Cover Image: Dead Rich

Dead Rich

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Member Reviews

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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What a time to be reading a book about a Russian oligarch, his super yacht, his rebellious daughter Zina (who is keeping away from her parents by studying in London) and a threat to their lives which will take the reader on a thrill packed journey across the seas. By the time we see Dead Rich hitting the shelves in May we will all be much more familiar with Russian oligarch’s and my appreciation for the size of their super yachts will be cemented in.

The size of a super yacht was one thing I realised I had initially mis-calculated when I started reading Dead Rich. When considering the Zinaida (the vessel where much of the action takes place) I was constantly upscaling the mental image I had of the yacht. The author does a great job of describing the luxury yacht but I had read the book before super yacht’s were on the evening news so I could not envisage a “boat” on such an extravagant scale.

Zinaida presented something of a locked room murder mystery, only the whole yacht was the locked room as it cruised across a vast ocean – the murderer is locked in with their victims. On the boat is lead character, Kai. He has previously enjoyed some musical success and lives a comfortable lifestyle but he is drifting without purpose and his brother is keen he attends a job interview with a view to seeing Kai settle down. Kai isn’t keen to give up his laidback freedom and when his gorgeous girlfriend Zina offers him the opportunity to take a trip with her on her father’s yacht Kai goes along.

He finds himself aboard the Zinaida as her owner Stepan Pirumov is preparing to take to sea to escape a threat to his life. Pirumov arrives last to the docks and the Zinaida sets sail with some urgency, there is clearly a need to flee an unknown enemy and Kai is very much caught up in the thick of the action. Unfortunately he speaks no Russian and does not know who he can trust to bring him up to speed. One of the crew, the first mate Erin, is the only person who shows him friendship – even Zina is behaving oddly in the presence of her parents.

The readers know there has been an incident back in London which Pirumov seems to be fleeing from. It suggests an enemy or enemies unknown are more than willing to take a life and that they have no qualms about removing innocents that may get in their way. Kai is afloat in what has become a luxury prison, someone out in the water may be coming to get Pirumov but they don’t know who and they don’t know when. Pirumov travels with a bodyguard and the crew on the boat had their own security in place but the level of distruct between these groups only serves to increase the tension between the characters. Something bad is about to happen – you can feel it.

Dead Rich was a exactly what I wanted it to be. Tense, unpredictable, packed with thrilling moments and engaging characters. The narrative flows like a dream and I was swept along by the events unfolding on the pages in front of me. Think summer Holywood blockbuster, summer reading by the pool – this book delivers all the escapism entertainment you could wish for. It’s out in May but get your copy reserved nice and early – not to be missed.
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I adored the glamorous settings, super yachts, Russian oligarchs, and the Caribbean. This is the perfect summer read. Full of tension and twists a great read.
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A stand-alone title by GWShaw, in his other guise William Shaw he’s the author of the Breen and Tozer and Alex Cupidi series. The man is just a brilliant cinematic writer.  This is a pacy, sinister and gripping story of people who come into the orbit of an oligarch (how timely) and his family. Adventure on the high seas, glamour, opulence and threat. Crackingly good read.
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Dead Rich is a highly enjoyable stand-alone action thriller, about an attempted assassination on a Russian oligarch’s super yacht, by a British author who is new to me. I gather he also writes crime fiction under the name William Shaw, and have heard good things about those books too. I know almost nothing about sailing - my boat is a sea-kayak - but that didn’t matter, it’s a fast-paced well written adventure with two mostly likeable main characters.

Kai Smith is a down-on-his luck London musician who is facing having to get a desk job, when his new girlfriend, glamorous young art student Zina, invites him to join her for a family holiday on her father’s luxury yacht in the Caribbean. Erin Ward is the first mate aboard the Zinaida, who just wants to get the job done to save up for her dream of sailing around the world, and knows putting up with the whims of the super-wealthy is her route to achieving it. Kai has never heard of Stepan Pirumov, but he’s happy to go along with Zina’s wishes - until they find themselves trapped aboard a floating prison with a merciless killer…

This has a confusing opening scene and it wasn’t clear how this fitted in to the main plot, but bear with it, as we are soon introduced to the main players and the tension begins to ramp up. Die Hard type plots are one of my favourite tropes, and the role reversal here brings something new, as it’s tough sailor Erin who does most of the rescuing of slightly dumb-blond muso Kai. I also liked that this is set in a post-Covid world that acknowledges but doesn’t dwell on the pandemic. Reading about Russian skulduggery a few weeks into the current war felt apposite, while a story about travel to tropical islands brought mixed feelings - it certainly didn’t make me want to take up sailing!

The twists weren’t all that surprising but I was gripped enough to finish this within a day, and will be looking out for more of Shaw’s work. Thanks to NetGalley and Quercus for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily. Dead Rich is published on May 26th.
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Dead Rich was a book that came out of the blue for me. I’m a big fan of GW Shaw’s books as William Shaw, so as soon as I saw he’d written something different, I dived in. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Part adventure story, part locked room mystery, this was a book that didn’t let off from beginning to end. I loved the cast of characters; each completely different but hugely important to the story – from a washed up musician to a Russian mobster.

The exotic locations gave the book a great feel, and I wish id read this on a beach somewhere! It will make perfect holiday reading this summer. 

As I final note, I loved the opening chapter and the closing chapter, it capped off a great plot twist and worked so well.
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Kai is a musician who has passed his prime, he is no longer popular but still tries to maintain the pretense that he is merely undergoing a minor set back.  His young art student girlfriend of one week, is suddenly ordered to join her parents on their yacht in the Caribbean.  Wow have goosebumps! Omg......... this book was amazing I flew through  the pages with Olympic speed I was hooked from the very first page!
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Sweeping Suspense…
Fast paced adventure and suspense on the high seas and amidst the glamorous, glitzy world of the super rich.  The are boats, there are yachts and then there are the super yachts - when Kai is invited by his Russian girlfriend to join a family holiday in the Caribbean he soon learns that she is the daughter of an Oligarch. As he joins the group, the pressure begins. A sweeping tale peppered with a colourful cast, a pacey narrative and a fabulous backdrop.
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This was a real treat, a book with the pace of a thriller but the glamour of a 1980s blockbuster. Shaw brings us on board a luxury yacht and introduces to a multi layered cast of characters and a world of international intrigue. With an intricate plot and even some sailing into the sunset, my only regret was that I wasn't reading it on a beach.
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Thanks to NetGalley & the publisher for this ARC in return for an honest review. 

Dead Rich by GW Shaw is set around Kai, a musician who simply floats through life. He meets a young lady and is invited to spend a holiday with her and her family on their yacht. It soon becomes apparent that someone is out to get them, but who is it?

I found this book easy to read, but it didn't really catch me. Maybe this type of book just isn't for me as others seemed to really enjoy it.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Quercus for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Kai, a sort of has-been musician finds himself flying from London to St. Thomas with his new girlfriend Zina, to accompany her and her parents on a trip on her father Stepan's yacht. Stepan is a very rich Russian and the yacht is equipped with a panic room and has some hired muscle accompanying them on the trip along with the large staff. Of course things start to go wrong once they are out to sea, including a power outage, a storm, and the fact that people on the boat want Stepan and his family dead. 

Despite the great Caribbean and yacht settings, this book was just ok for me. I found that it was slow getting going. Later, I felt like there was a lot of action, but not a lot of substance about why Stepan was being targeted, except political differences. I was hoping there would be more twists and turns but there really weren't. I am not a big fan of action sequences or stories of survival, so I think I was sucked in by the Caribbean setting, but the rest of it wasn't my thing.
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Started off a bit slower than I prefer but boy am I glad I kept going. It was an absolute belter of a story. Living the high life on a super yacht with a billionaire and his family, what could possibly go wrong for Kai a washed up rockstar?  He has a stunning rich girlfriend could life get any better for him or has he made a huge mistake?
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An excellent thriller set in the glamorous world of the super-rich, where some people think regular rules do not apply! Loved it!
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This is something a little different from William Shaw, all his stories are guaranteed to keep noses to books yet this is something a little different, a real thriller! It has everything, including a glimpse into the world of the super rich, travel to exotic and distant shores, intrigue, plots and counter plots, the world of music and much more.
The further I got in to the story the faster I read, I had to slow myself down so as not to miss anything.
As is usual with William Shaw's books we learn something new about the world around.
A wonderful, exciting read

My full review will be posted on social media and blog a little nearer to publication date
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This is an absolutely fabulous summer read. It's beautifully set, fast paced and exciting. A brilliant thriler xx
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A book to show how the other half live. Liked the pace of the book and story. A good read definitely one for the beach.
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What a fresh and exciting thriller. Lots to love here not to mention the wonderful time I have spent on a luxury yacht after reading this. The opening chapter was a shocker! THAT set the scene very nicely indeed. Oh no spoilers here and I would go into this without reading too many reviews as it's unexpected and totally immersive.
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