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Acid Row Paperback – 2002

3.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 474 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; 1st edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330489461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330489461
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 943,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Minette Walters is England's bestselling female crime writer. She has won the CWA John Creasey Award for best first crime novel, the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best crime novel published in America and two CWA Gold Daggers for Fiction. Minette Walters lives in Dorset with her husband and two children.

Product Description

Amazon Review

From the first page, Minette Walters assaults your sensibilities with her psychological thriller Acid Row; she grabs you hard and fast, sustains the onslaught throughout and hits you with a knock-out final blow. Straightaway she informs you that the abduction of 10-year-old Amy and the revelation that a paedophile has been relocated to Acid Row, "a place of deprivation where literacy was poor, drugs endemic and fights commonplace", and where children were left to run wild, leads to rioting and "five hours of savagery leaves three dead".

Even with this prior knowledge, Walters' skill as a novelist never leaves you complacent and nothing prepares you for the horror and tragedy of her novel's shocking denouement. Monsters and heroes are found in the most unlikely places, subverting all your preconceptions: third-time pregnant teenager Melanie incites the protest only to block the rioters when they turn violent; "Big, black" Jimmy James is just out of prison but risks his neck to save the life of an injured policewoman; and the 71-year-old asthmatic father of the so-called paedophile turns out to be more sadistic than your worst imaginings.

A page-turning novel doesn't have to be particularly well written or intelligent to hold you in its grip but occasionally one comes along with both qualities and leaves you reeling in its wake. This is it. Acid Row's numerous narratives are so tightly packed and interconnected that no detail is spurious and everything is channelled towards suspense and shattering revelations. Walters just goes from strength to strength. --Nicola Perry --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘A breathtaking achievement’ -- Daily Telegraph

‘A gripping and exciting read covering events at a galloping pace . . . in vintage thriller style’ -- Sunday Express

‘Compelling . . . Walters masterfully weaves the disparate human stories into the action . . . a frightening, lethal cocktail of violence’ -- The Times

‘Walters’ eighth novel crackles like a police radio in the midst of tumult . . . A truly gripping thriller’ -- Daily Mail

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Only a handful of staff at the Nightingale Health Center ever read the memo referring to the presence of a pedophile on the Bassindale Estate. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's hard to take this book seriously on any level.
I always get the feeling, from reading Walter's books, that she's a rather well-to-do middle class lady... and reading this book, above all her others, seems to confirm my suspicions.
The descriptions of the ordinary estate people (there are millions in Britain, Minette) were cliched, tired and frequently verged on the offensive. There are many many single mothers... but do they all have to be daytime TV addicts, swigging lager and smoking fags to their daily dose of Trisha? And do they all really need to be following that supposed 'cycle' of single parents, with jobless jailbird junkie males as the only love interest? The book seems confused, too. Are we following the listless 'missing girl' plot (which thankfully seems to get all but forgotten in the latter half of Acid Row) or the dastardly paedo/dirty Daddy story, which, with increasing ridiculousness, takes the forefront in the book?
I'm usually quite a fan of Walters' knack for writing a book you feel could have been set in your own village - she seems at home in the comfy, conservative, country villages like Dorset....but desperately out on a limb when writing about anything but this priveliged rich existence. Her genuine lack of knowledge regarding things like housing estates, race problems, drug problems and the relationships which run these apparently crime-ridden estates is glaringly obvious in Acid Row, and her generalisations and Daily Mail-like observations gave me frequent intakes of breath and curling of the toes.
A blip on an otherwise pretty near faultless body of work, Acid Row should be avoided. It really isn't a book to be proud of, and it certainly isn't one to recommend or read again.
And I haven't, for the benefit of Ms Walters writing career, even mentioned the gut churningingly American ending......
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By A Customer on 28 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book was not neary as good as the hype on the covers said it would be. There was no tension at all, i ended up skimming bits of it. Some of the words and phrases she puts in the mouth of her characters are plain daft. Luckily i got if from the library, i would have been mad if i had paid money for it. I did like her early work.
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Format: Hardcover
What a letdown. The story had a very good idea behind it, but the author fails to really picture any of it clearly. The writing is muddled and the sense of the size of the crowd as it grows is completely lost. One second there are a couple of people meandering around a school yard, then the next it turns into thousands of people running down a road. Frustratingly bad writing. Made it to the end only to find it fizzling away like air let out of a balloon - deflating accompanied by a rude noise. Not to mention the dialogue between the cardboard people, which is comical at best and sickening at worst.

Fool me twice, shame on me - so won't be picking up any more books written by middle-class Minette who arrogantly tries to portray down-and-outs and fails miserably.

I give it two stars (it really deserves none) only because the plot could've worked in the hands of a superior writer. It was never meant to be scribbled by a mediocre one.
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By M.D. Smart TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Acid Row' is a salutory lesson in what can go wrong when an author steps outside their comfort zone. Minette Walters' novels usually have a middle-class setting; here she attempts to portray life on a troubled council estate where a convicted sex offender has just taken up residence. I'm sure her intentions were good, but the end result veers between embrrassing, farcical and downright offensive.

It's obvious Walters has little or no experience of council estates or their residents; characterisation and dialogue are a complete mess. Local GP Sophie is the only major middle-class character, and unfortunately comes across as smug and patronising in her dealings with the estate dwellers. Most of the working-class characters are straight out of Eastenders or The Bill, as is their dialogue - I mean, who on earth refers to the police as "rozzers" in real life? By far the most shameful of the bunch is Jimmy, the hero of the story, who seems to have escaped from a 1970s blaxploitation flick. He preceeds every sentence with "Man", he swaps 'high fives' with the other residents and constantly refers to his 'lady' in a horrendously stereotyped fashion, and yet Walters is clearly so anxious not to appear prejudiced that she turns him into some kind of superhuman saint who is able to not only save the day single-handed but also re-educate all the estate's racist residents at the same time. I have to admit, I did keep reading despite all this appalling nonsense, but when I got to the toe-curling happy-ever-after epilogue I wished I hadn't bothered.

It almost defies belief that the same author responsible for this travesty also produced a novel as good as 'The Sculptress'. I can only hope Minette Walters will rediscover her former promise and avoid producing anything as bad as this ever again.
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By A Customer on 1 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Having enjoyed previous books, i opened this with keen enthusiasm. What a let down. I cannot believe the same woman wrote this book that wrote the Scolds Bridle. The story never gripped, the characters were flat, their dialogue was almost hilarious. I also cannot believe that some other reviewers said it was a wonderful read! Well, we are all different, and life would be dull if we all liked/disliked the same things.
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