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The Murder Bag [Kindle Edition]

Tony Parsons
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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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

Review

"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: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #724 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 22 people found the following review helpful
By tpryan
Format:Hardcover
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Meh. 29 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I finished it, but only just. And the much-touted twist at the end? What was the point? Is Max going to do anything about it?

The body count is high, but several of the deaths are fairly pointless (especially the guy who commits suicide. Twice.) The major motivating factor behind the murders is, by this point, a total cliche.

The bait and switch with the wife irritated me and, again, what was the point? Was it an attempt to make Max more interesting? Max attends several funerals, which are an excellent excuse for larding the book with vast chunks of prose from rather better writers. And the Peggy Sue wish fulfilment with the character Max ends up with? Ugh.

In the end, I didn't care about any of the characters and the plot wasn't interesting enough to make up for that.

But the most irritating factor was Max's car - he has a BMW X5, you know. Well, if you didn't after the first time it's mentioned, you soon will. "I lowered the window of the X5", "My X5 was parked further down the street", "I picked up the keys for my X5", and so on and on and on. By the end, I was convinced that BMW were sponsoring the book. Was it really not possible just to say, "I got into my car"? Just once? Please?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental crime fiction 30 April 2015
Format:Paperback
Only the most naïve reader would have missed the fact that, these days, publishing is a pretty cynical business. The days of writing stand-alone crime fiction just because you happen to have a cracking idea for one novel and want to get it out there are over – and it doesn't look as though they're coming back either.

That was the first thing that struck me when I saw the cover of The Murder Bag; a red faux sticker (which has actually been incorporated into the design) announces, “Introducing DC Max Wolfe” just in case you had missed the point that Random House had lost its eye to the main chance and was publishing Tony Parsons's first attempt at crime and was letting it fly before making a decision on number two.

Yet that wasn't the worst thing about the design. The inside cover highlights the accompanying website and invites readers to, “Enter the London of DC Max Wolfe”. Now, I know that the bods at Random House cannot possibly know that, thanks partly to living in the Big Smoke for a couple of years and having a father who was a walking A-Z, I really don't need their help. If, for instance, I had been invited to explore John Rebus's Edinburgh, I would have bitten their hand off at the elbow – but not only because my working knowledge of Auld Reekie is patchy at best.

Maybe I am the only person in Britain who thinks that it's more than a bit of a cheek to imagine that the reader will be obsessed by the main character after only one novel? I would pretty much go anywhere with Rebus, but that's because we've been a long way, him and me, starting with Knots and Crosses and finishing with Standing in Another Man's Grave (Saints of the Shadow Bible is winking at me lecherously from my bookcase, but I haven't got around to reading it yet).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Jake
Format:Paperback
The plot is (quite) interesting. It's set up with that genre staple of the 'prologue in which a crime occurs but no characters are named to allow for mystery later', but although cliched this does create some intrigue and a desire to find out what is going on. Arguably the prologue gives a little too much away since it makes the killer's motive blindingly obvious to the reader (but not the characters, of course) and it also makes the small plot twist at the end incredibly predictable, but again only to the reader who has information that Max Wolfe does not. Things sag a bit in the first third with an unecessarily protracted hunt for a knife which seems little more than an excuse for the author to reveal that he has once visited the Black Museum, but there's certainly no shortage of action if you're prepared to switch your brain off a bit and if (like the author, I suspect) you have no real experience of how murder investigations work.
This lack believability is a serious problem to be honest. Whether it's the anti-terrorist operation that hinges on a choice between 'shoot him in the head with a sniper' or 'let him go', the PC with six years on the job who doesn't understand the rank of a Detective Constable, the head of a murder investigation who goes on a jolly to the black museum because that is apparently the best way to work out what kind of a weapon caused certain injuries, or any of a number of other inaccuracies; they jar and detract from the plot and the credibility of the author.

The nature of the plot allows for a rich cast of characters, and some of the gang of victims have the potential to be relatively interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow burner great story but weak ending ,
Slow burner for me too many characters cracking story though I thought the ending was slightly weak,but will read his next novel, as the story was a good plot
Published 5 days ago by veraken
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Easy pacy read.
Published 9 days ago by Barbara D McAlister
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and beautifully written!
This has me hooked all the way through!
Would definitely recommend to anyone who has an appetite for modern crime writing.
Published 9 days ago by Pedro Baker
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't like it
I didnt like this book and didnt finish reading it. Tony Parsons has written better books in the past
Published 14 days ago by Josie L
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
My first Tony Parsons book and I'm looking forward to many more. A gripping and interesting read.
Published 16 days ago by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much so, that I could not put it down and read it in one day. Have now bought dead time to read and eagerly waiting on "the slaughter man"... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Jinty
5.0 out of 5 stars most enjoyable if you like Parson's stuff
most enjoyable
if you like Parson's stuff, you should like this
Published 19 days ago by Dave Chester
1.0 out of 5 stars Flop
Embarassing weak plot and terrible writing. An absolute cliché detective story. Predictable ending, boring and one-dimensional banal characters, ridiculous name for the main... Read more
Published 20 days ago by lovereading
5.0 out of 5 stars I Fully Recommend.
A good read.
Published 20 days ago by david cartwright
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is an awesome page turner of a book . I can highly recommend it .
Published 22 days ago by pia joanna foster
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