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Evil Valley (The TV Detective Series) [Paperback]

Simon Hall
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Sep 2008 The TV Detective Series
TV reporter Dan Groves and Detective Adam Breen are reunited to try to save a young girl who's been abducted by a psychopath, a once brilliant man tormented by war and the death of his best friend and utterly bent on taking his revenge on society. A masked attacker breaks into women's homes, threatens them with a gun, but never speaks and steals nothing of value, only a document bearing their name. He leaves behind a note addressed to Dan, boasting of plans for a great crime, one which will shock the country. A police marksman kills two men in separate but frighteningly similar shootings. Detectives are suspicious, but is it murder? Their only clue is a cryptic password they find hidden at the man's home and a possible motive festering in his past.Another woman is attacked, another document taken, another note left. It claims each contains a code revealing the great crime. And it's growing closer, hour by passing hour. Dan is put under police guard as it becomes clear the man is stalking him. Adam and Dan face baffling questions. Why does the attacker steal only documents bearing the women's names? How to solve the riddles contained in the notes? Code breaking experts are called in to help. But before they can, a young girl is abducted. An intensive manhunt is launched. The battle to solve the clues in the letters grows more frantic. The pressure is intense. But as each riddle is cracked, the man is always one step ahead of the police - until the increasingly desperate search converges on Dartmoor.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press Ltd; Reprint edition (15 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906373434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906373436
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 828,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Hall is the BBC Crime Correspondent for the Devon and Cornwall area. His TC Dective Series now includes five titles, The TV Detective, Death Pictures, Evil Valley, The Judgement Book and The Balance of Guilt. Simon is 42 years old and lives with his wife in Exeter.

Product Description


Once again Simon Hall weaves characters, plot and backdrops into a compelling story which keeps drawing you towards its end, and even then makes you want to go back and solve the clues yourself. --Eurocrime. --Eurocrime.

A compelling thriller... very difficult to put down --New Books Mag

one to savour... absolutely first class --Books Monthly

About the Author

Simon Hall is the BBC Crime Correspondent for the Devon and Cornwall area. Evil Coombe is his third novel and follows the highly successful The Death Pictures. His first novel, A Popular Murder, was strongly commended and received widespread media coverage. Simon is 38 years old and lives with his wife in Plymouth.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the nine o,clock news. 3 Jan 2009
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
They say - writers that is - always say write about what you know. So it makes sense for Simon Hall , who is a regional crime news reporter for the BBC, to write crime mysteries based around the character Dan Groves who you've guessed it , is a regional crimes news reporter .Don't know if it's for the BBC. Anyway this is the third book featuring the character but the first I have read.
It takes some getting into but once the narrative warms up the two concurrent plots.- one about a police officer shooting dead a man in a domestic violence incident and one about Groves being dragged into the convoluted revenge plan of a former member of the armed forces - it becomes an absorbing exciting read.
There are problems however. The plot , especially the central revenge plot is just too silly for words - more like something Sideshow Bob would come up with and the motivation for it made me laugh out loud. There is some soapy guff about Groves love life I could have done without and his relationship with the police just doesn't ring true. Hall isn't the greatest writer in the world either. He uses literary clichés like "dark evil woods" too often . The cold is "vicious", a knife is "vicious looking " and one character "hisses" that many of his lines I started to think he was the snake out of Jungle Book . The books title is rubbish as well.
Still, I found the stuff about TV reporting surprisingly interesting and while I feel the story doesn't justify over 300 pages it is a pacy reasonably exciting read. Hall still has a considerable way to go before he is in the same league as writers in the same genre like Peter James or Stuart McBride though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Averageish Thrills 16 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read this not realising that there were two earlier books in the series. I was a little annoyed to find no mention of the connection. I have now bought the other two to see what they are like.

I'd therefore recommend that you buy the first two books first as there are references to them throughout this book. It was also a little confusing redaing the book after reading the blurb on the back.

Overall this is an average thriller that could have been so much more. It does produce good characters but seems to be a little overlong and would have been improved with a little editing and proof reading.

It is good to see a book written by someone who is professionally involved in the area and this brings insight into the procedural elements and the role of the TV reporter.

There are elements of suspense and a few plot twists that make this rise above the more mediocre elements. It's just that there is nothing that makes this stand out that much from the rest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor 28 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I dont know about difficult to put down more like difficult to pick up again. To say this book is dry would be an understatement. When you have a suspense thriller you need to catch the reader from the start or at least lead the reader down a road where he/she has some interest in travelling (As say Steven King does) The author of this book however does neither.

A firearms incident involving the police, 2 crack reporters investigating its all rather dry and frankly boring and makes the reader struggle past the first third of the book. I always like to give a book a chance and not judge by the first few chapters but this book really made me struggle and considering I tend to read a fair few books in a week I can imagine someone picking this up before they go on their holidays being a tad unimpressed with this one.

The characters dont have the personality to interest the reader and the plot doenst have well, anything to make the reader read on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable and dull. 16 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is one of the most predictable books I have read for a long time. What makes it worse is a thoroughly detestable lead character in Dan Groves. The way he talks to the police is a joke. They would not let him anywhere near them and the way the chief inspector is portrayed is laughable. He is shown to be a bumbling idiot who is constantly going to Dan saying "help me", "what's going on". The book was written by Simon Hall who is actually a TV reporter like the main character, and it reads like some weird fantasy he must have when going to report on various news stories. There is also a distasteful streak running through it about how families' victims are shown in the media. Overall I felt I had wasted my time when I eventually finished it. I definitely won't be reading anything else by Simon Hall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Evil Valley 21 Jan 2009
By Mrs. A. M. Chadwick VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Simon Hall isn't an author I'd heard of, I know him more for being the BBC's crime Correspondent for the south-west of England and also on the Radio doing broadcasts for Devon and Cornwall. So it was no surprise to see he was writing about what he knew best, reporting and crime.

Was a little hard to get into at first as he has two plots running throughout the book. To me, it would have been better just concentrating on one idea, as at times I found I was getting a little fed up.

It's not a book I'd recommend to friends and family, but everyone has different opinions about what makes a good book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable - but too long 23 Mar 2009
By Johnnybluetime VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The third in the TV Detective series, featuring Dan Groves, crime reporter for Wessex Tv, has a satisfyingly convuluted plot involving police marksmen, domestic violence, child abduction and revenge. It is for the most part an enjoyable read, which despite the aforementioned convulusions feels largely realistic and is very firmly grounded in Plymouth and Dartmoor.Oviously, given that Simon Hall is a Crime Correspondent for the BBC,the tv news aspects are very believable, as are the scenes involving the police and overall I found the book a decent enough read.

However, I began to lose patience with it the more the book went on. For my money it is at least fifty pages too long and I think most of those pages are needless dialogue that neither moves the plot forward nor informs the reader of anything that they otherwise don't know, and which is too often mundane and repetative.Simon Hall needs a better editor, one who understands that good fiction is not merely about mimicking the tedium of reality.Also the ending is badly paced and goes on too long with too strong a reliance on explaining plot points through dialogue - never a good idea as it usually involves, as it does here, people having completely unrealistic conversations.

Having said all that, I would still recommend the book to lovers of British crime fiction as there is a really good crime novel struggling to get out here.Simon Hall certainly has the talent to take the next step up the crime ladder, but before he does he will need to find himself a much better editor.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to standard
Simon Hall manages to construct a good plot and combines this to great effect with detailed descriptions of the South West. A worthy, page turner 3rd story in thrilling series.
Published 24 days ago by Ferenna
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
couldn't put it down and when I had to, couldn't wait to pick it up again. recamend it to everyone
Published 9 months ago by Louise Corley
5.0 out of 5 stars The best.
Very atmospheric. Dartmoor shown as eerie and cold (a la Conan Doyle). Found tale a bit hard, especially the twist at the end. Didn't see the ending. Very good writing. Read more
Published 19 months ago by evelync
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather dull I'm afraid
I'm afraid this book really did nothing for me. When it comes to thrillers, I am quite hard to please I'll admit, but this one was very generic and too slowly paced for me. Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2011 by Cuban Heel
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
This was the third book of Simon Hall's that I have read. I totally enjoy the fact that the more I read the more I get to know about his main two characters Dan and Adam. Read more
Published on 5 Aug 2010 by Tiger
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much like hard work
My first novel by the author, but he has used the main characters in previous novels. Dan Groves, TV reporter and Adam Breen, Police Inspector work together on an investigation... Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2009 by Nick Brett
2.0 out of 5 stars Evil Valley
First book I have read by Simon Hall and I really struggled with it and found it all rather boring and dull. Slow moving story and it just didn't hold my attention. Read more
Published on 17 July 2009 by Nikki
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, just disappointing
It's a struggle to get through, not because it's complex or anything, it's just... dull. Not something I wanted to pick up again once I set it down. Also, the blurb's misleading. Read more
Published on 16 July 2009 by P. McCauley
3.0 out of 5 stars Never judge a book by it's cover, but it can be a clue to the contents
This isn't a bad book- but it is pretty average. The characters have all been done and seen before, from the maverick reporter to the grim and hardened cop. Read more
Published on 11 July 2009 by Bezerus Bezby
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent thriller
Evil Valley is a fairly decent "by the numbers" thriller. If you like thrillers then you'll probably enjoy it, but not be surprised by how it all turns out. Read more
Published on 21 May 2009 by Little Miss
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