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The Murder Bag [Kindle Edition]

Tony Parsons
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (300 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this.

Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable.

Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row.

Soon he is following the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power.

As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer’s reach getting closer to everything - and everyone - he loves.

Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life ...

Product Description


"Propulsive ... If The Murder Bag marks the launch of a new crime series, count me in." (The Times)

"A tense debut crime novel with a dose of dry wit" (Daily Express)

"Impressive, page-turning ... Told with conviction and at an ever increasing pace" (Daily Mail)

"Truly emotive crime-writing is a rarity, and The Murder Bag looks set to win Tony Parsons many new fans in the genre" (GQ)

"Spectacular! Tense and human, fast and authentic." (Lee Child)

"Sometimes, rarely, you know from the first chapter or so of a novel that you're in the hands of a master story teller. In the case of Tony Parsons's brilliant new thriller, The Murder Bag, we know this within the first few pages. A relentless plot, evocative prose and compelling (and wrenching) portraits of the characters, good and evil, conspire to make this a must-read. And I have two words for hero Max Wolfe: More. Soon." (Jeffery Deaver)

"Has all the ingredients and more: great plotting, great characters and at least two eye-widening twists I didn't see coming." (Sophie Hannah)

"It's a brilliant crime novel, a thrilling procedural. Max Wolfe is a wonderfully endearing character, smart and tough and vulnerable, and with Scout (and Stan too) Tony has created so much warmth and tenderness, in a world, a genre, so often devoid of it. His research is wide, deep, impeccable - from forensics to the psychology, procedure to protocol. And boy does he know how to create suspense, and convincing plot lines, which snake and weave, and surprise right until the very end. This is a complex, shocking, very contemporary story, told with utter conviction and authority. I was hooked from page one. Crime writing has brilliant new star." (Henry Sutton)

Book Description

The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1209 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1780892330
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (8 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780892330
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780892337
  • ASIN: B00HFAZ09Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (300 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #652 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Hello - and thanks for checking out my page at Amazon Author Central.

I'm not going to drone on and on - I know you have books to read - but this is the perfect place to tell you a little about me, and something about my new novel - THE MURDER BAG, which will be published in its first edition in May 2014.

THE MURDER BAG is my first crime novel and features the debut of Detective Max Wolfe of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command at London's West End Central - 27 Savile Row.

My first job in journalism was at New Musical Express - there's a shot of me with Bruce Springsteen on this page, when we were young and stepping out into the New York night wearing only our vests - but my first journalism that didn't involve hanging out with rock stars was soon after I left the NME when I was embedded with the Vice Squad at 27 Savile Row, West End Central. The roots of THE MURDER BAG start there.

When I was creating the world of Max Wolfe, I knew that one of the things I wanted to do was give my crime novel an evocative sense of place - like Los Angeles in the novels of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy, or Edinburgh in the Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, or Brighton in the Roy Grace novels of Peter James - and my home city is London.
27 Savile Row felt like an original location - and it had a nice ring to it, like Sherlock Holmes at home strumming the violin in Baker Street. The London of THE MURDER BAG is contemporary London but the past weighs heavily because London is full of ghosts - so it is also the London of Jack the Ripper, the Krays and the Black Museum - which is Room 101 at New Scotland Yard, closed to the public, where the relics of 150 years of terrible crimes are kept to remind policemen that they risk their lives every time they go to work. The Black Museum is important to THE MURDER BAG and crucial to my detective - the Black Museum is where Max Wolfe goes to seek wisdom and guidance from a man who is to become his greatest ally. But I don't want to spoil the book...

I have loved crime fiction all my life and I know that the very best of it honours the form while adding something fresh, an unexpected twist. That's what I tried to do with THE MURDER BAG at every step of the way.

With the murderer. With his crimes. With the weapon. With the location. With The Black Museum. And most of all, with my detective - a single parent, an amateur boxer, a coffee-addicted insomniac who is a good man but who wants to be better.

Max feels very real to me, and I think that's why the book has been supported by some of the greatest thriller and crime writers in the world. If you will forgive me for a solo on my own trumpet for a second - the great Lee Child said of THE MURDER BAG: "Spectacular! Tense but human, fast but authentic - maybe this is what Tony Parsons should have been doing all along." I wanted to create a serial hero - one of those mythic characters like Sherlock Holmes or Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe or Harry Hole - so to get the nod from Lee Child is great, because nobody has created a more brilliant serial hero in recent years than Lee Child with his Jack Reacher.

A bit about me. I always knew that I would write. I knew that nothing would stop me. I always loved stories, I always found that books engaged me like nothing else, and helped me to make sense of the world.
I left school at 16, did a number of low paid unskilled jobs, and I was working on the night shift in Gordon's Gin Distillery in Islington when I was offered my first job in journalism on New Musical Express. Since then I have had my lean years as well as my good years - careers are never linear, you have to expect set-backs along the way - but I have become an award winning journalist and bestselling novelist, and my books have been published in over 40 languages, most recently Vietnamese. My semi-autobiographical novel, MAN AND BOY, won of the Book of the Year prize.
Other novels that did pretty good include ONE FOR MY BABY, MAN AND WIFE, MEN FROM THE BOYS, MY FAVOURITE WIFE and CATCHING THE SUN. Julia Roberts liked my novel THE FAMILY WAY so much that she bought the film rights. I also wrote a novel about my wild years at the NME, called STORIES WE COULD TELL, which all takes place the night that Elvis died.

But the next few years are all about Detective Max Wolfe for me. THE MURDER BAG is the first of a trilogy of crime novels featuring Max and his world - his 5-year-old daughter Scout, their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the Black Museum and 27 Savile Row and the Max Wolfe lair - their home is a big loft that overlooks Smithfield meat market. I am currently working on the second Max Wolfe book, THE SLAUGHTER MAN, which will appear in 2015. The third Max Wolfe book will be published in 2016. I have the title and the plot but I will keep it under my hat for now.

I live in London with my wife, our daughter and our dog Stan - who has provided the model for Max Wolfe's fictional dog, also called Stan, funny enough, and who will now only speak to me through his lawyers.

I really hope that you like THE MURDER BAG. Thanks again for checking out this page, and for sticking with it to the end. Love and luck. Tony Parsons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By tpryan
It's been a while since I've read anything by Tony Parsons. Loved Man and Boy And One for my Baby but then found the subsequent books became repetitive,cloying and just versions of the same story even if there was always that smart turn of phrase or cultural reference that Parsons does better than most - not too surprising for a guy who was at the hippest end of the NME school of journalism.

This is completely different. It's a shift to crime genre and Parsons does this well. For a first foray into the genre he brings something genuinely new. There are references to police work, procedures and premises that are different to other books. And the lead character is of course a flawed copper. But again Parsons does this a bit differently by casting Max as a male single parent.

This all adds to the book and there are quite a few twists along the way. You kind of work out where it's going but it's still entertaining and gripping enough. The final twist is a master stroke. I did find the cover of the book a bit less than its' contents: the strap line 'do some people deserve to die' is neither particularly compelling nor a theme - thankfully - that's much pursued in the book. And 'cutting the throats of the rich and powerful' is misleading too: these aren't random killings and the second victim is living on the streets. Another example of the story being rather better than the blurb.

The last page tells us Max will be back in 2015. That's good news as this has the makings of a genuinely different addition to the London crime scene genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended! 30 Aug. 2014
By Moonless VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Murder Bag' is a great read if you enjoy crime fiction. A serial killer is on the loose, but it seems he only targets one type of person - former public school boys. Look even closely, and it seems the serial killer doesn't target any former public school boy, but one group of friends in particular. DC Max Wolfe is put on the case when he refuses to follow orders in a plot aimed at catching a terrorist suspect in broad daylight in central London, but decides to follow his hunch instead...

As the case progresses, we are taken into the annals of Scotland Yard, to Room 101, the significance of the murder bag, into DC Wolfe's somewhat chaotic lifestyle, the inner workings of his mind and his agony over his lost wife, his fears for his daughter. Throughout, a dark web of lies, facades and mystery keep the tension to the fore.

What's unusual here is that, as readers, we seem to know why the murders are happening - or at least, we are given a very big clue. At the beginning of the novel, a horrific crime takes place. We don't know who the victim is, we don't know who the culprits are, we don't know why the crime takes place, yet somehow we know that that crime and what follows are linked. It's strange knowing what the characters in the book don't, and gives the pleasure of reading this novel an additional dimension.

The book concludes nicely, with most loose ends tied up and plenty of twists and shocks. A new addition to crime fiction, DC Max Wolfe is a likeable figure, and a second book is due out in 2015.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Plot, Characters and Twists and Turns 31 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the first novel in a new crime series penned by Tony Parsons, author of Man and Boy and other novels, none of them crime related. I was keen to see how he went with venturing into this new genre of writing and was happy to find this book a really enjoyable and good read.

I REALLY liked the plot, I thought it worked really well and the entire book moved at a solid pace, not too fast, not too slow, just right. Great plotting, great characters and some twists you won't see coming. Smashing!

Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable. Pretty horrific deaths going on that's for sure.

The book starts with a scenario that kicks off the book sharply featuring these seven boys whilst they were in their school days, it's pretty in your face stuff to start out with. But it gives us important background to the rest of the novel.

Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row. He's a great character, I really liked him a lot, he's a bit of a maverick detective that is passionate about his work but I loved the way we got to see his softer side in his relationship with his daughter and the man when he is at home.

He's soon hot on the trail piecing together not only who is killing these men, but what the connection is and the WHY of the killing spree, he's got a serial killer on his hands and he's determined to uncover the truth and get answers. He's not afraid to put himself in danger either, sometimes rather recklessly in his pursuit of the bad guys, he's a bold one our Max.

There are secrets, lies and deception going on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Murder Bag 8 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The main character in this gritty thriller is Detective Constable Max Wolfe, who lives alone with his young daughter, Scout and their dog Stan, in London. We are shown from the very start of this novel that Wolfe is a man who flagrantly breaks the rules – sometimes, of course, that can be a good thing, but had one of his hunches in this book gone wrong his career might have ended rather swiftly. Quite often his behaviour seems rather too impulsive and you understand why his superior, Elizabeth Swire, becomes infuriated with him. However, a rather important act where he breaks several rules at once, at the beginning of the book, means that he is promoted to homicide. This is important for Wolfe, who has longed to work with Detective Chief Inspector Victor Malloy; someone he has immense respect for and looks to as something of a mentor.

Wolfe’s first case in homicide is when he and Molloy are called to investigate the death of a banker, whose throat has been violently slashed. An obvious suspect is his wife who, having caught him being unfaithful, had posted their marital bed to his office (meaning I liked one suspect before I had even met her). However, shortly afterwards, there is another death – this time of a homeless man. At first, it seems that there can be no discernable link between the City banker and a down and out drug user, but it turns out that the two men both went to the same school – the exclusive, and expensive, Potter’s Field. Wolfe finds a photograph of a group of schoolboys who have something in common; they are being murdered. .. The answers to these crimes lay in the past and a crime which took place many years before.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Two dimensional amazingly sexy love interest? check
Should win an award for cramming the most thriller genre cliches into a few hundred pages. Emotionally tortured main protagonist? check. Suitably tough name? Read more
Published 2 days ago by M. F. Celentano
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 3 days ago by Trevor Wheeler
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging novel for the beach
Recently retired and trying to get back into reading, I saw this book in an airport and read the reviews on amazon. It did exactly what I wanted; it was an easy and engaging read. Read more
Published 3 days ago by NG
2.0 out of 5 stars Phoned in.
Could have been an interesting story, but a cliché of a policeman, and far too many stupid occurrences, leaps in the story, people just ignoring any evidence (the forensic... Read more
Published 7 days ago by asilon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read will be buying more tony parsons
Good read will be buying more tony parsons books
Published 8 days ago by paul harvey
1.0 out of 5 stars Trying to be something it isn't.
Not good. Doesn't get to heart of genre.
Published 8 days ago by antoinette turpin
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly good read
Enjoyed this book, fast paced, twists but slightly felt something was missing. Perhaps the ending needed a bit more time dedicated to it. Read more
Published 9 days ago by SharkeyT
3.0 out of 5 stars If you want to read an intelligent thriller, try Jeffrey Deaver...
If you want to read an intelligent thriller, try Jeffrey Deaver instead. This is an average ( at best) read, probably not worth paying the postage for. Read more
Published 9 days ago by I. Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Complicated interesting edge of your seat
I found the story kept you interested couldn't put it down wanting to find out who was involved in the next part of the story,
The story behind the main character's is... Read more
Published 9 days ago by sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars THE MURDER BAG BRILLIANT
Published 10 days ago by D. Cryle
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