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Ascension Day #2 [Kindle Edition]

John Matthews
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When DEATH is your only hope...

Ascension Day is the most exciting and compelling death-row thriller since
The Shawshank Redemption

Ascension Day #2 is part of a two-book set. Book #1 is approx 235 pages and Book #2 340 pages. Both parts #1 and #2 are available on Kindle.

Ascension Day #2

Only 47 days left until Larry Durrant's execution, but lawyer Lac McElroy is determined to save his client's life.

There are only three small problems: the evidence against Durrant is overwhelming, he's made a full confession, and he wants to die...

But Jac's hungry to make his mark and he knows something just isn't right about Larry Durrant's murder conviction. Trouble is, everyone thinks Larry's guilty, from the Louisiana Governor right down to the accused, who has confessed to the crime and now wants to make peace with his maker.

Jac soon discovers that someone doesn't want anyone — especially a lawyer — digging around this case. And they'll stop at nothing to make sure Larry's execution goes ahead on schedule. Now Jac must decide whether he's prepared to risk his career, his reputation and his life to save a man who, by his own admission, is a murderer . . .


'Matthews certainly knows how to keep the reader hungry for the next revelation'.
- Kirkus UK.

Ascension Day is like a narcotic, laced with danger, and totally
addictive. Impossible to put down. This is what thrillers are meant to
be. Jac McElroy is a character I want to read more of.
- Jon Jordan. Crime Spree Magazine.

Goes to the wire... a gripping thriller.
- The Scotsman.

'If John Grisham ever developed a sense of irony, or Scott Turow ever tried to write from the other side of the prison bars, they might come up with something like John Matthews’s Ascension Day. This is a book that doesn’t sacrifice style for suspense, or character for plot. The legal thriller has needed a jolt of electricity for a few years now and Matthews may just be the man to throw the switch.'
- Peter Blauner,
Author of Slipping Into Darkness and The Intruder.

'Move over Grisham, your reign is over! Reminiscent of vintage Grisham, but Matthews has his own distinctive style. Strong, believable characters and a plot that grips from page one and won't let go, twisting and turning its way towards a nail-biting climax - they don't come much better than this. One of the best and most memorable thrillers I've read in
years. A winner all the way.'
- Bob Burke. Mystery Readers International.

'ASCENSION DAY is a fast-paced thriller set between New Orleans and an upstate Louisiana prison, and Matthews' strong descriptive prose brings the darkness at the heart of Libreville penitentiary alive. His chief protagonist, Jac McElroy, is particularly interesting with his Franco-Scottish heritage - and his ever-changing relationship with prisoner Larry Durrant sets the main pulse for this race-against-time thriller... with the stakes and tension racheted up throughout the book.'
- Luke Croll, Reviewing the Evidence.

John Matthews is a leading British thriller writer. His books span genres of crime, action, mystery and legal-thriller and include: Basikasingo, Crescents of the Moon, Past Imperfect, The Last Witness, The Second Amendment, Ascension Day, The Shadow Chaser and The Prophet.

They have been translated into 12 languages with total sales of 1.2 million. In 2007, Past Imperfect was included in a top ten all-time best legal thrillers list in The Times. He was one of only two British authors in the list.

Books In This Series (2 Books)
Complete Series

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    Product Description

    From the Back Cover

    When DEATH is your only hope...

    Ascension Day is the most exciting and compelling death-row thriller since
    The Shawshank Redemption

    About the Author

    John Matthews is also the author of Past Imperfect, The Last Witness and The Shadow Chaser. As well as being a novelist, he is an experienced journalist, editor and publishing consultant. He lives in Surrey with his wife and son.

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 1949 KB
    • Print Length: 576 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: E-Media Books; Kindle edition edition (30 Nov. 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0052MG42Y
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    As any Hollywood executive will tell you, there are three main acts in a film - and I suppose it could be said that my writing career has followed the same path.

    The first act was two novels written in my twenties, Basikasingo and Crescents of the Moon. Published by Hutchinson/Arrow Books in London, both did well, selling 100,000 plus. But I became distracted with other publishing ventures and didn't return to writing novels for some while.

    That return (Act Two, if you will), was with one of my strongest books to date, Past Imperfect. A crime thriller with a difference - think in terms of John Grisham meets Stephen King, but with an atmospheric 1960s French setting - Past Imperfect went on to sell over 500,000 copies in 8 countries. The Last Witness, The Shadow Chaser and Ascension Day followed in similar crime-thriller style. This in turn led to me penning a film treatment for Past Imperfect and also a fresh film script, 'Blind School' (Act Three).

    Part of this has also involved a book in a different style, crossing the mythology-political thriller genre, which has been particularly succesful with foreign rights sales, adding Brazil, Turkey, Portugal and Bulgaria to my existing list of teritories. Putting my back-list on Kindle - which has seen the three titles so far listed all in the top-ten legal thrillers list on Amazon (again!). And finally penning a new novel in collaboration with TV producer Richard Belfield (for which we've become J.R. Mattfeld) to kick-start a crime-detective series set in 1890s New York, the first of which involves Jack the Ripper (yes, you heard right!). More on that later...

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Rises To The Occasion! 18 Oct. 2007
    Rookie lawyer Jac McElroy is determined to save his client from execution on death row; but with only 47 days to go, and all pointers suggest it's a lost cause, and then with his own life under threat as well, it's not looking good.
    And there's a few nasty people out there determined to keep it that way, whatever it takes!

    With a touch of the "Shawshank Redemption" feel about it, this is 570 pages of will he - won't he, and the ducking and diving keeps the reader on tenterhooks all the way through this fine book.
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    35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Got mugged! 10 Sept. 2007
    Halfway through I was ready to give this 3 or 4 stars as simply a good thriller with solid characterization and plotting, but then a couple of sub-plots rose up unexpectedly and mugged me and turned this from just good to exceptional. So if you think this is just about saving Larry Durrant, think again! From then on it was a breathless nail-biter. The read has a nice feel to it because 70% takes place with a cat and mouse game outside the prison walls. There was enough inside the prison to give the dour atmosphere, but not so that you got bogged down there. It also avoided being weighed down with endless death penalty statutes, which I felt both The Chamber and Conviction suffered from. What on top made this read different was that the prisoner himself doesn't even know whether he comitted the murder or not - so you as the reader go all the way through thinking did he, didn't he? And the piecing together of Larry's fractured psyche around his life at the time of the murder 11 years ago, with all the time the clock ticking rapidly towards his death - is pure genius! For an emotional and exciting thrill-ride, an absolute must read.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of the seat thriller 2 April 2013
    By AshleyK
    Format:Kindle Edition
    This was an edge of the seat thriller-ride all the way as a young lawyer fights to save a death-row prisoner who doesn't wish to be saved. The lawyer quickly finds himself up against all odds as there are a few people keen to see Larry Durrant's execution go ahead on time!

    There are a couple of strokes of genius in this book: one, the prisoner's state of mind which means he can't totally recall whether he committed the murder or not. Second, the unraveling and piecing back together of his mind which has put him where he is in the first place. I shall say no more at this stage, otherwise I'll quickly get into the area of 'spoilers'.

    Must say I didn't have an issue with the book split into two parts. It was clearly marked on the introduction, but maybe it's because I'd read another of the author's books, The Second Amendment, which was also split up in the same way with part one free. I don't recall the same fuss being made by readers over that book, and to be frank the length of both books lend themselves to that. A lot happens in both and 500 plus pages is too much in one haul!
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    26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    By GilesB
    I notice that a couple of the pre-reviewers have compared this to Grisham. Well, yes, if you take Grisham on his absolute top form in the mid-nineties. For me, this book worked on every level: it was thoughtful and Turrow-esque where it needed to be - particularly in the developing relationship between Jac and the prisoner, Larry Durrant - and pacy and nail-bitingly exciting where needed. In fact, the final 250 pages were probably the most electrifying and tense I can remember in any book. Overall, a fantastic read - one not to be missed!
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    5.0 out of 5 stars cracking read 9 Feb. 2014
    By Galning
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Part 1 was a freebie and ends on a real cliff hanger that means you just HAVE to buy part 2 (this is one book). Very clever plot, multiple story threads weaving the characters together. The main characters were believable, the baddies were bad and you just SO wanted Larry to get his reprieve (from the death penalty).

    Just one teeny hint to the author. There's one part of the book where a character (won't give away who) is running from the police? Those few pages for me could've been shorter. When there's a bit of the plot where you are dying to know what is going to happen next this doesn't build up tension (like it might in a film) - it just stops you getting to the good bits. So I was skipping paragraphs at that point.

    But, otherwise, the book is fast paced and each chapter swings back and forth between what each character is up to, both now and at the time of the murder. And some very well written scenes relating to Larry, his son and ex wife - believable and poignant.

    And even though I had a hunch for a good chunk of the book(s) who was behind the murder - that isn't the storyline the tension comes from and I polished it off in a weekend.

    Very good book. Recommend it.
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    3.0 out of 5 stars Dodgy defender in too deep! 6 July 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition
    John Mathews must be paid by the word as this 2 part epic is way too long for the story. I found it very "padded out" with all kinds of unnecessary sub plots which did not add anything to the main story. Also the main lawyer character is really not believable and neither is the lap dancing girl friend. The character of Jac misses a couple of glaringly obvious leads until a couple of chapters later and as for his period of being a fugitive- well that is so unlikely that it is near impossible, as is his disguise.
    This story (parts 1& 2) would probably pass a long flight or if you were waiting for someone to wake from a coma. It certainly is a page turner- I kept turning the pages to get to the no doubt happily ever after conclusion- and there I wasn't disappointed.
    On the plus side it does raise some interesting discussions about the ethics of prisoners on Death Row in the US. I am so glad that the UK abolished the death penalty years ago.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    A potentially great book, but thought there was just too many twists and surprises to be credible.
    Published 1 day ago by Colin Brewster
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great first Half
    This is a nail biting ride, twists in the plot come at you from all angles and the characters are plausible and well written. Read more
    Published 6 days ago by C. Smith
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    its okay
    Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
    2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
    It was ok.
    Published 4 months ago by chris
    2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
    Plot jumped around too much to keep track,liked jac's character enjoyed some parts. felt shortchanged by the ending, overall a good plot but left reader not wanting more just... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Rose
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    As ordered
    Published 5 months ago by Frank Cooke
    2.0 out of 5 stars Only part of story 😠
    A good read with more plots running along side of the main one which made an interesting read. Unfortunately the book is in 2 parts with part 1 being free and part 2 you have to... Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Leeds Loiners
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 10 months ago by Nick
    2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
    Published 11 months ago by BC READER
    1.0 out of 5 stars Half a book
    Don't be taken in by this being free - it's only the first half of the book - you'll need to pay to get the second half. First time I've come across this trick on Amazon. Read more
    Published 11 months ago by Jim Cardle
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