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Visibility (Onyx Novel) Mass Market Paperback – 5 Feb 2008


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Mass Market Paperback, 5 Feb 2008
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx Books; Reprint edition (5 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451412508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451412508
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.8 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,661,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Boris Starling's writing career began at the age of eight, when his English teacher spotted that his short story was (a) unusually good for a child his age (b) copied verbatim from Tintin's 'Prisoners Of The Sun.' (That was also the first time he learnt the word 'verbatim', not to mention the term 'copyright violation'.)

All his work since then has been strictly his own. He has written eight novels, including Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers. Five appear under his own name (Messiah, Storm, Vodka, Visibility and, in a daring breakout from one-word titles, The Stay-Behind Cave) and three as Daniel Blake (Soul Murder (UK)/Thou Shalt Kill (US), City Of Sins (UK)/City Of The Dead (US) and White Death). Every one of these books features someone dying horribly somewhere along the way. Sometimes they even deserve it.

Boris also created the 'Messiah' franchise which ran for seven years on BBC1, and has written screenplays for productions in the UK and US.

He has inherited his grandfather's male pattern baldness, but sadly not his prodigious height. He is a keen sportsman, though he has now reached the age where enthusiasm and experience are beginning to trump sheer skill. He lives in Dorset, England, with his wife, children, greyhounds, and however many chickens manage to keep clear of marauding foxes.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Messiah:

‘A real cliffhanger’ Sunday Express

‘Fast-paced, gritty… deserves nothing but praise’
Esquire

‘You’ll be pinned helplessly to every chilling page’
Company

Praise for Storm:

‘A furious, compelling and enjoyable read’ Maxim

‘I’ve been pinned helplessly to every chilling page’ Loaded

Praise for Vodka:

‘Enthusiasm and a quick eye achieve a Dickensian combination of sentiment and cruelty' Guardian

‘A pulsating and imaginative tale of murder and mafia' Mirror

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Boris Starling has worked as a reporter on the Sun and the Daily Telegraph and most recently for a company which specialises in kidnap negotiation, clandestine investigations and political risk analysis. He was one of the youngest-ever contestants on Mastermind in 1996 and went to the semi-finals with his subject: the novels of Dick Francis. Boris studied at Cambridge and currently lives in London.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Cotton on 31 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
With the vast majority of novels set in London published lately being set in Victorian London (and the author of this one just happens to be the brother of the author of The Journal of Dora Damage - a superb case in point) refreshing it is to read one set in the 1950s. So instead of a London of steam and squalor and secret sexuality, we here have a London covered in a noxious blanket of lung-coating fog and still recovering from the physical and social impacts of the Second World War. The picture of the period is well painted and the author covers all points from the Burgess and Maclean spy scandal to the Derek Bentley case, from the Queen's coronation to the start of the cold war. In fact the only criticism I'd make is that sometimes Mr S seems to be trying to fit too much in, and then having to do lots of explaining. But this is carping - this is an impressive and compulsive thriller staring ex-MI5 Murder Squad Detective Inspector Herbert Smith, as he investigates a murder that takes him back to his spying past, and reveals copious murky connections. Our hero is a believable and grumpily solitary figure, so that this book at times seems to be as much about loneliness as it is about intrigue and murder. A treat for readers who like their thrillers dense and involving, rather than flashy and nasty.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rupert Wyatt on 23 Aug 2006
Format: Hardcover
Once in a while, a book comes along that renews one's faith in British thriller writing. Beautifully written, meticulously researched (Starling has been able to stitch a seemingly endless amount of historical information seamlessly into the narrative without detracting in any way from the thrills and spills of his fast and furious plot lines); this is a detective story that hooks you from page one: A murder mystery that conjures up more timeless imagery than anything Hollwood has come up with in the last 20 years; a classic political thriller to be placed alongside Graham Greene, and an authentic and moving love story about one man's emergence from loneliness and isolation in post war London - a city teeming with spies, tarts and villains, and enveloped by corruption, recession and the murderous smog. If Raymond Chandler had been British, he would almost certainly have created the iconic character of Herbert Smith. As it is, he's no doubt looking down on Boris Starling with both great admiration and utter jealousy. With luck, this is just the first of many Herbert Smith adventures in the 'underworld'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 April 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To set a novel entirely in the three or four days of a London covered in smog is certainly different! I'm old enough to remember them so I was intrigued to discover whether the author had captured the atmosphere. He does, in the main. At the end, I still can't decide whether his principal heroes of the story were built on reality or not. I liked DI Herbert Smith's gritty attempt to solve a murder involving cold-war spies.

If I had a criticism or two it would be that the description of the breaking of a code was almost as dense as the heavy smog and in other parts of the book, the descriptions are certainly laboured. Similarly, there are glaring errors which a little more background research would have resolved. But, no matter. These do not spoil the flow of the investigation.

However, the involvement of Josef Mengele was certainly a nice twist (well, not as far as the man was concerned, of course). Having been to Auschwitz, the trauma of Hannah can be more easily understood as the storyline unfolds. The fact that she was blinded by the man is all the more appalling when one steps back from the story and looks into the reality of the camps in Poland.

But, despite all this, there is hope and the author gives his characters credibility rather than visibility. I enjoyed the book and I'm certainly glad the Clean Air Act was brought in not long after this story finishes. I still feel like having a good cough!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. C. Chenery on 13 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the first half of this book, a cracking opening few chapters, great atmosphere, great characters. The setting of London in the fog and the mystery surrounding the death is unique, but unfortunately the story gets lost, confused somewhat. The last 200 or so pages really mumble along, and you start to lose feeling for Herbert and Hannah and their story. I just read the last page with a 'so what'-type feeling. Overall and average book - get it out from the library.
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Format: Hardcover
I consider Boris Starling's Messiah and Storm to be two of the best books in it genre. So, I was expecting nothing less from Visibility. However, while Visibility is not a bad book, it doesn't come close to measuring up to its predecessors. To Starling's credit, he is excellent at character development and in creating a setting of post-war London as the Great Fog rolls in that makes you feel that you are right there experiencing it. My problem with Visibility, a thriller, is that the plot has little suspense and excitement throughout about the first three-quarters of the book. It's not until the last 75-100 pages that the thrills begin to mount, and even these events are a bit far-fetched. Basically, for me, Visibility provided too little too late. My recommendation is that if you have been a fan of Starling's and are intent on reading his latest, to take this book from the library. It's an okay read but not worth spending your hard earned money on.
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