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to see an ARC
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