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Death Sentence [Paperback]

Mikkel Birkegaard
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 Sep 2011

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.

In the novel, a redhead who was scared of water is drowned. In the mirror-image of the real world, she has become an ex-girlfriend chained and left to die at the bottom of the harbour. A corrupt police-officer tortured to death becomes a contact who dies with fear in his eyes. Someone is taking Franks' fiction and using it to destroy his life. The writer must become the detective.

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. No-one is promising you a happy ending. For Frank what had once been a game is now a matter of life and death.


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Death Sentence + The Library of Shadows
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (15 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552776807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552776806
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 728,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one for the squeamish... 11 Oct 2011
By Claire
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
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm still thinking about the book now. 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb! 30 Sep 2011
By SusieH
Format:Paperback
Superb! Probably the best crime novel I have read.

Frank Fons writes crime novels. To his horror one of his gruesome deaths is copied for real. Even worse, he had loosely based the character of the victim on a real person, and it is that person who is killed.

The killer finds a way to communicate with Frank, and to tell him who will be murdered next, again a character from one of Frank' novels, again based on a real person.

Why is this happening? How can he stop it happening again?

Frank needs to turn detective in the hopes he can avoid another death.

A well-crafted novel - difficult to put down. I shall have to get myself a copy of his earlier novel The Library of Shadows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Scandinavian thriller at its worst 26 Sep 2013
By Brian R. Martin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A modern penny dreadful
It seems that the main character, Frank Fons, a writer of violent murder stories, is caught up in his own horror story. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Scholastica
2.0 out of 5 stars unpleasant gore
I agree with the more negative reviews ; this is a flat and very difficult to like novel . Written rather woodenly and in a cold first person; there are few details about... Read more
Published 20 months ago by cartoon
4.0 out of 5 stars None
all scandinavians must have a natural talent for storytelling. this story gripped me from page one! Read more
Published 21 months ago by mrs hazel wright
1.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly unpleasant book
The blurb sounded promising, and since I had not read any other books by this author, I was curious. Read more
Published on 1 Feb 2012 by Maryanne Swain
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
A great start to this book, but it rapidly went down hill, becoming more and more disgustingly violent and gory. Read more
Published on 20 Dec 2011 by Sam
3.0 out of 5 stars Very grisly, yet compelling
The premise of this book is intriguing, and the writing is excellent, if a little detached in tone. This is somewhat unusual for a first-person narrator but it reflects the rather... Read more
Published on 29 Oct 2011 by Mrs. B. S. Kemp
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted
Frank Fons is a very successful crime writer. His books are famed for their shock factor and now someone has recreated a murder scene straight from one of his novels. Read more
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by glitterpuss
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacked pace and tension
Frank Fons makes a fairly decent living writing crime/murder novels - famous for killing his victims in increasingly bizarre and contrived fashions. Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2011 by Elka
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacked pace and tension
Frank Fons makes a fairly decent living writing crime/murder novels - famous for killing his victims in increasingly bizarre and contrived fashions. Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by Elka
3.0 out of 5 stars Gory and Gruesome!
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... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2011 by Book Worm
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