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4.6 out of 5 stars37
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 July 2007
FALL FROM GRACE is totally compelling. If you've read SHADOW OF THE SERPENT you'll know that Ashton creates a world you inhabit with his characters; if it wasn't impossible you'd swear that the author lived in 19th century Edinburgh.

But this is no historical study - it's a tingling, scary, thrilling tale which thrusts you from low-life to grandee, from the bordello to the great house with a deftness of touch and an unflinching ironic gaze.The story is literally breath-taking and the people in it are people you want to spend time with and who you miss when the story's done.

McLevy is becoming one of the icons of detective fiction.
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on 26 July 2007
A quite original voice in the world of detective fiction, Mr Ashtons' writing delivers a palpable sense of place and time where his finely drawn characters work through narrative strands that are never gratuitous padding,but resolve to a very satisfactory whole.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 February 2009
There have been a number of enjoyable short plays on BBC Radio 4 written by David Ashton featuring the idiosyncratic detective McLevy, constable Mulholland and the bawdy-house madam, Jean Brash. All three feature in this detective novel along with a number of other memorable characters. It takes a little time to get into this particular story, but once it's going it keeps you gripped, not least, by the lively and very humorous writing counter-balanced by the atmospheric descriptions of the darker side of Edinburgh in the Victorian era. The story intertwines with the real-life events surrounding the building and ultimate fate of the first railway bridge over the river Tay.
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on 28 March 2010
David Ashton has produced another gripping tale,this time involving Mclevy with an investigation into the Tay Bridge disaster.There is a sub-plot concerning Jean Brash and a couple of confidence tricksters, and the good inspector is in danger of falling in love.This is another quality offering from this author,who can produce an extremely well written mystery in half the number of pages used by some crime writers.There is no padding out the story in the McLevy books.In addition to the 'page-turning' pace of the writing, there are moments of humour.from subtle to belly laughs,and the supporting characters are as well portrayed as the protagonists.Highly recommended.

If you have not yet encountered McLevy, BBC Radio 7 features his adventures quite regularly,starring Brian Cox as Inspector James McLevy.
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on 21 August 2011
This is 2nd in the McLevy series of books and the first I have read. Unusually this is a book and a series of books based on the Radio Series, rather than the other way around. I have listened to some of the radio programmes on Radio 4 and was not captivated by them. It was by accident therefore that I bought this book and what a delight it was to read. I must have missed something on the radio, this is a very entertaining read. The tale of death and murder on an expanding scale, from the back street brothels of Edinburgh to Tay Bridge disaster. A cast of memorable characters where real events and people intermingle with the fictional.(including that pre-eminent Scots bard McGonagle.) A great story but best of all written with wit and humour. Must relisten to some of those radio programmes when they come around again on Radio 4Extra.
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on 30 August 2010
A really engaging crime story written by David Ashton who is apparently a very popular writer in other European countries but hardly known in UK
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on 5 July 2011
I bought this ebook after reading Shadow of the Serpent and was not disappointed. A really gripping read, intelligently written.
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on 29 July 2011
I loved this book, it is an excellent read. The writing reminds me of Kate Atkinson, one of my favourite authors. I have downloaded the second book and am already enjoying it. I would definitely recommend it.
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on 12 August 2011
Thank god for Kindle, I've only discovered Insp McLevy and have quickly became a huge fan, excellent reading and plenty of humour.
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on 11 March 2012
I enjoyed this - the writing is good and the historical background very interesting. I found the characters to be well drawn and the plot was pretty good too - in fact all the ingredients for a very good period thriller.
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