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Life on Mars: Blood, Bullets and Blue Stratos [Kindle Edition]

Tom Graham
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Time to leap into the Cortina as Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt roar back into action in a brand new instalment of Life on Mars.

‘If you think I’m gonna stand here listening to yet more of your Mary, Mungo and Midge about waiting for back-up, you’re even dopier than the front of your head suggests, Tyler. I’m going right up them stairs to nail me a villain – and that, Sammy-boy, is called law enforcement!’

When detective Sam Tyler was catapulted into the alien world of 1973, he found a world where men swigged scotch before breakfast. But when Sam finally got home, he realised he’d left his heart back in the seventies amongst the fly-wing collars and pints of Skol. He missed Annie Cartwright, the woman he had fallen in love with, and perhaps – just perhaps – he even missed The Guv, that nicotine-stained, sexist, homophobic caveman who was his DCI.

Now Sam is back in ’73 for good, but is this the greatest mistake he’s ever made? As Sam deals with what appears to be an IRA bombing campaign, and clashes with the irrepressible Gene Hunt, the creepy little girl from the TV test card keeps warning him, “you should never have come back here, Sam…you’ll see… you’ll see…”

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Product Description

About the Author

Tom Graham left school at 14 without qualifications. He is a smoker, and says that writing the Life on Mars novels is the nearest thing he’s had to a regular job since he got banned from driving. He part-owns a greyhound called Arthur and his ambition is to get fruity with Raquel Welch (to be clear about it, that’s Tom’s ambition, not Arthur’s).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First. 17 Sept. 2012
By simon211175 VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Liking Life on Mars on Facebook meant I had heard this was coming. I'm glad of that, as I probably would have missed it otherwise.

A short book, the story starts soon after Sam returns from 2006 to continue his new life in 1973. The familiar characters are all there, and you can't help but imagine their voices when reading, such is their iconic status - from Gene hunt right down to Nelson behind the bar of The Railway Arms.

The story reads like an extended length episode of the great series, although there were a couple of times when Gene did things I thought were out of character - like leaving Sam asleep in the car just before a raid because he thought he deserved a rest.

That aside though, it was a really enjoyable book, and didn't seem like a short one at all. If you liked the series (and be honest - who didn't?) then you'll love this. I can't wait now for the next in the series (Life on Mars: A Fistful of Knuckles).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but slightly off the mark 20 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm usually wary of books that are TV or film spin offs, but this remains quite true to its source. It picks up pretty much where the TV series left off and all the familiar elements are in place: the weird dreams, the test card girl, the on/off relationship with Annie, and of course Gene Hunt, as racist, sexist and pretty much any other kind of ist you can mention, as ever.

If you haven't seen the TV series you won't have a clue what's going on and it helps if you've seen Ashes to Ashes too as there are subtle hints as to the real purpose of Sam's world.

The plot rattles along at a fair pace - it's a pretty short book anyway - and you'll find you can easily read it in two or three sittings. For me it wasn't quite as sharply written as the TV series, the dialogue isn't quite as snappy. It lacks the "nervous as a small nun at a penguin shoot" type lines that made the original such a delight. Also Hunt, whilst he's always been a bit one-dimensional, at times descends almost into caricature here.

If you enjoyed Life on Mars you'll like this, it's a fun read but it just slightly misses the mark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 'Gene Genie' is back 22 Sept. 2012
By djay
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Following on from such an incredible wave of popularity, it was inevitable that Gene Hunt would return in some format. The only surprise is that it has taken quite so long after Ashes To Ashes was wound up. These new stories act as fill-in for the years Sam Tyler spent with Gene's team after the end of Life On Mars, before being declared dead [again] following a car accident.
This adventure pops along at a nice pace and the dialogue is typical (if a little predictable and contrived at times) of what fans expect from Gene and his gang.
There are a few obvious holes, such as the scarcity of the chief supporting characters Ray and Chris, and the total absence - without explanation - of Chris's girlfriend and the fractious desk sergeant. However, there's some nice plot development surrounding Sam's pesky nemesis, the unsettling test card girl.
On a purely selfish superfan level, it would be wonderful to see these stories blossom into new TV episodes, but realistically and credibly, it just can't ever be done. The creators answered the pertinent questions at the end of Ashes, and now we all know those answers, it would sadly be difficult to suspend that knowledge. All we'd be left with would be a retro cops n robbers show with little purpose beyond boozing and bashing. That might be one-dimensional fun for a short while, but ultimately the unique mystery/sci-fi aspects made all the difference and ensured both shows left an unforgettable legacy which - tough as it is to accept - we can't ever travel back to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Genie 27 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tom Graham will never rank amongst the literary greats but if you were a fan of Life on Mars then this is very definitely one for you. Resisting the temptation to pick up in the 80s, Tom keeps the readers firmly back in the original, and best, era of the 70s and Gene in his beloved Manchester. Perhaps the plot gets a little political but he has captured the characters and dialogue well. As a retired copper who was on CID in the mid 70s I regarded the TV programme as a documentary and this book keeps the memory of the programme alive. If to you PC means Politically Correct then go elsewhere, if it means Police Constable then read on my friend. The best bit is saved for last, 'Gene Hunt will return.....'
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This excellent quartet of new tie-in novels entertainingly, fascinatingly and at times poetically develops linking mythology between the last episode of LIFE ON MARS and the beginning of ASHES TO ASHES. All the characters are represented with accuracy, humanity and humor, and the author, while certainly expanding the format for novelistic prose, also honors it assiduously, never leaving Sam Tyler's point of view (even though those of us who know the additional "answers" provided by ASHES TO ASHES realize that at this point he could) which makes the writing even more of a tour de force.

As to the writing: it's so accomplished, focused and genre savvy that I didn't buy the claim that the author was series co-creator Matthew Graham's brother, since "Tom" seems to have no other professional credits or even online existence; the author bio/picture display in the book is rather conspicuously an inside-joke concoction, so I went a-Googling to see if I could Gene Hunt down the actual wordsmith. It wasn't easy, but I did. The official LIFE ON MARS novelist is not one of the current generation of usual tie-in writers, which is in part why he's so well-camouflaged...or at least is until you flip the byline names. He's not Tom Graham; he's independently published British science fiction/fantasy novelist Graham Thomas, author of HATS OFF TO BRANDENBURG (The Roxy Compendium), among others (not to be confused with the late Canadian mystery author Gordon Kosakoski, who used that same by-line as a pseudonym). If you click to Graham's (slightly obsolete) bio on his website, The Never Press (as one word) dot-com, one of the sentences in it reads: "He is currently at work on a four-part mini-cycle that exists within a sixteen-part saga." (LIFE ON MARS ran for 16 episodes.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Tom Graham is never going to be a great author, BUT if you're a fan of the TV series then it's worth a read, my only problem is that the storyline doesn't have any real depth and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lesa Dochnenko
5.0 out of 5 stars like so many other fans
Graham manages to pull off the unexpected and translates Life On Mars in to a novel format. As a huge fan, I was less then optimistic about how well the book would read. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. J. Zeun
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 months ago by carol fagan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Top read
Published 7 months ago by heather crisp
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Enjoyed this book it was very like the program. Gene made me laugh at some of the things he said and it was an exiting story.
Published 8 months ago by SuzyRed
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent read
Published 12 months ago by Martin Brimble
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant!
this was brilliant ! I am a big life on mars fan and these book are so good i think they could have been done as a 3rd series of life on mars! Love it!
Published 13 months ago by BOB
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect - a must read for any Life on Mars fan
I had no idea these books even existed until I noticed them on the LOM Wikipedia page, and immediately had them on order. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alex Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Life.
To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. I loved the TV show and was sad to see it come to an end with John Simm in the lead role. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars I went back in time......
Flicking randomly through the lists of Kindle books available on the Amazon website, I suddenly came across the four novels that are based upon the brilliant BBC TV series Life on... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Davecg99
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