Category Archives: Crime

A Review of Good as Dead by Mark Billingham


Good As Dead (Tom Thorne, #10)
Review by: John H Glen
Date; 28 May 2012
Format: Paperback
ASIN: 0751544973 (ISBN13: 9780751544978
My rating: 4  stars
Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

The Hostage Police officer Helen Weeks walks into her local newsagent’s on her way to work. Little does she know that this simple daily ritual will change her life forever? It’s the last place she expects to be met with violence, but as she waits innocently at the till, she comes face to face with a gunman. The Demand The crazed hostage-taker is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son, who died a year before in youth custody. By holding a police officer at gunpoint, he will force the one man who knows more about the case than any other to re-investigate his son’s death. That man is DI Tom Thorne. The Twist While Helen fights to stay alive and the body-count rises, Thorne must race against time if he is to bring a killer to justice and save a young mother’s life.

What Do I Think?

Once more Mark Billingham is to be commended for the absolute readability of this finely woven story for me he has steered clear of falsely pushing Thorne into an atypical behaviour, and has faith in the readers that we will understand the dialect and speech used which is as usual delivered powerfully

This is a masterful story a real page turner and yes I found myself unable to put it down until I had finished, I just can’t wait for the next outing from the masterful story-weaver.

At the start though, “Good As Dead” look as if like it’s planning a somewhat standard state of affairs, when the Indian owner of a corner shop, apparently sick and tired with the day after day aggravation and aggression from a gang of youths.

I found the story captivating the description of all the characters is simply outstanding and Mark makes sure that Tom Thorne is not a hero, but a man attempting to do a demanding job.

“ Good as Dead” has a couple of things that facilitates its ascent to being one of the best woven crime thrillers I have read.

This is the 10th Tom Thorne book and the progression shows no slowing down or tiredness the growth of the Tom Thorne character over the last few books is great and to keep to this intensity of superbly woven stories is a demonstration of the gift that this master story weaver mark Billingham has.

To finish I cannot recommend Mark Billingham’s books enough and I await the next instalment with great excitement.

A Review of Hell’s Corner


Hell's Corner
Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Review of Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci
Review by: John H Glen
Date; 28 May 2012
Format: Paperback
ASIN: 0230706169
Publisher: Macmillan
My rating: 4 stars

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

On the night of the State Dinner honouring the British Prime Minister, Oliver Stone witnesses an explosion as the motorcade leaves the White House. A bomb has been detonated in what looks like a terrorist plot directed at the President and the Prime Minister. In the aftermath, British MI5 agent Mary Chapman, an experienced, lethal operative with an agenda of her own, is sent to assist and coordinate the investigation alongside American authorities. Stone, together with Harry Finn, Alex Ford and the rest of the Camel Club, is drawn into the inquiry. But everything is not what it seems, and what happened in the park may not have been the actual plan. It seems the mysterious attackers had another target in their sights, and it’s up to the Camel Club to stop them, or face the catastrophic results.

What Do I Think?

I like the books of David Baldacci he is a superb story-weaver and one of the most naturally gifted writers in the action thriller, crime genres.

I initially read one of his books when in hospital in 1996 it also just happened to be his first one “Absolute Power” and I thought it was outstanding and I wasn’t the only one because the following year it was, Absolute Power (1997), starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman, since then I have endeavoured to read everything he has and will write, although it appears that I might have missed some.

Of all of David Baldacci’s series, the Camel Club stories are my favourites, this rag-tag gang of amateur detectives and conspiracy theory nuts have developed over the course of a series of five novels into quite the distinct and gifted crew of crime-busters.
With their so called unfeeling and righteous ex-government assassin

Oliver Stone as their leader they don’t half get themselves into some tight spots.
With “Hell’s Corner”, David Baldacci has woven another pleasing thriller, fast, action packed and exciting.
The characters are all fully developed, and the squabbling, the fidelity, and friendly joking is perfect for a well grounded team.
As predictable for the Camel Club series, constancy and camaraderie are a large part of the story as they unite to help each other and get to the bottom of the crime / mystery under discussion.
Baldacci’s gift for fast paced stories remains utterly integral to my enjoyment and each time I start a book I say to myself just 3 chapters and then its bedtime and wouldn’t you know it I end almost finishing the book.

This master weaver of good fast paced action thrillers always puts in a few interesting twists and lovely reveals that can keep you guessing for a very, very long time about what is truly happening.

To conclude, I can truly say that I enjoyed reading “Hell’s Corner” it has all the hallmarks of a great story woven by a great story weaver, you just can’t go wrong with an outing with David Baldacci.

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Review: From The Dead


From The Dead
From The Dead by Mark Billingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Review of From the Dead by Mark Billingham

SUNDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2011

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

A man is burnt to death in a car in Epping Forest, the victim of professional hit men. The evidence suggest that the dead man’s wife, Donna Langford, hired the killers, and she is found guilty of conspiracy to murder. A decade passes, and just before her release from prison, Donna is sent a photo: it is that of her supposedly murdered spouse. Is he, in fact, dead? And if not, whose was the charred body in the burnt-out Jaguar? Shortly after, DI Tom Thorne is contacted by a woman, Anna Carpenter. Anna is making a living (and hating it) by working for a detective agency that cynically uses her as a ‘pretend prostitute’ to trap men into sexually compromising set-ups in divorce cases. Anna is on the side of the worried Donna Langford, and asks a reluctant Thorne for help. The detective is not to be persuaded – until he realises that the supposedly late Alan Langford is very much alive, and wants payback – in the worst way.

What Do I Think?

Mark Billingham is to be commended for the absolute readability of this finely woven story for me he has steered clear of falsely pushing Thorne into an atypical behaviour, and has faith in the readers that we will understand the dialect and speech used which is as usual delivered powerfully
I don’t know the plot could seem a little passé, a gangster believed dead who isn’t really, but there is some maturity of the usual characters, The creation of Anna Carpenter is wonderful as she brings a vulnerable character to the story.
I found the story absorbing the portrayal of all the characters is superb and Mark makes sure that Tom Thorne is not a hero, but a man attempting to do a demanding job as well as trying to continue a relationship that he is not convinced is going anywhere, nevertheless he is still hanging in there.
What is pleasant on the subject of Thorne as a fundamental character is that he is imperfect I really do not like central characters to be flawless and Mark Billingham has got Thorne just right
This is a masterful story a real page turner and yes I found myself unable to put it down until I had finished, I just can’t wait for the next outing from the masterful story-weaver.

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A Review of Edge by Jeffery Deaver


Edge
Edge by Jeffery Deaver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

When Washington D.C. police detective Ryan Kessler is targeted by Henry Loving, he and his family are immediately put under government protection. Loving is a ruthless ‘lifter’, hired to extract information from his victims, and he will use whatever means necessary including kidnapping, torturing or killing their family.
Assigned to the Kessler’s is protection officer Corte: uncompromising, relentlessly devoted to protecting those in his care and a brilliant game strategist. He also knows just how brutal the lifter can be – six years earlier, Loving killed someone close to him.
As tension increases between the families, the situation escalates into a deadly contest between protector and lifter as each tries to outwit the other. And as the lifter closes in on his prey, Corte must decide whether to protect his charges, or expose them to a killer in the name of personal revenge . . .

What Do I Think?

In this book from Jeffery Deaver you will find twists and turns which will have you burning the candle at both ends until you finish this wonderfully woven story.
This faultless tale will fill you with delight as well as welcoming you to see in your mind’s eye the fantastic imagery from this story-weaver as his hero Corte and the baddy Henry Loving play cat and mouse games with each other
The plot is fascinating as the two central characters are as two chess grand-masters moving their pieces in a world-class match, some of the twists and moves are easy to spot but others are nigh on impossible to see.
This is a fast paced story with an intenseness that gets your heart racing and as the plot slowly unfolds you find yourself turning each page to find that there is yet another gripping page and this continues to the very end.
This is my first outing with this story-weaver and I can’t recommend this book highly enough and can’t wait to read more from him.

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A Review of Back with a Vengeance by C. J Carver


Back with Vengeance
Back with Vengeance by C. J. Carver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

FRIDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2011

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

Page-turning action with female sleuth Captain Jay McCaulay – When Jay McCaulay wakes up, drugged, in a strange hotel room; she knows things can only get worse. She’s in Moscow, and she has no idea how she got there. Memory shot to pieces, Jay returns to the UK to find her beloved uncle Duncan missing. Soon Jay is entangled in a web of lies and betrayals that stretches from Newbury Racecourse to Siberia.

What Do I Think?

This story starts with a genuine hook; Captain Jay McCauley awakes in a hotel room feeling dreadful. Staggering to the window, she opens the curtains and realises she is in Moscow, but she cannot remember how she got there. When she contacts the hotel desk she discovers that she has lost five days of her life.

This story from a much switched on story-weaver is an extreme adventure, an honest thriller of classic design. I just could not put this book down and look forward to reading more from C. J Carver this story really deserves a 4 stars, very highly recommended.

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