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Nothing Like the Night Paperback – 27 Jan 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (27 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141004886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141004884
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.2 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,093,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Compelling, dark, complex and beautifully written' -- Al Alvarez

'Gripping' -- Heat --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Once she had been beautiful. Now she was eight days dead, her body slashed with more than fifty cuts. Janis Parker - young, successful and glamorous - had shared her modern Notting Hill apartment with flatmate Stephanie James. But now Janis is dead - and Stephanie has disappeared. Heading up the investigation, DS Stella Mooney soon has her first suspect, in the shape of Mark Ross - Stephanie's boyfriend and Janis's secret lover... But then another body is discovered - slashed fifty times. Clearly these are no domestic killings. It seems Stella and her team are looking for that most dangerous of creatures: a killer who hunts to feed a terrible appetite. But the truth is they are up against something even more terrifying... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
We've come across the alcoholic troubled male cop so, so many times before that it's gone beyond a cliché and become almost mandatory. The alcoholic, troubled female cop, however, is slightly rarer. We've seen her before, yes, but not nearly so much. And that's why David Lawrence's super novels are beginning to signal the start of a brilliant and refreshing new series.
Nothing Like The Night is Lawrence's second novel to feature DS Stella Mooney, follow-up to the marvellous The Dead Sit Round in a Ring. Stella, life still a bit of a mess - drinks too much, is about to walk into an affair with her eyes wide open, doesn't seem to really know what she wants - finds herself in the middle of a troubling murder: Janis Parker has been murdered viciously; over 50 stab wounds are recorded in the autopsy. At first, it looks like a relatively simple domestic, either that or perhaps drug-related (some are found in her flat). However, when another body with identical wounds turns up, the case takes its inevitable sinister turn.
Lawrence - who'd previous written a couple of thrillers under the name Jack Curtis - is one of my favourite new crime writers. To me, his gritty, chilling London-set police thrillers are everything Mark Billingham's books should be but aren't always. Lawrence, too, is far more subtle and powerful a writer than Billingham. As much as I like Billingham's work, Lawrence is just that notch higher, yet he's far less well-known. Hopefully, that should change.
Nothing Like the Night is a second great crime novel, and I am VERY positive about Stella Mooney, who is simply a great protagonist, a real success. Here, the developments in her private life provide a great occasional diversion from what is a rather harrowing case.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
I simply happened upon Lawrence's first underhyped book "The Dead Sit Round in a Ring" in a supermarket, and what a find! I eagerly awaited his second. I wasn't disappointed and I want more please. ASAP.
DCI Stella Mooney has a patch in the Notting Hill area. She has a long standing boyfriend and toys with another male. She's troubled of course. What crime fiction cop isn't? But she's different.
In this book women are found murdered and it becomes apparent that it's a team in action. Mooney and her team are on the trail; a troublesome one at that.
This is not just another cop novel set in London. Lawrence creates crimes with a bit of a difference and is excellent at evocation of time and place. London is shown in its true light through the eyes of this cop. There are pockets of London in which we'd fear to tread but Mooney has no option. She may even have been brought up in them.
She's bright, courageous, yet still vulnerable. Her realistic character works well.
Great and gritty writing from Lawrence, who is also a scriptwriter. I want more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second novel to feature the engaging Detective Sergeant Stella Mooney from the Area Major Investigation Pool (AMIP), and it is just a good as its predecessor, 'The Dead Sit Round In A Ring'.. Her 'manor' includes the dreadful Harefield Estate which, under the appellation 'Fortress Harefield' has become a virtual no-go area for the police. Stella, however, knows the Harefield quite well - after all, she grew up there.

The novel opens with the discovery of the corpse of a beautiful woman who had worked in a dynamic and thrusting advertising agency. She is no longer beautiful when found, however, having been the victim of a frenzied attack and then lying undiscovered for eight days. Shortly afterwards another corpse is discovered, and the evidence suggests that the cause of death was identical. The evidence also suggests, unusually, that there were two perpetrators, and that one of them was a woman.

Meanwhile Mooney has enough problems of her own. She has been living with her partner, George, for six years and until recently everything had been fine. However, that was before who had met John Delaney, a freelance reporter, with whom she has gradually been falling increasingly deeply in love. The strains of the job have also been telling in her, and she is regularly visiting a psychotherapist, and too frequently seeking support form the odd shot of vodka. Don't worry, though, if this makes her sound like just another flawed detective, burdened with the normally clichéd suite of sorrows. Lawrence handles Stella's demons masterfully, and she never comes close to any police procedural stereotype.

As with the first novel, the depiction of the horrors of life on the Harefield Estate is grim yet also rather hypnotic.
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At last! Something grown-up, something marvellously authentic, with strong characterisation and shades of Brady and Hindley. But this time, they are experts at their game and what a nasty game it is.

We are introduced quite early in the book to the pair responsible for the crimes and we get selected moments from their lives. Serial killers with a twist, Donna and Sonny have been active for quite a while, but they don’t often stick around. Sonny falls for a pole dancer, and cannot help himself, which is how DI Stella Mooney gets an inkling of who she is dealing with. Her boss, Sorley is suffocating under the pile of paperwork on his desk and is working with inadequate finances.

Stella is a terrific character, living with one man and attracted to another, Delaney, a political writer. George, her live-in lover slowly becomes aware of Stella’s divided mindset, but then conveniently fades from the picture. Stella is no angel – there are secrets she is keeping, at least for the time-being, and seeing how some of these matters will pan-out is a great incentive to get the next book. Among others I’m also hoping we’ll hear more about the 10-year-old boy who is living rough in a broken down old mausoleum, near the sink estate where one of Stella’s secrets is, for the moment at least, staying hidden.

The other detectives are given succinct characters too, and no one in this excrutiatingly good police procedural strikes a false note. It is a cracking good read, fast paced, knowledgeable about the details of police procedure, and very hard to put down. I will definitely be looking out for the next episode of Stella’s police career and associated love-life. Thank you David Lawrence, for an assured adult voice at last in my reading life.
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