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Death Sentence Paperback – 15 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (15 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552776807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552776806
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 932,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A dark, sinister and witty thriller from the internationally bestselling author of The Library of Shadows.

From the Back Cover

A murder committed on paper, safely within the confines of a novel, is one thing. To see that same crime in the real world, is something else entirely. . .

Frank Føns is a very successful crime writer. His novels, famed for their visceral descriptions of violent death, have made him a household name. But now someone is copying his crimes. For Frank what once seemed a clever, intriguing plot twist, has suddenly become a terrifying, blood-spattered reality.

Frank unwittingly swaps his role of writer for detetcive. he must find out who is using his fiction to destroy his life, and why. What had once been a game is now a matter of life and death.

In fiction, the bad guy always gets caught, but in real life there is no such guarantee. Fear becomes real. The knife cut hurts like hell. Our narrator may not survive. And as Frank knows, no one is promising him a happy ending...

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Claire on 11 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
The idea behind this novel intrigued me at the outset - a writer of gruesome crime novels becomes embroiled in a cat and mouse game when someone starts carrying out his murders in real life, and killing people he knows.

Boy, was I disappointed.

The story started off in quite a promising way, with two strands of narrative, the first dealing with Frank's discovery that the copycat murders are taking place, and the second recounting his past and the experiences that have led him to this point. But almost straight away I found the style of writing to be quite flat, with everything being recounted in a very `matter of fact' way, which made it difficult to really engage with the story - I am not sure if this was the intended style or whether it had anything to do with the translation.

My biggest problem though was the gore factor. The descriptions of violent death and their aftermath was extremely difficult for this reader to cope with. I'm a big fan of crime fiction, and don't object to the depiction of violence within this context, but in this story I found it almost impossible to get through. I had to skim read the final section of the book because I just found it too distressing.

Based on this reading experience I am afraid that I wouldn't rush to read another book by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Catwomanthegeek on 12 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was given to me from Transworld Books.

This is an incredibly hard book to review and I have been sat at my computer wondering what I want to say and how I can truly convey what I am thinking right now.

You know the phrase 'It does exactly what it says on the Tin (Blurb)'? Well this book doesn't. By that I don't mean that it doesn't have a serial killer. It does. I don't mean that there aren't some truly grisly tails of murder, torture and death. There are. What I mean is that the story layout and it's main stance on this type of genre is totally different to what I expected and I am still unsure whether or not I liked it. I would say however that I devoured the book in a rate like I had never experienced a crime book before. I found that I was totally involved in all the emotions that Frank felt and all the experiences and problems that he put himself in. I felt hatred and repulsion for the man and then at other times I kind of empathised with him, and for that I would like to applaud Birkegaard. Unlike other people I found the book to be fast passed with short chapters. This like other books I have read lately, including another Transworld Book; Crippen, they had two narratives. One where you saw the life of Frank; From the beginning of his love of reading and writing, to falling in love, being a dad, to finding the demons that fame, fortune and power can bring and how those demons can change you and bring the life that you once had down. I found this storyline good, the characters were well executed and all rather memorable.
The other part of this was the storyline that you expected after reading the blurb. Frank who now lives alone gets a telephone call to say that a murder has been committed and that it looks like something out of one one his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian R. Martin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
Having enjoyed several thrillers by Scandinavian writers, I was tempted to try this one by someone I had not read before. It was a mistake.

The story is about Frank Fons, a successful writer of crime stories, whose trademark is the detailed graphic description of the sadistic murder that lies at the heart of all his books. One of these describes the torture and killing of a girl about the same age as his daughter, and because of this Frank's wife starts to fear him, and leaves taking the daughter. He suffers another shock when he discovers that someone is reproducing the fictional killings in real life (an often used plot line) but only after the third murder (each described in gory detail) when the killer indicates that the next victim will be Frank's daughter, does he deduce what the motive for them is and, highly improbably, concludes that the killer will only stop if he `sacrifices' himself as the fourth victim, and moreover describes it in a manuscript. The last chapter where the final confrontation takes place is not for the faint hearted and seems to have been written deliberately to horrify the reader by its stomach-churning detail, as are the description of the earlier tortures and killings. A similar criticism can be made of the sex scenes, which are described in titillating anatomical detail.

There is very little Scandinavian flavour about this book and there are far too many unbelievable features, including, crucially, the motive of the killer and Frank's reaction to it. Even after three murders have been committed, one of which is of a policeman who is a known acquaintance of Frank, the police fail to make the connection with his books and he is never interviewed. Scandinavian thrillers have a deservedly high reputation, but this one has not contributed to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book Worm on 17 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
I love a good thriller so I was intrigued by the idea of Mikkel Birkegaard's Death Sentence, where a crime writer discovers that somebody is re-enacting the fictional murders that he has created.

This is a fast-paced story with a murder within the very first chapter. The writing style flows well, with no difficulties created by this being a translation from the original language. I did find that the nature of the murders became increasingly more obscure as the story went on. The last murders were particularly horrowing and difficult to read as they are particularly graphic, gory and gruesome! I prefer my 'thrillers' to rely a little more on subtle suspense and the power of my imagination but there is very little subtlety here and everything is described in great technicolour detail. By the end, I was almost skim reading the final pages as I felt pretty uncomfortable with the descriptions of some pretty horrendous torture going on - the literary equivalent of watching a film from behind a cushion!

Afterwards, I was left wondering whether this was deliberate irony on the part of the author - as a gentle mockery of some of the more explicit murder novels on the market. At points, I certainly wondered how somebody could be sick enough to think up such twisted methods of killing their victims - which is exactly how the wife of the main character felt in the story. If this was a satire of the industry, it was very clever but, perhaps, a little too understated for me to thoroughly appreciate.

This is certainly a memorable novel although I'm not likely to revisit this author in the near future - certainly not on a full stomach.
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