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Spike it Hardcover – 21 Mar 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; First Edition edition (21 Mar. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333681274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333681275
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,322,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pitoucat VINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
Reporter Sam Ridley works for the London station City Radio. After accidentally uttering the f-word on a news broadcast he's demoted to working on the station's daily women's programme, Female AM. But that does not deter Sam from following up the case when the battered body of a woman is discovered near his home in Ladbroke Grove. Although pressured by his new boss, the dreaded Felicia, to work on subjects such as cosmetic surgery for children, sex for septuagenarians, aromatherapy, and infertility, Sam manages to suggest the topic of women's attitude to violent crime, and uses that as the excuse to pursue the murderer, encountering many varied strands of London low-life in the process.

This is the first novel from New Zealander Chris Niles. She has previously worked as a television and radio journalist around the world, and is currently with CNN in London, which probably explains how she is able to make life at City Radio so believable.

The novel is fast-moving, with much humour, good plotting and a strong, hard-boiled approach that should endear her work to many readers. An excellent debut, with hopefully more in a similar vein to follow.
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Format: Hardcover
Journalists are often painted as a drunken bunch and this is certainly the case in Chris Nile's `Spike It' the first in a series of books that followed radio news journo Sam Ridley. Sam has a reason to be drunk though as his ex-wife has moved to Australia taking their son with her, now Sam drinks himself to sleep every night. On one drunken night he stumbles across a crime scene, little does he know that events from that night will impact his own life when he begins to investigate the case. This usually would not be a problem for Sam as a new hound, but he has been taken off the press desk and put on women's features. Can Sam investigate a murder whilst holding on to his job in one and a pint and ciggie in the other?

I really enjoyed `Spike It' especially for the first half. Sam is an instantly likeable character and Niles soon fleshes him out enough for you to be interested in his well being. As the book progresses it does unravel a little as the case moves along a little too slowly. I also thought for a book written in 1997 it has not aged brilliantly, definitely a book from the Cool Britannia era. Overall though this was a fun book with likable characters and a decent mystery. I would hope for a slightly zippier storyline in future novels in the series, but this was good enough for me to want to read more by Niles.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
.....that turns into one of those lives. A glimpse into what it's like to feel the pressure of work and life all at once. It brings London alive and will have you smiling and cursing in turn.
A real page turner.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you like noir, buy this 21 Aug. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In London, radio reporter Sam Ridley is a social drunk, meaning he seems to always be inebriated at his neighborhood pub, but manages to do his job. Late one night after an evening of extended binging on scotch, Sam returns to his flat. As he is entering his apartment, he receives a call from the radio station, informing him that a murder was committed near where Sam lives. Unable to explain that he is too drunk to investigate, Sam agrees to make inquiries. In spite of his tipsy body and hazy brain, Sam soon learns that the victim is Elaine Yorke and her baby is missing.
The next morning, Sam does his newscast and runs into technical problems. Thinking that he is off the air, the hung over reporter inadvertently utters the F-word on live radio. Sam is immediately placed on probation and assigned to conduct research for the daily women's programming. Meanwhile, the killer is ready to talk on the air and Sam is ready to listen.
It has been a long time since London swings like it has in SPIKE IT. The captivating story line is witty as it provides readers a glimpse into the life of a hard boiled reporter, whose exile is a form of a personal hell. Chris Niles shows talent for scribing an insolent, hip and brazen novel that is sure to bring him many fans, who will clamor for more Ridley tales.

Harriet Klausner
Readers who like a noir mystery have to try this one 23 Aug. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In London, radio reporter Sam Ridley is a social drunk, meaning he seems to always be inebriated at his neighborhood pub, but manages to do his job. Late one night after an evening of extended binging on scotch, Sam returns to his flat. As he is entering his apartment, he receives a call from the radio station, informing him that a murder was committed near where Sam lives. Unable to explain that he is too drunk to investigate, Sam agrees to make inquiries. In spite of his tipsy body and hazy brain, Sam soon learns that the victim is Elaine Yorke and her baby is missing.
The next morning, Sam does his newscast and runs into technical problems. Thinking that he is off the air, the hung over reporter inadvertently utters the F-word on live radio. Sam is immediately placed on probation and assigned to conduct research for the daily women's programming. Meanwhile, the killer is ready to talk on the air and Sam is ready to listen.
It has been a long time since London swings like it has in SPIKE IT. The captivating story line is witty as it provides readers a glimpse into the life of a hard boiled reporter, whose exile is a form of a personal hell. Chris Niles shows talent for scribing an insolent, hip and brazen novel that is sure to bring him many fans, who will clamor for more Ridley tales.

Harriet Klausner
Excellent debut novel 16 Sept. 2006
By Pitoucat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Reporter Sam Ridley works for the London station City Radio. After accidentally uttering the f-word on a news broadcast he's demoted to working on the station's daily women's programme, Female AM. But that does not deter Sam from following up the case when the battered body of a woman is discovered near his home in Ladbroke Grove. Although pressured by his new boss, the dreaded Felicia, to work on subjects such as cosmetic surgery for children, sex for septuagenarians, aromatherapy, and infertility, Sam manages to suggest the topic of women's attitude to violent crime, and uses that as the excuse to pursue the murderer, encountering many varied strands of London low-life in the process.

This is the first novel from New Zealander Chris Niles. She has previously worked as a television and radio journalist around the world, and is currently with CNN in London, which probably explains how she is able to make life at City Radio so believable.

The novel is fast-moving, with much humour, good plotting and a strong, hard-boiled approach that should endear her work to many readers. An excellent debut, with hopefully more in a similar vein to follow.
This book was brilliant, I would recommend it to anyone 18 Sept. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What can I say about this book except that it was the most enjoyable book that I have read in ages.
Although the final outcome didn't exactly click together with the rest of the story, the characters were believable and the story line remained strong through out. I think what I appreciated the most about this story was the main character's witty sense of humour and his ability to rise to the occassion. I wish that I knew someone like Sam Ridley in real life.
I am looking forward to reading the next Sam Ridley mystery novel.
absorbing and realistic; a must-read 15 Mar. 1999
By christel doucette - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sam Ridley is a tough new breed of hero: fallible, human, and completely likable. the writing is tight, the plot is spare and the characters are lean, nothing extra to detract from this really good novel. The ending is almost abrupt, and my only complaint is that it came a little too soon.
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