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The Dummy Line
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2011
The synopsis grabbed my attention promising an interesting excursion into the hunting fraternity. A couple of short chapters to introduce the characters and plotline then - wham - you're hooked and in for a roller coaster of a ride through the woods in Alabama.

I kid you not, I just couldn't put this down, never mind X Factor and Strictly, I just had to see if Jake and Co would make it. Without spoiling it, I can just say that I alternated between fear, relief and desperation for the characters and their predicaments. The twists in the plot were keenly noted and Bobby Coles writing syle put me right there in the woods, breathless and waiting. Darn it, I could almost smell the pines!

A thoroughly thumping good read and Mr Coles, I look forward to your next novel.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Dummy Line , debut thriller from Mississippi writer Bobby Cole , does the classic thing of putting a family unit in danger from implacable danger with , it would seem ,little chance of escape.
Jake Crosby takes his tomboy nine year old daughter out on a hunting trip . But their remote hunting Camp is on the radar of a bunch of low life degenerates out for some easy pickings. Jake thinking his daughter is in grave danger , which in all probability she is, reacts with deadly force precipitating a cat & mouse chase through the Noxubee swamp aiming fro the titular Dummy Line , which marks the boundary of the swamp and an escape to civilisation.
They story is told from the perspective of not only Jake and his daughter , but also from their nefarious pursuers as well as that of a courting couple who stumble into the action and the various law enforcements trying to get to the bottom of everything and not doing an especially good job of it either .
The action zings along , which is always a good idea for a thriller and though Cole is not an especially literate writer he knows how to write an plausible efficient thriller. The pacing is a tad uneven and the author rather lazily uses the same plot device twice in order to move the story forward , but overall The Dummy Line is a atmospheric tense thriller- a vivid mixture of Southern Comfort and The Blair Witch Project( through it,s use of location and it,s thrumming tension rather than through any supernatural connotations ) - which is a hearty recommendation by the way .
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I seem to be in a minority here, but I thought this novel was very poor indeed. The basic plot, which takes place in the course of a single night, has the potential to be a good one; a man goes hunting with his nine-year-old daughter and comes across a group of villains who are out for trouble. In another part of the forest (literally) a young man and his girlfriend are in a parked car for a spot of privacy and a cuddle. The two stories become intermingled through a series of mistakes, people are shot, another is kidnapped, and there is the threat of rape and a chase. All exciting stuff.

These ingredients could make for a good, even thrilling, read. My problem is that the plot becomes unnecesarily muddled, and the writing in particular is poor. If there has been any editing at all, it seems to have been minimal, for some good editing would have made for a far better, tighter novel. Over-use of adverbs, over-writing, unncessary detail (for example, telephone conversations which include every "good-bye" and "I love you"; we know this happens in real life, but we don't need it in a novel) spoil the flow of the writing. And then there are unnecessary details, like the police dog who will only take instructions in German. This adds nothing to the plot. The same dog spends most of its time licking its genitals rather than working; would such an animal really be used by the police? Then there is the deputy sherrif, who upon finding a woman bound and gagged, bundles her into his car without taking off the gag or the bonds (thus, of course, failing to find out who she is and what's happened). Would this really happen?

The climax is spoiled because we reach it before the end of the novel, and so the tension relaxes too early, and by the end, I was struggling to finish the book. The short chapters certainly serve to break up the narrative and make the novel more readable, but I did not enjoy this novel at all, and certainly couldn't recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wasn't overwhelmed by this book--it didn't seem very original and the characters were stereotypical.Some of the Americanisms also spoiled it for me, as I tried to work out what a Turkey Wing is, for example (not the edible sort. It's a cushion by the way!)However, I did like the author's writing style: short and snappy with humour and a nice twist towards the end (the only unpredictable part)--and as this is his first published novel, he may be one to watch.Certainly worth the price for a quick,easy read. The Dummy Line
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2012
Recently I have seen two second rate movies on this theme and in both the story line was sparse - just a connection between grizzly murders. As soon as I realised this was a hunt to kill the two main characters I very nearly gave it a miss. I'm very glad I didn't as I liked the way the story lines gradually came together and for me it added to the excitement.
One small niggle - the nine year old didn't ring true, sometimes she came across as a six year old and other times she could have been twelve or thirteen.
I feel some of the reviews were unfair to the police as a small town force would probably deal with drunks or family feuds not a full scale search with little or no leads.
It was exciting and I like the way the loose ends were tied up over the last few pages
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2011
Really enjoyed this book, so much so that I read it from start to finish in one sitting. All the characters were believable and the pace of the story exciting. I am an avid kindle reader and this to date has been one of my favorites. Frightening in parts and a little bit funny in places. Well worth a read.Will be keeping my eyes open for more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 1 January 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was a competent enough thriller. Fairly slick, fairly fast moving but not truly great. I won't be putting this down as one of my favourite ever reads but it was entertaining.

The threats are well described but I felt there was a rushed-ness to the story telling that meant sometimes it moved a little too quickly. A bit like one of those frenetic Hollywood action flicks where the action sequences have been over edited to show things moving at warp speed and instead of lingering on one or two punches/kicks/exchanges and really allowing the watcher to immerse themselves in the action and feel the threat building it actually impedes the flow.... This book was that movie experience in word form. I felt by building the suspense for longer in some scenes this would have been truly memorable. Instead this is adequate and serviceable. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with that...If you are looking for an easy beach/wet weekend read.

If you are looking for an adventure story to pass the time with minimal thinking required, step right up. There is, however, better out there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2012
This book was just ok. The story and the characters were all a bit one dimensional. The plot was good, but it was never surprising. And the end [spoiler alert] was exactly as expected.
One interesting thing was that the story was very explicit in terms of violence and sex, but no one ever used bad language. Left the characters a bit unbelievable really.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2011
I downloaded this book for 89p, this has been the best book I've read on the kindle so far!! For a while I have been searching for a crime/thriller novel which follows the action as opposed to the investigation. This was it!

You immediately connect with the main characters; Jake and Katie, a loving father and his lively daughter Katie who has taken an interest in turkey hunting (!) The opening scenes are set around the 'hunting club' which is a rather isolated location.
It isn't too long until the action kicks in and Jake must protect himself and Katie from what I would class as 'classic' bad guys! A lot of the novel is a game a cat and mouse with a lot of twists, turns and the introduction of several key characters. The main objective for Jake is to escape. The best route he decides is an old deserted railway line; 'The dummy line', hence the title.

The cops/detectives are introduced some way into the story, and I must agree with other reviewers that their attempts to resolve the situation are extremely frustrating.
I won't reveal any more of the story line as it is the story which is the winning feature about this book. I wouldn't say the dialogue is rich and it is certainly not a 'literature classic' but if you're looking for a good story, then I highly recommend 'The dummy line'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2011
This is not the type of novel I would normally read -- I must have got it on offer from Amazon. At its current listed price £1.99, it is definitely worth it.

I was captivated by this book -- excellent story line and plot development with good characterisation. I read this in 2 sittings (including an extra long lunch break from work because I couldn't put it down). Hard to believe this is the author's first novel because he completely succeeds in hooking the reader and taking them on a thrill-filled read. From the blurb it is clear that there are going to be some violent scenes and I was a bit tentative about these; however the author succeeded in giving just enough detail to make it real and scary without it becoming excessive or titillating.

Going to keep an eye out for future works by this author.
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