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Killing The Beasts [Paperback]

Chris Simms
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Sep 2006

Manchester, 2002. The Commonwealth Games are coming to town and the city is alive with possibilities. Caught up in the commercial feeding frenzy is Tom Benwell, account manager at an advertising firm. The pressure is getting to Tom - too many deals to make and lies to tell, and the passion for his job is waning. Meanwhile his friend, DI Jon Spicer, is on the fast track, showing a commitment to the job that borders on obsession, or so his girlfriend Alice tells him.

Then, in the aftermath of the Games, a series of brutal killings shatters the city's new found spirit. Jon Spicer gets the case. Each victim has been murdered in the same bizarre and grotesque manner, yet the lack of motive leaves the police utterly baffled.

With the race on to catch the killer, both men find themselves caught up in a nightmare where the most innocent action can cost the highest price. In this nail-biting crime thriller, Chris Simms draws us into the shadows that lurk behind the city's shiny new exterior, then plunges us into the mind of a madman.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (6 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752877992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752877990
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Simms has worked in airports, nightclubs, post offices and telesales centres. Along with nominations for Crime Writers' Association Daggers and the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year award, Chris was selected by Waterstones as one of their '25 authors for the future'.

The idea for his debut novel, Outside the White Lines, came to him in the early hours of the morning while broken down on the hard shoulder of the M40.
His series of DI Spicer novels - psychological thrillers set very firmly in Manchester - follow the police detective's fortunes as he pursues mad, bad and deadly individuals through the city's ever-changing landscape.

In October 2012, Scratch Deeper was launched - a new series featuring Detective Constable Iona Khan of Manchester Police's Counter Terrorism Unit.

Chris says he is drawn to books that give insights into unusual minds. The twisted desires of Frederick in John Fowles', The Collector; the tormented thoughts of Scobie in Graham Greene's Heart of the Matter; the violent urges of Francie in Patrick McCabe's Butcher Boy are all books Chris states had an influence in shaping him as a writer.

Product Description


Pacy, gripping and original storytelling (YORKSHIRE POST)

Book Description

Third crime novel from a brilliantly talented crime writer - the first of a series set in Manchester.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a good end to 2008! 30 Dec 2008
By Sterile
I found this book to be riveting! Original and very real on every plane. The story unfolds with more than one suspect and it really could have been any of them! The way Simms takes us through the descent into Tom's mental illness and demise is very realistic, and compelling.

I am resident near Manchester (where the book is based) and followed Tom and Jon through the streets in the city centre where the descriptions are spot on!

Loved it, was sorry for it to end although I read it compulsively, such a page turner that it was! Looking forward to more of the same...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perceptive and absorbing whodunnit 6 April 2008
By Helen Simpson VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jon Spicer is pulled off a long running car theft operation to lead the hunt for the killer of Polly Mather. His chance to prove he can cut the mustard. Soon more bodies are discovered and Jon is desperate to find a link between the murders.
Meanwhile he wonders about his old friend Tom Benwell. Tom works for an advertising agency and is unexpectedly promoted as the pressure builds for advertising opportunities around Manchester city centre during the run up to The Commonwealth Games.

The story all takes place in 2002 but the chapters swap between the Autumn (the present) and earlier in the year.
Although it took me a few chapters to get used to the time swapping, once I had, it worked really well and is very necessary to the story.

Simms specialises in damaged and disturbed characters and whether you're creeped out, sympathetic to, or repulsed by them...he certainly makes them realistic.
His 'normal' characters are well written too. I liked DI Jon Spicer. A rugby man (Spicer the Slicer) who enjoys his job, loves his girlfriend, but isn't infallible.

A story that gives you a disturbing but very believable glimpse of madness alongside an engrossing crime investigation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and addictive read 15 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I only picked this up as we were on holiday and this book was based in Manchester where I live, but I am so glad I did. Although I didn't read the book whilst away I downloaded it to read once home and I'm so glad I did. This is a very well written book, which gives nothing away until the final chapters. My hubby already wants to read it based on my enjoyment, and I highly recommend it. Next book another Chris Simms one :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 5 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very good if somewhat disturbing read. Some of the subject matter is a bit disturbing in relation to mental illness and makes you think but it was a very good story and would recommend
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