Killing Adonis / J.M. Donellan.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: Freya Miller, funny and tenacious with a taste for vodka, escapes a recent tragedy by answering an advertisement for a nursing job that promises LIGHT DUTIES. LARGE PAY. NO QUESTIONS ASKED OR ANSWERED. Her new employer is the infamous, eccentric, and stupendously rich Vincetti family, heads of the Halcyon Corporation. Her task will be to care for their adored heir, Elijah, who is currently lying in a coma amidst an armada of premium machinery. The Vincettis claim this golden boy is everything from a saint to a genius, but they refuse to reveal how he entered a comatose state. As Freya explores the labyrinthine Vincetti mansion and the secrets it holds, she becomes aware that the family members are far more deluded and dangerous than rumored. Why, during the next few weeks, do the heads of rival corporations rapidly fall prey to a series of elaborate executions? Do Vincettis pre-plan disasters like oil spills so that their rivals are squelched and their humanitarian responses get prime press coverage?Freya befriends Jack Vincetti, the black sheep whose rare illness keeps him shut away. She's a fan of his sole novel, but now she learns that he is writing a new book with a storyline that has uncanny similarities to the recent murders. Things take an even more bizarre turn when the Vincettis host a birthday party for Elijah, wheeling him out in a tuxedo and acting almost as if he is conscious. Freya befriends Elijah's fiancée, Rosaline, and discovers that she is the heir to one of Halcyon's major rival corporations. A wedding will merge the two companies and grant Halcyon dominance in the global pharmaceutical industry. It has been said that comedies always end with weddings, tragedies with funerals. This story ends with both a bride and a body count. J.M. Donellan's dazzling North American debut novel mixes outlandish, eccentric storylines with cinematic zest.
    • Notes:
      Online resource; title from READ title page (OverDrive, viewed January 17, 2017).
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Booklist Reviews 2016 December #2

Hard-drinking nurse Freya Miller, still reeling from the death of a patient, accepts a lucrative position taking care of the comatose Elijah Vincetti, the beloved adult son of Harland and Evelyn Vincetti, owners of the Halcyon Corporation. The highly paid position comes with light duties, room and board in a fabulous mansion, and the stipulation that Freya doesn't ask any questions. Surrounded by numerous locked rooms and family secrets, Freya soon begins to delve into the many curious events happening around her—including the death of a household employee—with the help of the Vincettis' other son, Jack, a writer who never leaves home. Meanwhile, the heads of several corrupt companies die in macabre manners, leaving the field open for Halcyon to take over the worldwide pharmaceutical industry, culminating with a merger with the company owned by Elijah's fiancée, Rosaline. Freya and Jack expose the corruption around them, leading to more heartbreak for Freya in this dark mystery set in Australia. A good choice for James Hall fans. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2016 October #2

Australian author Donellan (A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India) makes his U.S. debut with this delicious romp, which includes a bit of social consciousness. In a Brisbane bar, with a Moscow Mule in hand, nurse Freya Miller, who has always dreamed of becoming the Florence Nightingale of East Timor, is reconsidering her future. A friend shows her an ad for a private nurse that reads: "Light duties. Large pay. No questions asked or answered." In an alcoholic haze, Freya sends off her résumé and is shocked into sobriety when she's invited to come for an interview at the home of one of the world's most powerful families. So begins this racy, well-paced, action-packed, and funny tale of twisted love, gruesome death, steadfast friendship, awesome greed, and familial madness—not to mention penguins in sweaters. Donellan has a gift for witty turns of phrase and dialogue that jumps off the page and makes you smile. (Dec.) Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly.