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A Single Shot [Paperback]

Matthew F. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

15 Sep 2011

Mulholland Books presents... A SINGLE SHOT

Anyone's life can change in an instant. In Matthew F. Jones's acclaimed novel, one man's world is overturned with a single shot.

Trespassing on what was once his family's land, John Moon hears a rustle in the brush and fires. But instead of the deer he was expecting, he finds the body of a young woman, killed by his stray bullet. A terrible dilemma is made worse when he stumbles upon her campground - and the piles of drugs and money concealed there.

Moon makes his choice: he hides the corpse, and takes the cash. His decision will have consequences he can neither predict or control.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (15 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444729438
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444729436
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Breathtakingly good...With a supreme sense of place and marvellously drawn characters, especially Moon, there's that sense of destiny and despair that haunts the finest noir, including, of course, James M Cain's majestic The Postman Always Rings Twice. The comparison is entirely apt. (Daily Mail)

A backwoods drama that is part Crime and Punishment, part Deliverance, and all white-knuckled suspense...it packs a helluva punch (People)

A harrowing literary thriller...a powerful blend of love and violence, of the grotesque and the tender. (New York Times Book Review)

A terrific novel...you can hardly breathe while you're reading this book....his crisis evokes every palm-sweating, heart-stopping, seemingly undoable mistake you've ever made (Los Angeles Times)

A harrowing, high-voltage thriller...A gritty, claustrophobic blend of Jim Thompson and James Dickey. (Publishers Weekly)

Jones owns a fine writer's eye for the kind of details that matter. (Washington Post)

Book Description

A gritty and compelling US noir in the vein of Cormac McCarthy, publishing for the first time in the UK as a Mulholland classic crime novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a superbly balanced well crafted novel 16 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really have no idea what some of the reviewers mean when they refer to the voyeuristic nature of the writing. The style adopted ensures that the horrific things that happen are viewed in a very objective way and are in no way exploitative. And quite where the 'hard sex' features I have no idea.

Essentially, this is a really well constructed novel in the trailer trash noir genre. The writing is concise, telling the story of one man's descent into his own personal hell as a result of one (very tragic) error.

Similarities with the excellent Daniel Woodrell( who writes in the same genre and wrote the foreword of this edition)will be rightly drawn. The book really warrants a wide audience-yes it deals with a very hard and difficult series of events, but it does so in a way that enables the story to take front stage(as it should) rather than exploiting the violent incidents to their full.

The reader is left with a sense of inevitability and great sadness and a feeling that we are all the victims of the trail of outcomes from a single event-for the same theme in less extreme circumstances try 'The Slap' or 'Eleven'. This holds up very well by comparison with both.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A US Classic brought to the UK market 17 Sep 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
Mulholland continue to go from strength to strength as this release proves. Whilst a well-known US classic, this title is one that many in the UK may not have heard of let alone read, yet when you pick it up, it's a novel that will remain with you long after the final page has been turned.

It has a great lead character, inner turmoil and of course a whole host of dilemma's that the character has to figure his way out of as he tries to cleanse his own conscience. Add to this some wonderfully descriptive prose, cracking pace and a hint of Lady Macbeth about the whole piece leaves this chilling story working its way through the reader's imagination longer than a cold winter's night. A must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, fast read 29 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This is a taut, economical little thriller well worth the short time it'll take you to read it. John Moon is a compelling character with many flaws, and it's a it's a gripping ride through the story with him. I'm not normally a mystery reader, but this reads more like a novel than a genre mystery -- spare prose, as simple and beautiful and frightening as the wooded country where the story is set. And the ending does not disappoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A richly textured tragedy. 29 July 1997
By A Customer
The reader may not like the world of pathos and failure that he/she is pulled into, but it is hard to deny the raw power of this novel. Jones is skilled at painting the scenes and emotions of rural backwoods country so that the most isolated city slickers feel that they are right there. We are shown the full scope of everything that John Moon is thinking, and the ultimate lesson for the reader may be that common emotions links us as humans despite our different environments. As an aside, it is very hard to put this book down.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't even come close to Deliverance 30 Nov 1998
By A Customer
The story is cheap, but is reasonally well written. It titilates with hard sex and sometimes unbelievable violence. There is no heart and soul in this, no resonation. By the end you feel sleezy, like you've been reading Hustler. Empty, vulgar thrills.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent neo-noir 11 Aug 2013
Hunter John Moon goes out of his trailer in the morning to hunt. He illegally kills deers, each time risking getting caught. John's father has lost the farm at the time because of the banking collapse, and John has enough problems of his own. He does not stay long at any work, his wife left him, taking with her their son. Since money is always tight, and free meat is good.

John shoots a deer from a distance, and then long pursues a wounded animal. When he hears the bushes rustle, he shoots. The deer appears from the other side, Moon shoots it, too. Going to the bushes, where he first heard a rustle, John finds the body of a young girl he accidentally killed. Exploring the place of illegally camp, he also finds a bag of money and a lot of drugs. After searching the body, John reads the note written by the killed girl, in which she writes about her boyfriend, with whom she head over heels in love. John hides the body in a cave, takes the money and the carcass of a deer and drags all of it to the trailer. Moon wants to use the money to bring back his wife and a child. Later, John realizes that the money belongs to a couple of farmers, whose house a few years ago was robbed, and they were both brutally murdered. Conscience and the people who owned the bag with money begin to pursue John Moon.

«A Single Shot» is what is now called the rural noir. The novel story is indeed close to noir, first of all because it is about good people doing bad things. John Moon is an honest, but a broken hero. He is «a good-looking guy ..., gentle and with a good sense of humor». Life was not fair to him, but he has no inner core, to resist to the end and did not succumb to temptations. He takes the stolen money (stealing already stolen), but for the benefit of the family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good thriller. 13 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good literary thriller,kept me guessing for some time,I've read more of his books namely the cooter farm,which I also enjoyed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 2 Jun 2012
Arrived in perfect condition, better than anticipated, recommended, very good. Arrived in perfect condition, better than anticipated, recommended, very good.
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