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No Escape [Paperback]

Natasha Cooper
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

6 Aug 2009
Spike Falconer is in prison on the Isle of Wight - convicted of murder. What made him choose four innocent strangers, a family picnicking, as his victims? Why did he need to kill? Forensic psychologist Karen Taylor comes to probe the mind of this psychopath. Trying to recover from the death of her husband and the dark memories surrounding it, Karen is drawn into life on the Island. She becomes involved with DCI Charlie Trench, cool and abrasive, the opposite in every way from her partner Will Hawkins. And she has to get to know Spike's adoptive family, the rich and influential Falconers, who are tight-lipped and closing ranks. Someone on the Island doesn't want Karen getting too close to Spike. The more she learns, the more afraid she becomes of those who are threatened by her discoveries. And then they start to act ...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (6 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847394221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847394224
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

An ex-publisher, past Chair of the Crime Writers' Association, and lifelong Londoner, Natasha Cooper writes for a variety of newspapers and journals, including Crime Time and The Times Literary Supplement. She contributes to many radio programmes such as Woman's Hour and Saturday Review, and regularly speaks at crime-writing conferences on both sides of the Atlantic. She is the author of, among many others, FAULT LINES, PREY TO ALL and OUT OF THE DARK. In 2002 she was shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library, an award that 'goes to the author whose work has given most pleasure to readers'.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
The number of thriller plots is inevitably pretty small yet Cooper manages to make the genre feel fresh and unpredictable in this book. A forensic psychologist, Karen comes to the Isle of Wight to research a psychopath who killed a family some years ago. But, once there, she is brought to question everything she has been told about both him and the crime he is supposed to have committed...

The characterisation is well done here, with Karen being both tough and vulnerable without descending to too much cliché. Her relationships with the men in her life add a welcome richness to the story: her mentor at the university, her newish boyfriend, the attractive macho DCI (who, thank heavens, isn't an alcoholic, a melancholic, divorced or otherwise traumatised...), the criminal himself.

This won't change your world but is a great escapist read that is clever and gripping.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best crime novels this year 14 Nov 2009
A great new novel! Cooper always makes you feel you are i the middle of a group of characters that are very much alive and you just want to know or understand better (or run away from). Great story, so engrossing you can taste both the salt of the sea and the blood of the victims. Without a doubt one of the best crime novels this year.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First in a new and exciting series. 27 Mar 2010
A Kid's Review
Karen Taylor is staying at her old family chalet on the Isle of Wight. She is conducting a series of interviews for a paper on Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder, and her reason for being on the Isle of Wight is to interview Spike Falconer who is in Parkhurst prison. Spike is convicted of shooting a family of four who were enjoying a picnic on a lovely summer day.

Although Karen is enjoying a relatively new relationship with Will Hawkins, a Neurosurgeon at Brighton Hospital, soon after arrival on the island she encounters DCI Trench, who asks her to help him gain information from Spike Falconer, who he believes may be responsible for several other murders. Karen is uncomfortable with this, but recognises that DCI Trench is passionate in his belief that Spike is responsible for the murders of several women.

This book is an example of when a prologue really works, as this one grips and hooks one straight into the book. There are some good characters, although I found it difficult to get a handle on Will; I think that there is more to him than meets the eye and I cannot wait to discover more about him.

The baggage that Karen carries regarding her late husband is alluded to early in the book and then the details are fed skilfully to the reader as the story progresses. As Karen leans more about Spike Falconer, she clashes with DCI Trench.

I have enjoyed greatly the Trish McGuire series but I liked Karen and hope to learn more of her in future books. Very highly recommended.
Lizzie Hayes
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story but unrealistic DCI 22 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The story was a good one but the only thing that spoiled it for me was the cliched aggressive foul mouthed DCI Charlie Trench. That kind of policeman just doesn't exist at least not these days and yes I know it's fiction but his character was just way over the top in his aggression and nastiness towards Karen Taylor.

DCI Charlie Trench notwithstanding I'll read the next book in the series to see if Trench does calm down a bit and becomes a bit more of a credible character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Had anyone ever examined Spike's brain? 13 Nov 2013
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An absorbing thriller by the vintage crime thriller writer Natasha Cooper this begins with a Forensic Psychologist, Karen Taylor coming to the run-down cottage on the Isle of Wight which is to be her home while she studies a prisoner in Parkhurst who is potentially a sufferer of a Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder. Spike Falconer is a denizen of the island who is suspected of the shocking deaths of four members of another family holidaying on the island. Her work in diagnosing Spike is complicated by some of the discoveries she makes about his family, and is not always aided by the police, some of whom are positively unhelpful. She does makes an ally of DCI Charlie Trench, but the case is not straightforward and, quite slowly, other suspects are discovered. The background of Spike's family grows steadily more important to the truth of what has happened.

This is quite a complex tale and takes some working through. It's an absorbing read with the psychologist's back-story adding to the complications. Characterisation is good but the plot seems over-complicated, and the truth takes some time to emerge.
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3.0 out of 5 stars No Escape 29 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book had been recommended as I live on the Isle of Wight. Bit boring. Perhaps I expected too much.
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4.0 out of 5 stars well written and enjoyable plot 15 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this liked the protagonists so much so that I have now downloaded the next in the series. This novel was a bit different to the usual crime thriller genre and I hope the next is as good and not formulaic which is a problem I find for many novelists
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4.0 out of 5 stars As usual a very good read. 8 Mar 2014
By bartem
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read several books by this author and have really enjoyed them all. Will continue to buy her books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it.
A psychologist is studying a serious mental condition that she, and her professor, think drive these people to murder. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lt Col Val
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner
This is quite a remarkable book which grips from the start. The personalities are well drawn and one finds oneself involved in the quick moving action.
Published 7 months ago by T. W. H. Greenwood
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
I didn't particularly enjoy this book. I had a good idea from early on what was going to happen and as I didn't find the characters very likeable it was all a bit pointless for me. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Elaine Tomasso
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
A must book to read. Can't wait to read the next one

Lots of twists and set ups fabulous edge of your seat
Published 8 months ago by Wendy Ann Ransom
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, as usual
N J Cooper is a superb writer with a great command of English and good style. The plot was engrossing and the characterisation excellent. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Christina
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read
Have recently come across Natasha Cooper at the library, I needed another "fix" to enjoy before dropping off to sleep. I was very pleased with this book.
Published 14 months ago by H. F. Tierney
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale of a forensic psychiatrist set on the Isle of Wight
Karen Taylor returns to the old family chalet on the Isle of Wight to use it as a base to continue work on her paper about Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder. Read more
Published 17 months ago by C. Bannister
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic page turner
Gripping thriller, well written and very believable. Good strong characters and well created. Really couldn't put it down as the book progressed. Very very good read.
Published 18 months ago by Ray Harrison
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